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Every spring I am filled with optimism. It’s spring; it’s opportunity; it is change, almost a rebirth as we watch those beautiful green buds burst forth.

May 9, 2022

All You Need to Know About Planting Grape Vines

Yes folks, this has been a Humdinger of a winter – we’ve had it all, blistering cold for days on end, power cuts, interstate highways blocked and the ever-lingering cloud over all our heads, COVID. Why I obsess about the weather. You may have noticed that my newsletters tend to obsess about weather and as […]

February 24, 2022

Real Winter Returns to Virginia

Now you may or may not know that one of the most successful segments of the English wine market is sparkling wine, known more familiarly to the Brits as English Fizz. Why am I writing about English Fizz when we are in Virginia? Because the manager of the Virginia Sparkling Company (VSC) is Elliott Watkins, […]

December 29, 2021

English Fizz Versus French Champagne: Which Bubbly Rises to the Top?

Revisiting the Sparkling Wine Saga As we all know, only sparkling wine that comes from the Champagne region of France is called “Champagne”. The rest of the world is stuck with using “sparkling wine” to describe their bubbly. And to their credit the “Champenois” have done a fantastic job branding Champagne. In so doing, they […]

December 8, 2021

How the English Helped the French Make Champagne

“Now over everything the autumn light is thrown And every line is sharp and every leaf is clear…” – Poem in Autumn, by May Sorton It really does seem like the light is different in autumn. I’m not sure why. There seems to be a clarity often enhanced by the morning chill. The sun lights […]

November 22, 2021

Autumn Retrospective

Maybe There is a Shot at Glory This week I am featuring Cabernet Franc almost as a sequel to my last blog on Merlot. Cabernet Franc and Merlot are both regarded by some as maligned grapes. You may have gathered I’m not a big fan of Merlot; the opposite is true of Cabernet Franc. Until […]

October 26, 2021

The Dark Days of Cabernet Franc are Over

Merlot is a wine that to some people is bland and uninteresting and to others is their absolute favorite. Now if, for example, you want to drink a red wine that is soft, fruity, is easily affordable, and that doesn’t make you pucker with bitter tannins, then Merlot is for you. Similarly, if you are […]

October 18, 2021

The World’s Greatest Blender

Where does Viognier stand after a whirlwind affair followed by a tragic break-up as the state’s darling white grape? My blog this week features the Viognier grape, how it was popularized in Virginia over the last 15 years and where the grape stands now relative to other wines like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Petit Manseng. […]

October 5, 2021

Veritas, Virginia, and Viognier

A look back at the summer of 2021 If you think about it, what COVID has forced us to do is change in some way or another. Whether it’s the decision to wear a mask or get vaccinated, we have been forced into making a decision that in many ways could be considered a life […]

September 16, 2021

The Summer of Change

Ripening at start

Veraison – What was that again? If you Google the French term “véraison” the English equivalent is “veraison.” Under the French entry it says, “Maturation des fruit, spécialement du raisin qui prend sa couleur.” That roughly means ripening of fruits, especially of the grape which takes its color. When I come across a term like […]

July 21, 2021

A Day in the Life of A Vine – Veraison

Vines during Veraison

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