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mixed case: opinion and advice archive

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Mixed Case

August 2013

In Praise of Outsiders
There's a romantic notion of winemakers rooted to ancestral terroir. Many of the best aren't
Posted: Aug 20, 2013 12:05pm ET
By Ben O'Donnell

In Old World regions especially, we tend to think of estates as regencies to be passed down from generation to generation, the longer the pedigree, the stronger the bind to the terroir. A certain breed of purists sneers at "flying winemakers," spreading their seed in every corner of the wine world and leaving the next morning. What does Bordeaux's Michel Rolland know about Argentina, anyway?

The reality is that many of the most daring, and sometimes the greatest, wines today are made by individuals who come into a region as outsiders, with little incentive other than to innovate and little regard for the supposed limitations of the terroir and culture.

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The Wine Label as Art: Mollydooker, by Mash and the Marquis Family
For the best-designed brands, the bottles outlive their contents
Posted: Aug 15, 2013 11:50am ET
By Robert Taylor

If you're anything like me, you have quite a few wine bottles in your home, and not all of them are full. A quick tally in my apartment came to more than two dozen empties on display or in storage. Some are mementos from special occasions, but most simply serve as art.

It's no coincidence that so many wine labels are suitable for hanging. Product packaging is as important to sales as the product itself. For a collectible competing against other products that bear the exact same size, shape, appellation and vintage, it makes sense that most vintners enlist the help of artists and marketing firms when creating a wine label.

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How Would You Stop a Vineyard Apocalypse?
If grapes were being wiped out, genetically modified vines could be the solution—if people are willing to open their minds
Posted: Aug 13, 2013 10:10am ET
By Mitch Frank

Imagine a bacterial scourge that was silently spreading from vineyard to vineyard, striking down grapevines in their prime, bankrupting wineries and threatening to turn even the most basic of wines into a rare luxury. Take a deep breath—it's fiction, for now. But it's a horrible reality for farmers who produce another of our favorite beverages—orange juice. Since 2005, bacteria has been spreading through orange groves from Florida to California, inflicting a disease called citrus greening. Infected trees produce small, sour oranges.

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