The old saying that “less is more” is a cruel trick to most of us, and particularly to those working in the wine industry. As time has marched on, the farmer who manages grapes, the winemaker who takes those grapes and turns them into wine, and the end service persona on the tasting bar, are entirely accountable for each other. The ruler we are all forced to measure against, is held by our beloved customers.
Grape vines are capable of producing far more fruit than they could possibly ripen for the purpose of winemaking. That is simply because their job has nothing to do with wine, but propagation. As growers and winemakers, it is our task to keep a vine within the realm of what we are asking of it; to produce fruit of the highest quality for us to translate into vino. Sounds simple, right?
The truth is far more complicated, and what might appear to be torture to a plant, an estate vineyard is held to the rule that “less is more” when it comes to cropload and wine quality. Research has shown that this has diminishing returns, it is a plant after all, and so our guiding hand must be active yet thoughtful to the work being done each vintage. We want our customers to receive something absolutely delicious in the glass, and the team bringing such wines to the table to be happy to serve.
The wine and vine trivia for the New Year: If you are gifted Champagne in a bottle holding 18 liters of wine this Christmas, what is the proper name for that bottle?