If You Read Anything This Week: Wine News 11/22/2019

Gallo buys Pahlmeyer: E. & J. Gallo has purchased Napa Valley’s Pahlmeyer Winery. The deal includes two brands, Pahlmeyer and Jayson by Pahlmeyer, and inventory, but not the estate on Atlas Peak. Instead, Gallo will buy the grapes through a four-year lease agreement. Pahlmeyer is known for its Bordeaux-style blend and Chardonnay. [Wine Spectator]

Winiarski receives Smithsonian medal: Warren Winiarski, founder of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars and creator of the 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon that won the Judgment of Paris, is the first winemaker to win the Smithsonian’s James Smithson Bicentennial Medal. He was nominated by staff at the National Museum of American History, where he has spent years helping develop the food and wine history collection. [SF Chronicle]

DO changes in Rueda: A new tiered classification has been approved in Rueda DO. New designations include Gran Vino de Rueda, made from vines at least 30 years old and with low yields, and Rueda Palido, made from organic production and aged in oak for at least three years. Syrah, Viognier, and Chardonnay will now be permitted grapes. [The Drinks Business]

Barolo halts plantings: The Barolo consorzio has announced that vine plantings will be on hold for three years, beginning in January. The move is a preventative measure to regulate the production of Barolo and preserve the landscape. Wine made from vines planted during that time will be declassified. [The Drinks Business]

To Kalon motion: The Vineyard House LLC has filed a motion seeking to stop Constellation Brands from selling wines under the brand name To Kalon Vineyard Company, as grapes for these wines come from areas beyond the historic To Kalon property. This move is the latest in a long and ongoing disagreement about the use of the name To Kalon. [Wine Industry Advisor]

More Thanksgiving suggestions: Eric Asimov is back with more suggestions for Thanksgiving wines. Sparkling wine, Sherry, and vermouth make the cut for starting the celebration, and he lists dry cider, Beaujolais, and Sauvignon Blanc as good mealtime options. And, of course, Italian digestifs are always an appropriate way to finish. [NYT]

What do you think?

What are your thoughts on the Pahlmeyer sale?

What is your reaction to the approved changes in Rueda?

Do you think it’s wise to pause plantings in Barolo? Would it make sense in other regions?

What are you serving for Thanksgiving?! What are you recommending? I really just posted that article so I could ask these questions, which I think are very fun, again. Someone please humor me and share!

What else have you been reading this week?

  • In regards to Rueda:

    I know they enjoy a big domestic market and are looking to break into more export markets. Do these changes really translate into consumer appreciation of these different designations or will it just cause more confusion? Just posing the question.

    For wine geeks or those studying feverishly, this will have meaning and expectations of how those wines will differ. However, will that translate to the consumer and how much per bottle is that designation worth (or are consumers willing to pay)? I do not profess to have those answers but those are questions producers, importers, distributors and retailers have to project. Just trying to look at the whole picture.


  • There are some issues with that article in terms of the author's translations from Spanish. I have one coming out on my site on Monday that will hopefully clear some things up and I hope you'll have a read  !

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