The 2019 Slow Wine Guide arrived in San Francisco on Monday, March 4th, for the Guide’s first stop on a tour of the US that included Portland, Denver, New York and Boston. With more than 100 wineries from Italy and California participating, the tour drew a record number of tasters reflecting the growing interest in wineries whose values and practices are aligned with Slow Wine.
The Slow Wine Guide marks ten years of publication in 2020. This is the second year California wineries have been included with myself as senior editor and Oregon wineries made their debut this year led by Michael Alberty. The addition of urban and negociant wineries to the California and Oregon guides differentiates them from the Italian and Slovenian listings.
Coordinating Editor for North America Jeremy Parzen points out, “Some of the best wines produced in California today are made by progressive winemakers who buy all of the fruit they vinify.” Los Alamos-based A Tribute to Grace winemaker Angela Osborne and San Francisco-based Bryan Harrington of Harrington wines are two prime examples of urban winemakers at the top of their game.
The Guide lists wineries by city, and, in addition to the audit that summarizes vineyard practices, it now includes figures on each estate’s acreage under vine, the total number of bottles produced annually and for each wine tasted, along with a suggested retail price for each wine.
According to Slow Wine Editor Giancarlo Gariglio, “The winery visits [by our field editors] are the key. They’re what sets Slow Wine apart from other guides. We’ve published the Italian guide for almost ten years now and, over the last two years, we’ve applied those best practices to the addition of California and Oregon wineries.”
Slow Wine acknowledges wineries with three different awards: the Snail, Bottle and Coin. Individual wines are designated by tasters with the Slow Wine Prizes of “Great” (highlighted in orange entries) for the top bottles and “Everyday” (highlighted in light blue entries) for excellent value under $30.
To determine the stops for the 2019 tour, Gariglio polled participating producers who asked for Denver and Boston as “good markets to cultivate with strong Slow Food nation communities.” “This is out most ambitious tour to date,” he said. “The US is by far our most important market. Asia knows the larger brands but, for these wineries, Asia is like the US market 30 years ago.”
Download your free copy of the 2019 Slow Wine Guide at this link.