It’s been two years since the wines of South Africa’s De Wetshof Estate were in the U.S. market. Following an importer change, the winery is back; I sat down with the winery's current generation, Peter de Wet, here at my office last week to get caught up. De Wet, 26, is working alongside his father, the well-respected Dannie, who helped turn the winery into one synonymous with crystal clear, Chablis-like Chardonnay.
I’m not wet behind the ears any more, but not a grizzled veteran yet either. At least I think not. Still, I’ve been around the industry long enough to meet people who’ve set up shop in more than one wine region I cover—producing wine in both Chile and Argentina for example. Yet I’ve never met someone who overlaps with me quite the way Charles Bieler does. I sat down with him at my office last week to discuss Grenache in the Rhône, Malbec in Argentina and even Riesling in the Finger Lakes, among other things.
I sat down with David Launay of Château Gruaud-Larose here at my office last week. He was making a quick trip through the New York market before heading back for the impending harvest. Like other Bordelais I’ve spoken to recently, he’s enthused about the early potential for the 2010 crop. “It’s going to be a strong Cab year on the Left Bank,” said Launay.
I sat down with François Lurton at my office the other day, to get up to date on his efforts in Chile. Lurton’s Chilean operation is based in the Lolol area of the Colchagua Valley and he is another of the growing number of winemakers to convert to biodynamic viticulture.
Bordeaux is a big place, winewise. It’s France’s largest and arguably most famous wine region. It counts over 298,000 acres of vines, 8,600 growers and nearly five dozen appellations. In 2009 alone, Bordeaux accounted for more than 3.5 billion euros in sales. The U.S. gobbled up 1.2 million cases in imports valued at more than $179 million last year. That’s a lot of moving pieces.
And now, Georges Haushalter is tasked with trying to get them all moving in synchronicity, so that all the pieces benefit. I sat down the other day with the newly elected chairman of the Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux (CIVB) to discuss his plans for Bordeaux going forward.
I sat down earlier this week with Chile’s Álvaro Espinoza, arguably one of the country’s best winemakers, who also guest-blogged for us during the 2009 harvest. He still runs his own small winery, Antiyal, while also overseeing the Concha y Toro-owned organic operation at Viñedos Emiliana. But now he’s getting involved deeper in developing his project Geo Wines, along with his partner Sergio Reyes, who also joined us.
I sat down here at my office last week with Laurent Von der Heyden, owner of Château Monbrison in Margaux, to chat about things in Bordeaux.After suffering hail damage that reduced his crop dramatically in both 2008 and 2009, Von der Heyden is especially optimistic for the quality of the upcoming 2010 harvest.
I sat down yesterday to chat with Luis Barraud and Paul Hobbs of Argentina’s Viña Cobos, tasting through a vertical of the winery’s top, single-vineyard Malbec bottling in the process. The Malbec Mendoza Marchiori Vineyard has become one of the country’s top bottlings since it debuted in the 1999 vintage. The wine has hit some serious highs in its short tenure, but the vertical tasting showed it’s also on an upward trajectory.
I sat down with Alberto Arizu of Argentina's Bodega Luigi Bosca yesterday. Arizu's winery has steadily become one of the larger Argentine players in the U.S. market, he has also just begun his term as president of Wines of Argentina, the winery-funded group that works to promote the Argentine wine industry worldwide.
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