I recently had a conversation with a celebrity involved in the California wine biz that went something like this:
CA Wine Celebrity: “Hey – have you ever had cannabis-infused wine?”
CWC: “Yeah. Totally. Pot wine?”
Me: “No – but I wouldn’t be surprised if every other winemaker in California was drinking it; and probably making it.”
CWC: “I just tried some. It was weird. It smelled exactly like…” – at this point he extended a long, lanky, outstretched arm ending in pinched fingers directly under my nose – “…like someone stuck a bud in there; it smells just like a big ol’ bud right up in your nose!”
Turns out, he wasn’t very far off. It is with very, very little surprise that I give you the findings of Michael Steinberger’s recent article for The Daily Beast, titled Marijuana-Laced Wine Grows More Fashionable in California Wine Country: apparently, a lot of winemakers in California wine country make the stuff (by dropping about one lb. of dope into fermenting grape juice, Cabernet apparently being the variety of choice, and nearby Humboldt County being the marijuana source of choice), because a lot of CA winemakers dig pot.
Whoa – now there’s a news flash [ Editor’s note: sarcasm intended ].
We are talking about California here, people…
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In Spain’s La Mancha winegrowing region, there is a saying (and no, it’s not “Don Quixote slept here,” though that’s a reasonable guess):
“Nueve meses de invierno y tres meses de infierno.”
Which means, “nine months of Winter, and three months of hell.”
This is how the locals describe the climate of La Mancha, where it can go as low as 10F in the coldest months, and in the low 100sF in the hottest. Rainfall is ridiculously scant in the region (about 14 inches per year), and so vines are planted on average about eight feet from one another in order to maximize the amount of that scarce resource that does manage to hit the ground.
The result of such low planting density is that La Mancha has nearly half a million hectares under vine, making it not just the largest winegrowing area in Spain, but the largest winegrowing area worldwide.
And the grape that lays claim to the majority of that space?
Meet the lowly Airén – a white wine grape that most folks know nothing about, but which, by far, dominates the statistic (trivia alert!) of most-planted grape (in terms of area under vine) in the world…
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Welcome to the Weekly Wine Quiz!
Based on feedback from ever-so-vocal-and-intelligent peeps like you, I do not supply the quiz answer directly in the post – you will need to tune back in later in the comments section for the answer. Blah, blah, blah – you know all this already…
Continuing our current theme of quizzing you about winemaking comes this week question, which has nothing whatsoever to do with Friday the 13th, unless you suffer from triskaidekaphobia and feel that you will answer unluckily, I mean:
A Rosé Is A Rose Is A What?
How are rosé wines made?
- A. Red wine grapes are pressed directly, and the juice is fermented without any contact with the grape skins (as in white wine).
- B. Exactly the same way as red wine, only for a shorter, abbreviated period of maceration.
- C. “Free run” juice from maceration of red wine grapes is “bled” from the grapes, and then continues fermentation without skin contact.
- D. Red and white wines are blended together.
- E. All of the above
Cheers – and good luck!