America’s Winemaking Past And Future Is Found In The Finger Lakes
ROCKIN RED BLOG
by Michelle Williams
1y ago
Did you know the first wine grapes were planted in the Finger Lakes wine region, Hammondsport on Keuka Lake to be specific, ten year prior to the first wine grapes being planted in Napa Valley? A key difference was Yount planted Vitis vinifera in Napa and Reverand Bostwick planted indigenous labrusca vines in the Finger Lakes. As the climate changes and sustainability becomes central to winegrowing, the Finger Lakes’s heritage and hybrid grapes of the past may also hold the key to America’s viticulture future. Learn more in my latest for Forbes: America’s Winemaking Past And Future Is Found I ..read more
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How Heritage Old Vines Renewed California Zinfandel
ROCKIN RED BLOG
by Michelle Williams
2y ago
In the mid-90’s California Zinfandel began positioning itself for a post-white Zin resurgence. However, quality selections were lacking. By sourcing cuttings from the state’s oldest, most prestigious vineyards, the Heritage Vineyard Project renewed California Zin. Calling all Zinfandel lovers. This illustrious grape’s past has as much drama as a soap opera. Thankfully, it continues to have as many fans. You likely know the story of how White Zinfandel saved many of the state’s oldest vines. But did you know the red Zinfandel you enjoy today is likely a direct descendent of some of the oldest v ..read more
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Mosel Winegrowers’ Focus On Soil Health Improves Wine Quality
ROCKIN RED BLOG
by Michelle Williams
2y ago
By incorporating viticultural practices that bolster a healthy soil biome—organic, biodynamic, and regenerative agriculture—thoughtful Mosel winegrowers are strengthening vine resilience while improving overall wine quality. This article builds on my previous Forbes article, “The Dirty Truth Soil Health Plays in Wine.” In this latest article, I spoke with three Mosel wine makers on the secret to their exceptional wines. I think you will find it fascinating. Please read it, by clicking the title below, then share your thoughts with me. Thank you. Mosel Winegrowers’ Focus On Soil Health Improves ..read more
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The Dirty Truth Soil Health Plays In Wine
ROCKIN RED BLOG
by Michelle Williams
2y ago
Walking through Joseph Cattin’s Le Clos Madelon Alsatian vineyard, it’s hard to imagine it once being a World War I battleground. The fully covered ground is soft, sponge-like under foot. Chickens forage freely through the vineyard. Indiscriminately extracted plugs of earth reveals moist, living soil teeming with microbial life. Modern scientific advancements expand beyond soil type, revealing a vast microbial world exists within living soil. Why should wine drinkers care? Research indicates this world is vital in producing high quality wine, and, when properly managed, offers potential in com ..read more
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Bourgogne Grapples With Fighting Frost Without Producing Emissions
ROCKIN RED BLOG
by Michelle Williams
2y ago
Spring frost has been a reality for wine regions for years. However, more recently warmer winters are resulting in vines “waking up” earlier. Delicate new buds are easily destroyed by frost. Additionally, frost negatively impacts yield and fruit quality. A severe frost event can wipe out an entire vintage. In an effort to avoid catastrophic losses, like in 2021, Bourgogne wineries employ a wide range of active frost prevention techniques. From torches and heated wooden cauldrons, paraffin candles, burning vine clippings, portable wind machines, and even helicopters, each of these choices produ ..read more
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What If The Wine Industry Adopted A First Do No Harm Mentality?
ROCKIN RED BLOG
by Michelle Williams
2y ago
As an agricultural product, wine is uniquely positioned to illuminate and educate on an array of significant issues facing us today. Therefore, I have launched a new series within my Forbes column with an emphasis on first do no harm. The focus will be on sharing stories of those seeking to elevate environmental and sustainability awareness from soil to glass by taking positive steps to protect the earth, workers, and wine drinkers. The goal is to raise consumer awareness of the impact of wine on the environment and ways wine is leading agriculture in combating climate change with the hope edu ..read more
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Sommeliers Share Insight On Transforming The Restaurant Industry From Racial Awareness To Antiracism
ROCKIN RED BLOG
by Michelle Williams
2y ago
Last fall, I sat down with four sommeliers as a group and individually to discuss challenges they have experienced in the restaurant industry and their desire to move it from diversity, equity, and inclusion awareness to antiracism. These vulnerable conversations highlighted experiences of trauma and pain, but they did not end there. Solution oriented hope illuminated concrete ways the restaurant industry can make cultural shifts for healing. As a writer, I feel each article is a sort of birthing process. However, truth-be-told, unlike a child, some articles are more special than others. What ..read more
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Loire Valley Producers Respond To Consumer Demand For Organic Wine
ROCKIN RED BLOG
by Michelle Williams
2y ago
Last fall I spent a week in Loire Valley visiting producers from Muscadet Sèvre et Maine to Pouilly-Fumé. Repeatedly, winemakers shared they are in the process of becoming organically certified at the request of consumers. Are American wine drinkers specifically requesting certified organic wines? If so, what is behind this movement? In my latest article for Forbes, I go behind the scenes to learn more about this consumer-driven organic wine movement and how the Loire is responding. Loire Valley Producers Respond To Consumer Demand For Organic Wine ..read more
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Forbes Latest: History In A Glass: The Intoxicating Quality Of Old Vine Wines
ROCKIN RED BLOG
by Michelle Williams
2y ago
In my latest article for Forbes, I examine old vines. What they are, why so many industry professionals adore them, global efforts to save them, and why their value is not better communicated to wine drinkers. “Heritage old vines crack open the cultural, agricultural and human heart of wine,” says Sarah Abbott, MW, CEO and Founder of Swirl Wine Group Limited. “Connecting the humanity, nature and qualities of a wine effortlessly with what is in the glass.” Please take a moment to click the title below and read more about why so many are passionate about old vines and the wines they make. Histor ..read more
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Latest in Wine Enthusiast: New Hope In Chile
ROCKIN RED BLOG
by Michelle Williams
3y ago
During this time wrought with division and marginalization, it is my humble honor to share a story of taking chances, hope, and trust in unlikely partnerships between Chile’s Indigenous Buchaheuico and Lickan Antay communities and it’s wine industry. Together these partnerships are addressing centuries of dehumanization and abstract poverty through wine production. While it would seem the Indigenous communities have the most to gain from the endeavors, truth is we all have much to learn from them. “I think the most amazing aspect for me is the Lickan Antay’s relationship with wine,” says Sergi ..read more
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