jamie goode's wine blog: The USA "would be well advised to concentrate on producing great white wines"

Monday, July 20, 2009

The USA "would be well advised to concentrate on producing great white wines"

Got the second issue of TONG through today. It's a new quarterly magazine hailing from Belgium, aiming at the high end of the market (it's Euro 100 for four issues). The theme for the second issue is Terroir.

TONG is good, with high profile contributors and an academic approach. But it is undeniably expensive for what it is: just 48 pages in this issue. I hope it succeeds, but I think they need to make it a bit thicker (in terms of page numbers).

One of the articles in this issue is by soil scientists Claude and Lydia Bourgignon, who have quite a reputation in France. They work with many high-profile producers. Yet some of their pronouncements strike me as strange. For example:

The vine, originally found growing in Caucasian limestone, is a plant that thrives on lime-rich soils. All great red wines are produced on limestone soils and as these are relatively rare, not many places produce them ... The USA has very little limestone, and its winemakers would be well advised to concentrate on producing great white wines.



At 1:43 AM, Blogger Bob Rossi said...

Could this excerpt be a bad translation? It makes no sense.

At 11:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As Pliny observed 2,000 years ago: “The same vine has a different value in different places”.

The perfect definition of the nuances that terroir gives to a wine.

At 1:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wondering - is the jury still out on whether biodynamics can improve terroir or is it now generally accepted that they can ?

At 1:49 PM, Blogger Nick Oakley said...

Where does this leave the Gimblett Gravels? Or the Douro for the that matter?

At 4:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think TONG is going to have to exercise a little more editorial control if they want to continue charging 100euro/yr. Drivel like this won't cut it for long.

At 11:48 AM, Anonymous Filip Verheyden said...

Dear all, have read your remarks with a lot of interest. This is exactly what the discussion about "terroir" brings around...
What do you think of the following: "Terroir is not a natural phenomenon. It's a historic construct" (quote from Olivier Jacquet and Serge Wolikow in their article about Burgundian terroirs. These guys are professors (sociologists) at the University of Burgundy and keepers of the Unesco chair "Traditions et cultures de vin".)

To answer the question about editorial control: that's exactly what we've done. You should read the whole issue first and then react!

By the way, TONG is becoming thicker and thicker with each issue. But the price will remain the same because of two reasons: there is NO advertising allowed and we try to get real knowledge from real specialists (changing with every issue). In our fast-moving society where there's too much information available that is not trustworthy, you have to pay for honest and intellectually independent knowledge. Unbridled consumerism is out, discriminating buying is in.
Would love to have your comments on this.

Filip Verheyden
Editor & publisher TONG About Wine

At 10:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charging 100€ for 4 issues is out of range. I guess Tongs'productioncosts don't increase 3€ /issue

At 1:37 PM, Anonymous Filip Verheyden said...

TONG's production cost is between 12 and 15 euros per copy. Furthermore, shipping costs per copy are € 1,77 for Europe and € 2,27 for the rest of the world, of which only 1 and 2 euros respectively are charged.

Please do not judge what you do not know!


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