Does Deep Freeze Mean Deep Trouble? Whitestone’s Michael Haig Explains

November 23 and 24 were the punctuation mark on a long cool growing season for Washington grape growers. With temperatures plunging from 30 degrees to -4 degrees and lower in a matter of a few days, vineyard managers were scrambling. As wineries wrapped up the 2010 harvest, doubts about the 2011 harvest lay heavy on many people’s hearts. Much of the damage will be uncertain until Spring but many areas had a lot to be thankful for over the holiday. Washington grape growers understand hard freeze. With one coming every 5-8 years, this part of the business is nearly unavoidable. […]

CONTINUE READING

Selling Out – Does Going Pro Mean the End of Credibility?

Wine blogging is a tangled vine of mystery, intrigue, passion, eroticism, and cow horns. Topics like bio-dynamics, Robert Parker’s 100 point system, the use of sulfites and stolen grapes stir the tank of controversy on a daily basis. Once one enters under the canopy of darkness…there is little hope of making it out alive (or at least with white teeth). Since when did mixing commerce with blogging become the antithesis to credibility? The medium of blogging affords a great freedom in expression and also lends itself to a speed that cannot exist in traditional media. Bloggers were first to respond […]

CONTINUE READING

The Washington Vintage of the Century?

“If we get a long late breaking Indian summer, this could turn out to be one of the best vintages in 15 years” ~Paul Gregutt, video interview 9/10/10. Much has been written and said about the 2010 Washington State vintage. A warm early spring, then very cool weather in May – June pushed many vineyard locations to be several days and even weeks behind. The mild summer saw very few days with 100 degree temperatures and brought a wetter than usual September. With harvests typically beginning around Labor Day, the cool summer had many vineyard managers and winemakers sweating. Now, […]

CONTINUE READING

From the Grape to the Glass: Pt 2 Science of Grapes

There is a geeky side to grape farming. A little bit of science is blended with hard work to create each artistic glass we drink. As we follow the 2010 Barrister Winery Sagemoor Cabernet Sauvignon from the grape to the glass, we dive into the science inside the grape. In part one of the series (From the Grape to the Glass Pt1 Progress Reports) Greg Lipsker, co-owner and winemaker of Barrister winery, visits the vineyard for a status check on the 2010 fruit. The grapes are undergoing veraison (a process where the green fruit turns purple) and vineyard manager, Derek […]

CONTINUE READING

A Blend of Apples and Grapes: iPads in the Tasting Room

What is your goal? As a wine business you want to sell more wine; engage more customers; improve customer service; encourage education and awareness. How can emerging technology help accomplish these things? Technology and wine are not unfamiliar bedfellows. Many wineries have looked to technology solutions for years. Database and inventory management with improved point of sale systems. Reward card programs that reward loyal customers. Cards and purchases are tracked through technology solutions. Tasting room kiosks that can help educate customers and improve service when staff is not available. Credit card terminals to assist in quicker transactions SMS text based […]

CONTINUE READING