Food & Wine

Decanter October 2019

Published by TI Media Limited The world’s best wine magazine. It is simply the “wine bible”. Every month it provides recommendations on the world’s finest wines and tells you where you can find them. From top Bordeaux to the best value wine on the shelf, Decanter guides you through a maze of wine to help you find the right wine for you. It also offers interviews with leading wine personalities, in-depth guides to the wine regions and the latest wine news.

United Kingdom
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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
adelle ‘boots’ brounstein 1927-2019

Adelle ‘Boots’ Brounstein, the co-founder of Diamond Creek Vineyards and one of the pioneering generation of Napa Valley wine producers, has died at the age of 92. Brounstein and her late husband Al, who died in 2006, founded Diamond Creek in 1967. Together they achieved a notable series of firsts over the coming years, including planting the first all-Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard in California and releasing the first US$100-a-bottle wine from the state. ‘Boots’ – she was given the nickname by her mother as a baby – passed away on 31 July following a short illness, after helping to run Diamond Creek for more than half a century. ‘Mom was the heart of Diamond Creek,’ commented Phil Ross, her son. ‘What she and Al did as pioneers, helping to bring the French idea of…

2 min.
your letters

Subscriber plea I adore Decanter and look forward to getting my copy each month; there’s no other publication up to the same standard. However, I’ve been dismayed that my magazine arrives wrapped in plastic. Given the numerous mentions of climate change in recent issues, what has Decanter considered doing to lighten its own environmental footprint? I suggest that one easy win would be to stop wrapping these subscriber issues in ridiculously unnecessary and unrecyclable plastic. Please, don’t make me break up with Andrew Jefford... I adore him, and all your writers. Nicole Byrd-Donizetti, Fairfax, Virginia, USA Jane Mortimore, TI Media Ltd’s corporate responsibility manager, replies: The polyethylene wrap we use on many of our magazines, including Decanter, is fully recyclable and a by-product of the oil industry. The wrapping can be recycled at…

1 min.
sustainability challenge

The single greatest lesson I’ve learned over a long career in sustainability is that there is no silver bullet. It is a complex web of moving parts and each business, organisation – or, in this case, winemaker – needs to manage the sustainability opportunities most important to them, while at the same time influencing as best they can others in the value chain (such as customers and suppliers). While Brian Smith in his letter (July 2019 issue) encourages producers to adopt organic or biodynamic certification ‘if they really want to embrace truly sustainable agriculture and winemaking’, in my experience this is too simplistic. In the broadest sense, a global organic food and drink system would not be sustainable quite simply because the productivity levels would not meet demand. I endorse Mr Smith’s…

3 min.
andrew jefford

Thirty years ago, I began a series of 12 monthly articles tracking the undulating fortunes of a single English vineyard, Breaky Bottom in the Sussex Downs, over a single year between 1989 and 1990. On the October day I arrived, the owner, Peter Hall, told me that he’d had no fruit at all in 1987 and precious little in 1988; sales were laborious. He made the dry, classic table wines that met his own finely honed aesthetic standards; but English wine more generally, we lamented, was a national joke, and the prevailing – and failing – style was for semi-sweet wines, inspired by doubtful German models. If you had sketched out today’s UK wine scene to us back then, we would have laughed, shaking our heads at the preposterousness of the…

3 min.
elin mccoy

I’m standing in a vineyard where the vines look like small trees, their branches spread in a high canopy with pink-skinned grape bunches protected from rain by small wax paper hats. Anyone who has visited Yamanashi, Japan’s wine country, would instantly recognise them as Koshu, the unique white grape variety that the Japanese have been, justifiably, busy promoting internationally. I became a Koshu fan on my recent visit, but the bigger surprise was how intriguing I found Japanese wines from more familiar grapes. The most impressive one I tried was Grace Wine’s Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut 2014, a traditional-method sparkling Chardonnay like a fine grower Champagne. This led me to wondering whether Japan has to go beyond Koshu to become a global wine hot spot. Yes, Koshu’s low-alcohol crispness and range…

17 min.
south america’s next icons

The South American wine industry is riding a swelling tide; as momentum grows, the excitement is palpable. What started as a quiet, underground revolution driven by a select band of passionate winemakers is now capturing the attention of consumers and wine professionals all over the globe. The self-belief and direction that winemakers are showing, alongside the sense of comradeship and community, have been fundamental in achieving this. Yet there are other factors that have been, and continue to be, crucial for the long-term success and prosperity of the industry: innovation and experimentation. Innovation is fundamental in driving change as well as mindset. The vast, diverse landscape of this continent has for years remained an untapped playground for winemakers. The past decade has seen a pioneering and explorative movement pushing the geographical…