19 Stories

Grape-Harvesting Accident Claims Napa Worker's Life

Leon Marcelo Lua was 49

(Newser) - A grim work-related death out of California's Wine Country, where a Napa man working at Beaucanon Winery's Deconinck Vineyards got pulled into a grape harvesting machine with fatal results. KTVU identifies the victim as Leon Marcelo Lua, 49. The San Francisco Chronicle reports his clothing got caught in... More »

Thieves Pull Off Remarkable Vineyard Heist

A vineyard in southern Germany loses all its grapes

(Newser) - Brazen thieves have swept into southern Germany and stolen 3,527 pounds of grapes—leaving an entire vineyard stripped bare, Newsweek reports. A police report issued Monday says the perpetrators used a professional harvesting machine to gather up $9,200 of grapes used to make Riesling wine. Amazingly, the vineyard... More »

Why This Decanter Will Set You Back $185K

'When we decant a wine, we aren't just pouring it out, we are liberating it'

(Newser) - Is the wine selling the decanter or is the decanter selling the wine? There's no easy answer in the unveiling of a truly prized possession, an imperial (6-liter) decanter called the Aevum Imperial Service Ritual that's meant to house the award-winning 2012 vintage of Australian winemaker Penfolds' Grange... More »

These Wine Grapes Listened to Mozart, to Their Benefit

Inside an interesting experiment in Italy

(Newser) - A taste of black cherry, leather, and just a hint of G minor? In the hills of Montalcino in Tuscany, winemaker Giancarlo Cignozzi has, for more than a decade, been playing Mozart 24 hours a day to a section of Sangiovese grapes growing in his vineyard, reports CBS News . At... More »

In Tough Cleveland 'Hood, a Vineyard Grows Hope

Grapes offer an unlikely refuge for those trying to right their lives

(Newser) - Rows of red and white grapes climb trellises surrounded by a crumbling brick building, an empty corner store, and graffiti-covered apartments. The man who planted the vineyard says his plan for the lot once occupied by a crack house goes far beyond bottling wine. Mansfield Frazier wants to show there'... More »

How a 'Brainless' Organism Makes Your Wine Distinct

Different yeast strains from different soils change a wine's chemical profile

(Newser) - Winemakers have long understood that things like the soil in which grapes are grown can affect the flavor of the grapes and, ultimately the wine. Now scientists have proof that a microbial component of "terroir"—wine lingo for the individual regional conditions—has an impact, too. Reporting in... More »

Billionaire Missing in Chopper Crash

Lam Kok was touring French vineyard he had just bought

(Newser) - After a Chinese billionaire sealed the deal on a vineyard purchase, its previous owner took him for a helicopter tour—and the vehicle crashed. Now, Lam Kok is feared dead, the BBC reports. His 12-year-old son's body was retrieved from the wreckage, Sky News reports, but the other three... More »

Grape Bandits Strip Vineyard

Award-winning German winegrower ruined

(Newser) - An award-winning German winegrower has lost his crop of grapes to a band of brazen thieves just before harvest time. Almost three tons of high-quality red grapes destined to become wine were stolen overnight by bandits who brought their own harvest machine, reports Der Spiegel . Wine experts believe the theft... More »

Rising Temperatures Threaten Vineyards in California

Climate change could take the 'wine' out of wine country in next 30 years

(Newser) - A new report warns that climate change could drastically shake up California’s wine country in the next 30 years. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts that Napa Valley will eventually see 10 more days with grape-scorching temperatures of at least 95 degrees, the Los Angeles Times reports. If... More »

In Search of Profit, Tobacco Farms Morph Into Vineyards

(Newser) - A falloff in demand and an end to subsidies has tobacco farmers across the country turning to the vino, the Wall Street Journal reports—farming grapes and making wine, that is. “The small-plot tobacco farmer is a thing of the past,” says a North Carolina wine official, who... More »

Wine, Meet Your Future: Plastics

(Newser) - Screw tops, boxes, and now—plastic bottles? A move is afoot to package wine in low-cost, lighter plastic containers, the Los Angeles Times reports. The bottles come with an expiration date because the plastic does not provide the same airtight seal as glass. But because most wine sold in the... More »

This Guy's Getting $60K to Tweet About Wine

Winner will live in California, Tweet about wine

(Newser) - Hardy Wallace recently lost his job—but he’ll soon be making $10,000 a month promoting Murphy-Goode winery on the Web, as the winner of the much-touted “Really Goode Job,” the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The Atlantan, who has a wine blog and has taken sommelier education... More »

French Wine Industry Tanks, But It Still Makes Best Vino

(Newser) - The French wine industry is in a tough spot, Mike Steinberger writes on Slate. “It is hemorrhaging market share abroad, domestic consumption continues to plummet, and thousands of vintners are in desperate financial straits.” What’s more, “the appellation system that regulates much of French viticulture is... More »

Vineyard Offers $10K/Month to Drink, Tweet About Wine

(Newser) - A California winery has a tempting offer for tech-savvy oenophiles, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The Murphy-Goode Winery will set up the right candidate with a $10,000-a-month job at its Sonoma County HQ blogging and Twittering about, well, wine. The 6-month gig includes room and board; the 2-month hiring... More »

Ignore Hype of 'Wine Clones'

Americans wine drinkers are bowled over by smuggled vines

(Newser) - If you believe the hype of many American wineries, you don’t have to travel to Burgundy to sample grand cru pinot noir—thanks to "suitcase clones": American wines that supposedly had their start as smuggled cuttings from the mother country. Though “such stories may excite gullible consumers,... More »

Subtle Cabernets Recall Napa's Heyday

Old-school wineries show 'balance and restraint'

(Newser) - Forget "jammy fruit bombs" that crush the palate—subtle cabernets are making a comeback in Napa Valley. "You don’t hear much about these sorts of wines today," writes Eric Asimov in the New York Times. While critics swoon over rich, oaky cabernets, a few wineries still... More »

Wash. Vineyards Flush With Pot Crop

110K marijuana plants already confiscated this year

(Newser) - Washington state is cracking down on drug dealers' latest innovation: Using vineyards to secretly grow marijuana crops, the AP reports. Police have made 22 arrests this year and confiscated 110,000 pot plants from the Yakima Valley alone, worth more than $100 million. But tracking dealers isn't easy: Some are... More »

Seaver Trades Curve Balls for Cabernets

'The name should not sell it,' he says of his Napa-produced vintages under GTS label

(Newser) - You might think baseball Hall of Famers might be content to rest on their laurels, but not so Tom Seaver, Bloomberg reports. The three-time Cy Young winner spent some time as an announcer after his retirement in 1987, but his interest in wine led to the founding GTS Vineyards in... More »

Wine Whiz Mondavi Dead at 94

Dapper vintner proved California grapes could rival Europe's

(Newser) - California wine master Robert Mondavi died peacefully today in his Napa Valley home at age 94, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Disciples and critics alike have praised the vintner for elevating West Coast wine from jug juice to world-class vino. "His legacy and his vision for what California could... More »

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