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  • Dry Farmed Wines

    Has anyone had any luck ordering this type of wine at Resturants? If so, what's the right term to ask? I have no luck at Whole Foods, wine stores, etc. seems like I'm using the wrong verbiage.


    Nikkayla
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  • #2
    I just heard about them myself via a Facebook ad so I'm guessing it's all very new and the rest of them haven't caught up yet. I know that dry-farmed is supposed to be done without irrigation so maybe putting it that way to the sales staff will help.

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    • #3
      We just got back from a trip to Paso Robles, a newish wine area of CA that is heavily impacted by low rainfall anyway. As we drove backroads through the vineyards, we saw a number that were dry-farmed. You can tell because they are spaced farther apart, are not trellised (each vine is a trunk with a canopy of vines that go out in all directions), and there is no evidence of any sort of dripline. The trick I found was not just finding dry-farmed but also organic and where they don't add a bunch of crap to the wine. I have read that Napa/Somona wines are rarely dry-farmed as this affects production. Real estate is so expensive there that yield may be of more concern to the growers. But that is purely supposition on my part.

      Frog's Leap is the only CA wine that meets these criteria, that I know of so far. I haven't had a lot of time to investigate dry-farmed wines but I would imagine more are out there. Apparently, from what I've read, these kinds of wines are more common from Spain, Italy, Australia, maybe New Zealand, than they are from U.S. and France. I also heard that some Washington and Oregon wines are dry-farmed (because they get plenty of rainfall anyway), but they may not be organic or low in additives.

      I don't know where you are, but here in CA we have a fantastic beverage store called Total Wines and More. Their staff is really, really knowledgeable, more than any place I've shopped before. Trader Joe's can sometimes have a very knowledgeable wine person, but I find this varies per location. I would really doubt that restaurants know anything like this, since its a fairly new consumer thing to look for.

      Since you have started this thread, I will update it with any other wine brands I find that are dry-farmed, and ideally also organic and low-additive.

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      • #4
        as somebody who is not on facebook, but worked for many years as a sommelier and now sells wine for a wholesaler, please let me know why you want dry-farmed wines? what is the buzz?

        personally i understand where and why it's done (much of what primalpum is suggesting is totally wrong), but am unclear on why you as a consumer are seeking out this kind of wine?

        paso robles became an ava in the early 1980s and wineries like justin, wild horse and treana were already putting out great wines.

        spacing of vines and types of trellising don't necessarily indicate irrigation practices - more to do with varietal, soils, elevation and sun exposure.

        yakima valley in washington is desert dry -- less rain than arizona, in fact - so doesn't get "plenty of rain".

        dry-farming in italy is exceedingly rare, but does happen in some regions of spain. australia has been in a tragic drought for YEARS, so almost nobody can dry-farm there. A VERY few NZ producers dry-farm, but that depends on what part of NZ.

        higher -end wines work with lower yields of grapes, but that is most frequently done by pruning fruit early in the season.

        i could write many paragraphs here, but will end by saying you'd need to be in a restaurant with an amazing wine program for the waitstaff to know about the farming practices behind each bottle. are you eating at places that have an actual sommelier doing the wine program, training the staff and working the floor each dinner service? as for the jamokes at total wine? they are trained to steer you into buying their house brands (which DO NOT say total wine on the label) which are bulk wines made for very short money and sold for insane mark-ups at the store. it's how they afford to sell mass-market wines so cheaply -- those are loss-leaders.

        am happy to help if i understood your question more.
        As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

        – Ernest Hemingway

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        • #5
          Wow. Okay. Totally wrong.

          Dry farmed wine is a topic Mark covered in a recent blog post. It's not that they are the only good wines, but that dry-farmed is a technique for growing wine. (And yes, Yakima in WA is dry, but Williamette Valley is not so dry and is a region I am more familiar with)

          I'm not just making shit up. I followed Mark's post on why he gave up alcohol and why he is partaking in that particular wine club. The rest is my observations as a traveler and as someone who enjoys wine. Clearly I need to leave this to the professional sommelier.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by primalplum923 View Post
            Wow. Okay. Totally wrong.

            Dry farmed wine is a topic Mark covered in a recent blog post. It's not that they are the only good wines, but that dry-farmed is a technique for growing wine. (And yes, Yakima in WA is dry, but Williamette Valley is not so dry and is a region I am more familiar with)

            I'm not just making shit up. I followed Mark's post on why he gave up alcohol and why he is partaking in that particular wine club. The rest is my observations as a traveler and as someone who enjoys wine. Clearly I need to leave this to the professional sommelier.
            i didn't mean to offend you and sorry if i came off as pedantic. op did not mention mark's blog, so i went down a different rabbit hole. (have also had trouble logging in here last few days.) but yeah, a lot of what you said was wrong. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
            As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

            – Ernest Hemingway

            Comment

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