On Sunday, August 11, 2019, Wine for Change featured Rachel Miers of Rachel Farah Selections. Rachel conducted an education and tasting of several wines she imports from Portugal and distributes in the United States. Rachel shared that in a small country the size of Kentucky, Portugal has roughly the same amount of land dedicated to wine growing as the United States and is home to over 250 indigenous grape varietals. It is also home to the very first demarcated wine region in the world: the majestic Douro Valley. On Sunday, Rachel poured the following wines from her portfolio:
2018 Vinho Verde from Cruzeiro produced on a 100+ year old farm, this Vinho Verde is a blend of grapes indigenous to the rain-soaked northern region of Portugal (Varietals: Loureiro, Arinto and Trajadura: $15)
Bruto from Vadio, a sparkling white wine made in the Champagne method from wine aged in a solera style system like sherry, giving it a touch of oxidation to deepen its golden hue and create delicious hazelnut notes on the palate. The husband and wife team at Vadio are revitalizing wine production in their region and farming organically. (Varietals: 70% Bical, 20% Baga, 10% Cercial: $30)
2014 Vadio Tinto containing 100% Baga varietal from 30 year old vines, grown in clay and limestone soils, and aged in French oak. Notes of fresh cranberries and mint. (100% Baga; $27)
2016 Apelido Red wine with deep color, red berries, and a vegetal note. Fermented with its native yeast in stainless steel (Varietals: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Trincadeira, Aragones; $23)
A tawny port from Quinta de la Rosa
A luscious organic olive oil from Quinta do Romeu, a family run organic farm established in 1874 in the Trás-os-Montes region in north east Portugal (Price; $19)
If you missed Sunday’s event, you can read about Rachel’s one-woman-show on her website at www.rachelfarah.com. And be sure to follow her on Instagram to keep up with her future events. In fact, Rachel will be at the following events in the next week:
Wednesday, August 14 from 6 - 9 p.m. for an Olive Oil and Port pop-up at Prima Materia located in Temescal Alley, 482 #B 49th Street in Oakland
Wednesday, August 21 from 6:30 - 8 p.m. for Portuguese Wine School at DecantSF in San Francisco’s SOMA. Tickets are $30 and are available for purchase here.
Our topic for the event was Climate Change and its impact on the wine industry and its workers, but we were so mesmerized by Rachel’s wines that we didn’t have much time for climate chat. Please read up on the effects climate change is having on the wine industry - everything from rising temperatures impacting the pace and quality of ripening, changing optimal varietals in each region, stronger storms threatening crop yields, and drought, fires and flooding threatening not only wine production, but worker safety and security. Here are a few recent sources:
Climate Change: Time to Act - Decanter, June 2, 2019
Climate Change is Reshaping Wine as We Know It - Washington Post, June 7, 2019
When Will California Become Too Hot to Grow Wine Grapes - SF Chronicle, July 19, 2019
Napa County has taken a Decade to Create a Climate Action Plan- North Bay Business Journal, July 10, 2018
Climate Change and Wine - Wine Enthusiast Podcast Episode 4:6, November 7, 2018
Please support political candidates who believe in science and the climate crisis and who will take steps immediately to protect the environment and invest in renewable energy. We support Al Gore’s Climate Reality and the Natural Resources Defense Council which “works to safeguard the earth - its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends,” but please use the comments below to offer your suggestions for other organizations to support.
Rachel graciously donated a portion of her proceeds from Sunday’s Wine for Change event to the Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation, which helps support winery workers displaced by recent wild fires and flooding. Thank you, Rachel! Reader: you, too, can be a hero. Please consider a donation at http://www.scggf.org.
To close the event, we shared a bottle of Graham’s 30 Year Old Tawny Port paired with chocolate truffles from Casa de Chocolates - a lovely Latina-owned chocolate shop in Berkeley. Julie discovered this particular port on her trip to Porto, Portugal last year. She tasted a flight of aged tawny ports paired with chocolate truffles and wanted to share her favorite with the group.
We hope you will take the opportunity to discover Portuguese wines, support the featured woman-owned businesses, and support climate action.