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If You Read Anything This Week: Wine News 3.2.2018

New MWs: Four new Masters of Wine have been named. They are Cassidy Dart, a South African based in the UK as Pol Roger’s Director of Wine; Caroline Hermann, the import/export program manager for wine, beer, and spirits for the TTB; Simon Milroy, who has worked at Majestic Wine and in the UK independent sector; and Martin Reyes, the first MW of Mexican descent, currently overseeing Peter Paul Wines. [The Drinks Business]

Women vineyard workers in CA: Women, mostly from rural Mexico, are performing an increasingly larger share of California’s vineyard work. As men have left for work in restaurants, construction, or cannabis fields, these women have saved the industry. But challenges of sexual harassment, child care, and pay are significant, especially for those who are undocumented. [SF Chronicle]

Unsustainable business: In Meininger’s, Robert Joseph says the current state of play in the wine industry is not sustainable. Many wineries around the world struggle to make money. Older owners survive by doing all of the vineyard work themselves, but many are left without interested heirs. [Meininger’s Wine Business International]

The modesty of Pomerol: Though Bordeaux continues to conjure up images of grand châteaux, Pomerol is home to small family estates and operates on a direct human scale. Eric Asimov profiles the region and four estates: Lafleur, Château Bourgneuf, Château Gombaude-Guillot, and Clos St-André. [NYT]

The state of wine science: Jancis Robinson considers the state of scientific research on wine, where responding to climate change is a major theme. Spanish researchers have been experimenting with the timing of pruning, and many Australians have turned to dilution in hot vintages. Sustainability endeavors are big in California, and wine closure debates continue to spark studies. []

Behind the scenes at Frasca: PUNCH takes a look in the wine cellar of MS  and Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson’s Frasca Food & Wine. Over the restaurant’s 14 years, hospitality and Friuli have remained key priorities. Friuli makes up about one-fifth of the selections, alongside wines from classic regions around the world.  and Matthew Mather currently oversee the wine program. [PUNCH]

Our favorite SevenFifty Daily article this week

The case for Aussie wine: Melbourne native Gordon Little of Little Peacock Imports makes a compelling case for Australian wine. He debunks some common myths: the none of the good Australian wines make it to the US and that customers just won’t drink them, for example. “The renaissance is already here,” he says. [SevenFifty Daily]

What do you think?

What else have you heard from the vineyards in California and beyond? What will be the future of vineyard work?

Similarly, how might the state of play become more sustainable for wineries? Or, alternately, do you disagree with Joseph’s conclusions about the industry today?

What are your favorite estates in Pomerol? How else do we mischaracterize wine regions through generalization?

What other endeavors in the realm of wine science are on your radar?

Do you have Australian wines on your list or in your retail shop? Which are your favorites? If you’ve attended our Barossa Masterclass with MS which wines excited or surprised you?

What else have you been reading this week?

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  • Related to wine Science:  The work to correlate vineyard microbiomes that ETS Labs and WineSeq are working on together is interesting, but in the very early stages.  I think the work to quantify the impact from the soil microbiome to viticultural outcomes will be more meaningful and data-driven once a larger database is built up.  This research could potentially also provide more context on the natural / ambient vs. inoculated fermentations debate. 

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