Club Write-ups

Everything But Red
September 2023

Tim's Wine Market

I selected the first wine for this quarter way back in February, but had to wait a few months for enough inventory to arrive to fulfill our needs. During this time one of the books I read was Eating to Extinction by Dan Saladino. In this compelling story he examines how the modern food industry has dramatically narrowed the number of crops farmed, selecting specific cultivars based purely on economic decisions such as farming cost and yield. Each chapter gives examples of the danger in a lack of biodiversity in our food supply, and how landrace, or heirloom varieties are disappearing. Later, while researching my master class on Rioja that I taught in August, I came across the wines of Juan Carlos Sancha. He is a professor in Rioja who is experimenting with 30 different grape varieties that are no longer in commercial production, but were previously used extensively before the Spanish Civil War. His argument is that the region has become overdependent on Tempranillo, as it is relatively easy to farm and produces a consistent, large crop. Unfortunately, this comes at the expense of complexity in the wines and biodiversity. Thinking about the first selection for this quarter I decided to focus on landrace and indigenous grape varieties and their importance in modern winemaking.

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