Tackling the 2019 MW Exam Part 3: Consider the growth in demand for vegan, organic and sustainable wines. What can and should the wine industry be doing in response?

As consumer interest in wellbeing, sustainability, and environmental impact increases, in turn there exists a rising demand for organic, biodynamic & vegan wines. All of the aforementioned are hot topics in both the popular media and social media, and whilst they are not exclusive to the wine industry, winemakers are most certainly responding to this demand by increasing production and availability of wines in these categories. Andrij Jurkiw joins me this week and contributes his attempt at tackling this topic from the recent MW exam ...

Tackling the 2019 MW Exam Part 2: Discuss the role of the following factors in the production of high-quality grapes: aspect, vine density and row orientation

It is often said that one can produce bad wine from good grapes but cannot produce good wine from bad grapes. There is little room, if any, for debate when it comes to the importance of viticultural decision-making in producing high-quality wine. From the very beginning of a vines life the decisions taken in the vineyard, from planting to clonal selection, will go some way toward determining the quality of the finished wine. Factors often principally touted amongst fact sheets are aspect (direction) vine density and row orientation. But exactly what role do these factors play when it comes to producing high-quality grapes …

Tackling the 2019 MW Exam Part 1: Are yield restrictions necessary to produce high-quality wine?

Fruit thinning, green harvest, restricted yield, whichever name it may go by there are few canards as distinctly pervasive as yield-restriction. Across Europe, the belief that yield restriction is directly correlated with amplified wine 'quality' is so widely held that one can almost predict the nature of questioning at any tasting, visit or seminar. Let's stop for a second; just how accurate is this belief? Is yield restriction really a fundamental requirement of high-quality wine production or is this hypothesis flawed?

Microsoft Excel tasting note template

Protracted, confusing, challenging and intrusive. Writing tasting notes is not always an enjoyable experience. Whether you're taking notes for personal record, independent learning, employment requirements or in order to teach others, I want to help you make the process more efficient, valuable and effective, giving you more time to enjoy the wine in hand. What started off as a personal project is now available to you all for FREE ...

Let’s talk about oak!

For over 2000 years oak has been a fundamental component in the transport, maturation and production of wine. However, the adoration many wine lovers now hold for oak-aged wine emerged as somewhat of an accident opposed to an ingenious introduction. One could argue that the use of oak may well be one of the most influential tools in a winemakers arsenal, but how exactly does oak influence wine? In this post we will explore the history of oak, it's uses, variations and much, much more ...

Peppery Shiraz? Blame it on the Rotundone!

The aromas and flavours associated with particular grape varieties and regional specific wines are more often than not a result of large numbers of compounds, of varying origin, interacting with one another and forming various olfactory and gustatory qualities. There are however a number of compounds (in this case sesquiterpenes) which have an individual aromatic quality associated to them. The distinct aroma of pepper so often associated with cool climate Shiraz/Syrah is the result of one of these sesquiterpenes ...

What makes a wine dry?

There is a somewhat small range of primary descriptors used by those in the industry which subsequently become the go to guidelines for a broad range of consumers. Whether a wine is dry or not is amongst the most popular characteristic used to judge whether one does or does not favour a wine. But what does it really mean? What makes a dry wine?