Leslie's Feed
Nov 22, 2011

Weak global economy fails to dampen fine wine sales

NEW YORK (Reuters) – In good times collectors buy fine wines and in bad times they buy even more, the latest wine auction figures show.

Leading wine auction houses are reporting bumper results for 2011. Christie’s sales have totaled $77.7 million globally, more than last year’s $70 million and there are auctions scheduled for Amsterdam, London and Hong Kong before the end of the year.

Nov 15, 2011

Best wine for Thanksgiving? Not one but many

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Thanksgiving, the U.S. holiday that anyone who likes to eat loves to celebrate, is just a week away and experts agree there is not one perfect wine to accompany the feast, but many.

“No other holiday celebrates the gift of wine like Thanksgiving,” said Natalie MacLean, author of the new book, “Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World’s Best Bargain Wines.”

Nov 8, 2011

Mixed grape harvest for winemakers around the globe

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Winemakers around the globe are encountering a mixed 2011 grape harvest with those north of the equator facing challenges, while their southern neighbors have plentiful grapes of good quality.

In Europe, Spain reported a slight decline in production. Italian wine makers had their smallest harvests in 60 years and the French Ministry of Agriculture enjoyed a bumper crop.

Oct 27, 2011

Mother Nature stomps on U.S. wine harvest

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Rain, cold and mold are threatening this year’s California wine harvest prompting one vintner to call in a helicopter to fight Mother Nature.

“We’re about three weeks late. The whole state is late,” said Chuck Wagner, the owner of Caymus Vineyards, the iconic Napa winery. “Cabernet Sauvignon was definitely affected,” he said of the popular varietal.

Oct 25, 2011

Winemaker Merry Edwards blazes trail in industry

By Leslie Gevirtz

SEBASTOPOL, Calif. (Reuters) – Forty years after breaking into the wine industry, Merry Edwards stills finds herself battling with the boys in the business.

In the ’70s when she was trying to get her first job in the industry, a large California winery tried to push Edwards into research, a New Zealand winery would not let her interview for a job and a third turned her away when she walked through the cellar doors.

Oct 4, 2011

Late harvest could yield superior U.S. wines

SANTA ROSA, California (Reuters) – Despite a late harvest in the Sonoma region of California and heavy rains that tore through vineyards, California wine makers expect this year’s grapes to yield superior wines.

Like other grape growers in the region Saralee Kunde is coping with the impact of the delayed harvest because of the above average rainfall and cool summer weather.

Sep 13, 2011

Economic gloom weighs on fine wine auctions

By Leslie Gevirtz

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) – Global economic woes dented sales of fine wines at auctions in Hong Kong, New York and London, but some lots fetched record prices or exceeded presale estimates.

Fears of a Greek default roiling the world’s markets and stubbornly high U.S. unemployment rates impacted the auctions. Unlike last season none of the houses sold 100 percent of their lots.

Sep 9, 2011

9/11 epiphany moves corporate couple to vineyards

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A brush with the horror of the September 11 attacks on a visit to New York prompted Rebecca and Peter Work, Californian corporate executives, to rethink their lives and opt for a quieter existence on the land.

Peter Work, the chief technology officer for an outsourcing firm, had a 9 a.m. appointment near the World Trade Center on that day which would have put him close to the Twin Towers when the hijacked planes hit. It was canceled at the last moment.

Sep 6, 2011

“Awful” wine sparked career of NYC wine guru Zraly

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Kevin Zraly was offered a bottle of wine that survived the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, but he didn’t even want to see it.

“It’s quite possible that some bottles survived,” said the former wine director of Windows on the World, the restaurant at the top of the North Tower. “But I didn’t want to look. I told him: ‘keep it. It’s yours.’”

Aug 18, 2011

Women winemakers still battle glass ceiling: study

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Although it is nearly 50 years since the first woman graduated with a wine degree from a top university, less then 10 percent of women are chief winemakers at U.S. wineries.

MaryAnn Graf became the first woman to graduate from the viticulture and enology department at the University of California Davis in 1965, and since the mid-90s women have made up nearly half of the students in that specialty at the university.