Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Vintage Report, Missouri 2009

From Danene Beedle, of the Wine and Grape Board:
Despite sub zero temperatures, the freeze earlier this month was not a replay of the April 2007 freeze which severely damaged Missouri's grape crop. One major difference between the catastrophic freeze of '07 and now is that this year the vines were not in as advanced stage of bud growth as they were when the cold hit then.

Vineyards around the state are reporting no damage from the recent ultra cold weather. Only the early budding grape varieties, like Concord and Cayuga, were near bud break, however temperatures did not dip low enough for an extended period of time to do major harm. The buds on most grape varieties were still tightly closed, and therefore able to handle the sub freezing weather.

"The critical factor this time of year is how low the temperatures go. If temperatures stay in the mid to upper 20s then damage should be minimal. However, if temperatures drop below around 25 then there could be a significant amount of injury on several cultivars, particularly the early budding ones," explained Andy Allen, Extension Associate - Viticulturist at the Institute for Continental Climate Viticulture and Enology in Columbia.

Grapevines emerge from winter dormancy when budbreak occurs.Tender vine shoots and leaves push out from the dormant vine and are vulnerable to frost or freeze damage during spring. Missouri's grapevines are not out of danger until early May.

The current cold front actually helped the state's vineyards says Jon Held of Stone Hill Winery in Hermann. "The cold should slow the bud break down, which we definitely need since we really aren't out of danger from freezing weather until the end of the month."

Cory Bomgaars of Les Bourgeois Winery agrees,"Hopefully the cool temperatures will delay bud break and give us a little more protection from late season frosts."

April in Paris Industry Tasting, April 22nd

I will be going to an industry tasting sponsored by Missouri Beverage Company on Wednesday, April 22nd at Moulin in St. Louis at 2pm. Wines from the portfolios of Kermit Lynch, Boisset Family Estates, and Aquitane will be featured prominently. A few people from Sycamore Restaurant might be joining us.

If you're interested in hearing about any of the wines, leave a comment below. I should be taking video footage of the tasting and putting it up at our YouTube channel.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Talking Wine with Renee Hulshof

I'll be on 1400 KFRU AM with Renee Hulshof and Simon Rose today at 10:15am, talking about wine and economics. The live stream can be accessed at www.kfru.com (button is at the upper right corner).

An article about Renee Hulshof and Simon Rose is here.

For the curious, you can follow Renee Hulshof at @ReneeHulshof on Twitter.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Assorted Thoughts and Links

1. A bacon sandwich really does cure a hangover - by boosting the level of amines which clear the head, scientists have found. Gratuitous.

2. Had lunch at the International Cafe (209 Hitt Street) on Saturday. It's a really good eating spot; the food is entry level Greek/Mediterranean that's pretty good and inexpensive. The baklava particularly was excellent.

3. I know this is a couple of years old, but in 2005 Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi sent 2 cases of Italian wines to Swedish PM Goran Persson, publically noting that "(Persson) was so aghast at the English wines at the summit that I promised to send him some of our wines." The English wines in question were Welsh wines served by former British PM Tony Blair at a function. Link here.