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The Oregon Hail

In Wine on 21 Sep 2017

First things first: In late August I made the decision to leave Chicago and move to Oregon to work a harvest. Like most of the major life decisions I’ve made, it all came together pretty rapidly––we’re talking about a three-day window between “I should just work a harvest in Oregon” and giving notice at work––but between feeling completely disconnected from the winemaking side of the industry and nature/mountains/green spaces in general, my recently developed conviction that Oregon is making some of the most exciting wine in the world at present, and a sweet harvest gig offer that I couldn’t turn down, plus being known to enjoy a Craft Beverage and looking pretty good in flannel, I knew as soon as I signed my offer letter and made the announcement to my loved ones that this was the right decision. Read the full article.

After the Test

In WSET on 10 Jul 2017

I took my WSET Unit 3 exam on June 14 in South San Francisco. It was a very long day: most of us arrived outside the examination room around 8 and chatted nervously until we were allowed to take our seats sometime after 9 (I stopped looking at the clock and was just furiously checking my notes), and the blind tasting portion began sometime after 10. The tasting portion took a couple of hours, after which we broke for lunch and then came back for three hours of essay questions. By the time I got out I was ready for a drink. Fortunately a close friend in Alameda suggested we meet at a winery. Somehow I was not sick of wine by that point. Maybe I’ll never get sick of wine. Read the full article.

Finding Value in Southern Italy

In WSET on 29 May 2017

With my WSET Diploma Unit 3 exam looming in the not-so-distant future, I’ve been practicing writing essays on a variety of wine industry topics, and friends suggested I post them here. This question asks for examples of how Italian winemaking south of Rome has become an increasingly high-quality source for value wines.

With northern Italy and Tuscany often stealing the spotlight, it can be easy to forget about southern Italian regions like Basilicata, Calabria, and Abruzzo,❉ but thanks to international interest in Italy’s local grapes plus a new generation of winemakers dedicated to better site and clonal selection, updating wine equipment, and focusing more on low-yield quality than high quantity of production, such regions are turning out some really nice everyday values that show local character.

Read the full article.

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