duminică, aprilie 30
miercuri, aprilie 26
Winery Opts for Price Transparency
An Oregon winery is taking traceability to a new level, by explaining its costs to the consumer.
By Claire Adamson | Posted Friday, 03-Mar-2017
No concept in the American dining room has quite hit so hard in the last decade or so as farm-to-table.
Restaurants have fallen over themselves to build relationships with local farmers, so they can let diners know the exact latitude and longitude where their chicken was raised, and that no middlemen got rich off of the transaction.
This concept of farm-to-table is slowly infiltrating the wine world, with smaller producers reaching cult-like status and natural wines becoming a fixture on wine lists. However, for Oregon winemaker Mark Tarlov, this conversion isn't happening nearly quickly enough.
"Wine is never talked about in this farm-to-table conversation." Tarlov says. His newest venture, Alit, seeks to change that, and is offering wines directly to customers over the internet, with the production cost of each bottle spelled out in full.
Alit was founded in 2015, when Tarlov became interested in how this farm-to-table movement could translate to distribution. "I thought: 'Let's find a way to align all aspects of what we do, and if we're going to farm organically and biodynamically, then we need to find an organic sales channel for the wine.'"
That organic sales channel was the internet. Tarlov says: "The internet makes many things possible but the greatest one is to exchange information directly between the producer and the consumer."
Alit's pricing is completely transparent, showing the costs involved in making a bottle of wine – the fruit, the staff, the oak, and the profit. Alit has calculated that with the added costs of national- and state-level distribution, and the retail store's profit margin, the wine, a Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, should cost around $65. Instead, Alit is offering packs of three for $100, making the cost per bottle just $27.45, plus shipping.
Tarlov is also looking outside the US for wine, and has begun working with a young couple in France, Richard and Veronique Petit, to offer a grower Champagne to his customers. "To be able to offer grand cru Champagne at $27.45 a bottle is pretty amazing. And we can do it because we're employing the same direct-to-consumer technique that we do with the Pinot."
The eventual aim is to offer a different wine each quarter to go alongside the Oregon Pinot Noir. So far, Alit has producers lined up from New Zealand, Australia and the Loire Valley. The quantities Alit are buying aren't large, but Tarlov sees it as an opportunity for these small producers to find a new market for their wines, and become a part of something bigger.
"Eventually [the wine will] be part of a portfolio of producers, and we could at some point have a tasting with a Champagne person and a New Zealand person and a Rhône Valley person and an Oregonian and talk about how we grow wine, how we make wine, and how we share wine."
Alit is currently only working with producers that farm their grapes organically, and many are biodynamic as well. For Tarlov, this is less about being "politically correct" and more about the resultant wines. "The convenient truth is that wines made through the natural and dynamic process that nature gives us, both in terms of the grapes and the microbial population in organically farmed soils, just tastes better."
The Oregon Pinot Noir is also made from biodynamically farmed grapes; Tarlov is a believer in the much bandied-about idea of non-intervention in the vineyard. "One of the scientists once said: 'Nature is much more interested in deliciousness than you are, because their survival depends on it.' For you, it's just a matter of money. But if these plants can't produce grapes that are really attractive to birds, they're out of business."
The Alit website launched in December 2016 and, all in all, Tarlov is happy with the way the market has responded. "The last month or so, just before the holidays, we sold a lot of wine. It's been extremely gratifying, especially because we've only done it with journalism – we haven't done any advertising. We don't have the normal third party word of mouth."
Alit's customer base is much younger than for traditional wines, says Tarlov, fitting in with the current vogue for conscious consumerism. Comparisons have been made with Everlane, a popular online fashion retailer that sells clothing made from high-quality materials like cashmere and silk at lower prices, with the costs of production spelled out.
Tarlov has been making wine in Oregon for around a decade, but was making films before he began making wine. In 1993, while filming a movie, he attended a wine tasting at noted San Francisco restaurant Rubicon with sommelier Larry Stone.
"Basically it was a tutorial where I tasted things that were not just Napa Cab. I was exposed to the wines of Burgundy, Loire, Rhône, Australia, and said oh! It's kind of cool what's going on here."
The two kept in touch and, 10 years later, Tarlov asked Stone where to buy a vineyard as a retirement project. Stone suggested Oregon and, in 2006, founded Evening Land Vineyards in the Willamette Valley. In 2012, he began Chapter 24 Vineyards, also based in the Willamette Valley.
With Alit, though, Tarlov has broadened his experience of the wine industry even further, by getting wine from the vineyard onto the table with very little in between. "You sacrifice some things, like being in high-profile restaurants. But you also touch many more people by having a primary conversation with them, as well as being able to offer them the sort of insight into why wine costs why it costs."
Wine that asks “why?” – Mark Tarlov – Medium
Today, I’d like you to meet alit: a new kind of wine brand that is stripping away all of the extra layers between the winemaker (me) and the wine drinker (you). Our goal is to bring you closer to the story of our wine, the people who make it and the place that it comes from.
What does that mean?
We call it wine with integrity: the idea that great wine should be made naturally and without compromise, with no synthetic ingredients or chemicals. It should be shared with everyone, not just the critics, at a totally transparent price that won’t “break the bank.” That same wine should also deliver pleasure to its drinkers, enhancing the atmosphere, conversation and experience.
Like Aristotle, I am a firm believer in the rule of three, so I want to share with you the three principles that make alit truly unique: how we grow, farm and ferment our grapes; how we determine the price of the wine; and how we share it with you.
HOW WE MAKE IT
We make our pinot noir in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, about an hour south of Portland. Our grapes are planted in the volcanic soil native to the Valley. We farm biodynamically and organically, which means the only ingredient in our wine is grapes — no additives and no chemicals.
We ferment the whole cluster (grapes and stems) in three-ton stainless steel tanks. The stems add a nice, harvest flavor — with autumnal scents like cinnamon and nutmeg. (The grapes are picked in the fall, after all.) Once the fermentation process is complete, the wine rests in barrels for one year. Our barrels are 33 percent new French Oak.
For us, the fermentation process (how grapes become wine) has become a fascination … an obsession, really. To paraphrase Da Vinci, “nature begins with a cause and creates an experience. Humans begin with an experience and discover the cause.” With alit, we want to uncover the cause that makes the experience so delicious.
To do that, we have partnered with MIT to study the microbiomes that live in our vineyards. We only use wild yeast for fermentation, and research tells us that 40 percent of the flavor and aroma in our wines comes from the metabolic action of the yeast eating the sugar in our fruit. In other words, the rambunctious micro-flora in our vineyards naturally produce wines of complexity, elegance and harmony. As you can imagine, the particular nature and activities of different yeast strains is something we — and the scientists — are eager to understand.
The more we learn through this MIT research, the better equipped we are to farm more strategically. We are learning to do “less” so that nature can do more.
Grapes will grow almost anywhere, but the “where” will substantially change the taste. We now know that the “where” is not solely an issue for the plant. The better positioned you are with regard to all the various aspects of the “where,” the better the fruit. We believe that the wild yeast produce the music of wine, so having the right “where” will support a full orchestra of micro-flora producing a wine where tone and texture become a multi-layered, acoustic harmony rather than a simple tune. Oregon’s Willamette Valley is our “where.”
HOW WE PRICE IT
It is my belief that the best bottle of wine in the world should cost $28. This assumes that by “the best” you mean a bottle of wine that delivers a great deal of pleasure, while speaking clearly and with integrity about the place (the vineyard) and people (the team) who create the wine. Another set of three — pleasure, place and people.
Before alit, I ran two vineyards: Evening Land and Chapter 24. During those years, I sold wines in the range of $60 — $100 per bottle. As the winemaker, I took home around $28 for each bottle sold. Do you know where the rest of that money goes? To the middlemen: the national distributors, the state distributors and the retail stores. That leaves wine drinkers like you paying as much as 3X the price of what a bottle costs to make.
When I started alit, I was determined to sell it direct-to-consumer with no middlemen. For that reason, alit wine is available for purchase only on www.alitwines.com and you will pay exactly what it costs us to make the wine, plus a small cut for me and my team: $15.10 per bottle + 45% gross profit = $27.45 per bottle.
How did we arrive at $27.45? Here’s the breakdown.
All-Natural Farming & Fruit—$ 5.66
Alit Team of Five—$ 2.14
Winery & Equipment — $ 3.31
French Oak Barrels—$ 1.11
Custom Packaging—$ 2.88
Total Cost—$ 15.10
Gross Profit Margin (45%)—$ 12.35
You Pay: $27.45
Alit Team of Five—$ 2.14
Winery & Equipment — $ 3.31
French Oak Barrels—$ 1.11
Custom Packaging—$ 2.88
Total Cost—$ 15.10
Gross Profit Margin (45%)—$ 12.35
You Pay: $27.45
To provide the most value to you, the drinker, we’re selling our wines in three-pack options for $100 each ($27.45 per bottle with 3-day air shipping included.) I believe that by sharing the cost of each step of the process, we can have a meaningful conversation about what we do and why it costs what it does.
My goal is to offer you, the wine drinker, the opportunity to have the winemaking process illuminated as much as possible. I want to be fully transparent about how much it actually costs to produce wine made without compromise.
HOW WE SHARE IT
Now that you know how we make the wine and what it costs, let’s talk about where you can get it.
By selling the wine online-only and not through distributors or retail stores, we can deliver extraordinary value on the price—but even more exciting to us is that we can share the alit experience with you firsthand. Our story isn’t getting lost, like a game of telephone, as the wine moves from the vineyard to the distributor to the store.
You can learn about our team, our vineyards, how we make the wine and more on our website. When you decide to purchase, the wine will go straight from the Willamette Valley, right to your door.
Are you ready to get alit?
A Film Producer Takes on Wine
Tasting Evening Land with Mark Tarlov
Posted: Jun 2, 2010 12:01pm ET
luni, aprilie 17
The Despair of Learning That Experience No Longer Matters
by Sarah Schmelling
Of all the accounts of the plight of the white working class that appeared during the 2016 election, the work of the married Princeton economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton seemed to cut most deeply. In 2015, Case and Deaton published research finding that although mortality is declining for virtually every other demographic group in every developed country, it has been rising for middle-aged white Americans since the early nineteen-nineties. The increase, they argued, was due almost exclusively to what they called “deaths of despair”—suicides, drug and alcohol poisoning, and chronic liver disease. During the campaign, their findings raised the possibility that whatever energies had consumed the white working class were not limited to political or cultural grievances but had a more pathological source, one that showed up in the United States but nowhere else.
Case and Deaton published a second paper last month, in which they emphasized that the epidemic they had described was concentrated among white people without any college education. But they also searched for a source for what they had called despair. They wondered if a decline in income might explain the phenomenon, but that idea turned out not to fit the data so well. They noticed that another long-running pattern fit more precisely—a decline in what economists call returns to experience.
The return to experience is a way to describe what you get in return for aging. It describes the increase in wages that workers normally see throughout their careers. The return to experience tends to be higher for more skilled jobs: a doctor might expect the line between what she earns in her first year and what she earns in her fifties to rise in a satisfyingly steady upward trajectory; a coal miner might find it depressingly flat. But even workers with less education and skills grow more efficient the longer they hold a job, and so paying them more makes sense. Unions, in arguing for pay that rises with seniority, invoke a belief in the return to experience. It comes close to measuring what we might otherwise call wisdom.
“This decline in the return to experience closely matches the decline in attachment to the labor force,” Case and Deaton wrote. “Our data are consistent with a model in which the decline in real wages led to a reduction in labor force participation, with cascading effects on marriage, health, and mortality from deaths of despair.”
The return to experience is not the best-known economic concept, but it is alive in most of our contemporary economic spook stories, in which the callow private-equity analyst has the final power over an industry in which people have long labored, in which the mechanical robot replaces the assembly-line worker, in which the doctor finds his diagnosis corrected by artificial intelligence. It seemed to match at least one emotional vein that ran through the Trump phenomenon, and the more general alienation of the heartland: people are aging, and they are not getting what they think they have earned.
I spoke to Case by phone recently, and she emphasized that the connections between the deaths from despair and the declining returns to experience are still at the hypothesis stage. But, if you wanted to spool out the hypothesis, you could find a compelling story. The chronology matched some general changes in the nature of working-class work, which grew less skilled over time and therefore provided lesser returns to experience. If you focussed on white workers without a college degree, the decline in returns to experience began with those born around 1955. This matched the story of despair deaths, whose appearance Case and Deaton pinpointed at 1990, just when the 1955 birth cohort passed into early middle age. As that group’s declining wages helped usher them out of the labor force, it made sense that more of them might turn to drugs, alcohol, and suicide. The pattern, begun thirty-five years ago, has not abated. “There are still returns to experience,” Case said, “but they are lower for every birth cohort.”
Since they published their first paper, Case and Deaton have found their e-mail in-boxes filling up with emotional responses from people for whom the idea of an epidemic of despair had personal resonance. “People want to tell their stories,” Case said. In those stories, economic and social despair and health crises often intertwined. “Not being able to get a good job and my girlfriend threw me out,” she said, recounting themes that came up over and over. “Hurt my back at work, lost my job, got evicted, couldn’t get another job.”
Case said that she had lately been drawn to the research of the scholars Sara McLanahan, of Princeton, and Andrew Cherlin, of Johns Hopkins, who study the relationship between family structure and economic circumstance, and whose statistics tended to match many of the stories that were coming in via e-mail. Declining economic prospects seemed to wind their way into all kinds of difficulties. “People who have less education, people whose job prospects aren’t great, are finding it harder and harder to get married,” she said. People were having children and cohabiting, but not necessarily forever. When they encounter a setback, or when their health begins to decline, they find themselves without support. “That’s a story we hear quite a lot,” she said.
One reaction to Case and Deaton’s work has been that the data have been chosen to fit a story. Andrew Gelman, a statistician at Columbia, argued after their first paper that the excess deaths among middle-aged white people were far less extreme than Case and Deaton suggested, and that, if they had slightly adjusted their age cohorts, they would have had a much more modest conclusion. “Aggregate mortality trends are vague generalizations,” Gelman wrote in March, with a co-author, Jonathan Auerbach. “There are many relevant ways to slice up these trends,” they wrote, “and it’s not clear to us that it’s appropriate to frame these trends as a crisis among middle-aged whites.” They also pointed out, as Malcolm Harris did at the Pacific Standard, that African-Americans still have higher fatality rates than whites. Harris noted that Case and Deaton had used different scales for black and white fatalities on their graphs. “In these graphs white lives literally count more, and black lives less.”
The arguments about Case and Deaton’s work have been an echo of the one that consumed so much of the primary campaign, and then the general election, and which is still unresolved: whether the fury of Donald Trump’s supporters came from cultural and racial grievance or from economic plight. Case and Deaton’s scholarship does not settle the question. As they write, more than once, “more work is needed.”
But part of what Case and Deaton offer in their new paper is an emotional logic to an economic argument. If returns to experience are in decline, if wisdom no longer pays off, then that might help suggest why a group of mostly older people who are not, as a group, disadvantaged might become convinced that the country has taken a turn for the worse. It suggests why their grievances should so idealize the past, and why all the talk about coal miners and factories, jobs in which unions have codified returns to experience into the salary structure, might become such a fixation. Whatever comes from the deliberations over Case and Deaton’s statistics, there is within their numbers an especially interesting story.
sâmbătă, aprilie 15
01. Sexul a fost atat de bun, incat si vecinii au fumat tigara de dupa.
02. Toate generalizarile sunt false... inclusiv aceasta.
03. Ateismul este o organizatie non-profet.
04. Poarta-te frumos cu copiii tai. Ei iti vor alege azilul.
05. Imprumuta bani de la un pesimist. Nu se asteapta sa i-i dai inapoi.
06. Moartea este ereditara.
07. Nu fi de neinlocuit. Daca nu poti fi inlocuit, atunci nu o
sa fii niciodata promovat.
08. Ai observat vreodata cat de repede merge Windows-ul? Nici noi...
09. Experienta este ceva ce obtii abia atunci cand nu mai ai nevoie de ea.
10. Putine femei isi dezvaluie varsta reala. Putini barbati se comporta adecvat varstei reale.
11. Vand parasuta. Folosita o singura data, nu a fost deschisa si are o mica pata.
12. Prietenii vin si pleaca. Dusmanii se acumuleaza.
13. Da-i unui om peste si va manca o zi. Invata-l sa pescuiasca si va sta toata ziua in barca cu sticla de bere in mana.
14. Cel ce rade la urma, este mai incet la minte.
15. Cum iti dai seama cand ramai fara cerneala invizibila?
16. Cum se lipeste Teflonul de tigaie?
17. Cine crede in telekinezie, sa imi ridice mana.
18. Nu sunt vegetarian pentru ca iubesc animalele. Sunt vegetarian pentru ca urasc plantele.
19. Mi-am facut un test de inteligenta si rezultatele au fost negative.
20. Inainte eram mereu indecis. Acum nu mai sunt asa sigur.
21. Daca papusa Barbie e asa populara, de ce trebuie sa ii cumparam prieteni?
22. Daca ai impresia ca nu ii pasa nimanui daca mai traiesti, incearca sa nu platesti cateva rate la banca.
23. Invata din greselile parintilor: foloseste prezervativul!
24. Multitasking inseamna sa faci mai multe lucruri prost in acelasi timp!
25. Puritanism: teama ca cineva, undeva s-ar putea sa fie fericit.
26. Sexul este ca aerul. Nu e important decat daca nu ai parte de el.
27. Zambeste! E al doilea cel mai frumos lucru pe care il poti face cu buzele.
28. Unii beau din fantana cunoasterii. Altii fac gargara.
29. Tringhiul Bermudelor s-a plictisit de vreme calda si s-a dus in Finlanda. Cica nu vine Mos Craciun anul asta.
30. Prima pasare va prinde viermele, dar al doilea soarece fura cascavalul.
31. Cel mai scurt drum dintre doua puncte este mereu in constructie.
32. Exista trei tipuri de oameni: cei care pot sa numere si cei care nu pot.
33. Daca furi idei de la o persoana, se numeste plagiat. Daca furi idei de la mai multe persoane se numeste cercetare.
34. Care este viteza intunericului?
35. De ce abreviere este un cuvant atat de lung?
36. Femeile care vor sa fie egalele barbatilor nu sunt ambitioase.
37. Esti gelos ca vocile vorbesc cu mine si nu cu tine.
38. M-am rugat la Dumnezeu sa imi dea o bicicleta, dar am aflat ca Dumnezeu nu iti pune in traista. Asa ca am furat o bicicleta si m-am rugat pentru iertare.
39. Barbatii au doar doua necesitati: sexul si mancarea. Daca vezi ca partenerul tau nu are o erectie, da-i un sandvis.
40. Femeile nu vor fi niciodata egale barbatilor pana cand nu vor putea sa se simta sexy in ciuda cheliei si burtii de bere.
41. Dumnezeu sigur iubeste prostii. Altfel nu ar fi creat atat de multi.
42. Niciodata sa nu iei un laxativ si un somnifer in aceeasi seara.
43. Traim intr-o societate in care pizza ajunge mai repede decat politia.
44. Un barbat indragostit nu este complet pana nu se insoara. Dupa aia e terminat.
45. Stii ca lumea s-a intors pe dos cand cel mai bun rapper este alb, cel mai bun jucator de golf este negru si cel mai inalt baschetbalist din NBA este chinez.
46. Un nou studiu guvernamental finantat prin fonduri europene si desfasurat pe o perioada de 10 ani a concluzionat ca trei sferturi din populatia Romaniei inseamna 75% din populatie.
47. Intentionez sa traiesc vesnic. Pana acum sunt in grafic.
48. Psihiatrul mi-a zis ca sunt nebun. I-am zis ca am nevoie si de o a doua opinie. Mi-a zis ca sunt si urat.
49. Ultimul lucru pe care mi-l doresc este sa te ranesc. Dar e pe lista.
50. Banca este locul de unde poti sa imprumuti bani daca demonstrezi ca nu ai nevoie de ei.