Grapes try to kick the chemical habit

| Oct 12, 2007

Grapes try to kick the chemical habit

by William Campbell

Wine grapes are perhaps the highest-value, most quality-driven legally-grown agricultural crop in the world. As such, growers are usually quick to adopt the latest technical advances for protecting their vineyards. Winemakers have begun to realize, however, that the traditional agrochemicaly-based approach to farming has ...

Four top tipples for summer

| Jul 13, 2007

Four top tipples for summer

by William Campbell

The first rule for a summer wine is that it needs to be refreshing. High-scoring monster reds that warm the soul on a winter evening become plodding, heavy, alcoholic beasts on a sweltering day. Under conditions of heat and humidity, such big, bruiser wines ...

Mavericks of the Southern Rhône

| Jun 8, 2007

Mavericks of the Southern Rhône

by William Campbell

By any measure, the Perrins are an unusual family, making an unusual wine in an unusual region of France. They’ve been at the forefront of protecting the quality of French wine, yet they maintain a maverick touch. And after five generations, the owners of ...

What the Japanese are drinking

| Apr 13, 2007

What the Japanese are drinking

by William Campbell

Recent government data confirm that Japan remains a nation of beer drinkers, with beer and beer-like beverages accounting for nearly two thirds of the 9 billion liters of alcohol consumed last year. Overall wine consumption grew significantly for the first time in many years, ...

This wine school gets better with age

| Mar 9, 2007

This wine school gets better with age

by William Campbell

Japan’s oldest and largest wine school, the Academie du Vin, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Something of an institution in Japan’s wine world, the academy has turned out more than 30,000 graduates in its two decades of operation. But rather than rest ...

Avoiding a vinferno

| Feb 9, 2007

Avoiding a vinferno

by William Campbell

Midway through our life’s journey as wine collectors, we found our wine refrigerator almost lost, its engine straining desperately against the summer heat. Delving into the dark wood of the cabinet to remove all the bottles would provide a chance to catalog and glorify ...

Koshu: Japan's great white hope

| Dec 8, 2006

Koshu: Japan's great white hope

by William Campbell

Winemaking in Japan has a long but difficult history. At first glance, there’s the auspicious fact that Japan lies at a similar latitude to sunny, dry California. But here, unlike California, the rainy season strikes during the early summer flowering, and recurrent typhoons batter ...

DNA sleuths find the 'original Zin'

| Nov 10, 2006

DNA sleuths find the 'original Zin'

by William Campbell

In August, the California state legislature passed a bill recognizing Zinfandel as the state’s official “historical wine.” This caused an immediate outcry among passionate Pinot fans, and sent waves of astonishment rippling through the upper echelons of Napa Valley’s otherwise staid Cabernet dynasties. Many ...

Fall in for some wine adventures

| Oct 13, 2006

Fall in for some wine adventures

by William Campbell

A s a welcome series of typhoons scrubs away the last of the summer heat, we find ourselves at long last putting away the beer-bottle openers and breaking out the corkscrews. Fortunately for wine lovers, this fall offers no shortage of temptations. From mid-October ...

Staying mellow about 'malo' wine

| Sep 8, 2006

Staying mellow about 'malo' wine

by William Campbell

T hose who were drinking white wines in the late 1980s and early ’90s will remember the virtual tsunami of heavily oaked “butter bomb” style Chardonnays that swept the world. Living in London at the time, I couldn’t tell whether sea levels were rising ...

Fine-tuning Washington's wines

| Jul 14, 2006

Fine-tuning Washington's wines

by William Campbell

Last month’s column on the recent success of wines made from grapes grown in eastern Washington state’s high desert generated a large amount of reader feedback. Most questions ran along the lines of, “If the Washington desert is such a great place for viticulture, ...