Bourgogne Wines Cave de Prestige selection for 2019

Last week the Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB) announced the exclusive Bourgogne Wines Cave de Prestige selection for 2019.

This year,1,528 samples were submitted for tasting, from vintages 2015 through to 2018. This represents a rise of 34% compared to 2018 and is perhaps not surprising given the very fine 2017 vintage from which 64% of submissions hailed. The 2017 vintage was more generous than 2016 for the majority of Bourgogne appellations, and 2018 looks to be promising.
Selected by a jury of experts 12% of the submissions were chosen, making a total of 191 wines. They will be showcased for one year, both in France and abroad, at marketing and training events for market influencers such as wine store owners, sommeliers, restaurateurs and journalists, and also for the general public through the École des Vins de Bourgogne.

There was a record number of submissions as follows: cooperative cellars 9%; négoce trade 13%; with estates making up the remaining 78%. Most of the 84 Bourgogne appellations were represented, from Régionale wines to Grand Crus.

The winning list will follow shortly.

US and EU winegrowers hit back at Trump’s proposed Tariffs on EU wine

US members of international grower organization Wine Origins Alliance have written to the government’s trade representative, calling for the scrapping of proposed tariffs on EU wine.
In a letter to US trade representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, the group strongly urged him to exclude wine and wine products from the list of goods that may be subject to WTO tariff countermeasures, as a result of a WTO dispute over EU subsidies to Airbus.

It echoes a similar letter from the organization’s European contingent to the European Trade Commissioner, signed by representatives from Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne, Chianti, Rioja, and Jerez.

The Wine Origins Alliance comprises 25 organizations across 10 counties, which together represents nearly 80,000 wineries and growers, who are focussed on promoting and protecting wine growing place names worldwide and preventing the purposeful misuse of geographic names.

The appeal after the US government identified $21 billion-worth of EU good imports, including wine and cheese, which it said could be subject to tariffs in the ratcheting up of trade hostilities between the two blocks in response to the EU subsiding aerospace and defense group Airbus. Last year the WTO ruled the EU subsidies to the company were illegal in the culmination of a 14-year dispute between Airbus and US company Boeing.

In response the EU is also expected to authorize tariffs countermeasures on US-made wine and other products.

The letter pointed out that the US and the EU are two of the world’s leading wine producers and last year collectively exporting $28 billion of product and urged the US trade representative to remove wine from the list and work with the EU to reduce and eliminate tariffs.

“We urge you to work with the EU government to reduce or eliminated wine tariffs, not raise them. Promoting wine exports by removing trade barriers is critical to driving industry growth and creating new industry jobs,” it said.

Signatories of the letter include the President of the Napa Valley Vintners Association, Linda Reiff, Sonoma County Vintners’ executive director Michael Haney, Oregon Winegrowers Association CEO Tom Danowski, alongside representatives from Pasa Robles Wine Country Alliance, the Long Island Wine Council, Santa Barbara Vintners, the Missouri Wine and Grape Board, and Willamette Valley Wineries Association.

In a similar move, the presidents of the Conseil Interprofessional du Vin de Bordeaux (CIVB), Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico, Bureau Interprofessional des Vins de Bourgogne (BIVB), Consejo Regulador DOCa Rioja, Comité Champagne and Consejo Regulador del Vino del Jerez urged the EC’s Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström to exclude wine from any list of goods on the tariff countermeasure list.

Source: Drinks Business

Chablis Invests €4.8M in innovative methanation system for winegrowers

The BIVB in Chablis has confirmed that the Chablis Winegrowers Union is to implement a new innovative methanation system that will recycle all by-products from the winemaking process. This is a breakthrough in the region’s move toward greater sustainability.

The £4.8m methanation facility is expected to be up and running by the fall of 2021. It follows a six-month study in Belgium to test the feasibility of the project using a ‘pilot’ system, with wine by-products brought over from Chablis to find the most efficient method of methanation.

Methanation is the conversion of carbon oxides and hydrogen to methane and water through hydrogenation. It can also be used as a means of producing a synthetic natural gas, and as a way to store energy produced from solar or wind power, which would allow it to serve as a potential carbon capture mechanism.

Last month the Union’s general assembly voted in favour of the project.

The methanisation processing area will be located in the south of Chablis where 700 winemakers, belonging to the Union, will be able to bring the by-products of their winemaking to be processed.

Grape pomace will be passed through a machine to separate any seeds, which research found unsuitable for the process. These will instead be set aside for alternative uses such as cosmetics.

The remaining wine pomace will then be placed in covered silos where the fermentation process begins; then finally into the methanisation machine.

The biogas (gasses) produced by the machine will be directly injected into the Gaz Réseau Distribution France (GRDF) circuits, the natural gas distribution network in France. The remaining product left in the machine will be sold as fertilizer.

Louis Moreau, president of the BIVB Chablis, said: “We are proud to be one of the first wine regions to put in place a methanation process of this kind and on this scale as well. Sustainability is a key focus for Chablis and the rest of Bourgogne so our winemakers are always looking at new innovations on both small and large scale projects.

“We believe the new system will be a success and with a younger generation of winemakers who have traveled the world for their studies and then come home to Chablis, we will work hand-in-hand with them to bring in new practices to protect the environment and our terroir.”

https://www.chablis-wines.com/what-is-the-bivb/what-is-the-bivb,1872,7709.html?

Soave Adopts Cru System

After a lengthy process that started a number of years ago, the Soave DOC has officially adopted a hierarchical, Burgundian-style classification system, where ‘cru’ sites sit at the top of the quality spectrum.

The new DOC regulations will feature 33 distinct cru areas that have been selected for their potential to yield grapes of superior nature.

As of next vintage, these are the crus (officially called Unità Geografiche Aggiuntive) you will find on Soave labels:

Castelcerino, Colombara Froscà, Fittà, Foscarino, Volpare, Tremenalto, Carbonare, Tenda, Corte Durlo, Rugate, Croce, Costalunga, Coste, Zoppega, Menini, Monte Grande, Ca’ del Vento, Castellaro, Pressoni, Broia, Brognoligo, Costalta, Paradiso, Costeggiola, Casarsa, Monte di Colognola, Campagnola, Pigno, Duello, Sengialta, Ponsarà, Roncà – Monte Calvarina.

Most of the crus, whose vineyard area covers 40% of the appellation, are found on Soave’s hillsides, with 29 out of 33 located within the prized Soave Classico area.

The selection process, which started back in 2000, involved a number of factors that affect fruit quality, including altitude and gradient of the hills as well as training system.

‘The approval of the crus is another great step forward for our appellation,’ commented Aldo Lorenzoni, director of the Consorzio di Tutela del Soave. ‘The place of origin of the grapes has always been a crucial part of our communication strategy.’

Air Canada Sommelier Veronique Rivest Talks Wine in the Sky

Award-winning Canadian Sommelier, Veronique Rivest, is Air Canada’s very own sommelier. The Quebec-born Rivest explains how she chooses wines for Air Canada’s premium passengers.

Why did you choose to partner with Air Canada? Tell us about your role as Air Canada Sommelier

Veronique: I’ve worked with restaurants, hotels, and other establishments—but never an airline! It’s definitely an exciting avenue to explore. I’m really proud to be working with Canada’s national carrier, which is allowing me to showcase the work of many talented Canadian and international winemakers to a premium clientele who enjoy exploration and adventure.

What makes wine taste good (or bad) in the air?

Veronique: Environment has a huge influence on the way we taste, including who we’re with and the space we’re in. Then, flights bring up other considerations. I think about the way wine will make customers feel in the air—what will be uplifting instead of bringing passengers down and making them tired. We know from research that food and wine can taste different at 30,000 feet. At the start of my partnership with Air Canada, I did my own tasting in the air and discovered that modern planes might lessen, but not remove the effects of altitude.

Luckily the Boeing 787s are equipped with special technology to counteract dry cabin environment, which vastly improves both air quality and humidity and has a positive effect on taste buds—meaning the wines on our lists taste fantastic at cruising altitude!

How do you ensure wines will taste “right” at 30,000 feet?

Veronique: I try to select wines that are vibrant, without too much tannin or oak, to contrast with the cabin environment and keep passengers feeling energized.

What do you take into consideration when pairing wine with the in-flight menu?

Veronique: First and foremost, because the food and wine menus don’t change at the same time, I always make sure to select well-balanced wines. I then assess whether or not the wine is “food-friendly”, as some wines pair well with more foods than others. Overall, I look for wines that have fresh acidity, with moderate alcohol levels and bright flavours.

What types of wines make your lists?

Veronique: The wine list for Air Canada Signature Class changes every three months and is designed to pair with Chef Hawskworth’s delicious menu items. Depending on the routes, there are always four to five wines (a combination of reds and whites) on the menu, plus one champagne. In North America Business Class, the wine menu is meant to be paired with gourmet cuisine. And I always strive to feature at least one Canadian wine to showcase our country’s many great wineries and give passengers a little taste of home.

Here is a short video how she chooses the vintages served to Air Canada passengers. Also, find out what it takes to pair food and wine at 30,000 feet.

https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/home/about/media/media-features/wine-in-the-sky.html

Happy National Wine Day, santé!

Liz Palmer and
Val from Air Canada