This Week In Wine – 12/25/11

Posted on by Kris

This Week in Wine - A Recap of Wine News from Around the World


Who's afraid of the big bad Gallo...?Gallo Winery Gets Russian River Valley AVA Expanded.

After years of regulatory wrangling, mega-producer E. & J. Gallo eventually emerged victorious in its quest to enlarge the Russian River Valley AVA, in a decision announced by the Alcohol and Tobacco Trade Bureau (TTB) on Nov. 16, 2011, effective Dec. 16. 
As requested in the petition from Gallo Family Vineyards, the ruling expands the RRV AVA by 14,044 acres (about 23 square miles).
The AVA now covers parts of what most locals might consider Central/Southern Sonoma or the Petaluma Gap. Established in 1983, the RRV AVA was previously expanded by 30,200 acres in 2005, in response to another Gallo-backed petition.

Click here for the full article.

My Thoughts

Why? That’s what I want to know. Why has Gallo been petitioning to get the RRV AVA expanded? Was it because they truly believe that the adjacent 23 sq. miles share the exact same terrior as the existing land? Or could it just be that wines bearing a Russian River Valley appellation command a much higher price than a simple Sonoma AVA?
I’m not going to give you my truthful answer (for fear of waking up tomorrow with a horses head in my bed)…

"This is my smug wine drinking face..."‘Vine Talk’ Participants Complain of Not Being Paid

On the syndicated public television show “Vine Talk,” the actor Stanley Tucci leads a changing cast of chefs and celebrities in a convivial round of wine tasting. But off-camera, many of the show’s participants are battling over money still owed to them.

The show, produced by Jersey Wooly Productions and broadcast on stations nationwide since April, rented WNET’s new Lincoln Center studio to tape a first season last winter. But the New York City public broadcaster, which has already weathered a couple of tough financial years, has not been paid about $500,000, according to several people briefed on the matter who would not discuss it publicly.

Joe Locarro, the program’s director and an executive producer, said in a telephone interview that he was owed “in the six figures.” Mr. Marcus, he said, has “told me that he’s had a number of people that are interested in sponsoring the show and investing in the show. Why these people have not come to fruition I do not know.” He added that he had been working for six months to get the show’s crew paid.

Click here for the full article.

My Thoughts

<Cough>That show sucked….<cough>………. I’m sorry…I really must get that cough looked at!

Seriously though, I watched that show once and thought I was going to stab myself in the eye with a corkscrew.
How hard is it to make a decent wine TV show!?!?! If you caught my previous article on
Wine on TV, you’ll know that I think it’s EXTREMELY HARD! The only half-decent wine TV show I’ve seen (at least in the past few years) was on BBC America with Oz Clarke and James May.

The one thing that the producers of this show might have wanted to consider was having a presenter who actually knew his/her subject, rather than an actor who is/was just trying to blind people with bullsh*t. No offence to the guy though; I loved him in A Devil Wears Prada!

 Interesting that they chose Facebook as opposed to Uncorks Facebook Store, a distributor and direct-to-consumer wine marketer, has announced the grand opening of its new wine shop on a little-known “social networking website” Facebook.

In doing so, the company becomes the first major U.S. wine retailer to launch a Facebook wine store. Customers can browse a portfolio of wines and make purchases via the popular social network site. is a subsidiary of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM Inc., which in 2009 became the first e-commerce company to complete a transaction without leaving the Facebook page.

Click here for the full article.

My Thoughts

Good luck to them! It’s a bold move for sure, but I can’t imagine the startup costs are that high. I’m a little weary about whether Facebook will be able to offer themselves as a viable ecommerce solution for businesses. I still think people want to keep their social interactions and their purchasing separate, at least at the moment. 
Facebook isn’t exactly known for their skills at keeping your private information…well…private. With the growth of online purchasing still being a fairly phenomena, if anything, I’m going to name Google+ as being the first website to successfully combine social networking and ecommerce. I guess we’ll just see what we’ll see!

Smoky...with not so subtle hints of leather, and disinfectant.Smoke Gets In Your Vines.

Kiwi scientists have identified more than 20 chemicals that make smoke-tainted wine taste like leather, disinfectant and other unpalatable flavors in a new research project that aims to limit the damage to the wine industry caused by smoke.

Researchers hope that the findings, part of a $4 million smoke taint study, will lead to better timing of controlled burns and the creation of an online interactive tool that will help wine growers assess the likelihood of their grapes having been damaged by smoke.

The industry has long known that wine grapes do not need to be exposed to smoke for long to be damaged.

Senior Australia research scientist Davinder Singh said the problem of smoke taint emerged in the wake of the devastating bushfires of 2003 which caused some vineyards in North-Eastern Victoria to be affected by smoke for about three months.
De Bortoli vineyards said they lost almost the entire harvest at one of its properties because of smoke taint in 2007.

Click here for the full article.

My Thoughts

This can only be a good thing! I know that smoke taint is a big problem for vineyards in California, where wildfires are a frequent occurrence.

Whooooooops-a-daisy!Clumsy Oaf Drops $52,000 Bottle of PM’s Wine in Car Park.

A charitable punter who shelled out $52,000 for a bottle of Prime Minister John Key’s JK label dropped it on his way out to the car after the auction. The wine, which is made under the New Zealand Prime Minister’s JK label, was brought by three men during an auction for the Christchurch earthquake fund. Twenty five cases of the wine are made each year.
Some of the limited edition wine is presented as gifts and then four or five cases are auctioned off for charity.

Click here for the full article.

My Thoughts

It seems like each month there’s a story about how someone has smashed to oblivion a ridiculously expensive bottle of wine, with each story naming a wine more expensive than the previous. I can imagine this bottle will probably hold the record for a while though!

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