August 3rd, 2020: Offsite Shipping, Drones, Articles & Resources

“Explode your hours and you’ll see how time will transform – it’s very interesting. It changes – you won’t even recognize it. It will cease to be fragmented, broke into the sections of hours, minutes, and seconds. Time is like mercury: scatter it and it will grow together again, it will again find its own integrity and indeterminacy. People tamed it, shackled it into pocket-watches and stop-watches – and for those that hold time on a chain, time flows evenly. But try to free it and you will see: it flows differently for different people, for some it is slow and viscous, counted in the inhalations and exhalations of smoked cigarettes, for others it races along, and they can only measure it in past lives.”
-Dmitry Glukhovsky

I don’t have much more to share this week that Dmitry, in his novel Metro 2033, hasn’t already captured.

We’re all incredibly busy right now and, if you’re like me, if feels like the summer has completely run away. But that’s all a choice and perspective.

Shipping Offsite & Free Trade Wine

I’m sure most of you have seen this, but if not BC Wineries Can Now Deliver From Offsite Storage Locations. I can just hear all the storage space in the Lower Mainland being leased by wineries because *cough* everyone wasn’t already doing this *cough*. At least it will be easier now and it’ll be hard for them not to make it permanent. 

Some potential negative news: Australia & BC wine secures fair trading terms. What exactly this means is unknown, but as Dan Albas writes the taxes for BC wineries are likely going up

This is also why selling BC wine on grocery shelves was such a mistake. The gains have been captured by the big players crowding out smaller wineries. But even worse, by excluding non-BC wines we opened ourselves up to free trade disputes which have been resolved against us. This has increased the competition, and now potentially costs, for BC wine.  

Very frustrating but with time to implement hopefully we can lobby to ease or eliminate the impact. 

Re-Introducing Wine to Armenia

I wanted to highlight Levi Dalton’s latest podcast with Zorik Gharabian. If you have a love of wine and history and the challenge of rebuilding something that was once great but has fallen into long disrepair, you’ll enjoy this. 

Podcast: IDTT 481: Wine Before and After the Genocide

Levi Dalton has the greatest wine podcast around. A fascinating interview with Zorik Gharabian as he helps re-introduce winemaking to Armenia. Well worth a listen. 

Behold Our New Overlords
(We Now Do Drone Surveying)

Here at Vintality we’d investigated getting into drones years ago but found that with so many competitors in the marketplace (Osprey, Hummingbird, etc.) it didn’t make economic sense. So we were happy to refer where needed. 

But we’d heard regular complaints about working with drone operators that you paid for a pretty map and were left alone. We’ll be doing things differently – we’re coming at this as a viticulture company not a drone company. The point of any survey is implementation, the map is just one tool towards that end. 

Further, we’re going to be implementing specific practices for vineyards. For example? Ground truthing needs to be done for drone surveys just like for EC surveys. The real value of a drone survey isn’t in a magic number from the drone, but in comparing it to real conditions in the vineyard. If we’re identifying areas that are struggling beyond the naked eye, is it because of a nutrient deficiency or disease? Thus – you ground truth an really open up the benefit of this data.

We’ll be offering a number of services here, but the most well known is NDVI. Iff you are interested, I’d recommend moving beyond NDVI towards newer approaches utilising the latest technology. 

And yes, I have to admit this drone looks like a spider and it’s definitely a little creepy. 

Articles & Resources

Here’s what I’ve been reading this week:

Farming & Winemaking

Phylloxera Breakthrough Brings Hope to Vineyards

Building on the news announced a couple of weeks ago. 

Survive, Advance: Harvest plans and business models evolve

A look at changes in Oregon vineyards with Covid-19. 

Road 13 Hiring an Assistant Winemaker

This popped into my feed for anyone looking. 

French Researchers Unlock a Secret to Wine Bitterness: Oak Barrels

Coumarins are the issue. More research to come. 

American Sparkling Wine, Untitled

The rise (and excitement for) hybrid root stock. 

The Judgment of Paris demonstrated nothing, statistically speaking

David Morrison seeks to demonstrate statistically that the “Judgment of Paris” was just randomness and a statistically significant triumph. Although politically it certainly meant a lot.  

Podcast: The Wine Makers – Craig Camp, Troon Vineyard

I enjoyed this chat with Craig Camp on moving Troon Vineyard to organic and then biodynamic farming. 

A Chat with An Interesting Man

Terry Thiese “sits down” for a philosophical chat about wine.

The Simple Truth about Complexity in Wine

Is complexity over-rated?

How do organics and biodynamics affect a vineyard’s carbon footprint?

It’s harder to figure out than you’d think. 


BC Wineries Can Now Deliver From Offsite Storage Locations

I can just hear all the storage space in the Lower Mainland being leased by wineries because *cough* everyone wasn’t already doing this *cough*. At least it will be easier now and it’ll be hard for them not to make it permanent. 

Australia & BC wine secures fair trading terms

Many in the wine industry did not appreciate the far-reaching impacts of free trade. Like selling in grocery stores – many of these decisions have helped a few and hurt many more BC/Canadian wineries. (And of course, there have been many benefits)

How Wolf Blass is reaching Millennial drinkers

Interesting idea that Millennials are more open to different, more experimental wine. 

How to get consumers to pay more for their wines

The main answer? Anchoring.

Cooper’s Hawk Winery Leverages Its Unique Business Model

Cooper’s has an interesting model using Napa-style restaurants around the USA.

2020 USA DtC Wine Shipping Mid-Year Report

The USA usually has better sales data than us and it’s useful to take a peek at what they’re seeing. 

Using AR Technology to Tell Wine Branding Stories

An interesting idea to allow more consumer interaction.

In an Upside-Down World, Is America Ready for Flat Bottles?

I believe there is still a place for beauty in this world. And that place does not include flat, plastic wine bottles. 

Chinese ambition, non-Chinese value

$350 CAD might be a bit much for a bottle. 


Channeling Bob Ross to Bring You “The Joy of Wine Tasting”

Get ready to laugh.

2016 Was the Perfect Year, at Least in Italy’s Barolo Wine Country

This has been blowing up. My Father-in-law was talking about this last night. 

Buying a vineyard property in Tuscany: What are the options?

Who’s in?

5 Wine Flaws That Can Actually Be Very Good

Wine Folly’s success is because they do a great job of breaking down wine info in an attractive, easy-to-read format. 

Does what’s on the label matter? One obstinate consumer (me) goes to great lengths to find out

A wine blogger dissatisfied with sake labelling goes into great detail to solve his conundrum. 

Wine Knowledge and Culture: Are They Related?

An interesting look at data around wine knowledge. 

What’s a Sommelier?

Good shareable content. 

“What Varietal is That,” A Beginners Guide to the Most Important Grape Varieties

A review of Darby Higgs new book. I’ll be looking at this as a gift for some wine lovers in my family. 

The Goopification of grapes: why ‘clean wine’ is a scam

It continues!

Good Clean Wine just doesn’t seem to get it.

And continues. The gift that keeps on giving. 

Is Natural Wine A Millennial Con? 


Winemaker Margaux Alvarez also Crushes Opponents on ‘Titan Games’ Show

That’s intense. 

Bumble matches with Babe Wine to cover moving costs for pandemic breakups

Hilarious. Dating app Bumble and Babe Wine are paying for post-pandemic breakup moving costs. 

How Anyone Can Become a Winemaker

Always leary of these types of articles. The opportunity is there but you also need the talent. 

Image: Happy Grapes

A beautiful close-up photo of Pinot Noir grapes. 

BC Wine Weekly Jpeg

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