Chile’s Dark Side of the Moon

The people writing the histories of Chilean wine usually start the clock in the 19th century, in the Central Valley south of Santiago, where titled families who got rich through crown concessions for silver and copper mining went into politics and then retired as gentlemen farmers, on big irrigated haciendas where they planted Bordeaux varietiesContinue reading “Chile’s Dark Side of the Moon”


I keep coming back to Catalunya in these classes. I think in a lot of ways this place captures what’s exciting about wine today, and a lot of the dynamics that are shaping the emergence and re-emergence of great wines from local grape varieties and surprising corners of the world. You have, in Terra Alta,Continue reading “Catalunya”

Ligurian Sea

Class was on Wednesday, January 27th. These were the wines: How you’d see it on a listSulauze, “Galinette”, Côteau d’Aix-en-Provence, France 2018 Who made it? Karina and Guillaume Lefèvre, and their team.Out of what? Grenache blanc, ugni blanc (alias trebbiano toscano), clairette and vermentino planted on sand over limestone in Provence, on a 29 hectare biodynamically certified estateContinue reading “Ligurian Sea”

Rebels in Classic Wine Regions, Vol. 2

Class was on Saturday, January 23. These were the wines: How you might see it on a listDirty & Rowdy, “Skin and Concrete Egg Fermented Sémillon”, Yountville, Napa Valley, California Who made it? Hardy Wallace & teamOut of what? Head-trained, dry-farmed sémillon purchased from a 2.4 hectare block planted on alluvial gravels in 1962 in Yount Mill,Continue reading “Rebels in Classic Wine Regions, Vol. 2”

U.S. Wines for After the Inauguration

Class was on Thursday, January 21. These were the wines: How you might see it on a listEarly Mountain, chambourçin, “Young Wine”, Shenandoah Valley, Virginia Who made it? Ben Jordan (winemaker), with Maya Hood White (associate winemaker / viticulturalist), Dustin Wade (vineyard manager), and a team that manages 55 acres of vineyard on a 350 acresContinue reading “U.S. Wines for After the Inauguration”

Greek Islands

The islands of the Aegean and Ionian seas are both home to ancient histories of winegrowing and experiencing a revival that’s extraordinarily recent. This is one of those classes I give not out of any particular expertise but because I’ve stumbled over a bunch of interesting wines that I can’t place, and I want toContinue reading “Greek Islands”

Green Spain

Verdant, and green, and mild, we’re a long way away, literally and figuratively, from the sangría/bullfight/flamenco/paella Spain that lives in a lot of our imaginations. From the French border on the Bay of Biscay to the fractal Atlantic-facing coastline of Galicia, this is a land of cod fisheries and sidrerías, bagpipes and runes carved inContinue reading “Green Spain”