I run a small wine import business. Well “run” is the wrong word actually. I bought the business but I haven’t really done much with it yet. Perhaps you could say that I “walk” the business rather than “run” it. But one focus of my business plan is clear. I import wines from small producers only. None of the corporate stuff that you find at Selver. So, one would assume that I favor family owned wineries over ones that are corporate controlled. And I do.
But Jancis Robinson offers an interesting post today on whether family run wine making actually is better over all. She points out that in many cases being part of a family can be a pain in the neck, while corporations often maintain a commitment to the “long term”. Here is the link.
Jancis is a leading expert on the wine industry and I would be foolish to quarrel with her. And it is fun to read her comments about the ups and downs of wine making at the top end of the business. But I think she neglects to mention what corporate control means most of the time for wine making. BORING. Most often, corporations target the middle ranges of the market where they can sell at high volume and take advantage of economies of scale. These wines are drinkable, but have no real personality. End of story for me.
FOLLOW - Eric Asimov offers an interesting piece about 2008 syrahs that he recently tasted from Crozes-Hermitage in the Rhone Valley and found some — but not all — of these to be boring as well. Here is a link to his article with some recommendations.