MOG Blog

The Spiciest Wines You Have Ever Tasted

Few winemakers have ever heard as many “no’s”  from the TTB as Rob and Kat McDonald did when applying for label approval.

The McDonalds: Can we state the grape variety?   TTB: No

The McDonalds: Can we state the AVA?   TTB: No

Why was it so hard to get label approval for the new St. Mayhem brand?


It's Not Easy in Burgundy, Either

You may have heard the news recently that an American vintner in Burgundy had more than doubled the size of his company's vineyard holdings. This was quite a feat in a place where the price of land makes prime California vineyards seem like bargains in comparison.

Alex Gambal's holdings now include 12 hectares (or 30 acres) in famous appellations including Nuits St. Georges and Puligny Montrachet after a merger with Domaine Christophe Buisson. Of course, it didn't happen overnight. Gambal's first vintage in 1996 filled just 60 barrels. If you read on, you'll see that many of Gambal's challenges are not that different from those you might be facing here in North America as a small-scale winemaker trying to expand to a sustainable size.


Will Wineries Miss the Gold Medals?

If you haven’t looked closely at the county fair-style wine competitions lately, you’ll be surprised at how fast they are embracing the 100-point scale. The question for Wines & Vines readers is: how good or bad a thing is this for the wineries that spend considerable time and money to enter the judgings?

The first two competitions to add 100-point scores to their awards were the LA International (formerly Los Angeles County Fair) the California State Fair.