Thursday, June 30, 2011

Climate change: How it is going to affect viticulture in the Douro Valley

 When dealing with climate change, natural climate variations should never be discarded. There is “climate variability”, which is the change in the weather behavior at a certain location from time to time. However, climate change due to human activities is happening and will have a large impact and many implications everywhere on the planet. The world’s major wine-producing countries – Italy, France, Spain, USA and Australia – are all at risk. Vines are extremely sensitive to the numerous changes associated with climate change, but this paper will have the subject under a microscope and only discuss how it’s going to affect viticulture in the Douro Valley (and it assumes a ‘business as usual’ approach). This discussion is about what needs to be done in a scenario where the temperatures are higher (with an increase in frequency of extremely hot days), the droughts are more severe, and there’s increased surface evaporation. Efforts need to be made to keep viticulture and winemaking viable and profitable in this traditional wine region.
Click here for the entire story:
One of the pillars of TheWineHub is Wine Tourism. Whether you are a wine maker, or a wine drinker, we all enjoy having discoveries...
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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Zev Robinson interviewed by Luiz Alberto & Roy Hersh (Part 1)

On the last day of Roy Hersh’s FTLOP trip to the Douro Valley, I had the opportunity to put Zev Robinson* in front of the camera. Yes!!!
If that was a first (Zev being interviewed), I’m not really sure... But it certainly felt that way... Zev, who was filming and interviewing people during the entire week for his new documentary “Life on the Douro”, was a little “edgy” with the idea of changing places with me (by the way, I loved the idea of being behind the camera!). But after a couple of minutes and a few sips of a great vintage Port, the words started to flow and he ended up saying some very interesting things about his feeling/thoughts about wine.
To make things even better, Roy joined us for the conversation. Here is the first part of it.
I hope you enjoy it.
One of the pillars of TheWineHub is Wine Tourism. Whether you are a wine maker, or a wine drinker, we all enjoy having discoveries... 
TheWineHub exists to help you with that.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What Do Your Readers Want?

It is June 21st today which brings the summer solstice here in the northern hemisphere. If you are fortunate enough to have clear skies late this evening, go outside and witness the vast array of stars, large ones and small ones, bright ones and dim ones, famous ones and unfamiliar ones, all within your sight. It may seem that there are more than you can possibly count.
Now go back and look at your computer screen again and witness the vast array of blogs, large ones and small ones, bright ones and dim ones, famous ones and unfamiliar ones, all within your sight. It may seem that there are more than you can possibly count. Indeed, there are countless blogs available to us today.
This stark reality begs the question, which ones do you read? Why? What about someone’s blog attracts your attention? More importantly, what about someone’s blog retains your attention, keeping you returning for new information, or entertainment?
Someone once said that bloggers are writers that are not good enough to get paid for their efforts. Others consider bloggers as would-be reporters that are as of yet undiscovered. And still others consider bloggers to be reporters that simply are paid by someone other than a television program, newspaper, periodical, or publisher. Any way you look at it, there are millions of bloggers out here, certainly many thousands of whom are focused on the wonderful world of wine.
These many thousands of oenocentric bloggers love to pontificate about their various experiences, dreams, and even some knowledge. They make habit of reading each other’s work, commenting on it, critiquing it, and even lambasting it. However, I maintain that all of this information and commentary, some quite interesting and useful, remains relatively self contained in this world of wine bloggers. It does not reach the mainstream of the web-surfing population of the world.
So I ask again, why do choose to read the particular information that you do? I propose that you read what you do because you are finding the answers you seek. It is as simple as that. Unfortunately, the bloggers of the world can have a tendency to lose sight of this basic idea. They get so caught up in their own minds that they forget to ask one fundamental question of their readers, “What do you want to learn?”
The very best way for a writer to know what it is that their readers want is to ask them.
Here is my challenge to you as a writer. Devote your next issue, column, or article to the singular goal of enticing your readers to communicate back to you their learning desires. Engage with your readers. Strive to drive your blog outside of the tiny segment of your industry where it resides.
Here is my challenge to you as a reader. Provide feedback and commentary to the writers that you read. Tell them what you like, dislike, and what you yearn to learn. Make yourself heard.
The more we push ourselves outside of our current worlds, the more strangers we invite into our current worlds, the better our future worlds will be.

Scott Krueger / TheWineHub
One of the pillars of TheWineHub is Wine Tourism. Whether you are a wine maker, or a wine drinker, we all enjoy having discoveries... 
TheWineHub exists to help you with that.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Location Matters - Demand Truth-In-Labeling

 When it comes to wine, there is no ingredient more important than location. The land, air, water and weather where grapes are grown are what make each wine unique. That is why we, as wine enthusiasts, demand that a wine's true origin be clearly identified on its label in order for us to make informed decisions when purchasing and consuming wine. This ensures we know where our wine comes from and protects wine growing regions worldwide.

Your participation is very important. Please use "comments" to sign the petition to protect wine place and origin names:

I hereby sign the Wine Place & Origin Petition. In doing so, I join the signatories of the Joint Declaration to Protect Wine Place & Origin - Champagne, Chianti Classico, Jerez, Napa Valley, Oregon, Paso Robles, Porto, Sonoma County, Tokaj, Victoria, Walla Walla, Washington State and Western Australia - and a growing list of consumers in supporting clear and accurate labeling to better ensure consumers will not be misled by wine labels.
One of the pillars of TheWineHub is Wine Tourism. Whether you are a wine maker, or a wine drinker, we all enjoy having discoveries... 
TheWineHub exists to help you with that.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

COMPAGNONS du BEAUJOLAIS Celebrates in New York by Philip S. Kampe

Created in 1948, the Order of the "COMPAGNONS du BEAUJOLAIS" is an esteemed French organization dedicated to promote the wines from the BEAUJOLAIS region in France. The members of the COMPAGNONS du BEAUJOLAIS are united by their love of Beaujolais wines, the most lively and unpretentious of French libations.

The Order of the "Compagnons du Beaujolais" common objective is to share their love of Beaujolais with a broad audience,in a lively fashion. Dressed in full regalia, the members of the order continue a tradition that is tremendously popular in France, namely creating food and wine events year round.

I was fortunate enough to have been Invited to a recent event at one of New York's Premier French Restaurants, LYON(118 Greenwich Ave.) by one of the Order's members, Grand Conseiller PAMELA WITTMANN.

The evening started with Two Apertifs:
paired with Home Made Pates and Lyon Dip Cheese
(Charcuterie and Cervelle de Canut)

After the APERTIF, we were seated and served Pike Quenelles in Crawfish sauce (Quenelles de Brochet Nantua) paired with DUBOEUF JULIENAS DOMAINE des CAPITANS 2009

The music started and French Chanteuse FLOANNE took the stage and performed her caberet show as we we were being served Braised Lamb Shank, Quinoa and Dry Apricots (Jarret d'Agneau, Quinoa et Abricots Secs) paired with DOMAINE PASSOT Les RAMPAUX MORGAN "DOUBY" 2009 and LOUIS JADOT CHATEAU des JACQUES MOULIN a VENT 2007.

(As a side note,if you have a chance to see FLOANNE perform you will know who the BEST French Chanteuse in America is: Visit her website to hear her recordings, buy CD's(I did) or follow her busy schedule: or

Dessert was Warm Apple Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream (Tarte aux Pommes Fine a la Mode) paired with a 2009 JOSEPH DROUHIN BROUILLY.

Evenings like this make me Happy that I am part French...

One of the pillars of TheWineHub is Wine Tourism. Whether you are a wine maker, or a wine drinker, we all enjoy having discoveries...
TheWineHub exists to help you with that. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


The complete wine community in New York was buzzing with curiosity and anticipation regarding THE CROATIAN WINE INVASION. Wines of Croatia, in partnership with the Association of Winemakers at the Croatian Chamber of Economy, sponsored the First-Ever GRAND PORTFOLIO TASTING OF CROATIAN WINES.

More than 25 producers from CROATIA'S boutique wineries poured their wines, many made with indigenous grapes from the region. A seminar led by Croatian wine authority, CLIFF RAMES, of Wines of Croatia,and celeberity guest speakers, IVICA MATOSEVIC (winemaker and president of Vinistra; JOE CAMPANALE (sommelier and restauranteur) and MLADEN ROZANIC (winemaker)educated the standing-room only audience of wine writers and professionals.
FACTS about Croatian Wines:
+ Greek settlers introduced wine to Croatia in the 5th century B.C.
+ Croatia produces over 700 wines.
+ There are two wine regions, divided into Coastal and Continental wines.
+ There are 13 sub-regions, within these sub-regions are 'Hundreds of Wine Growing Hills'.
+ Thee are two geographically protected appellations.
+ 67% of the wine produced is white.
+ 32% of the wine produced is red.
+ Rose wine counts for 1% of production.
+ Croatia has over 60 grape varieties.
+ Zinfandel was first grown in Croatia, then brought to Italy.
+ Zinfandel is known as Crljenak Kastelanski. Plavac Mali is the offspring of Zinfandel.
+ MALVASIA ISTRIANA and GRASEVINA are Croatia's best known white grape varieties.
+ Current production of Croatian wine exceeds 65 million liters.
+ California winemaker, MILJENKO "MIKE" GRGICH, is from Croatia, and owns a vineyard in Croatia.
I accompanied LUIZ ALBERTO,'The Wine Hubs' resident wine expert at the tasting portion of the event. We walked around discussing the salty composition of many of the whites and the concentrated reds that often showed hints of both Old World and New World Wines.

Distribution of wines into the marketplace began several years ago.

A few suggestions:
+ KORTA KATARINA POSIP 2008 (honey,salt and crisp-white wine)
+ POSTUP 2008 (complex, rich, deep, concentrated--red wine)
+ IVAN KATUNAR ZLAHTINA 2008 (crisp,lemon, honey--white wine)
+ KRAUTHAKER CHARDONNAY ROSENBERG 2008 (full-flavor, rich, crisp--white wine)
+ KORTA KATARINA PLAVAC MALI RUEBEN'S RESERVE 2006 (classic concentrated red wine)

It is worth the investment of a bottle of wine to sample the Great Wines of Croatia.
The vineyards are small and the export production is somewhat limited, but, readily available.

Time to enjoy the new grapes in our vocabulary--MALVASIA ISTRIANA and PLAVAC MALI
One of the pillars of TheWineHub is Wine Tourism. Whether you are a wine maker, or a wine drinker, we all enjoy having discoveries... 
TheWineHub exists to help you with that.

DOMODIMONTI WINES from Le Marche SCORE a BIG HIT at REMI Restaurant by Philip S. Kampe

REMI Restaurant (145 West 53rd Street...NYC) is known throughout the industry as a leader in VENETIAN cooking. The dining atmosphere is like no other. Venetian glass chandeliers are overhead. A bigger-than-life fantasy mural with a scene of Venice's Grand Canal takes over the dining room. Brazilian cherry striped floors complement this homage to Venice.

My homage that evening was to MARCO and LAURA SCAPAGNINI, newlyweds. MARCO is from NAPLES and LAURA is from PALERMO. Married in TAORMINA, Sicily on 30 April the Scapagnini's threw a small Wedding Party for their American friends at REMI restaurant.

The meal consisted of Caprese Salad and Vitello tonnato, paired with an interesting and alluring white wine, PASSERINA DOMODIMONTI "DejaV" 2009.

The pasta course, Rissoto ai carciofi, paired perfectly with another unusual white wine, PECCORINO DOMODIMONTI "La Coste" 2009.

Both wines are from two indigenous grapes from Le Marche, the PASSERINA and PECORINO grape. Both wines are worth purchasing due to their unique, crisp, long-lasting flavor and reasonable price point.

The main course consisted of Bistecca alla Griglia paired with a magnificent red wine, MARCHE IGT DOMODIMONTI "Il Messia" 2006

MARCO and LAURA SCAPAGNINI are in the wine business and have taken residence in Jersey City. MARCO is a Global Wine Brand Manager. LAURA helps MARCO with his business.

When you meet such wonderful people in the wine world--the world I live in--it is an honor to become friends with those who Stand Out...MARCO and LAURA SCAPAGNINI are two of them...


Tuesday, June 14, 2011


TODAY, taste possibly the "WORLDS BEST TEQUILA"...

HERRADURA SELECCION SUPREMA EXTRA ANEJO TEQUILA will be poured for $12 for a two ounce portion. Normally, bars and restaurants would charge up to $80 for the same pour.

TODAY, it is being poured AT COST.

WHERE: STELLA 213 Front Street (Seaport NYC)

TIME: 6:30pm SHARP
Only one bottle will be poured.
Normally it takes 30-45 minutes to finish the bottle.

EVENTS like this take place 2-3 times a month.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

BODEGAS FARINA CELEBRATES founder "Manuel Farinas 70th Birthday" with the Introduction of a New Wine in the Fall by Philip S. Kampe


After spending an afternoon with him and sampling his wines, the 'KING OF TORO WINES' creates wines that not only meet your expectations, but, EXCEED them in every case.

Manuel is considered the founding father of TORO and is responsible for converting the region into a D.O.(1987), as well as modernizing winemaking in TORO.

His adventurous nature has led to many breakthoughs in the industry.

+ He reduced wine alcohol from 17% to 13%, thus increasing the content of fruit and aromas in each bottle.
+ Bodegas Farina was the first Bodega to install fermentation temperature controls in stainless steel ferementation tanks and de-stemmers.
+ Manuel Farina was the first to change the way wines were marketed from being simple country jugs to elegant and balanced bottled wines.
+ He was the first to introduce quality new barriques for ageing the wine.
+ Bodegas Farina was the FIRST Wine to be exported from the region.
+ Bodegas Farina was the first vineyard to attract significant outside investment in the region.
+ Manuel Farina helped move he traditional date of harvest from 12 October to mid-September.
+ Founded in 1942 by Salvadore Farina.
+ Located near the medieval city of TORO.
+ The vineyard is located on the banks of the DOURO river.
+ The location of BODEGAS FARINA is noted for high alritude, stony soils and scarce rainfall.
+ BODEAGAS FARINA uses both stainless steel and American and French oak barrels.
+ BODEGAS FARINA is considered a state-of-the-art winery.
+ BERNARDO, son of Manuel Farina, is the winemaker.
+ ALL wines are made with either TINTA de TORO (Tempranillo) or the MALVASIA grape.
The WINES that I sampled:
+ DAMA de TORO MALVACIA 2010 $10.99
This one of a kind Malvasia (100 year old vines), is soft on the palate with notes of peach, green apple and spice coupled with acidity and minerality. A true bargain!
+ PEROMATO 2010 $9.99
This 12.5% tempranillo is a fruity, full-bodied, juicy wine that has a long finish. It is the PERFECT food wine for SIMPLE foods like pizza, hamburger or tacos, as well
as COMPLEX foods like steak or lamb.
+ DAMA de TORO TEMPRANILLO 2010 $10.99
Possibly the BEST wine for $10.99 in the country. Concentrated raspberry and cherry notes dominate this unique, soft, fruit-driven wine.
+ DAMA de TORO CRIANZA 2005 $16.99
Spice, pepper and dark fruit dominate this 8 month barrel aged wine made from 30-60 year old vines. This is a PERFECT wine for special occassions or that special gift.
Dama de Toro Crianza 2005 is elegant,subtle, soft and balanced on the palate.
+GRAN DAMA de TORO 2006 $44.99
This is "One of the Great Wines of the World". Tastes like a $100 bottle, at less than half the price. Complex, intense fruit flavors, vanilla, tobacco and violets dominate the palate. Gran Dama de Toro 2006 is the GRAND DAME of Bodegas Farina wines. A MUST BUY!
MANUEL FARINA turns "70" on December 21st.
Prior to MANUELS 70th Birthday, NICOLA THORNTON, Export Manager, has promised that a "New Wine' in honor of his MANUELS Birthday will be released.



One of the pillars of TheWineHub is Wine Tourism. Whether you are a wine maker, or a wine drinker, we all enjoy having discoveries...
TheWineHub exists to help you with that.

How Hungarian Cabernet Franc Changed My Life by Philip S. Kampe

My Dad was known to his friends as ‘Cab Franc.’ You see, his name was really Joseph and all of his social time with visiting frien...