VINE TALK 2012 Halloween Costume Contest Winner

Check out the winner of the 2012 VINE TALK Halloween Costume Contest — The Devil Made Me Do It! Congratulations to our winner and thanks to everyone who participated in the contest!    

The Canadian Wine Industry

okanagan valley vineyards  penticton british columbia

Although early European settlers, and possibly even the Vikings, attempted to make wine using wild native grapes, Canada’s commercial wine industry has been slow to develop. Canada’s production of wine is small by world standards as its climate, characterized by severe winters, spring frosts, and a short growing season, are not conducive to large-scale winemaking….

How Sparkling Wine Is Made


The bubbles that make sparkling wine so attractive are a natural byproduct of the fermentation process. When grape juice is fermented, the sugar is converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide gas. If the gas cannot escape because the wine is in a sealed tank or bottle, it remains dissolved in the wine—and then when the…

Why Are Ships Christened with Wine?

Marine tradition

Wine has been a part of many cultural traditions for thousands of years. One familiar tradition is the smashing of a bottle of Champagne against the bow of a ship as part of a ship christening ceremony. But what is the origin of this tradition?  For thousands of years, many cultures have christened their ships,…

340-Year-Old Tree Made into Wine Barrels

In 2005, the Bordeaux barrel-maker Tonnellerie Sylvain (Sylvain Cooperage) paid a record-breaking 37,790 euros for a 340-year-old oak tree auctioned by the French government. The tree was the last of the oldest oaks from the Morat Grove of the ancient Tronçais forest. It had been planted during the reign of Louis XIV at the direction…

All About Cork

Cork-Tree, cork oak

Ever wonder where cork comes from or when it was first used to seal wine? Here’s some interesting information we learned from the Portuguese Cork Association (APCOR). What is cork? Cork is the bark of the cork oak (Quercus suber L), a tree that grows in Mediterranean regions such as Spain, Italy, France, Morocco, Algeria…

The Mexican Wine Industry

iStock_000019252016Small mexican vineyard parras de la fuente

Although most think of Mexico as the land of tequila, Mexico’s wine industry is actually the oldest in the New World. It got its start in 1521, one year after the Spanish invasion, when conquistadors started planting vines. Then, in 1524, Hernán Cortés, the governor of New Spain (Mexico), decreed that each Spanish settler who had…


iStock_000019594934Small - mead

Mead (“honey wine”) is believed by many historians to be the oldest fermented beverage, dating back to about 8,000 B.C. It was enjoyed by ancient people in Europe, Africa and Asia, and mentions of it can be found in ancient myths, folktales, hymns and sacred texts from around the world. To the ancients, mead was…

US$172,000 “Bottle” of Wine

Penfolds is releasing a limited edition glass ampoule containing its rare 2004 Kalimna Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon. Each ampoule contains the equivalent of one bottle of wine (750ml) and costs approximately US$172,000. According to Penfolds, the vessel is a “beautiful objet d’art designed to store wine in an ideal environment.” The handblown ampoule is securely…

Founding Fathers Wine Fun Facts

iStock_000016655863Small old wine bottles

Several of the United States’ Founding Fathers were fond of wine. Here are some fun facts on their interests from Thomas Jefferson on Wine by John Hailman. George Washington was particularly fond of Madeira. He ordered Madeira directly by the barrel straight from the best producers on the island. He also ordered vine cuttings from…