We are proud that, for the fourth year in a row, the very Tablas Creek blog that you're reading has been named one of five finalists for "Best Winery Blog" in the 2011 Wine Blog Awards. We won the award in 2008 (the inaugural year of the awards) and would love to take the prize back from the 2010 winner: the always-worthy Randall Grahm, again a finalist this year.
Finalists were selected from dozens of nominations by a panel of experts. The award itself is determined 50% by the votes of the public and 50% by the judging panel. So, we encourage you to vote on the results... your opinions really do matter. You can vote at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CNTK5P8
In addition to "Best Winery Blog" the categories are "Best New Blog", "Best Writing", "Best Single Subject", "Best Wine Reviews", "Best Industry Blog", "Best Presentation, Photography, Graphics", and "Best Overall Wine Blog". And in each category are wine blogs that I read myself at least weekly. The quality of the writing and of the journalism in the wine blogging world has never been better, and it's an honor to be able to be a part of such an accomplished, creative group of writers.
Whether or not you have been following every post on this blog, I thought that it might be an appropriate time to look back at a few of my own favorites over the past year. In date order, with some brief notes on why I think each is worth revisiting:
- The appeal of wine in keg... and an appeal to the restaurants who want it (July 2010). I couldn't believe how much the infrastructure for selling wine in kegs has improved in the last year. Evidently we weren't the only wineries looking at the options and asking for help! Of course, we still haven't figured out how to get the kegs back to us anywhere outside of California...
- A great idea by the Rhone Rangers: Pneumonia's Last Syrah (September 2010). Still one of the best marketing ideas I've had the pleasure of being a part of. This editorial ended up on the back page of Wines&Vines a couple of months later.
- Biodynamics and dry-farming: repairing the failings of "modern" viticulture (November 2010). An important step in my own personal journey in understanding why the choices that we make in our viticulture matters in the way that the wines taste.
- A post-harvest round table discussion with Tablas Creek's winemakers (December 2010). A great video filmed and edited by Tommy Oldre that captures the personalities of our winemaking team (and our winemaking dog) as succinctly as I can imagine possible. And it's worth remembering just how unusual 2010 was. Literally unprecedented in our experience.
- Zombie legislation: HR 5034 lurches back to life as HR 1161 (March 2011). I love the occasional times I get to do political or legal analysis. My belief is that the wholesalers' lobby is going to reintroduce similarly consumer- (and winery-) unfriendly legislation each year until the opposition gets complacent and doesn't raise a hue and cry. Consider this my contribution to raising the hue and cry for 2011.
- Blending, blending, blending... and an eventual look at the 2010 whites! (April 2011). The blending of the 2010 whites was the longest we've ever faced, and provided the clearest example yet of how our process protects us from our own biases. I lay out all the messiness in this post.
- The Remarkable Rise of Paso Robles (May 2011). A reflection on how Paso Robles has come as far as it has, as fast as it has, made more relevant by Stacie Jacob's announcement the next week that she would be leaving the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance after seven years at the helm.
- Investigating an Attempted Wine Scam (June 2011). The post which received the most comments over the last year (14 and counting!) and I've heard from dozens of other wineries letting me know that they'd found this post after googling the attempted scam or attempted scammer. Nice to know that shedding a little light on a problem can provide real help.
As always, thank you for your support. It's an honor to have been able to do this for as long as I have.