Biodynamic Wines

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Biodynamic is the newest trend in wines, Time magazine says to think of it as ├â┬╝berorganic. The farming method is based on the principles of Austrian philospher Rudolf Steiner, best known as the inspiration for the Waldorf school movement. Biodynamic farming combines organic practices with “mystical” ideas, such as planting and harvesting according to the position of celestial bodies. One biodynamic farmer even places speakers around his vineyard, claiming that listening to Mozart helps his vines grow. While it all sounds a bit too “new age” for me, some of the world’s greatest vintners have adopted at least one line of biodynamic wines. Domaine Marcel Deiss of Alsace and Alain Dugass of France’s Chateau La Nerthe are just a couple of them. According to some, there is a benefit to the palate of these organic wines. Though they are likely to cost you a pretty penny.


Joseph Gallo, Cheesemaker, Dies at 87

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Joseph Gallo, younger brother of winemakers Ernest and Julio, died Saturday at his home. In 1933, the boys’ father shot and killed their mother and then himself. That same year the older brothers started E&J Gallo winery. After serving some time in the Armed Air Forces during World War II, Joseph returned to work on his brother’s winery. He worked there for 20 years while developing his own vineyard and cattle business. It wasn’t until 1979 that Joseph opened his first dairy. Joseph Gallo Dairy & Cheese Co. was founded in 1982, but quickly had to change names when Ernest and Julio sued Joseph for the use of the Gallo name. Labels were soon changed to read Joseph Farms.


Wine & Heart Health Symposium News

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Doctors at Kaiser Permanente have found that moderate consumption of wine reduces not only the risk of death from coronary and vascular disease, but also reduces the risk of ischemic strokes, diabetes and even gallstones. While other research suggests that moderate consumption of wine may help suppress E. coli bacteria, reduce the incidence of colorectal and gastric cancer, and even help to improve cognitive function as you age. While this is great news for wine enthusiasts, even better news may be that the typically recommended 1 or 2 glasses a day may be rising. Benefits seem to increase with 3 to 5 glasses of wine day.


House Approves Small Shipments of Alaskan Wines

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For some time Alaskan law has prohibited the shipment of wine to other states and countries. Today, Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, R-Kodiak, has proposed a law to allow licensed wineries to ship orders under 5 gallonsof wine to anywhere mail-order wine is allowed. With half a dozen small wineries around the state, internet and niche sells would be extremely useful in making Alaska wineries more competitive in the market.

Personally I would love to try an Alaskan wine. Made from ingredients such as salmonberries and rhubarb, it’s sure to be distinct!


France Begins to Accept Bag-in-Box Wine

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Bag-in-box wine containers (also known as casks) have been one of the fastest growing segments in the wine market because of the convenience and longer shelf life they offer to the average consumer. Unlike wine bottles that must be uncorked and once opened allow air to contact the wine, casks prevent contact with the air because the bag inside contracts as the volume of the wine decreases. The Australian wine market was the first to really pick up on this type of packaging and now almost 50% of the market uses casks rather than bottles. France is now starting to appreciate the cheaper price, as well as the extended shelf-life (even for more expensive wines) that cask style packaging provides.