In my initial column, I outlined that I will offer two sections in each monthly column; a general wine information section entitled “Wine Speak” and one entitled “Food and Wine Pairings”. Here goes:Wine speakI just returned from a 10-day west coast trip with my family, and visited several key wine regions. In Oregon, we visited the Willamette Valley (known for pinot noir and pinot gris) and in northern California we visited Anderson Valley in Mendocino and the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. As it was during the annual harvest of the grapes, nicknamed the “crush” (when grapes are picked, sorted for quality and pressed into grape juice), I was interested in the quality of this year’s crop.Almost every winery reported that the 2006 vintage will be above average, not only in quality but also quantity. Both the Willamette Valley and Anderson Valley reported ideal growing conditions with warm days and cool nights. However, Napa and Sonoma experienced record heat in July, which challenged the growers’ pruning skills. The leaf canopy protects the grapes. If you prune too much of the leaf canopy, you risk over exposing the grapes to the high temperatures, and they actually can get sunburned. A dense leaf… Read full this story
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