If you enjoyed Champagne or sparkling wine last week while gleefully celebrating the demise of 2020, you may not have thought about the heavy bottle containing the bubbly. But there is a story there.
Wood emerged as a precious commodity in the 1500s. The population of England and Wales soared, escalating demand for wood. Wood was used to construct and heat buildings. It was used in glass making. It was vital to ship building.
Sparkling wine can only be called Champagne if it comes from the region of Champagne, France. Strictly speaking, champagne means "French Champagne" coming from the Reims and Epernay districts east of Paris. California produces two types of sparkling wine. The bulk process type is basically glorified soda pop. The other, usually labeled methode champenoise or methode traditionelle, means the second fermentation process must take place in the same bottle it is served from. It is well worth the price to buy a sparkling wine using this method.
The harvest is over, as well as the Harvest Party! It is time to begin all over again in the vineyard. Our Italian grape harvest went well with cooperation from the weather after the smoke from wildfires and a freak rainstorm.
We finished the 2016 harvest the day we left for the cruise. This year, we had plenty of grapes of exceptional quality. We had a few challenges during harvest that were heat related but we survived thanks to the canopies on our vines. Our Italian varieties were exceptional. I was really impressed with the Sangiovese and Nebbiolo. For something new, we picked Pinot Grigio for Sparkling Wine, something to look forward to. For this, our last shipment of the year, we have selected wines for the coming holidays.