A five-barrel Solera found at Ermete Medici

Solera and the Solera System

Solera You may have encountered this word before. If you drink Sherry or Spanish Brandy, you almost certainly have. But what does it mean? Let us first get some possible confusion out of the way. “Solera” is not to be confused with “Solaris”, which is both 1: a disease-resistant grape variety first created in Freiburg […]

Old vines at Domaine Tempier

Wine Myths #3: Old Vines Make Better Wine

Wine Myths, Misconceptions and Misinformation #3: Old Vines Make Better Wine Nearly everybody knows that “old vines” make better wine. If you didn’t know that before, you heard it here first. But is it true? The answer is, unfortunately, a very qualified “yes and no”. Come now, if it had been a straightforward answer you […]

Road and vineyards

Natural Wines: Two Obstacles

The Obstacles for Natural Wines Before I launch into a long, nasty tirade about this very misunderstood area of wine, indulge me for a moment and permit me to say that I think the premise of “natural” wines is likely the most appealing of all the possibilities open to us for winemaking and viticulture: wines […]

Minerality – Too Literal?

Minerality Oh, minerality. One of a few topics in wine guaranteed to cause tempers to flare and opinions aggressively to diverge.  Not quite as bad as “terroir”, perhaps, but bad enough. Not too shabby, for a word that has only really been used to describe wines for the past 30 years or so. Minerality is […]