Is there terroir in outer space? The China National Space Administration has included Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes with the cargo on space laboratory Tiangong-2. Decanter China reports, “Chinese scientists hope that growing wine in space will trigger mutations in the vines that may make them more suitable for the harsh climate in some of the China’s emerging vineyard regions.”
Harry Potter and a Goblet of Wine
There’s still a chance to snag a ticket for Expecto: A Harry Potter Wine Dinner at Chicago’s City Winery. Thought the first dinner is sold out, tickets are being released to the public at noon tomorrow, September 29th, for a second dinner. Details:
“Join us as we travel through the Wizarding World with a 4-coursed pairing menu based on the Hogwarts House’s of Hufflepuff, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, & Gryffindor. With a dash of mystery and a dollop of creativity, we will conjure up a prixe-fixe meal that not even ‘Obliviate’ will make you forget.”
Not Chuck E. Cheese: A Bar in Ball Pit
Ball Pool Bar Dive opened up in Japan, featuring 20,000 balls for you to frolic among while enjoying your drink. Lids for your cocktail are thoughtfully provided to protect the integrity of the pit. Kotaku has more details.
— NAOKI@ (@nayanyanyan) August 3, 2016
What’s it like to harvest grapes in Champagne?
Writing for The New York Times, Ann Mah chronicles her experience working the harvest at AR Lenoble. What was work like? “I spent a lot of time hunting for those elusive key stems, which hide camouflaged in thick clusters of grape leaves, kneeling, stooping and bending my body into regrettable contortions, snipping aimlessly until a cluster dropped into my free hand (or, just as often, onto the ground),” says Mah. On the flip side, she spent evenings drinking Champagne, “glass after glass poured from the wine refrigerator in the corner of the kitchen.” Mah also offers tips to those who might want to follow in her footsteps and volunteer to work a grape harvest.
In the Trade
Single vineyard wines or blends? A view from Rioja and Champagne
How is the rise of interest in single vineyard wines playing out in two of the world’s most prestigious regions?
In Rioja, Agustín Santolaya of Bodegas Roda defends the blend, telling Wine-Searcher, “We like to see the landscape in several pictures. You can’t look down on blends: why should a wine from a single vineyard be better than a wine from several unique vineyards?”
Turning to Champagne, prestige bottlings, along with the rise of grower Champagne, are fueling curiosity in single vineyard wines. “There is more and more interest building around high-quality Champagnes, including monocrus, provided they are really exceptional terroirs and are exceptionally well made,” says Charles Philipponnat of Champagne Philipponnat in Meininger’s.
New distillery in Islay (Scotland) is the first built in over a decade
Bringing the total number of distilleries on Islay to nine, The Drinks Business reports plans were approved to allow Hunter Laing and Co. to begin construction on a new whisky distillery. Presently a blender and bottler, Hunter Laing’s new operation situated near (and drawing water from) the Ardnahoe Loch, will allow the company to make the leap to distilling their own single malt Scotch. Work on the facility is scheduled to begin in November and the first whiskies are hoping for a 2018 release.
Out and About
Managing Digital Editor Marina Vataj taking a vineyard stroll in Italy.
Rockin’ it in South Africa is Senior Editor Lana Bortolot.
Social Media Coordinator Elyse Estrella surveys the crowd and sips along.