Author Archives | Jeffrey L. Lamy

Tournante St. Vincent 2014

Tournante St. Vincent 2014

Dawn had barely broken as the participants flowed through the vineyards of Saint-Aubin past row-after-row of ice-covered vines. It was so cold, you could see their breath. In the procession, members of the Confraternitée de St. Vincent, dressed in red and gold robes, carried hand-carved wood statues of the Saint as has been done for almost 500 years. Vignerons from Burgundy and wine tourists from all over the world complete the entourage.  Continue Reading

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Bill Fuller, Oregon Wine Pioneer

Bill Fuller, Oregon Wine Pioneer

How hard do winemakers work . . . especially at startup?

Last week, I had the privilege of a long visit with Bill Fuller, co-founder of Tualatin Vineyards near Forest Grove, Oregon. Now, Bill is a good friend going back almost to his 1971 arrival in Oregon, but there is something really special about discussing old war stories when you’re in your mid-70s. Bill is one the true pioneers of Oregon’s wine industry.  Continue Reading

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Where are America’s Leading Wine Markets?

America’s Leading Wine Markets

Bragging rights aside, the country’s metropolitan areas differ greatly in their consumption of wines. Often, we see consumption expressed as gallons per capita. That measure doesn’t tell the whole story, though.

The “gallons” in gallons per capita are usually “all wines”, which includes sparkling wines, dessert wines and specially-flavored natural wines in addition to the table wines we think about. Table wines are still (no spritz) wines of no more than 14% alcohol. What’s that? You say you’ve been enjoying red table wines with more than 14% alcohol? Where are they classified? Well, as far as the federal government is concerned, those are dessert wines and are taxed at a higher rate than table wines. For wine marketers, however, those high alcohol wines are usually thought of as being table wines because they are displayed on the shelf alongside all of the other table wines and are sold the same as table wines. Continue Reading

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2012 Harvest is Done – Can We Predict Pinot Noir Quality?

Oregon’s grape harvest was completed, for all practical purposes, by October 18. There may have been some White Riesling lurking out there, in search of botrytis cineria, but not much. Reports say that the same is true for Oregon’s southern wine areas (Rogue and Umpqua River Valleys) and the Columbia River Gorge, as well as the State’s bellweather Willamette Valley. Continue Reading

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Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio – which is the best wine?

Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio

Which is better: Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio? The grape variety is the same in both, just going by different names in different countries. But, there are substantial differences in aroma and flavor. Pinot Gris/Grigio does reflect a “sense of place”, a manifestation of the terroir in which it is grown.

The grape variety is widely dispersed throughout Europe’s winegrowing areas. In Germany, it is called Ruländer. In Burgundy it’s Pinot Beurot. Alsace used to call it Tokay d’Alsace, but that has been discontinued in favor of Pinot Gris. Continue Reading

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Restaurant Wine Prices Are Outrageous!

“Get ready for higher restaurant prices!” blazes the headline of a recent Bloomberg report. Now, that’s a scary thought. A nation, shell-shocked by the continuing recession, is already reeling from the high cost of dining out. Many have reacted by doing more entertaining and dining at home and less in restaurants.

A National Restaurant Association survey of its members reveals that fewer operators expect business to be better in 2012 (64%) than in 2011 (70%).  A large 67% of them anticipate raising their menu prices in 2012 to reflect rapidly increasing food costs. And, 88% of them feel their profits will stay the same or increase over 2011. Continue Reading

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