Saturday, December 26, 2015

2015 Blog Year in Review: Part II, wine regions, Nebbiolo, and wine destinations

This is the second in a series of posts looking back at the blog coverage areas over the past 12 months. The initial post covered activities in the area of postmodern winemaking while this one focuses on "wine" region writings.

Wine Regions
One of my long-term objectives for the blog is to develop and maintain an extensive and comprehensive repository of wine region descriptions, all accessible from a single front end. This year I added material on Tavel (soils and AOC), Chateauneuf du Pape (landscape/soils and AOC), Finger Lakes, and North Greece. Data for these posts were collected during DWCC- or WBC-arranged trips and, in the case of North Greece, by the application of detailed follow-up questionnaires.

In the case of North Greece, I employed the Wine -- Mise en abyme (W-MEA) model (shown below) in my framing and evaluation of the region. I had previously only used the model in evaluation of individual vineyards.

Collection of the required data was effected through meetings with relevant winery personnel while on a North Greece Press Trip and through two separate questionnaires designed to elicit detailed information on the wineries viticulture and viniculture configurations and practices. To date I have reported on the region's physical environment, the physical environment versus the W-MEA model, variety and rootstock choices, and vine training and vineyard management.

Based on my observations to date, there are no "show-stoppers" in the siting of the North Greece vineyards. As a matter of fact, all the base ingredients are present for the production of high-quality fruit. Future posts will cover the winemaking and maturation environments as well as a detailed discussion of the region's wines.

Mapping Nebbiolo
While wine regions are by nature vertical constructs, one of the efforts that I have taken on is a cross-regional endeavor that I have named Mapping Nebbiolo, an attempt to build a repository of information on this variety, its instances, and its associated impacts. My repository-building activities this year revolved around identifying the nomenclature and characteristics of Nebbiolo in the places where it is grown in Italy and surrounds. To recap: in Valtellina it is called Chiavennasca; in Valle d'Aosta it is called Picotendro; in Alto Piemonte it is called Spanna; in Val d'Ossola it is called Nebbiolo but an ancient biotype is called Prunent; and in Langhe-Roero it is called Nebbiolo.

At the conclusion of the series, I hosted a dinner with wines from the various regions so that my friends and I could experience the differences in these wines for ourselves.

In keeping with incorporating associated items into this Mapping Nebbiolo bundle, I posted on the development of a wine industry and winemaking culture in Piemonte, the heartland of Nebbiolo, in the 1800s and, a more recent concern, the so-called "Burgundization" of Barolo.

Orlando Food and Wine Trail
In 2015 the editors of Wine Enthusiast identified Orlando as one of the 10 Best Wine Travel destinations of 2015. According to the editors, Orlando "... sports brag-inducing eats and world-class wine experiences ..." with "... something to be found for every food and wine lover ..." After I had stopped rolling around on the floor with laughter, I decided to embrace this concept and provide a solid foundation for the editors' "sketchy" rationalization. In addition, one of my colleagues had referred to Orlando as a food wasteland and I needed to convince her that that was not the case.

Towards that end I developed a construct called the Orlando Food and Wine Terroir that describes the elements (and their interworkings) that define and drive the Orlando Food and Wine Area and then located and characterized the establishments that function on what I term the Orlando Food and Wine Trail.

I will wrap up this year-end review with two additional posts.

©Wine -- Mise en abyme

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