California’s Drought & Wine Country

A close-up of damaged grape vines in Michael Vandborg’s drought stricken vineyard in the Lamont farming community in southeastern Joaquin Valley in Kern County, CA on Feb. 26, 2014. USDA photo by David Kosling.

It’s the middle of March, and Californians from San Francisco to San Diego are enjoying glorious amounts of weather worthy of a coastline cruise in a convertible.  Rosé weather during Thanksgiving weekend?  Yes!  Beach day in December?  That’s right.  Our warm weather induces eye-rolls from our friends out East, who have been literally buried under record-breaking amounts of snow until recently. But the sunshine comes with a price – California is entering our 4th year of drought, the worst we’ve had in over a century, causing havoc and economic hardship in the agriculture sector.

The drought has given winemakers all over California some cause for concern, due to the potential damage that the lack of water can cause to the vines, should the vines dry up completely.  Last year, vineyard owners had to prune and harvest sooner than usual, as the grapes ripened faster due to the copious amount of sun they were receiving.  Many vintners have turned to dry-farming, in the face of a growing water shortage, but some say this changes the character and taste of the grape dramatically.  And, less water used can mean less yield from the vines, in turn decreasing overall wine production.  Wine shortage, people.  It could happen.

The silver lining in all of this?  The 2014 vintage could turn out to be a spectacular one.  Grapes are fairly drought resistant, and the stress of getting less water means smaller berries with more concentrated sugar & flavors.  This may mean higher quality wine with greater aging possibility.  Vintages during drought years, such as 2012 and 2013, garnered better rankings in publications such as Wine Advocate, than rainier years like 2011.  What do you predict for the 2014 vintage, and 2015 harvest?  Share your thoughts in our comments section.

Here are a few Vinfolio selections from drought years 2012 & 2013:

2013 Aubert – Chardonnay Eastside Vineyard  (98-100 pts, Wine Advocate)

2012 Schrader – Cabernet Sauvignon (LPB) Las Piedras Vineyard (96-98 pts, Wine Advocate)

2012 Orin Swift – Papillon (93 points, Wine Advocate)

2012 Arietta – H Block Hudson Vineyard (92-94 pts, International Wine Cellar)

How-To Guide For Selling Your Wine Collection – Part 1: Where?

This is the first in a two part series on selling all or part of your wine collection. This installment covers choosing the correct avenue for selling your wine. Stay tuned for our next installment as we walk through all the tips and gotchas for rebalancing your collection. 

Why Sell?

As a collector, you may have a number of bottles in your cellar that you are looking to part with. It could be that the bottles are getting late in their drink date, you have too much wine to ever drink, or your tastes have changed and you want to rebalance your collection. If you’re looking to keep to the New Year resolution of getting your cellar in shape, or perhaps it’s because you may be moving and will have less room for your wines, or reaching retirement, or would like cash for a child’s college fund, here is a guide to nudge you in the right direction for selling your collection. We are going to provide a multi step guide on the different ways you can sell parts or all of your wine collection.

Continue reading How-To Guide For Selling Your Wine Collection – Part 1: Where?

Perfect Gifts For Wine Lovers

The holidays have arrived and it’s that time of the year when you have to start thinking about gift giving. Still don’t know what to give your friend that’s a wine lover or collector? Here are some great suggestions to get you started.   




As a wine gift, there’s nothing like the simplest gift of them all: a beautiful bottle of wine. Vinfolio is here to recommend the ideal wine for your friends, whether they be collectors, connoisseurs, or just someone who occasionally enjoys a fine wine. This year’s wine gift guide offers suggestions for each of one of them. Give them a wine from one of our collections and you’ll make an outstanding impression at your next holiday soirée.

Continue reading Perfect Gifts For Wine Lovers