China Sends Vines into Space: Global warming has threatened vines worldwide, and China is addressing the problem by sending a selection of vines into space. Scientists are hoping that the time in outer space will trigger mutations in the vines that will help grapes thrive in harsh climates. [Grub Street]
Pre-Oxidation in Burgundy & Beyond: Several years ago, compelled by the realization that many of their white wines were oxidizing after just a few years in the bottle, some winemakers in Burgundy adopted a technique called “pre-oxidation,” in which they expose juice to oxygen before fermentation. During fermentation, the brown juice turns into a clear wine and volatile compounds are removed through the process. Winemakers in other parts of France, Germany, Austria, and California have followed suit. Jon Bonné explains the practice and other shifts in white wine making. [PUNCH]
Anheuser-Busch InBev & SABMiller Deal Approved: On Wednesday, shareholders approved the takeover of SABMiller by Anheuser-Busch InBev. Some SABMiller investors remained opposed to the deal, which should be finalized by October 10. The new company will account for 27% of beer sales worldwide, with an annual revenue of about $55 billion. [NYT]
Napa Pioneer Mary Weber Has Died: Mary Weber Novak, the founder of Spottswoode Estate Vineyard and Winery, has passed away at age 84. She and her husband purchased their property in 1972, but his unexpected death just five years later left their new endeavor entirely in her hands. Under her guidance, the Spottswoode estate achieved great success. Novak will be remembered not only for her wines but also for her support of women in the wine industry and environmental commitment. [SF Chronicle]
West Coast Winemaking Adapts: Throughout the last several years, American winemakers on the West Coast have been burdened with drought, extreme heat, and wildfires brought on by climate change. Winemaking is changing in these regions as grape growers experiment with drip irrigation, dry farming, and other low-water tactics and both winemakers and agricultural schools consider the effects of smoke from fires. [Imbibe]
Radikon Remembrance: Eric Asimov offers a tribute to Stanislao Radikon and reflects on his influence in Italy, among natural winemakers, and beyond. Radikon’s experimentation, introspection, and extreme attention to even the smallest details, like the width of the neck of his wine bottles, helped him create pure, distinctive, and surprisingly solid wines. [NYT]
What do you think?
Any predictions for the vines sent into space?
Have you heard much about pre-oxidation? How well do you think this technique is known within the wine industry?
What other shifts have you observed in white wine making throughout the last several years?
We've had plenty of time to think about the SABMiller/Anheuser-Busch InBev deal by now... If you have new thoughts on the subject, share away!
Which of the adaptations by West Coast winemakers have you observed? Is there any new experimentation resulting from these unfortunate challenges that's particularly exciting to you?
What else have you been reading this week?