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Inside Wine (Mar 11th, 2019)

1. Residents in the Central Coast region of California are pushing back against Harvard University’s vineyard development plans. At the crux of the debate is Harvard’s proposal to build three large reservoirs in a region that already struggles with water scarcity. Locals — many of whom dry farm — are worried about how Harvard will affect the availability of necessary groundwater. After an outcry from locals, the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission has ordered a new review of the environmental impact of the university’s proposal. — THE CRIMSON

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2. A number of wine and spirits brands are working on eliminating gender stereotyping in their marketing and advertising. UK advertising groups the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) are actively creating guidelines, which they will release on June 14. Smirnoff and Skyy vodka are currently running empowerment-centric campaigns, while Diageo and Bacardi are working to create better equality within the workplace. Many of these initiatives stem from the #MeToo movement and backlash against misguided product launches, such as “Jane Walker." — THE SPIRITS BUSINESS

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3. The release of a $40,000-per-bottle Royal Tokaji, Tokaji Essencia 2008, makes this wine one of the most expensive available today. Only about 18 of these magnums will hit the market. The process for making Essencia is both labor and time intensive. About 400 pounds of botrytis-affected grapes are required for a single 1.5L bottle and fermentation can take up to 8 years. — FORTUNE

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4. Whether someone is a casual drinker or a serious collector, crowdsourcing and social media often affect drinkers’ choices. Social media is a driving factor; JNSQ Rosé saw its number of followers double after Kim Kardashian West posted a picture of the bottle in her Instagram stories, and both sommeliers and wine aficionados alike turn to Rajat Parr’s account for drinking inspiration. But it’s not all about celebrities: crowdsourcing platforms like Vivino and Cellartracker rely on users to elevate a wine’s popularity. — WALL STREET JOURNAL (paywall)

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5. Austria’s 2018 harvest, which was one of the earliest on record, resulted in some very promising wines, along with rather high yields. However, an abundance of botrytis in lower Austria resulted in a dearth of Riesling. — MEININGER’S

6. Winemakers employ a range of techniques to achieve their desired shade of pink for their rosé wines. While varietal selection and harvest times come partially into play, others employ practices in the winery, such as minimizing oxygen contact, to impart the perfect hue. — SEVENFIFTY DAILY

7. According to research by Wines of Great Britain, vineyard acreage has tripled since 2000. 1.6 million vines were planted last year (a 13% increase) and an estimated 2 million vines will be cultivated in 2019. — WINEGB

8. Beaujolais’ winemakers, especially those working organically, worry that climate change will continue to cause problems in the vineyards and drive up the price of grapes. — HARPERS

9. Although Bon Appetit’s editor Amanda Shapiro claims she didn’t have an eating agenda on a recent trip to Amsterdam, she was highly impressed with everything she ate and drank at the city’s natural-leaning wine bars. — BON APPETIT

10. Watch the first ten minutes of Al Gore’s keynote speech at last week’s Climate Change Conference in Porto. He said we've quadrupled the population in the last 100 years and coupled with rapidly evolving technologies, we are dramatically changing the ecosystem.  — VDIGITAL

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Inside Wine is written and curated by Shana Clarke. Shana is a freelance journalist and regularly contributes to a variety of consumer and trade publications, including Wine Enthusiast, Playboy, HuffPost, USA Today’s Eat Sip Trip, and SevenFifty Daily, among others. Follow her on Instagram at @ShanaSpeaksWine and see more of her work on www.shanaspeakswine.com.

Editing team: Kim Lyons (managing editor at Inside, a Pittsburgh-based journalist with recent bylines in the NYTimes and Columbia Journalism Review.) and Susmita Baral (senior editor at Inside, recent bylines in NatGeo, Teen Vogue, and Quartz. Runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram).

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