Rarity versus Royalty in Piemonte Wines: Lessona, Bramaterra, and Ancient Colli Biellese Grapes

By Greg Hughes A lot more than popularity determines the prosperity of a wine region. Circumstances change the reality of existence for producers all the time and as rational people, we do what is best for ourselves, our family, our community. We can see this occurring with climate, as wildfires ravage California, and in general change, the lateness of growing conditions and harvest of many wine regions globally.   Throughout history this has happened many times before, though not always were the circumstances due to bad weather or climate. At the foot of Mount Rosa and the Bo range of […]

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Getting Clearer on Glera, the Grape of Prosecco Sparkling Wine

By Greg Hughes Prosecco has become, possibly, the most sought after sparkling wine after Champagne. It showcases wonderful aromatics and freshness, as well as value.  As one might imagine, there is still a fairly broad range of styles that this tiny northeastern appellation in Italy can offer. What makes Prosecco distinct from other sparkling wines are the well-preserved aromatics and the perceived “creaminess” the gentle carbonation creates on the palate. This distinctiveness is partially due to the obscure family of grape varietals used, but these flavours can only be harnessed so effectively because of the innovative production method behind Prosecco. […]

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How Oyster Bay Tamed Prickly Pinot Noir in New Zealand

By Greg M.P. Hughes Winemakers who specialize in Pinot Noir are some of the hardest working viticulturists on the planet. This grape’s thin skin makes it extremely vulnerable to diseases, makes colour extraction torture to get right, and yields are minuscule (not a tremendous ROI compared to Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz). Pinot Noir’s idiosyncrasies are enough to make even hardened pro winemakers tear their hair out. That is why Pinot Noir is one of the most misunderstood selections that wine experts explain to their audiences. Most people understand it as byword for a quality wine, but have no idea what […]

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Mad for Malbec: Celebrating the Winemakers Behind the Wine

“Wine, show me the art of seeing my own history; as if it were already a handful of ashes in memory.” – Jorge Luis Borges, 1964 By Greg Hughes April 17th is International Malbec Day and in Ottawa it was celebrated at the residence of the Argentine ambassador to Canada, Her Excellency Norma Nacimbene de Dumont. The mood was cheerful for the lucky twenty individuals invited to share this special day sipping wine and eating empanadas with Her Excellency in her home.  There was special cause for excitement.  This was the first Malbec Day to be celebrated for half a […]

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