Wine Education

Import Selection: Late Harvest Semillon, 1987. Penfolds

About 150 years ago, Dr. Christopher Penfold left England with his wife Mary to settle in South Australia. They built a whitewashed stone cottage in Ma­gill, four miles from Adelaide, and named it after Mary’s home in England, “The Grange”. The doc­tor had brought with him some wax-sealed grape-vine cuttings. He planted these over the… read more »

This Matter of Phylloxera (Part II)

About one year ago, (WOMC Newsletter, June 1991), we wrote about the deadly root-burrowing louse, phylloxera vastatrix. We in­cluded the article as a history les­son. During the latter half of the 19th century, the parasite, which is of American origin, devastated millions of acres of vineyards around the globe. It was brought under control by… read more »

Import Selection: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, 1989. Zonin

Founded in 1921, Zonin is Ita­ly’s largest privately-owned wine-making concern in operation to­day. Considering how far back many Italian wineries go, this makes the company a relative new­comer. In all fairness, it is impor­tant to state that prior to establish­ing the firm seventy years ago, the family had actually been active in the wine industry… read more »

Domestic Selection: Colombard, 1989. Carmenet

In opening, let me first ask you to notice the small print section of this wine’s label which reads “A Chalone Property”. Any discus­sion of the Carmenet Vineyard must include a discourse on its parent company. Chalone Incor­porated is the only publicly-held company in the U.S. whose prin­cipal business is producing and marketing premium wines…. read more »

Member Inquiry: Grape Origins

Paul, Are any of the domestic wines that we are accustomed to made from native grapes, or do they all have their origins else­where?” M.M., Temple City, CA Any grape, really, can be made into wine, but few indigenous grapes have achieved any degree of success as raw wine materials. Native grapes, botanically of the… read more »

Import Selection: Macon-Clesse, 1990. Cave de Vire

The southern part of Bur­gundy, France plays host to many famous communes and townships: Notably Pouilly Fuisse, Macon, and St. Veran. The town of Clesse is a sleepy french commune, its only real attraction, aside from the wine of course, being an 11th cen­tury church with an octagonal tow­er. The basic red grape of the… read more »

Domestic Selection: Zinfandel, 1988. Glenn Ellen

The Benziger family moved to Glen Ellen California in 1980 from White Plains, New York to set up a boutique winery. The rest is truly California wine making history. The 1981 crush came before construction of the winery was fin­ished. There was no electricity. There were no wine storage tanks. The crush went on through… read more »

This Matter of Balance

How do you tell the difference between a good wine, (i.e., a well made wine), and a poor one? When a popular T.V. detective asked this question while research­ing a homicide case involving win­ery principals, the merchant whom he had asked, looked down at him from over his bifocals and haughti­ly replied, “The price, sir!”… read more »

Import Selection: Chateau Chariot, 1988. Corbieres

With the rising cost of the dol­lar on the international money mar­ket and the increase tax liability that has hit the wine industry, many people have asked how “The Club” will be able to maintain the quality of the monthly import se­lection. Good question! One an­swer lies between the sandy beach­es of the Mediterranean and… read more »

Domestic Selection: Chardonnay, 1989. White Oak

White Oak winery is no new­comer to the Wine of the Month Club. In fact, White Oak is the first winery to have been selected for both the Limited Series and the Regular Series with two wines from the same grape. Our ship­ment #2 in 1990 featured the Myers Limited Reserve Chardonnay that promptly sold… read more »