When It Comes To Thanksgiving Wine, Buy Early, Buy Often, And Don’t Forget The Bubbly!

Red, white, pink, dry, sweet or fizzy, there are many acceptable colors and flavors to uncork for your Thanksgiving feast.

  While there are a few ideal wines to pair with the prized bird, there’s more to consider than the turkey when choosing bottles for Thanksgiving dinner. In fact there is much to consider:

  • You may want to begin the festivities with light appetizers.
  • Dinner also includes yams, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce and other varied foods.
  • Your guest list probably includes some finicky wine drinkers (the only-Chardonnay crowd or the big, bold Cabernet crowd).
  • You may be on a tight budget after buying all the food.
  • Ideally, you’ll be drinking all day, so buy enough for the marathon.

 

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A few hard and fast rules

  • It’s always nice to start the day with a glass of bubbly. Whether it’s Champagne, Prosecco or Cava, it all helps create a festive mood. And a glass of bubbly prepares the palate for all the food to come.
  • Don’t break out the expensive stuff. Odds are good the majority of your guests will not appreciate your vintage Barolo, so save it for another occasion.
  • Choose low-alcohol wines because through the family squabbles, football games, post-dinner naps and turkey sandwiches, it’s always a long day.
  • Plan on one bottle of wine per person, which is more than enough, but will save you from a late-day wine run. And remember, there are many fine bottles at wine shops for $15 or less.

Best wine to pair with the bird Roast turkey works well with many types of wine. It’s the flavors of the gravy, stuffing, and side dishes that have a greater impact on the palate. Here are some options:

  • Zinfandel is America’s sweetheart, and is an ideal wine with turkey because its lower tannins help moisten even the driest turkey. And its secondary flavors of cinnamon, clove and vanilla work well in this season.
  • Often people assume red wine should be served with the Thanksgiving meal but don’t overlook light, refreshing whites. Just try new varietals, such as a Chenin Blanc from South Africa. They are light-bodied, but have nice acidity and are under-valued.
  • A dry Riesling is another versatile choice. Bright acidity cuts through all the fat in the gravy, stuffing, potatoes, yams and the richness of spice in cranberry sauce. Every sip feels like hitting the reset button on your palate.

Best wine with pumpkin pie

  • The best wine to pair with dessert isn’t a wine at all. A Belgian-style beer (with its essence of coriander, natural creaminess and lots of tiny bubbles) is a light option to lead into the evening’s end.

Hosting Your Own Wine Tasting A Good Way To Discover New Wines, And Reconnect With Old Friends

Wine lovers can easily find themselves in a drinking rut, meaning they find a bottle they like and it becomes their “house wine,” week after week, month after month.

That’s why hosting a wine tasting party is a great excuse for gathering your favorite friends together. Attendees can explore new varieties otherwise not on their radar, giving everyone an opportunity learn a thing or two about wine at the same time.

 

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Hosting a wine tasting party isn’t difficult, but it starts with choosing a theme. You must decide which kind of wines you want to serve. There’s no right answer that will please all your guests or lead to a perfect party, but here are some suggestions:

  • Sample different wines from one region, such as Monterey County, Napa Valley, Santa Barbara, Rioja, New Zealand, the South of France, or dozens of others.
  • Taste varietals produced in different parts of the world, such as drinking only the Cabernet Sauvignon produced in Napa Valley, France, or Argentina.
  • Do a horizontal tasting. For example, taste only 2012 Chardonnays produced all over the world.
  • Feature wines that can be purchased for $10 or under — except one that’s $40 or more. But don’t tell any of the guests ahead of time, just that they are to evaluate each separately. At the end of the tasting reveal the secret and have them guess which bottle was the more expensive one.
  • Do a tasting by one winemaker. If you really like Stag’s Leap, or Duckhorn wine, for example, try several different wines from this one producer.
  • Sample only reds, whites, sparkling wines, or dessert wines. Just remember that dessert wines tend to be sweeter and may be more difficult to taste.
  • Host a progressive wine tasting party, where each host can prepare an appetizer and pair it with wine from different regions. To make each wine tasting special, have each host add a few decorative touches that relate to the wine region or country they’re representing.

Get guests involved

Want a clever way to display the wines for your party? Lay out oversized craft paper onto a table. Place the bottles on the paper and write the name of the wine, region, and any other details. Place pens by each bottle. Guests can write comments about each wine right on the paper, and it’s fun to see what everyone writes about each wine.

How much wine should you serve?

The general rule of thumb is 2 ounces per person for the specific wine you will be tasting. So each bottle will serve about 8 guests. So if you will be having 8 guests present, 1 bottle per category should be enough.

Other important tips

  • Have various types and sizes of wine glasses on hand. For a formal wine tasting, have a minimum of 2 wine goblets per guest.
  • Use dump buckets, glass cups or use plastic cups for those who want to spit. If you will be tasting a lot of wine, the best way is not to swallow, ensuring your palette stays fresh.
  • Have water glasses and water pitchers available. Use bottled water only.
  • Put out crackers or pieces of bread, but they should be plain and not flavored.

Sniff, Sniff: Smelling The Wine, And Lingering Over Its Bouquet, May Be The Key To Preventing Memory Loss

A wine’s real charm can be found in its scent. Swirling and sniffing can help you discern a wine’s primary and secondary aromas — offering a preview of what you might taste, not just initially, but also after the wine has “opened up.”

 

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Smelling wine in the glass is a time-honored tradition among true aficionados who realize the benefits. But now preliminary studies have revealed additional benefits of the sniff test — a healthy brain.

Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic in Las Vegas found that master sommeliers — people who arguably rely on their sense of smell more than anyone else — are less likely to get Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s than people who don’t soak in delicious smells on a regular basis.

The study compared brain scans of 13 sommeliers and 13 people with much less interesting jobs. The researchers noticed key differences in certain areas of the sommeliers’ brains.

For starters, sections of the sommeliers’ brains that deal with the olfactory network were thicker. Additionally, parts of the brain that deal with memory were thicker. Which makes sense if you think about it, since sommeliers are expected to remember not only how a wine tastes, but the region, history and year of that wine as well.

According to the study, “these differences suggest that specialized expertise and training might result in enhancements in the brain well into adulthood. This is particularly important given the regions involved, which are the first to be impacted by many neurodegenerative diseases.”

The strengthened sections of a wine-sniffer’s brain are the sections that are most sensitive to losing memory function later in life. By that logic: Smell lots of wine, build resistance to memory loss. Then once you’ve smelled it, drink it, because other studies have shown that moderate consumption of wine helps prevent Alzheimer’s as well.

It should be noted that the study is far from conclusive.

“Though we don’t know for sure, there is a possibility that when it comes to the brain, thicker is better,” Sarah Banks, one of the authors in the story, told the New York Post. “It seems like if you have more brain in those areas, it’ll take longer to feel the effects of the disease, but it’s speculation.”

Although it may just be speculation at this point, there seems to be little harm in opening up a few more bottles of wine than usual … and lingering over the bouquet. Who knows, perhaps one day in the future you will remember that moment far more vividly — thanks to the wine.


Dazzle Your Wine-Drinking Friends With These Fun Facts About The World’s Favorite Beverage

Wine is one of those topics people love to discuss. After all, the first wine was discovered, tasted and then deliberately produced about 10,000 years ago — building up quite a bit of history and lore in the process.

 Here are some interesting facts about wine — great conversation fodder for your next dinner party:

  • In California, wine country tours are second only to Disneyland in popularity with tourists. According to the California Wine Institute, more than 14 million people visit California wine regions each year (wine is grown in 48 out of 58 counties in the state).

 

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  • California, by itself, is the world’s fourth largest producer of wine after France, Italy and Spain. Washington, D.C., consumes more wine per capita than any state in the nation.
  • But which country drinks the most wine per capita? The Vatican holds that honor, with 74 liters per capita per year, which is about 99 bottles per year.
  • The alcohol count for a celebration party for the 55 drafters of the Constitution included: 54 bottles of Madeira, 60 bottles of Bordeaux, eight bottles of whiskey, 22 bottles of port, 8 bottles of hard cider, 12 beers and 7 bowls of alcohol punch.
  • In 1801, President Thomas Jefferson spent $3,000 on wine, 12 percent of his annual salary. To put that in modern context, that would be like President Obama spending $48,000 on wine this year alone.
  • In ancient Greece, the dinner host would take the first sip of wine to ensure it was safe to drink, giving us the phrase to “drink to one’s health.”
  • The tradition of a celebratory “toast” began with the ancient Romans, who would drop a piece of toasted bread in their wine to buffer unpleasant tastes and excessive acidity.
  • The Romans also boiled wine in lead pots and mixed lead with wine to help preserve it and impart a sweet flavor. There is much debate among historians about how much lead poisoning contributed to the decline of the empire.
  • When Tutankhamun’s tomb was opened in 1922, wine jars buried alongside him were labeled with the year, the name of the winemaker and descriptions about the quality of the wine. The labels could actually comply with modern wine label laws of several countries today.
  • The Whistler Tree is the most productive cork oak tree on record. It grows in the Alentejo region of Portugal and is more than 230 years old. Harvested on a 9-year cycle, in 2009, it yielded enough cork for 100,000 bottles. As a comparison, the average cork oak produces material for 4,000 bottles. The tree is in excellent condition and is well on its way to produce a total lifetime production of more than 1 million corks.
  • During Prohibition in the United States, grape juice concentrate manufacturers took advantage of our lust for alcohol by putting a warning sticker on their product: “After you mix the concentrate with water, please do not keep the mix in a barrel for 20 days — as it will turn into wine.”

Think Green: For Some Wines, The Road From Grape To Glass Can Leave A Heavy Footprint

When it comes to wine, we tend to think in colors of red and white — or even pink. But taking into consideration a wine’s carbon footprint has added the color green to the conversation. Those of us who care about our increasingly fragile planet have started to understand the impact that a particular wine has on the environment.

From farming practices, to packaging, to transportation, the road from grape to glass can leave a heavy footprint — depending on the winery and where that wine is shipped.

 

 

While sipping a glass of South American red one evening, wine enthusiast Tyler Colman began to think about the impact that particular wine had on the environment.

Colman, who teaches classes on wine at New York University and the University of Chicago and blogs as “Dr. Vino,” enlisted the help of sustainability expert Pablo Päster of ClimateCHECK to calculate the carbon footprint of wine, in terms of both its production and transportation. Their findings were first published as an American Association of Wine Economists working paper in October 2007.

The first source of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are the chemical fertilizers some wine growers use. On a global scale, fertilizers are an important contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, but for wine production, they don’t have much of an impact.

Grapes don’t require the copious amounts of fertilizers to grow that other crops such as corn do, Colman explained, making them a minor proportion of wine’s overall footprint. (Fertilizers, along with pesticides, can still pollute the local environment though, and some wine producers are moving to more organic wine-growing practices.)

Likewise, the carbon dioxide released from the fermentation of grapes makes up an insignificant percentage of the total emissions associated with wine production.

It turns out that the biggest source of greenhouse gases from wine, Colman and Päster found, was actually in transporting wine to the consumer.

The easy answer is to drink local, from smaller, regional wineries that practice sustainability. For those not living in wine regions, this becomes a complicated issue. In some cases it may actually be more environmentally friendly to buy wine sent by container ship from Bordeaux to a port in, say, New Jersey, rather than to drink wines trucked from California.

Transportation isn’t the only consideration, however, as packaging can influence the footprint. Transporting heavy glass bottles uses much more fuel, and therefore has a bigger impact, than lighter glass or other alternative packaging.

That has brought to the market wine in alternative packaging — including boxes, bags and even plastic. While boxed wine, for example, has endured the stigma of bad-tasting swill, many higher-end wineries have chosen this method for their premium wines — adding the color green to their portfolios.


Harvard Study Shows Consuming Foods Rich In Flavonoids — Including Red Wine — Can Curb Weight Gain In Older Adults

Recent studies have shown diets that include wine can improve heart health. Now, a review of several large studies has found strong evidence of a link between keeping trim and the polyphenolic compounds found in wine and many fruits and vegetables.

Flavonoids are naturally occurring compounds that are found in specific fruits and vegetables, including grapes, blueberries, apples, pears and prunes.

The three-study analysis conducted by researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health looked at the eating patterns of more than 120,000 participants to determine whether foods rich in flavonoids had any effects on managing body weight.

 

 

Researchers looked at diet, exercise and lifestyle data from middle-aged and older people. They found that those who ate diets rich in flavonoid-filled foods maintained their weight better than people who didn’t, even after adjusting for smoking and fitness activities. Some even lost a little weight.

The Harvard study centered on seven specific subclasses of flavonoids. Wine, especially red wine, is high in dietary flavonoids. The principal flavonoids consumed by the participants were anthocyanins, which were derived from blueberries and strawberries, flavan-3-ols, acquired from beer, tea and apples, and flavones from oranges, onions, teas, beer and wine.

Earlier studies revealed that flavonoids might increase energy expenditure, decrease fat absorption and work as an anti-inflammatory, along with with showing antioxidant qualities.

The researchers observed a significant correlation between a diet that is heavy in fruits, vegetables and flavonoid-heavy drinks, and participants who were healthier overall and less overweight.

 It’s important to note that flavonoids aren’t some miracle weight loss cure. Instead, they’re a way to curb your natural weight gain as you grow older.

So how much weight can you expect not to gain when taking more flavonoids?

Researchers observed that every extra daily standard deviation — a unit that varied by produce type — of flavonoids was associated with 0.16 to 0.23 pounds of less weight gained over 4 years.

While the study was observational, the authors expressed hope that people might eat more fruit if they knew a favorite berry helps with weight loss. Most Americans eat less than a cup of fruit and less than two cups of vegetables a day, research has shown.

Don’t feel like eating fruits or vegetables today? Why not pour yourself a glass of red wine? Red wine contains many of the same flavonoid benefits as grapes and grape juice. A single glass can provide you with high levels of anthocyanins along with flavonoids such as quercetin and myricetin.

Being obese or overweight decreases your life expectancy since it increases your risk for chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

So take your mother’s advice: Eat your fruits and vegetables. You may live longer — or at least earn a new wardrobe.


If You Don’t Like Chardonnay, Give This Green-Skinned, Burgundian Grape Another Chance

Through the years Chardonnay has become a polarizing wine. While it remains the most popular grape in the world, it’s also the wine many people love to hate. The ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) crowd declares it as too big, too bold, too buttery, and too aggressively oaked.

Secondary fermentation allows benign bacterium to convert malic acid (that tart green apple flavor) into softer lactic acid (creamy or buttery tones). And the use (or overuse) of oak barrels creates that oakiness many find off-putting.

 

But there’s more behind this green-skinned, Burgundian grape than meets the eye — and the palate Here are some ABCs”.

  • Not all Chardonnay is buttery: Many winemakers don’t allow secondary fermentation to occur, and Chardonnay’s brightness and minerality come through in the finished product. A very ripe Chardonnay will have flavors of tropical fruit such as pineapple, guava and mango, while a barely ripe Chardonnay will have green apple and lemon flavors.
  • Unoaked Chardonnay lets the grape shine: Beginning in the 1980s American producers of Chardonnay began aggressively adding oak to the wine, leaving huge flavors of vanilla, toasted marshmallows and wood. Many people still love that style, but the tide is turning, and vintners now use stainless steel tanks in favor of oak barrels.
  • Bubbles and Chardonnay: If you find yourself drinking “Blanc de Blancs,” that bubbly comes solely from Chardonnay grapes. It’s the counterpart to the Blanc de Noirs (white from black), made from Pinot Noir. Blanc de Blancs was the first wine Schramsberg produced in 1965 and was America’s first commercially produced, Chardonnay-based brut sparkling wine.
  • Chardonnay is food friendly: If you’ve got a big, rich, California Chardonnay, fire up the grill and throw on a few steaks because that oaky, buttery wine goes well with beef. But don’t try to pair it with pungent cheeses. Instead, try soft or semi-soft creamy cheeses. Oaked chardonnays, especially those with a slight residual sugar, pair well with dishes having some sweetness themselves, a chicken breast with a tropical fruit salsa, or rich, buttered lobster. Bright, high-acid unoaked Chardonnay pairs better with foods high in salt, low in sweetness and with moderate fat or oil. Plainly prepared fish and raw oysters come to mind.
  • Many expressions of Chardonnay: Climate strongly influences the character of wine, and its effects are readily apparent in Chardonnay. Depending on where the grapes are grown, Chardonnay exhibits flavors ranging from tart lemon and apple to ripe, tropical pineapple. When produced in cooler climates, Chardonnay leans toward the former. Cool temperatures preserve the grape’s natural acidity. Flavors are reminiscent of citrus and apple, sometimes peach, often floral. In these regions, Chardonnay reflects the nature of the soil on which it was grown, with hints of minerality or chalk. Crisp and refreshing, these wines are elegant and perfectly food-friendly. In warmer climates, Chardonnay is ripe and tropical, with notes of pineapple, guava and mango, and a rounder mouth feel. So forget that oak-rich wine of the 1980s and ’90s. A whole wide world of Chardonnay awaits.

Forget Romance And Tradition, It May Be Time To Ditch The Cork For Alternative Wine Closures

Is there anything more romantic than the evocative sound of a pulled wine cork, or the ceremonial fizzy pop from a Champagne bottle?

Corks have been the preferred choice since the beginning of modern Europe in the 1400s, because cork bark was one of the few natural products malleable enough to hold liquid inside a glass bottle.

But roughly 5 percent of all bottles with natural corks show some degree of spoilage, the culprit being trichloroanisole, commonly known as TCA. It’s also a limited natural resource (It takes a tree that produces cork 25 years to grow), and expensive.

For the last decade or so there have been plenty of cork substitutes on the market, with some wineries converting their entire production to synthetic corks or screw caps. 

So, the problem is solved, right? Maybe not.

Screw caps and synthetic corks are prone to another aroma taint: sulphidisation. This may arise from the reduced oxygen supply which concentrates sulphurous smells.

Cheap plastic corks are difficult to pull, and if you like to re-cork a bottle and put it back in the fridge, they are even harder to get back into the neck. Even good corkscrews have problems punching through the denser plastics, and using a two-pronged opener is virtually impossible. Detractors believe the only reason to use a substitute cork is to preserve the ritual of the pull.

 

 

Is the act of removing a cork such an essential part of the wine-drinking experience? It is for most older wine drinkers. The newer generation has little problem with alternative openers. The truth is, the worldwide demand for wine (and corks) is growing, so we should get familiar with the future of wine preservation:

  • Screw caps or Stelvin caps are closures made only from aluminum material that threads onto the bottleneck. They are the predominant closure used by Australian and New Zealand wineries. Screw caps form a tighter seal and can keep out oxygen for a longer time than cork. These benefits aid in maintaining the wine’s overall quality and aging potential.
  • Vino-Seal is a plastic/glass closure introduced into the European market in 2003. Using a glass stopper with an inert o-ring, the Vino-Seal creates a hermetic seal that prevents oxidation and TCA contamination. A disadvantage with the Vino-Seal is the relatively high cost of each plug (70 cents each) and cost of manual bottling due to the lack of compatible bottling equipment outside of Europe.
  • Zork is an alternative wine closure for still wines, that seals like a screw cap and pops like a cork, created by an Australian company of the same name. The closure has three parts: an outer cap providing a tamper-evident clamp that locks onto the band of a standard cork mouth bottle; an inner metal foil which provides an oxygen barrier similar to a screw cap, and an inner plunger which creates the ‘pop’ on extraction and reseals after use.
  • Some sparkling wine producers have begun to replace the traditional cage and cork seals with screw caps, which is safer for the consumer and helps maintain the effervescence for weeks. Some wineries have even employed the use of crown caps that are removed with a bottle opener.

 


Science Shows That More Women Than Men Are “Supertasters” — And The Wine World Welcomes Them

Most of us consider ourselves amateur tasters of wine, and we often wonder why we don’t detect that “hint of raspberry” or whiffs of “forest floor” that the so-called experts seem to distinguish.

Genetics certainly have something to do with why we have different perceptions of tastes. Scientists have shown there’s a genetic component to how we experience certain flavors, most notably bitter and sweet. It turns out a small percentage of humans are considered “supertasters,” those born with more receptors within their palate to experience tastes more intensely.

 

 

Researchers have found that 25 percent of the population are considered “supertasters,” with more than 35 papillae (taste receptors) found on the tongue. About half of us rank as ordinary “tasters,” with only 25 percent falling into the “non-tasters” category.

What’s even more surprising is that, according to research at the University of Florida Center for Smell and Taste, supertasting abilities are more common in women than in men. In one study of 4,000 Americans, the center found that 34 percent of them were supertasting women, with only 22 percent men.

So when it comes to winetasting, do women have a more refined palate than their male counterparts?

The answer is a resounding yes. And many believe it all begins inside the nose. Researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia have tried to get at gender differences in the sense of smell — which, of course, has implications for sense of taste.

After studies suggested there is a gender component to taste and smell, the center began to study how some individuals can become increasingly sensitive to certain odors over time, detecting them at lower and lower concentrations. They trained a group of men and women of various ages to identify two specific odors. The researchers then had both the men and the women smell the odors at increasingly diluted concentrations. And they found something quite interesting: The women who were of reproductive age saw their sensitivity to one of the odors increase by an average of five orders of magnitude.

Could it be that an innate motherly instinct to protect children from certain toxins in the environment has led to an ability to decipher important characteristics in wine?

For a second study, researchers ran more experiments: They trained men and women to detect more odors. And again they found that only women of reproductive age were able to detect multiple odors at increasingly lower concentrations.

It’s assumed that sex hormones present in reproductive women must have something to do with this. The experiments also suggest that hormones and attention are working together, meaning that women are a little better when they focus their attention on a smell.

It’s long been shown that mothers can pick out their baby’s smell from a large group, so it’s highly plausible that this ability to be more sensitive to smell could carry over into perception of food — and wine.

In recent years, more American women have become sommeliers, tasting and pairing wines for inquiring diners. They’ve succeeded in breaking down the entry barriers to this traditionally male-dominated industry, and have become trailblazing members of the field.

At one point not long ago, there were no American women in the field of Master Sommeliers. Today there are 147 professionals who have earned that coveted title as part of the Americas chapter. Of those, 23 are women — supertasters all.


Turning Water Into Wine Requires Smart Farming From Grape Growers

As California’s $23-billion wine industry continues to face a water crisis of historic proportions, vintners and grape growers are finding other methods (both old and new) to water the vines efficiently.

 

Turning available water into wine is not an easy task. Earth Day (April 22) is a vivid reminder of how important it is to conserve this natural resource, especially in areas more prone to drought, such as California. While wine grapes use far less water than conventional crops such as alfalfa, almonds, rice and corn, the ever-evolving industry is in constant search of conservation methods.

Many grapes growers have turned to dry farming — a classic method of cultivation that fell to the wayside in the 1970s after drip irrigation was introduced. The idea is to use only the water Mother Nature provides, resulting in lower yields but more concentrated fruit.

That doesn’t mean growers leave the vines idle and pray for rain. Dry farming requires the right kind of soil to absorb and retain natural moisture. It needs vines with deep roots to seek out that water, especially in times of severe dryness. And it takes careful tilling and pinpoint soil management to make sure the vines survive the hottest months.

Proponents of dry-farming know that many vineyards over-water the grapes as a matter of course, and that available moisture in the soil allows vines to withstand heat without supplemental irrigation. Although there are many factors at play (temperature, humidity, wind speed etc.), a mature vine needs roughly 2 gallons a week in a hot climate. And a grapevine given one-half of its annual water needs will produce roughly 80 percent of its maximum potential yield.

Overwatering can lead to the vines rapidly growing out of control, with less concentrated fruit; not an ideal situation for quality wine. Add to that the threat of ongoing drought, and winegrowers see the value in conservation. If dry-farming isn’t a viable option, advances in drip irrigation have made it easier to be more water wise.

Advanced drip irrigation systems involve augering a hole 12 inches in diameter and 36 inches deep for each vine. A grape stake is positioned into the hole with a half-inch PVC pipe taped to the stake. The pipe is inserted 24 inches into the ground next to the vine and extends 12 inches above ground. The hole is filled half full with pea gravel and the remainder of the hole is filled with soil (a growth pellet is often added to each hole).

  When the new plant shows enough vigor, a hole is punched through the half-inch cap and the dripper hose is transferred into the top of the pipe. The pea gravel is the key to the underground water system. It allows the water to be dispersed into the root zone of the vine. This deep watering forces the root system away from the surface, using far less water than surface drip irrigation. And with no water on the surface of the vine rows, there are no weeds during the growing season (weeds suck up water that could be used by the vines).

All this efficiency is the right thing to do for our planet — and for our palates. Less water, more quality wine. We can all drink to that.