Find Me


Restaurants & Bars



Napa’s Hundred Year War

You know the argument about big, high-alcohol wines? Well, it’s been going on for a while. This is Professor George Hussman — one of the founding fathers of Napa wine culture — in 1898, explaining that Napa’s overly ripe wines were the result of a combination of good weather and bad habits.

Rainless summers produced a fruit very high in sugar, and the wines made from it were “heavy” and “heady.” The French and German vintners (of California) fell into the error of letting the grapes hang on until they were very ripe, as was the custom of their native countries, where they could hardly obtain a thoroughly ripened product except in the best of seasons.

The result was big, high-alcohol wines that lacked the finesse of European wines. Hussman believed that California wine wouldn’t be taken seriously until they got that under conrol.

You can’t be right about everything.

Technorati Tags: ,