Grace Family sold: Grace Family Vineyards in Napa has been sold by its founders, Dick and Ann Grace, to Kathryn Green, a former San Francisco management consultant who already owns a vineyard in St. Helena. Grace Family was the first cult Cabernet to attract fame. Esther Mobley comments elsewhere on why these transitions are important to the California wine narrative, despite the familiarity of the story. [SF Chronicle]
Port 2017 declared: Symington Family Estates and Quinto do Noval have declared the 2017 Port vintage, in a rare instance of declaring back-to-back vintages—the first ever for Symington. These were two very different but extremely high-quality years for Port in the Douro. [Decanter]
Vines in Bhutan: Vineyards were planted in Bhutan for the first time this month. MW student Mike Juergens initiated the project after noticing the country’s suitability for viticulture while visiting for a marathon. This project includes five vineyards spread across the country and totaling just six acres, with varied grapes and rootstocks. [The Drinks Business]
Last week’s Gallo purchase: Wine Industry Advisor considers why Gallo purchased Constellation’s lower-end brands. They’re both major companies, but with key differences: Constellation is a publicly held beverage (and cannabis) company, while Gallo is a family-owned wine business. Perhaps Gallo is taking a longer view with its goal of encouraging new wine consumers as the industry faces dropping consumption. [Wine Industry Advisor]
Wine & health: Ready for more articles about the benefits and risks of drinking wine?! TIME considers the history of research on the topic over the last 30 years and notes that evidence is still mixed, and explanations for both increases and decreases in risks are hard to pin down. Over on JancisRobinson.com, MW Richard Hemming comments that it’s not facts but perception of them that drives the conversation—and explains why he still happily enjoys wine despite the risks. [TIME, JancisRobinson.com]
Our favorite SevenFifty Daily article this week
UC Davis’s new wave: A group of enology grads from UC Davis in the early 2010s have changed the stereotypical trajectory for the program. They are producing small quantities of often minimalist wine, frequently farming the grapes. They credit the science they learned at Davis, the ways they were able to experiment, and the credibility the program offered for their choices and opportunities. [SevenFifty Daily]
What do you think?
What are your expectations, hopes, and concerns for California as many brands change hands?
What else have you heard from Port about the last two vintages?
What are the factors you think might be informing Gallo and Constellation? Given the chance, how would you advise these major players in the industry?
How have you seen the impacts of recent Davis grads? How might these varying perspectives impact US wine?
What else have you been reading this week?
I have no illusions about the healthiness of the off dry Riesling I’m washing down my Foie Gras with.