August 2021: Grape Migrations With Scarlett Carrasco Polanco | Eater Wine Club

Eater Wine Club

August 2021: Grape Migrations With Scarlett Carrasco Polanco

August host Scarlett Carrasco Polanco was inspired by her own migration — moving from the Dominican Republic to the Bronx with her family — to seek out wines made from grapes that have traveled thousands of miles from their origins. That translated to two albariños, one made in its native Spain and one made in South Africa, and two syrahs, one from the legendary Rhône Valley in France and another from Southern Australia’s McLaren Vale region (where it’s known as shiraz). But how do these "grape migrations" really work? 

"A lot of grapes that have traveled far [from the first place they were cultivated and grown] end up doing really well," explains Scarlett. "I think there's more examples of successful migrations compared to failures; riesling is a great example." The only wine that you can't exactly make outside its birthplace? Sherry. "It’s just so specific to its terroir," says Scarlett.

And speaking of terroir, you’ve probably heard someone say that terroir means "a sense of place." For Scarlett, she likes to explain it as "the culmination of climate, soil, and culture — culture meaning the attitudes toward land management; it’s a lot less about winemaking practices, and more about the inherent traits of the winegrowing land."

When looking at the wines in our August boxes, Scarlett’s recommendation is that we enjoy them wines as a comparative, taking in the similarities and differences within a family of grapes. Hopefully too it will spark us to discover wine that’s made in every corner of the world. These are the wines that made us wonder how a wine can be from one place, and of another:

A line-up of August's four bottles. Labels are all monotone, black and white.

Want to explore more syrah and albariño? Buy more bottles of this month's wine.