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Mission Statement

Photo by: David Yellen

Posted: Apr 21, 2006 10:59am ET

There are many winemakers who run their domaines and work their vineyards personally, handcrafting their wines. They are driven by one tenet – to produce the highest quality wine they can. Typically these winemakers do not have the spare time needed to work the marketplace. Importers and public relations firms sometimes fill this gap, but obviously they are not objective. The role of educating consumers about these wines (and doing so without bias) then falls to the journalists. That’s where I come in.

I don’t look at myself as a critic, but rather as a conduit for information between winemakers and consumers. There’s more to understanding a wine than simply tasting it and pronouncing judgment upon it. Understanding where the wine is from, how it’s made, and what it says about its place of origin and the varietals it is made of are all part of the process. Hopefully the more I learn, the more you learn - and that results in you building a cellar full of great wines.

But don’t make the mistake of thinking I’m pro-small winery and anti-big winery. Or that I’m only a terroir-loving traditionalist who eschews modern fruit bombs. It’s not that cut and dried. Tradition versus modernity is an oversimplified debate. The bottom line is quality, via an expression of place and varietal, regardless of style.

Through my reviews, I’ll try to steer you to the good wines and warn you off the bad ones. And via this blog, I’ll try to deliver wine information that can’t be gleaned simply from looking at the label. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

Guus Hateboer
Netherlands —  April 23, 2006 1:56am ET
I enjoy al the blogs on WS. Excellent! And, one can never be taught enough, so keep it going. I'll read, search, buy, taste and may (dis)agree, at least you guys provide the guidance. Thanks!
Kevin Lewis
West Palm, Florida —  April 23, 2006 5:29pm ET
James, I have been reading WS now for about two years and have enjoyed your articles very much. I am also a big fan of the wine regions you cover. The vina Neyen wine you mention sounds wonderful! I get frustrated many times living where I do b/c finding wines like Neyen is very difficult given the lack of any truly special wine shops down here. Your right, what makes wine so amazing is finding out where it comes from, how it was grown, basically knowing why any wine is the way it is. Keep the info coming!! Thanks again! Cheers!

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