Phylloxera in Washington: Though phylloxera was identified in Washington State in the early 1990s, it failed to spread, perhaps due to cold winters and sandy soils. But it has now been reported that vineyards in Walla Walla are infected. Many think it was in the Yakima Valley for the past century but didn’t spread; it’s possible it was transported on plants or dirt, spread by flying, or evolved to tolerate the soils. [The Oregonian]
Wine Star nominees: Wine Enthusiast has announced the nominees for this year’s Wine Star Awards, recognizing innovators, leaders, wineries, brands, and more across 16 categories. The winners will be honored in January at an event in San Francisco. [Wine Enthusiast]
Excess grape supply: Rob McMillan of Silicon Valley Bank says there is an excess of grape supply at all segments today, and while the industry hasn’t seen negative volume growth since 1994, it’s now getting close. The solution, he says, is not ripping up vines but encouraging consumer demand. [SVB on Wine]
Half bottles down: Sales of half bottles continue dropping, while wine professionals keep pointing to advantages, including the opportunity to try something rare at a more approachable price and the quicker aging of tannic reds. Coravin, the bottling expense for wineries, and decreased availability from distributors seem likely contributors to the decline. [VinePair]
French wine production dips: Officials predict a 12% dip in French wine production this year due to extreme weather. Burgundy and Beaujolais are expected to be down 26% and Champagne 17%, while Bordeaux suffered fewer setbacks, with its harvest down by only 4%. [Decanter]
Harvest questions: With harvest underway in California, Esther Mobley suggests questions to ask in the tasting room or of winemakers if you’re visiting this season. Vintage reflections, picking decisions, rosé methods, and use of whole cluster all make her list. [SF Chronicle’s The Press]
Our favorite SevenFifty Daily article this week
Seasonal concepts: Seasonally rotating beverage concepts offer a specific set of challenges and benefits. Logistics are a major challenge, from considering storage space to minimizing waste to budgeting. But in addition to a unique guest experience, these concepts test essential beverage-management skills and offer learning opportunities to the sommeliers that run them. [SevenFifty Daily]
What do you think?
If you're in the Pacific Northwest, what are you hearing about the phylloxera reports? How are growers responding?
How do you think the industry should respond to excess grape supply?
Do you have a large half bottle selection on your list? How well do those bottles perform?
What are your favorite questions to ask when visiting wineries?
Have you managed a wine program with a seasonal concept? What were the biggest advantages and challenges you experienced?
What else have you been reading this week?