Monday, September 7, 2009

Zester Daily

I've begun contributing to Zester Daily, a new website about food and wine. Created by a team led by Corie Brown, a former writer and editor for the Los Angeles Times, Zester Daily features an array of talented and illustrious writers (and me) who examine food and drinks from a wide range of perspectives, from cooking and dining to farming, politics, health and the environment.

The site focuses more on food than it does on wine, with articles from well-known authors such as Clifford A. Wright, Liz Pearson, Martha Rose Shulman, Tim Fischer and Nancy Harmon Jenkins. However, you'll also find wine-related articles by writers like Elin McCoy, wine and spirits columnist for Bloomberg News and author of The Emperor of Wine, and Patrick Comiskey, my colleague at Wine & Spirits magazine and a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times, Bon Appétit and other publications.

I've only written one article so far, about the challenges of practicing organic and biodynamic viticulture in Champagne. Champagne probably won't be the primary topic of my articles on Zester Daily, however, as I'll also be writing about wines from other regions, as well as about tea, sake and other delicious things that interest me.


Jennifer Fluteau said...

Hi Peter, enjoyed reading your well-written article on the website Zester Daily. One thing no one ever points out is the cost to the environnement that certain practices in organic farmering entail. For example, in our (non-organic) vigneyards we decided to stop using chemical weed killers in favor of mechanical plowing. Instead of going into the vineyards and spraying just one time, we now plow several times throughout the season, thus consuming a greater amount of diesal fuel and emitting more CO2. The point is that often we must make a choice and there are compromises which must be made. Another thing which no one likes to mention is that the copper used for mildiou treatments is admittedly a natural product, but one which would not be found naturally in a vineyard, and the sometimes excessive use of copper necessary in combatting disease (mildew) can lead to higher levels of residue left in the earth.
Nothing is ever simple, as you mentionned!

john nagorcka said...

hello Peter
I always enjoy your writing but this one left me a little flat.There are many successful biodynamic vignerons in champagne meeting the challanges of the climate without resorting to synthetics and with top quality product as a result-a word or two from some of them might have balanced things a little.
re ploughing vs herbicides the immediate carbon balance seems as your first commenter suggests however if you consider soil sequestered carbon (diminishing to close to zero using herbicides or increasing by 100 tonnes/acre/year for around 7 years under effective biodynamic manangement) its a no brainer.
john nagorcka
hochkirch wines,australia

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