Posted: December 27, 2012 By Ben O'Donnell
At the Penfolds Nuriootpa winery in Barossa, you can crush 22,000 tons of grapes. At Chateau Ste.-Michelle, 2.8 million cases of wine go out the door every year. If you are Peter Gago or Bob Bertheu, head winemakers at Penfolds and Ste.-Michelle, respectively, how do you even process and track so much stuff, let alone make it good?
"That's why God created Microsoft Excel, I guess," replied Bertheu. I asked four winemakers who head up large-to-massive operations that produce dozens of different cuvées in all price ranges, from $10 quaffers on up to the storied $600 Penfolds Grange. In my previous post on the subject, I gave a sense of the scale of the task and wrote about how the four keep tabs on their growers and grapes through harvest. Now I'll explain how they juggle as many as 52 different wines at once.
Posted: November 20, 2012
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Posted: September 20, 2012
Posted: September 18, 2012 By Robert Taylor
The Northern Hemisphere harvest begins this month, and in the vast, vast majority of the world's vineyards, it starts with a heavy machinery operator turning the ignition on a mechanical grape harvester.
Many wine lovers might imagine—or might prefer—a scenario that involved skilled harvesters gently selecting the very best bunches of grapes, all by hand. But the half-dozen experts I polled—including industry insiders, vintners and mechanical harvester operators—conceded that 90 percent or more of the world's wine grapes are likely harvested mechanically.
If you're interested in the intersection of quality and value, you should be grateful.
Posted: September 12, 2012 By Tim Fish
It's half-past September and do you know what California winemakers are drinking?
No, it's not a joke. There's an old saying, in fact: "It takes a lot of beer to make wine."
Posted: June 21, 2012
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Posted: November 17, 2011 By Alison Napjus
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Posted: October 28, 2011 By James Laube
We're in the middle of another crazy, late California harvest. Good but spotty are other themes that run through most of what you hear about California's harvest 2011. And on the horizon, the smaller crops in recent years could spell price increases. In areas where grapes are still hanging, harvest is winding down quickly and should be finished by next week, ahead of predictions of rain and cooler weather.
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