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12.29.2006

The Corporation Behind Your Favorite Vineyard

Despite the gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair by liberals and conservatives alike, the world is becoming globalized. And what this really means is that more and more aspects of everyone's lives are operating according to market forces and dynamics. Among other thing, this has meant changes in the wine industry -- many of which have been good for wine lovers everywhere -- not the least of which has been the increased access to many wines that heretofore have been impossible to get.

Of course there's a downside as well, though I don't think so much of one as a lot of people like to imagine. I don't know if there's a word for what I am, but I am certainly a believer in progress and change: a lot of it's gonna happen whether we like it or not.

Which is pretty much how I feel about learning how many of the worlds top vineyard sites are increasingly owned by corporations. Adam Feil writes a very interesting article this week on Jancis Robinson's web site about the business of vineyard investment on a grand scale. Some of you may know that financial services giant AXA owns several major Châteaux including Pichon Longueville in Bordeaux, but there are dozens of other companies, many of them very large on the hunt for bargains in the wine world, of which, these days, there are many.

Regardless of how you feel about such a turn in global economics, the article is an enlightening one.

Check it out.

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The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.