What could be a better way to start the Autumn Newsletter than by showing a water-color rendering of our very own vineyard painted by my truly beautiful and talented wife, Patricia? Or should it be by my, truly talented and beautiful wife? Either way… it sounds good. And if you have been following our newsletters, Autumn […]
The Red Wines of Alentejo As I outlined in part one of the blog The Alentejo is a vast area of Portugal that is relatively uninhabited except for vineyards, olive groves and cork-bearing oak trees. Within this vast area there are 29,000 hectares of vineyards – an area almost as large as the whole of […]
As autumn sets in, it occurred to me that almost a year ago today, Patricia and I went on one of the very best educational wine tours we have ever experienced. We have taken many exciting trips around the world, but this trip to Portugal with our friend, Richard Hewitt who owns Vino Tours, was perhaps one of favorites.
It is almost as hard to get things done in summer as it is during the Christmas holidays. In France, the French admit it and everyone goes on vacation. The whole country nearly shuts down, and if you want the best of Paris do not go during August – everyone’s at Cote D’Azur.
And so it is with grape growing, we are simply waiting in the sultry, sweaty sun for the grapes to ripen – the summertime blues for which, as you remember from Eddie Cochran, there is no cure. Then again, you can think of summer as a time when the living is easy, when the fish are jumping, and the cotton is high if you are Porgy from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.
“In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love. Spring is the season for love.” Locksley Hall, Alfred, Lord Tennyson. To me, spring is the celebration of new birth as we gratefully awaken from the dark days of winter – a renewal that every year feels like a new experience. Forget the […]
Apart from a few cold spells and some freezing rain, it has for the most part been a green winter, and green winter is the main topic of this not so wintery winter newsletter. I am writing about climate change today because as I write this it is February 21st and 72 ° and sunny […]
I tend to wax prolific when it comes to autumn and as I have written before, the word “autumn” conjures up much more of the season than the word “fall.” I usually quote John Keats in his majestic poem “To Autumn,” which never fails to emote after countless reads. So I start out this piece […]
“Its summer now: the heat is on. It’s summer now all summer long.” -Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek “It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility.” -Yogi Berra To me, summer is characterized by the awareness of interminable lengths of time induced by inactivity, as if it’s too hot to do anything. We grudgingly accept […]
Big news! Andrew Hodson and Chris Parker’s website, www.thevirginiawineacademy.com, is now live! They start teaching classes this fall at Piedmont Virginia Community College in September, concentrating on WSET Levels 1 and 2, with the goal of offering Level 3 in the near future. What is the WSET you ask? Here’s the skinny: WSET stands for […]
Spring in the vineyard Phew – we dodged a bullet. Remember my “winter” newsletter bemoaning the winter that never was? Well exactly on track, dear old Mother Nature graced us with bud break almost two weeks early. As I explained previously, that exposed us to two extra weeks of frost risk and although I […]