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To The Point —Newsletter 12.10

Guide to Common Wine Faults Ames, Iowa, seems like an unlikely source of wine information, but the enology specialists at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach have published the “Wine Faults Series” that provides basic information about the 12 common wine faults including volatile acidity, cork taint, oxidation, excessive sulfur dioxide, re-fermentation and more. The guide may be downloaded for free from the Iowa University Extension Store at

Compilation of Location of Grape Varieties David Morrison, who writes The Wine Gourd at compiled the estimated growing areas in the year 2016 for 300 wine grape varieties in 50 countries.

Bearing area of Pinot Noir in 2000 and 2016:

California Pinot Noir Crush by District 2015-2019:

Smoke Taint in 2020 Quotes from Wine Business Monthly. A chief executive of a wine company that buys grapes in Oregon, Washington and California said, “There are winemakers that believe in protocols that they feel they can use to counter a bit of smoke taste. There’s other winemakers who can’t and won’t deal with it. A lot of it ends up being about the mindset of the winemaker. What I’ve seen this year is that they’re all over the beard.” Rick Aldene, North Coast Winegrapes Manager at Agajanian, Inc., “Every vineyard and every varietal that was hanging after August 17 from Mendocino all the way down to San Luis Obispo has a smoke taint number. That is a fact. Not one grower can say ‘I don’t have taint.’ I can tell you, every grower has a taint number now. Some areas are much less affected and the taint numbers are extremely low and completely manageable in the winemaking process.” Ash on Pinot Noir grapes, EMTU Winery, Sonoma County:

New Book from Michael Browne For Kosta Browne, CIRQ and CHEV wine fans, Michael is releasing an audiobook narrated by William Shatner and a paperback book on November 10, 2020, titled Pinot Rocks - A Winding Journey Through Intense Elegance. Michael shares his journey to success and offers insight and inspiration for those who believe in the American dream and choose to never stop pursuing it. Learn more at

Celebrating Hispanic Roots: ‘Raices Unidas’ Oregon’s first annual Latin heritage celebration was held on October 1, 2020. Two virtual panel discussions (one in English and one in Spanish) included winemakers Ximena Orrego of Atticus Wine, Carla Rodriquez of Beacon Hill Winery and Vineyard, Sofia Torres-McKay of Cramoisi Vineyard and Winery, Cristina Gonzales of Gonzales Wine Company, Sam Parra of PARRA Wine Company and Juan Pablo Valot of Valcan Cellars. Special wine packages were available throughout National Hispanic Heritage Month at

Climate Change Affecting Wine Harvests Globally Gregory V. Jones, director of the Evenstad Center for Wine Education at Linfield University in McMinnville, Oregon, is not particularly optimistic about the future. “The whiplash is becoming extreme. We have two to three years of drought followed by a year of extreme wet weather, with landslides and mudslides. Modeling shows these whiplashes are going to be prominent in mid-latitude wine regions like Australia, Chile and the western United States. There’s some evidence the western United States is in the beginning stages of an extended mega-drought that could bring 20 years or so of extremely dry weather.” Read more at

¡Salud! Online The Oregon Pinot Noir Auction will host its 29th annual celebration virtually November 9-16 to raise funds for healthcare services for Oregon vineyard workers. ¡Salud! is offering COVID-19 screenings, education and support to vineyard workers and their families. ¡Salud! begins Monday, November 8, at 8 a.m. with the Big Board Auction. Three days of bidding on 36 specially made 2019 cuvées with live, winemaker hosted panels daily at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Bids can be placed online from anywhere in the country. Friday, November 13 to Monday, November 6, the Live and Silent Auction offers unique wine packages from Oregon and beyond. Saturday, November 14, ¡Salud! hosts a 1-hour live stream gala with special guests and live auction packages. To attend the 2020 ¡Salud! virtually, visit

Escalating Wine Prices My impetus for concentrating on domestic Pinot Noir priced under $30 in this issue is the rising prices of desirable domestic Pinot Noir that put these wines out of reach for a majority of consumers. $60-$70 seems to be my resistance point beyond which I won’t buy a domestic Pinot Noir. I quit buying red Burgundies after the 2005 vintage because of the crazy escalation of prices that followed that vintage. This meant I have not tasted or drank any of the world’s great red Burgundies from the last twelve vintages. As the Wine Curmudgeon pointed out in a posting on November 6, 2020, “We’re at a point where people buy the world’s great wines not to drink them, but to keep them in a vault and watch them appreciate in value, using their acquisitions to prove their superiority to the rest of us. How screwed up is that?” Read more:

Age Representation in Wine Purchases

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