Vigneron's Notes

A family wine estate from New Zealand. We craft traditional wine styles that emphasise texture, mouthfeel and persistence of flavour.

Month: April, 2012

New EU rules for labelling wines organic

New EU rules for labelling wines organic

There are mixed reactions to the new regulations according to Reuters.

“Newly labelled dry red organic wine will be allowed a sulphite content of up to 100 mg per litre, while up to 150 mg per litre of sulphites could be added to organic white and rose dry wines.”  – Reuters


Barrel washing at Bellbird Spring


Tom and Guy Porter take a well earned tea-break. We have been cleaning barrels in preparation for the new vintage.

This blog on is proving good reading. Mike Veseth is the Robert G. Albertson Professor of International Political Economy at the University of Puget Sound. He writes here about economic cycles in wine.

The Wine Economist

“Tighten Up” was a big hit for a Archie Bell and the Drells back in 1968. If you aren’t familiar with this R&B tune and its trademark dance you might want to take a moment to learn it because Tighten Up is where the U.S. wine market is headed.

[This is the second in a series of articles on Tight, Fat and Uncorked, the three trends I see shaping the wine industry in the near future.]

Up and Down Economics

There is nothing new about tight wine markets (where shortages pull prices higher) or slack markets either. Wine is an agricultural product subject to the sort of persistent cycles that economists have long studied. Today’s high price encourages farmers to plant more even as it discourages growth in demand. Result: future surplus and falling price when the new crops hit the market. Low prices discourage production but encourage…

View original post 791 more words

1-24 April 2012 028-001

Harvest Moon at Bellbird Spring photo

This years Easter moon rose with clear skies. Harvest though has been delayed. Cool summer weather has held back ripening.

Corks used for the best wine

Corks used for the best wine

Australia is a country that has a love affair with the screwcap, but corks are still used for the best wines …


Tim Finn of Neudorf comments on three varieties: Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir.

Tim Finn of Neudorf comments on three varieties: Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir.

Waipara home of aromatic wines

Waipara home of Aromatic wines

Rising alcohol levels documented

Rising alcohol levels documented

Interesting reseach published by Journal of Wine Economics showing an historic rise in alcohol levels in Califorian wines.  The study looks at possible causes such as market demand, taxation and climate change.

No really this is gripping stuff.

OK, for you light weights there is an abstract below or go to this blog for a discussion of the research.


Too Much of a Good Thing? Causes and Consequences of Increases in Sugar Content of California Wine Grapes
Julian M. Alston, Kate B. Fuller, James T. Lapsley and George Soleas
Journal of Wine Economics, Vol. 6, No. 2, Pages 135-159

The sugar content of California wine grapes has increased significantly over the past 10–20 years, and this implies a corresponding increase in the alcohol content of wine made with those grapes. In this paper we develop a simple model of winegrape production and quality, including sugar content and other characteristics as choice variables along with yield. Using this model we derive hypotheses about alternative theoretical explanations for the phenomenon of rising sugar content of grapes, including effects of changes in climate and producer responses to changes in consumer demand. We analyze detailed data on changes in the sugar content of California wine grapes at crush to obtain insight into the relative importance of the different influences. We buttress this analysis of sugar content of wine grapes with data on the alcohol content of wine. (JEL Classification: Q54, Q19, D12, D22)

Bellbird Spring in focus

Bellbird Spring in focus

A great piece by Jo Burzynska, in The Press, telling the Bellbird Spring story.


Simple wine fault guide

A handy description of common wine faults for consumers.  Kris Chislett sommelier has a quirky blog. Worth a look.