This week, as you've probably heard, was the last week of the holiday-buying season. Yet in between the endless lists of the right wines for holiday gift giving were some truly interesting tidbits. Our favorites of the week are below:
An amazing time-lapse video of the changing weather
- We're just emerging from three weeks of wet weather into a drier pattern. How wet? Not overwhelmingly, by total precipitation; we got 7.75 inches over that stretch, an amount not inconceivable for a single winter storm on the coast of California. But the distribution of that rain was remarkable: our weather station received measurable rainfall fifteen different days of twenty-two, with no more than two consecutive rain-free days. With that rain came some beautiful clouds and lots of surface fog. The time-lapse video captured by Biodynamic winery AmByth Estate, in the hilly El Pomar region just east of the town of Templeton, was pretty amazing.
And evidence of the rain's positive impacts
- The landscape here in Paso Robles has been transformed over the last few weeks. The hillsides are electric green in the sunny interludes, and the cover crops are months ahead of last year. The photo on the left, from Adelaida Cellars' Facebook page, gives a good sense of the new landscape. We haven't seen any significant runoff or recharge of the ponds and lakes locally, unlike further north, where Frick Winery (in Dry Creek, Sonoma County) posted the dramatic changes to one of their local ponds on their Facebook page. Hopefully, with the next series of storms, we'll see the same.
Another rain impact: bad tasting day?
- I read with interest W. Blake Gray's post The Day Wine Tasted Bad on his blog The Gray Report. He describes a day (pouring down rain) where he opened bottle after bottle, looking for one that tasted good. We've had this happen to us in the cellar, where wines that we know we liked all started disappointing us in one way or another. It seems to happen more often when the weather is changing, and we've learned to call it a day early rather than make irrevocable decisions on days like this. There are believers who would attribute this to the Biodynamic calendar, but it's always seemed more plausible to us that it's somehow meteorologic. In any case, Blake, you're not alone. Read more »
A Year in the Life
- Congratulations to our neighbors Law Estate Wines, which celebrated the one-year anniversary of opening their tasting room this week. If you haven't been to visit them yet, in their beautiful tasting room at the crest of Peachy Canyon Road, you should make a point to. And when you do, please wish them Happy Anniversary. (Meanwhile, it's worth following them on Facebook, where they routinely post some great photos.)
Food for Thought (Drink for Thought?): Drinking Better
- Finally, a piece in LA Weekly's Squid Ink blog got some well-deserved play around the internet. Drink Better Wine, Start a Revolution is a clarion call by author Besha Rodell to consumers to demand better from their wine retailers. She concludes: "And so, Millennials of America, as well as anyone else who has found themselves drinking that bottle of Two Buck Chuck and realizing that you are basically only tolerating something that you know little about, not truly enjoying it, I implore you: Drink better wine. Make it imperative that Vons should have decent wine if they want your business. Or, better, hit up the small shops around town that really do all the work for you." Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. Read the article »