Winebits 276: Packaging, climate change, Paul Draper
• Fetzer goes small: Ever wanted a glass of wine at a baseball game, but weren’t able to buy one? That changed this month when Fetzer introduced what it’s calling Zipz packs – 100 percent recyclable 187ml PET containers (a form of plastic) of wine at several big league baseball stadiums. The Zipz will be available in stores later this year. “Alternative venues” are one of the hot topics in the wine business these days, as producers look for ways to sell wine in places where it hasn’t been sold. I’m skeptical, though, of wine at ball games, and I’m as big a baseball fan as I am a wine drinker. It just doesn’t seem like a good match.
• Weather and wine: This piece, from The Raw Story web site, doesn’t mince words: “Can any region continue to grow the exact same varieties and make the exact same style of wines? If what we know today is correct, that is highly unlikely.” The reason is climate change, and it goes into great detail explaining what’s going to happen and why. Grapes, say the experts, are important in understanding how climate change will affect other crops, since the wines are more sensitive to climate than rice, corn and soybeans, which could help researchers figure out how to better adapt these crops to warmer weather.
• Well-earned award: Paul Draper, the man behind California’s Ridge Vineyards, has been named the 2013 Winemakers’ Winemaker by the Institute of Masters of Wine and the drinks business trade magazine. Ridge has long been one of the world’s great wineries, and has continued to make honest wine when so many others were chasing scores and critical acclaim. Which, not surprisingly, is why he was honored: “an approach that has been characterised by an emphasis on traditional winemaking practices, sustainable agriculture and a sense of place.”