Opened just three short months ago, the quick ascension of Tuome to gastronomic fame has taken many by surprise, but not Thomas Chen, Tuome’s proprietor and chef whose calm exterior gives way to complexity in the kitchen. Two weeks ago, Tuome received two stars from Pete Wells, who wrote, “a striking number of dishes at Tuome are memorable for the right reasons.” Read more
When Tom and Nadine of Michelberger Booze first toured the distillery in 2010, they were blinded on familiar smells, but were surprised that they couldn’t identify them. “We compared the scents of artificial strawberry to real strawberry,” said Nadine.
“Vanilla is made up of 500 compounds,” said The Professor, “but if you buy vanilla for cake, it’s just one chemical, one compound. We’re used to single compound-based scents, not the real scent.”
“Companies buy artificial single compound aromas,” added Nadine, “but The Professor extracts all 200-500 compounds, which we’re not used to identifying.” With their schnaps, the Michelberger team wanted to capitalize on the distillery’s ability to extract these real aromas and flavors. Read more
When Tom Michelberger and Nadine May (of Berlin’s Michelberger Hotel) first entered the Preussishe Spirituosen Manufaktur (PSM), they felt transported to Berlin in the 1920’s. Here they found Dr. Ulf Stahl (aka “The Professor”) of the Department of Applied Biotechnology and Molecular Microbiology at the Technical University of Berlin, and Gerald Schroff, Stahl’s business partner. “We walked in and could feel the energy,” said Nadine. “[There were] boxes of herbs and bottles with old labels that were handwritten and a blackboard where the Professor writes formulas.” Read more
Thanks Marco! (pictured above)
Now that the harvest has come to an end and the alcoholic fermentation is almost complete I can finally announce, together with our entire team, that 2014 has been a great harvest! It was an almost impossible mission to accomplish. I had previously said that 2013 was the hardest vintage agronomically speaking, but I had no idea what the future was holding for me. Read more
“I wanted to practice spontaneous winemaking,” said Marilena Barbera. “When I told my mother she said I was crazy. She was afraid to waste a vintage. But the wines were better. Not because of me, but they were more loyal to the terroir.” It was 2006, and Marilena’s father had recently passed away. While working with the consulting winemaker that they had hired, Marilena studied. “When I tasted wines,” she said, “the wines I liked best were natural. Even if they were imbalanced, they were interesting. It was clear that my direction was different than his.” And so, for a while she and he maintained separate projects, until the winery became too small to support them both. Marilena then took over the winery with her mother, and in 2011 she became responsible for all work in the vineyards and cellar. Now, she makes 10-11 different wines a year, all single vineyard bottlings of the indigenous fruit that grows in her grandfather’s vineyards. Read more
If you live near Williamsburg, drink wine in Williamsburg, or have friends who do either, then chances are you’ve been to Vine Wine, the neighborhood’s go to boutique for any curious consumer. Sherry, Pet Nat, magnums of rosé, Basque cider, and biodynamic. Vine Wine carries the roster of Jon Bonné’s publication, The New California Wine, alongside wines that express terroir for under $20 a bottle. “If you’re training yourself to taste, you can taste what’s manipulated,” said Talitha Whidbee, the proprietor at Vine Wine. “I like natural wines, but I also like wines that are made to taste like something. I think the general public gets a short stick. They don’t know they can get good wine for under $10. The Crosby Cabernet Sauvignon tastes like Cabernet Sauvignon and people can tell.”
Thanks Marco (pictured above)!
The 2013 – 2014 season was particularly challenging in the North East of Italy where Friuli Venezia Giulia is located between Venice and Slovenia.
In particular we faced a very warm winter and an early spring. On the one side, warm winters make the vineyards easier to work, most especially the pruning and trellising that we do 100% by hand. On the other hand, winter has the important function of sterilizing the vines from molds and fungus, which affects the plants. As we work organically, using only the traditional copper and sulfur strategy against peronospera and oidium, we knew that we needed to be fast and respectful in the timing of our actions during spring and summer. Read more
From Northwestern Minnesota, Michael Swanson and Cheri Reese of Far North Spirits sent us these stunning images and report from their 2014 rye harvest. Working field-to-glass, the couple distills from start to finish, with every step of production done by hand. Cheers!
The 2014 season actually began in the fall of 2013, as is the case with winter grain crops here in the far north.
We grow a winter rye variety called AC Hazlet, which was originally cultivated for the Canadian prairies from two rye varieties originating in the Central Chernozem region of Russia (Gazelle and Saratov). Hazlet was selected for its exceptional winter-hardiness, reduced height, and high fertility. Read more
Patrick Burke, our French Portfolio Director, traveled from his home in Lyon to meet JP and Pam in Bordeaux, where they visited with a few of our growers. What follows is his assessment of the state of Grower Bordeaux. Thanks #ExPat!
There is, I think, a very valuable association to be made between the growers in Champagne and the dwindling number of small family estates of the Medoc. When a few small growers with good reputations decided to stop selling their harvests to big Champagne houses, in favor of making their very own limited production Champagnes, a movement was born. The Grower Champagne movement ensures itself a sustained place in the Champagne market because buyers around the world love the story of the “little guys” making very good, very rare, Champagnes. Don’t we all love to support the underdog? If one looks to the modern Medoc landscape they will see a seriously speculative wine scene dominated by historic Chateaux owned by multinational mega-companies that are getting bigger at the expense of the small family owned estates. Read more
Piero Busso tending to his grapes
Piero and Pieroguido Busso took us across the road to the Cru Albesani vineyard, where they call their parcel the Borgese vineyard because it surrounds their cantina and house. On a foggy and drizzly afternoon we went to check the grapes for rot, after four days of rain, but all in all the fruit looked good. The vineyards were filled with small berry Nebbiolo grapes that still needed a little more sun before they could be harvested. We then took a steep drive to the Gallina vineyard, and I was so impressed with the meticulous care that goes into their farming. Father and son are in the vineyards daily to check the grapes and remove leaves so the fruit can ripen perfectly. With grass and weeds growing beneath the vines, and soft organic soils under foot, one can see clearly the application of their natural approach to winegrowing. Read more