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Introduction to “The Future Is Handmade” — A Craftsmanship Mini-Documentary Film

A Dutch archaeologist finds artisans and thought leaders who are redefining craft, skill and, ultimately, the real meaning of a knowledge economy: a short film presented by The Craftsmanship Initiative, in collaboration with The Centre for Global Heritage and Development.


Listen to “The Revival of Nero’s Wine”

Throughout history vintners used clay vessels to age their wine, until the French discovered the marvels of the oak barrel. Now—for fun, for distinctly different flavors, and to save some fine old trees—a few wineries are giving clay a second chance, Roman style.

Build Back with Beer (Craft Beer, to be Precise…)

When veteran journalists James and Deborah Fallows spent four years criss-crossing the U.S. looking for what makes small-town revivals succeed, they repeatedly found one near-constant: craft breweries There are various ways to measure the civic success of towns and cities large and small. From economic development initiatives to innovative educational opportunities to inspiring, inviting river…

Listen to “How Far Can Beer Science Go?”

Where else would you expect to find a band of techno-scientific, craft beer geeks, except on the industrial side of San Francisco, ground zero for startups? Join our fermentation correspondent as she travels to the outer edges of beer flavors with the boys of Method Brewing.

Prisoner Rehabilitation, Italian Style—through Winemaking

In 2012, Maria Grazia Giampiccolo sent an email to the directors of more than 100 Italian wineries asking for help producing wine on the smallest island off Tuscany, Italy, where a hectare of grapevines were languishing. Both the island and the request were unusual: Giampiccolo is the director of the penitentiary on Gorgona, a pristine…

A Tale of Two Vermouths

In a small town outside Torino, Italy, the age-old Vermouth giant, Martini & Rossi has turned this beverage into a model of what might be called industrial spirits craftsmanship. Our correspondent goes visiting, then returns stateside to watch a small one-man shop create the modern artisanal version. What are differences, and why do they matter?


Our Second Artisanal Gift Guide

The word artisanal has become so shopworn that it’s almost devoid of meaning. (To wit: we once saw a pizza outlet on the outskirts of a small town in northern France that was fashioned in the style of an ATM-kiosk under the following sign: “Artisanal Pizza.”) In stark contrast to this sorry state of affairs, we would like to suggest a few items for holiday shopping made by some of the masters we profiled in 2016.


Amarone: The Slow Wine of Valpolicella

There are many prized vintages from Valpolicella, a postcard-perfect town near Verona, Italy, known for its rich, slightly sweet wines. Over the years, however, as many of these wines have gotten only sweeter, one vineyard, Bertani, has remained true to the old traditions. The result: a complex, unusually balanced wine called Amarone. Our wine correspondent sets out in search of its secret.


The basics of distillation

Without distillation, the highest alcoholic content of any beverage would top out in about the high teens, the point at which the yeasts stop producing alcohol. To achieve higher alcohol content, such as the forty percent — or 80 proof — considered standard for liquor today, the alcohol must be separated from all the other components,…

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