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Columns – Sandra Taylor

Organic Winegrowing: What Does It Mean to be Organic?
Sandra Taylor
Oct 30, 2018

Organic food and beverage sales are setting records among grocery shoppers worldwide. Organic wine statistics are equally impressive. And around the globe, organically grown wine is one of the fastest growing categories. Organic wine production grew by 295% in Europe and 280% in the world between 2004 and 2015, according to a recent study by Wine Monitor Nomisma. Organic wine grapes account for an estimated 5% of total vineyard acreage worldwide. European organic viticulture (293,000 hectares) accounts for 88% of total global organic vineyard area. In France 9% of all vineyards (or 146,000 acres) are organic. Italy (83,000 hectares) has the highest organic vineyard-area ratio -- 11.9% of its cultivated vines are organic -- followed by Austria, with 11.7%, and Spain, with 10.2%.

University of Pinot
Sandra Taylor
Sep 4, 2018

Every summer I look forward to spending the last weekend of July in McMinnville, Oregon for the International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC), a wonderful wine festival where guests enjoy three days of tasting beautiful Pinot Noir from world-renowned winemakers, including Grand Cru Burgundy and Champagne, and sharing delicious meals from Pacific northwest chefs. IPNC is also a venue for celebrating leading lights in the industry and learning about regions and new trends in wine production. This year I had the privilege to organize and moderate a seminar for IPNC's University of Pinot sustainability, with presentations by producers from several regions. University of Pinot offers IPNC guests a wide variety of informative seminars each afternoon on such topics as sensory evaluations, regional updates from New Zealand, California, and Austria.

So You Don't Like White Wines?
Sandra Taylor
Jul 10, 2018

So often, when dining out with friends who ask me to choose the wine for our meal, someone inevitably declares, 'I really don't like white wine!' I am always astonished because this means they have been missing out on some truly wonderful wines from many regions of the world. Likewise at wine tastings I host for women who seek to be more knowledgeable about wines, they too can be overheard saying they don't really care for the white wines, that they are just too thin and acidic for their liking. Since we're now in the time of year when even the most ardent red wine drinker chooses a chilled refreshing white wine while dining al fresco, this is my opportunity to suggest interesting whites that red lovers continue drinking even into fall and winter.

Biodynamic Basics
Sandra Taylor
May 22, 2018

Biodynamic wine producers believe that life begins in the soil and that a healthy balance in the vineyard eco-system and in their wines is dependent on first achieving healthy balance in the soil. Many turn to biodynamic viticulture in order to restore balance to over-used soil that had been abused by years of poor agricultural practices. The biodynamic approach to grape growing has become one of the more controversial issues within the wine industry. The skeptics, who are many, see it as an incredible waste of time and money. For some, it is pure quackery, an affront to science and modern thinking. For its adherents, however, biodynamic viticulture is a further advance along a similar line as organic viticulture.

Sustainability in Wine Production
Sandra Taylor
Apr 3, 2018

Consumers, especially millennials, are increasingly concerned about where their food and beverages come from, how they are made, and whether they're produced in a responsible way. Wine is no exception. As the demand for organic food continues to increase, restaurants and retailers are also seeing demand for wine made through sustainable practices.