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An article on the NBC Bay Area website detailing the weather issues up in Napa and Sonoma this year was apparently written without acutally consulting people IN Napa and Sonoma. The writer, Chris Roberts, makes all sorts of wild claims regarding 2011 vintage pricing, grape quality, wine quality, and the panic level of California vintners. Titled "2011 A Very Bad Year for Wine", the article starts out with this gem: "Years from now at some fancy wine shop, don't expect to pay top dollar for the 2011 vintage. If there is any for sale."
Really? So apparently because of the weather (record rainfall and cold spells), there will be NO 2011 vintage from Napa and Sonoma? Seriously? It's precisely this kind of idiotic reporting that the average wine drinker reads and then freaks out about. They tell their friends, who pass it along until we retailers hear something about 2011's wines being made of ground up tree bark and babies. At this point, those of us in the know invariably drink more (not a good thing) and sigh, while asking "where does this shit come from?".
After you click on that link, go read the comments down below, my favorite is from Mike DeLoach, he states:
"Wow! Look at that headline! NBC Bay Area got it completely wrong - and not the first time I've seen this happen when the general media cover this issue.
It may be a bad year for GRAPE TONNAGE because of problems with the "set", or bloom, but not for GRAPE QUALITY and certainly not for WINE, as the headline states.
Lower tonnage can often mean better quality - and HIGHER PRICES on the shelf because of the shortage of grapes - NOT lower prices as this article states.
There is no crystal ball on the crush - we won't know until the harvest is over and wine is in the cellar.
The writer Chris Roberts mis-translates and misunderstands the original Press Democrat article from which this was culled. Next time give me - or anyone else up here - a phone call or email!"
He hit the nail on the head in his analysis, and basically showed the article to be nothing more than a sensationalistic attempt at grabbing some readers. I utterly despise this kind of writing, be it wine or otherwise. There is no point to writing a piece like this, that does nothing to educate, inform, or enlighten readers especially those seeking out wine news.