Sunday Read: Crazy Riesling (and Other) Stats

Just a quick pointer today: Stuart Pigott, a German-speaking English Riesling maniac, came across a 1964 encyclopedia of wine written by Frank Schoonmaker and it contains some amazing stats and information, especially on the California wine industry in the 1960s.

Spoiler alert: There were less acres planted with Chardonnay than Riesling in California back then…it’s a very interesting read!

Happy Sunday!

Stuart Pigott: Crazy Rieslin (and Other) Stats

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7 thoughts on “Sunday Read: Crazy Riesling (and Other) Stats

  1. That post by Stuart Pigott makes for an interesting read – not just regarding Riesling and Chardonnay. It provides fascinating insight into the changes in the California wine industry in the past 50 years. Well, the changes in the grapes grown, anyway.

    • Yes, I agree. The header is a bit misleading. It really is a fascinating overall look at the industry at the time.

    • I was thinking the same thing… and wishing that there was something besides consumer trends that might determine which grapes are grown in CA. Have you seen the commercial for Cupcake Vineyards? (Supposedly the winemaker is talking about his wines, but all he really says is that he really likes talking about wine). Is the American consumer that gullible? If that’s the direction our wine culture is headed, it’s a little disconcerting. …

      • To be honest, I think it is alright that winemakers adjust their holdings and what vines they grow to market demand. And one can always ask what came first: demand or adventurous winemakers changing things. Take Pinot Noir in Germany, which for a long time did not have that good of a rap in Germany. But then young, adventurous winemakers started growing outside of the prestigious and tiny Ahr valley and they have already changed perceptions and created a bigger market for that kind of wine…

        Regarding US wine culture, I don’t know. Cupcake is a huge company, so I don’t really expect much of them anyway. But I also am under the impression that a lot of the US winemaking culture is about profit and business. German winemakers also want to make profits, but it seems much more for making a livelihood. There is still something of the farmer aspect about a lot of winemakers in Germany. I am not saying these winemakers don’t exist here, oh no, I am certain they exist, the market is just more dominated by the bigger guns. We need to make sure to support the smaller wineries here, that to me are more authentic.

        • Of course, it’s all about balance–an economy and an industry, just like a person, needs balance. So, yes, it’s good that demand influences the market. I only wish that it might be a demand more in line with my particular taste (which is to say, that I wish I had more influence… ridiculously prideful, when I consider it).

      • To be honest, I think it is alright that winemakers adjust their holdings and what vines they grow to market demand. And one can always ask what came first: demand or adventurous winemakers changing things. Take Pinot Noir in Germany, which for a long time did not have that good of a rap in Germany. But then young, adventurous winemakers started growing outside of the prestigious and tiny Ahr valley and they have already changed perceptions and created a bigger market for that kind of wine…

        Regarding US wine culture, I don’t know. Cupcake is a huge company, so I don’t really expect much of them anyway. But I also am under the impression that a lot of the US winemaking culture is about profit and business. German winemakers also want to make profits, but it seems much more for making a livelihood. There is still something of the farmer aspect about a lot of winemakers in Germany. I am not saying these winemakers don’t exist here, oh no, I am certain they exist, the market is just more dominated by the bigger guns. We need to make sure to support the smaller wineries here, that to me are more authentic.

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