Welcome to Fermentation — Where Wine, Culture, Politics and I Mingle


For those of you who know me from my nearly 20 years publishing FERMENTATION…welcome and thank you for following me to Substack. For those of you who are wondering what you’ll find here, it’s a place where we explore the intersection of culture, politics, ideology, media, and wine. I examine how the wine industry works, who it serves, who it doesn’t, and how it wraps itself around and responds to movement in society and the culture. You’ll read advocacy, criticism, analysis, news, reports, research, and my personal response to living a life in wine marketing, advocacy, and media relations.

“When I am looking for a very interested third party I look to Tom Wark’s blog, FERMENTATION.  Here I can read a comprehensive analysis of the many business and regulatory issues we face and hear from an impartial voice with a very varied background. Congratulations Tom on this next move.
EUGENIA KEEGAN, Vice President Jackson Family Wines

“All of us get many emails, yet the one I always enjoy receiving is Tom Wark’s FERMENTATION.  His writing is fun to read, full of insights and makes me think.  I am sponsoring a group of key employees for this subscription for their continued development in our industry”
JIM BERNAU, Founder, Willamette Valley Vineyards

“In my opinion, there are plenty of strong wine tasting/wine scoring resources in our industry.  But there are very few insightful, topical and credible wine industry resources.  Tom Wark’s Fermentation has been that resource for well over 15 years and is my go to for thought-provoking industry insights on a daily basis.” 
JUDD WALLENBROCK, CEO, Charles Krug Napa Valey

How this works

Two, three, four, sometimes five or more times a week I’ll deliver directly into subscribers’ email boxes my thoughts on the state of the wine industry. Subscribers can read these missives as an email newsletter form or click through and read them here where I’ll also archive all the new entries going forward. But in order to read anything, you’ve got to subscribe to FERMENTATION. (Cancel any time)

“Tom Wark’s Fermentation blog has been the life’s blood of small brand current events reportage and advocacy for 17 years.  Tom really is in a class by himself among wine journalists and bloggers. His insider knowledge of the industry combines with political science and a finger on the pulse of current events to make him the go-to guide for where we are headed in these crazy times.”
CLARK SMITH, Clark Smith Consulting
“Tom Wark is the most perceptive observer of the wine industry writing today. He has his finger on the pulse of progress and is not afraid to tell it like it is, for good or ill.”
JOHN HINMAN, Founding Partner, Hinman & Carmichael
“Tom Wark’s endless drive to seek insights into the wine world has driven a daily supply of rich content for years. But his observations about wine public relations and the need for retailer interstate shipping are worth the price of admission.”
”PAUL MABRAY, Founder, Pix

Why Subscribe to FERMENTATION

Paying subscribers to FERMENTATION get access to everything. If you subscribe you also have access to the comment section where you can read what the FERMENTATION community has to say or join in yourself. Most important, by subscribing you’ll be supporting what I believe is a unique voice in the wine industry; someone who brings a perspective and doesn’t pull punches. For those of you who want to subscribe for free, that’s an option too. You won’t get all the posts and articles and research. But I will be posting free updates and articles regularly. However, the community comment function isn’t available to free subscribers.

No matter how you subscribe, thank you for your support of FERMENTATION.

Who Is Tom Wark?

Since 1990 I’ve proudly worked in the wine industry in public and media relations, marketing, and trade association management. I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the titans of the industry via my firm, Wark Communications, and still do. I’m a fierce advocate for industry regulatory and legal reforms and on behalf of wine consumers who ought to be able to access the wines they want. I speak at industry conferences, have authored a number of reports on the wine media, industry campaign contributions, and how to move the wine industry onto a modern footing defined by a level playing field for all. I was one of the first wine bloggers to publish when I founded FERMENTATION: The Daily Wine Blog in 2004. I founded the American Wine Blog Awards and helped found the Wine Media Conference. I’m outspoken. I say what I think. I get hate mail. Yet, I love writing for the industry and the wine geeks among us. And I love my readers. I’m a father, husband, brother, and friend. I reside in Oregon after growing up in Northern California.

What About the Original FERMENTATION Blog?

The 3,500 blog posts written over 17 years at FERMENTATION: The Daily Wine Blog are all still available and you can find them at: http://www.fermentationwineblog.com. However, that site will no longer be updated.

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Because the wine industry needs muckrakers too—By Tom Wark