KY Vineyard Certified as US’ First Commercial Vineyard

vineyard 2014

Recently the US Department of the Interior certified First Vineyard & Winery, incorporated in Kentucky in 1799, as the first commercial vineyard and winery in the US, adding it to the National Register of Historic Places.  To learn more about First Vineyard’s historical significance and the certification process, VINE TALK interviewed owner Tom Beall. VT:…

The Origin of Champagne


Wine has been made in the Champagne region since Roman times, but the sparkling white wine we know today was not developed until centuries later. Here’s how the wine we know and love today—which has become a fixture at holidays and special celebrations—came to be… Dom Pérignon did not invent sparkling Champagne; rather, its “fizzy…

Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir grape courtesty of the Oregon Wine Board

If you’re unfamiliar with Oregon Pinot Noirs, it can be tempting to approach them with California in mind—and in fact, there are similarities. Both California and Oregon are younger Pinot-producing regions where innovative winemakers have found their stride, and both states now produce not only some of the best examples of Pinot Noir, but the…

An Overview of the Australian Wine Industry


Australia is one of the world’s most prolific wine-producing nations, exporting more than 400 million liters per year.  Britain and the United States are major importers, but many other countries, including India and countries in South Asia, also import Australian wines.  Australians consume more than 600 million bottles of their own wine annually. There are…

An Introduction to Italian Wine Classifications


Currently Italy’s wine classification system has four categories. In descending “quality” order they are: DOCG (e.g. Controlled and Guaranteed Origin Denomination), DOC (Controlled Origin Denomination), IGT (Protected Geographic Indication), and vino da tavola (table wine). On August 1, 2009, new EU regulations went into effect that created a three tiered “quality structure” for wines, and…

Riesling Sweetness Scale

Wine Expert Stephanie Carraway discusses a new “sweetness” scale US Riesling producers have introduced to help consumers find Rieslings that suit their tastes — from dry to sweet. For information on the episode featuring Finger Lakes Rieslings, click Episode Guide: Ranking Rieslings from the Finger Lakes.



Chianti, a red wine produced in the heart of Tuscany, Italy, is a wine with a complicated history. Once upon a time “Chianti” signified the white wines of the area. A couple hundred years later it had become red, and winemakers of the area were starting their slow march towards producing the wine we drink…

Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

Sonoma Coast is an AVA that encompasses vineyards that run along the coastline of the Pacific Ocean within the larger region of Sonoma County. Because the vineyards that grow in this area are closest to the ocean, they’re also the coolest and get the most moisture from the fog that rolls in off the ocean….

Barossa Shiraz


  Whether you call it Shiraz or Syrah (as it is known in some regions), it’s a big, bold wine. Shiraz is known for its spice and for big flavors. It’s a grape that, although it has always been one of the more popular varietals has not yet had its moment in the spotlight. Shiraz…

The Varietals and Sub Regions of Bordeaux


Bordeaux is perhaps the most famous and prodigious wine region in the world. The five varietals of Bordeaux are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec. For a long time there was a sixth varietal, Carménère, and it is still grown in small amounts in Bordeaux, but the grape has fallen out of favor…