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Lauren Barnard
Lauren Barnard
Member Since 2012
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Connecting U.S. wine drinkers to South African wine through cultural stories behind the brands. It's a perfect wine story for Earth Day. Check out our interview with Heritage Link Brands founder Selena Cuffe.

In South Africa, wine production reflects the dichotomy of a time rich in opportunity yet troubled with social and economic struggle. The struggling tides of Apartheid prevented much of the wine industry’s growth and fostered a demoralized work force. As it broke apart in the 1990’s, Fair Trade wine became one such avenue to invigorate the wine market and communities among them.

First impressions are everything, and wine on tap is still on a first impression basis for many. As an emerging market –one battling the stigma of 1970s bad wine kegging practices and poorly boxed white zinfandel, no less—wine on tap is still on the upward climb to become embraced as a wine drinking norm. Notwithstanding good intentions, good first impressions don’t always happen, usually due to one or another of a few common serving mishaps. Lauren Barnard offers some helpful tips for restaurants and others serving wine on tap.

In the crowded and complex landscape of the wine marketplace, some wineries are choosing to make traditional production methods their point of differentiation. The Benziger family did just this by becoming one of today’s leading Biodynamic® wine producers. But rather than holding this differentiator close, they are helping the Biodynamic wine movement grow—to the point where they give their secrets away to their competitors in hopes they, too, will adopt Biodynamic practices. Read their story.

When Henry and Holly Wendt bought the Wine Creek Ranch in Healdsburg, CA in 1981, they had high hopes of bringing the terroir of Dry Creek Valley into their wines. What they didn’t expect to discover was that the estate’s Wine Creek―historically home to native salmon―no longer had any salmon left in it. Already avid conversationalists, the Wendts committed then and there to restoring the land and reversing the destructive farming practices in Dry Creek Valley by adopting a Biodynamic® approach to their grape production. Read their story.

Just when you thought you had figured out how to define organic and how to even notice when it popped up on a wine label, an even more organic wine has hit the market: biodynamic wine. Is this another passing trend?

It's a craft nearly as old as the grape itself. But in today's world, is winemaking a sustainable practice? Lauren Barnard looks at some of the common practices in winemaking today and considers them in light of sustaining the grape & wine ecosystem for a long time to come.