Anybody Out There Willing to Give a Straight Answer?


My recent suggestion to Alice Feiring or her fellow travelers got mentioned in her blog and has also just produced the thoughtful response to my question which I was hoping for.

My intent in my blog on Authenticity vs Terroir was not to pigeonhole anyone. I called on somebody -- if not Alice then perhaps other readers will comment -- to specify what you think is authentic.

Alice says she values that wines are made in an honest way. It will benefit both consumers greatly to iterate what exactly this means. I must say that surely no-one could be more honest than I about how I make my wines, but I don't think I pass Alice's test. So it's not just honesty that is wanted, but some specific set of rules not to be broken. This is confusing, because there is so much 20th Century technology -- electricity, stainless steel, refrigeration, inert gas, sterile filtration, etc., that seems to be perfectly OK with Alice, and other stuff that freaks her out. And I'm sure she speaks for many other winelovers.

It would be very helpful to winemkakers to be guided by what consumers consider authentic. I've even suggested a certification of authentic wines -- kind of like a kosher mark -- which guarantees the designated wines don't use certain practices forbidden by the mark. Whether you think that's a good idea or not, I'm asking for somebody -- perhaps you -- to give some guidance by specifying what you think is authentic. Please look over my list as a way to start, and give us winemakers, all eager to please, a bit of advice on what you think is OK.

To those who want to comment on this exercise, a request. In looking through this list, please try to articulate some guiding principles that winemakers could use to exclude undesireable practices, and then check and make sure they don't exclude things you think should be OK.

What I long for is a broad impact of authenticity thoughout the wine industry. Let's create an environment where all winemakers everywhere can speak honestly and proudly about their practices, and consumers can choose based on their practices, or just on taste, as they wish.