From the department of “daddy is allowed to have pregnancy cravings too”…
The news of the Oklahoma tornado weighed heavily on Tracie P and me last night as we made dinner for Georgia P.
Our thoughts and prayers are for our Oklahoma sisters and brothers today…
As Giovanni notes today on his excellent blog Terra Uomo Cielo, this is the time of year when grape growers treat their vineyards with sulfur and copper to reduce the risk of fungal diseases, chiefly oidium and perenospora.
At the sound of the tractors’ motors revving up on their way to the vineyard, he is reminded that “not only do the products used to safeguard the fruit pollute. So does the movement of the tractors” belching out diesel aromas more offensive to Giovanni, he writes, than the smell of the sulfur.
There is at least one grape grower in Italy who believes he has found a chemical-free solution to fungal disease: Werner Monrandell (above), winemaker in German-speaking South Tyrol, where his “super-organic” vineyards have no need of sulfur or copper treatments thanks to disease-resistant hybrids he has been developing since 1993, Solaris and Bronner.
The latter is named after the researcher who developed it. The former, evidently, after the 1961 novel and 1972 film.
According to a post by Corriere della Sera wine writer Luciano Ferraro, published on Saturday, the dried-grape Bronner is already available for sale in Italy and the Solaris, while not commercially available, has been offered to Italian sommeliers and viticultural research institutes where it is being studied.
Morandell is one of roughly fifteen grape growers, mostly from Trentino-Alto Adige but also Piedmont and Veneto, who are working together on this project.
“Every year in Europe,” say Morandell in an interview with Luciano, “72,000 tonnes of poison (pesticides, fungicides, insecticides, herbicides, etc.) are scattered on the fruit crop. Roughly 70% of those are employed in viticulture and they leave a residue on the grapes. It’s time to stop this [practice] because it’s possible to make fabulous wines even without chemical treatments to combat oidium and peronospora.”
Some winemakers remain skeptical, like Giovanni, who recently became a grape grower himself.
“I wonder if Solaris will have the same results if it’s planted elsewhere,” he writes.
Above: I found this reproduction of Hemingway’s handwriting in this edition of his complete poems.
Last night after dinner as Georgia P slumbered, Tracie P read a book on birthing, and I relaxed watching Star Trek: First Contact (the movie), an ad came on the television for the Asiago Ranch Flatbread Grilled Chicken Sandwich at Wendy’s fast food.
It got me thinking about the Asiago high plateau and fond memories of visiting the village of Asiago many years ago.
And so I wrote this rant for the Bele Casel blog, where I regularly describe the symptoms of acute Venetophilia.
I was also reminded of Hemingway’s verses dedicated to the many villages that dot the landscape of the foothills of the Dolomite Alps in my beloved Veneto:
Half a hundred more,
Little border villages,
Back before the war,
Monte Grappa, Monte Corno,
Twice a dozen such,
In the piping times of peace
Didn’t come to much.
They were the sites of some of the most terrible battles of the first world war.
And many of them still look the same was as they did when Hemingway saw them for the first time.
And the sandwich, you ask? Here’s my rant.
Thanks for reading and buon weekend yall!
From the annals of oenography…
Above: The facade of the TTB offices on G Street in Washington, D.C. (image via Google Maps).
Earlier this week, the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau issued a circular laying out guidelines for regulation of wine industry-generated social media.
The move is significant in part because the document clearly states that the agency considers wine industry-generated social media — social networks, video sharing, blogs, microblogs, etc. — to be a form of advertising. And as such, it will be regulated by the TTB.
I found this informative post by a Napa law firm in which the authors spell out the impact that this policy will have on wine industry members who use social media in promoting their brands.
The authors of the post also point out that according to TTB policy, content posted by consumers on wine industry social media is also subject to regulation. Ultimately, this could lead to wine industry members being held responsible for questionable content posted by users of their platforms.
[See the comment section for a clarification on this last point.]