This year’s theme will focus on the Business of Wine in the new Global Economy
This year’s theme will focus on The Business of Wine in the new Global Economy: An exploration of trends in the World of Wine.
On June 25th, George Brown College’s Centre for Hospitality & Culinary Arts brings together a renowned group of wine industry leaders for an in-depth look at The Business of Wine in the new Global Economy.
In the College’s inaugural Wine Symposium, wine writers, authors, winemakers, winery owners, restaurateurs, sommeliers, agents, enthusiasts, and students will gather for an interactive day filled with discussions, workshops, tastings, and presentations.
Speakers will take an insightful look at subjects such as innovation in the wine business, the modern-day vineyard and the digital impact on the industry. Breakout sessions offer guests master tastings lead by top sommeliers and thought-provoking discussions from the world of wine.
Keynote speaker Dr. George Soleas, President of the LCBO. Other presenters and panel discussion experts: Darryl Brooker, General Manager of Mission Hill Family Estate in British Columbia, Toronto-based Master Sommelier Jennifer Huether, and Global Wine Educator Marnie Old from Philadelphia, Liz Palmer, award-winning author and Global Wine Influencer.
When: Monday, June 25, 2018
Where: Centre for Hospitality & Culinary Arts, George Brown College
300 Adelaide Street East, Toronto
Price: $175 + HST ($75 for full-time students)
Majestic Douro Valley produces some of the finest red and whites in the world
Majestic Douro Valley produces some of the finest red and whites in the world
There is a dangerous beauty to Portugal’s Douro wine region. With its treacherously steep slopes, extreme summer heart, perilous roads, and a wild river – why would wine growers consider growing grapes here? Just take a sip of the red and white wines from this region and then you know why!
With three World Heritage Sites recognized by UNESCO, there is no reason not to visit Douro Valley. Home to the Douro River, the third largest river in the Iberian Peninsula, which runs 897 kilometers from Duruelo de la Sierra to Porto, Portugal.
I had the amazing opportunity to visit Douro wine region in March this year with other international wine journalists. I found the scenery in the valley to be some of the most spectacular I’ve ever seen in a wine region. Not only because of the gravity of the steep slopes of the vineyards, but also the sheer beauty of the Douro River and the hills that fall to the water’s edge.
“The sole immeasurable evidence with which we can amaze the world.”
Miguel Torga (Portuguese poet)
I found the Alto Douro Wine Region to be a land of traditions where nature reigns in perfect harmony and farmers who shaped the valley into terraced vineyards supported with stone walls (socalos). Their persistent labors have transformed this vast slate-soiled region into a true agricultural and landscape monument. The vineyards are accessible by lots of winding roads and steep cliffs.
Wine grapes have been cultivated here for over 2,000. The Demarcated Douro Region was formed (by the Marquis of Pombal) in 1756, and at this time the region became more internationally recognized. It’s important to note that it was the first region in the world to be demarcated. Even today the traditional harvest is done by hand and crushing the grapes by foot is still carried on, along with modern vinification methods that accompany these traditions.
Alto Douro Wine Region is stretched over 250,000 hectares in which 20% is used for wine production, with 9,000 wine-growers.
(wine producing estates/winery or vineyard)
The Adega is a cooperative with over 1,232 members and works with winemaker Rui Madera. It was named “up and coming wine producer” for Portugal by Wine Access magazine in 2010 and was awarded the best co-op winery of Portugal of 2013.“
We met with Nuno Ferreira Borges, Marketing and Export Manager, and his father Jaime Borges, retired director and grape grower. They discussed what the co-op is currently doing and how they keep the quality high.
Their wines are made from grapes cultivated according to traditional techniques, with low mechanization levels and low yields/hectare, while maintaining Douro’s terroir.
Their commercial brands are: Adega de Vila Real, Cancellus, Cancelão and Terras De Alleu.
Dirk Niepoort was the first to make high-quality unfortified wines in the Douro since1987.
Niepoort was founded in 1845 by Dutch merchants and at that time only produced Port wines. This changed when 5th generation Dirk van der Niepoort took the realm. He decided not only to make port but also wine. Dirk is a true pioneer – he insisted on making the region known for its wines first. He began with an experimental wine in 1991, and his first production white in 1996.
After a guided tasting with Dirk Niepoort we lunched on the terrace at Quinta de Nápoles winery, which hosted spectacular views.
Quinta da Casa Amarela is located on the left side of the Douro River, just opposite Régua. The Quinta has been owned by the same family since 1885 and today Laura Regueiro is sitting at the helm. The quinta is named after the main house yellow or ocher color (Amarela in Portuguese).
Quinta da Casa Amarela has 8 hectares with 45-50 year-old vineyards, mainly planted with Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Barroca, with smaller parcels of Malvasia Fina, Viozinho and Codega. They also practice sustainability. I learned that they had traditionally delivered their grapes to other port companies, but since 1994 started marketing their own Port and wines.
This palace is famously depicted on bottles of Mateus rosé. Casa de Mateus is one of the best surviving examples of 18th-century baroque architecture in Portugal.
Its granite wings shelter a lichen-encrusted forecourt, dominated by an ornate stairway and guarded by rooftop statues. Surrounding the palace is a fantasy garden, with boxwood hedges, prim statues, and a fragrant cypress tunnel.
Inside, the library contains one of the first illustrated editions of Luís Vaz de Camões’ Os Lusíadas, Portugal’s important epic poem, while another room houses a collection of religious artifacts, including 36 relics brought from the Vatican in the 18th century: a bit of holy fingernail, a saintly set of eyeballs, and the inevitable piece of the true cross – each with the Vatican’s proof of authenticity.
The wine shop offers tastings of three locally produced wines for €4. I found especially interesting is the Alvarelhão, which is the same rosé originally bottled by Mateus in the 1940s.
C.A.R.M. has over 200 hectares of vineyards spread over various farms and planted at different altitudes, up to 550 meters. C.A.R.M. overlooks the valley with the Douro river in full view. The temperatures in the summer reach 45C. Antonio Ribeiro gives us a tour and shows us the olive trees, vineyards and almond trees. The soil in their vineyards is schist, and granite in some areas which is good for white wines.
In the production facilities, they have modern alternatives to the traditional lagars for the foot-stomping of the grapes.
During the visit, we meet Celso Madeira – who is not only a pioneer in the organic viticulture in the region but is also the first to have had the idea to remodel the hillsides with bulldozers in 1965.
My favorite wine: Carm CM Douro 2013, a 94+ points/Robert Parker
The back label adds 4130 bottles total (this one was No 124). 14 % alcohol
Fresh nose of black fruit and berries; nice balance with nuances of licorice and complex aromas of wood; firm tannins and smooth texture.
The Douro wine region has truly maintained their rural character and traditional roots with culture and religious customs and truly worth a visit to some of the historic quintas and to taste their wines!
I want personally thank Rita and Pedro Figueiredo for putting together this extraordinary tour! #TeamDouro
Sotheby’s Retail has introduced an ‘Instant Cellars’ concept, giving customers in the US and Hong Kong the chance to buy wine collections for drinking, cellaring and investment.
In the US, these cellar ‘starter packs’ range from a simple introductory cellar costing US$5,000 to a collection costing US$25,000, with two further options in-between; while only two options are, currently, available in Hong Kong.
The number of wines, choice and average bottle price changes from cellar to cellar and includes a consultation with a specialist in order to arrive at a final selection that suits the tastes of the individual.
The selection of wines available also differs slightly between the US and Hong Kong but covers all the basics of French, Italian, Australian and US fine wine
All of the cellars, once chosen, can be delivered to select US cities or within the Hong Kong SAR in 24 hours.
The options available in the US include:
Cellar 1 – ‘Introductory’: 50 bottles of wine with an average price of $115; the customer chooses 25 wines, two bottles of each. $5,000
Cellar 2 – ‘Intermediate’: 72 bottles of wine with an average price of $150; choose 36 wines, two bottles of each. $10,000
Cellar 3 – ‘Enjoyment’: 165 bottles of wine with an average price of $165; choose 55 wines, three bottles of each. $25,000
Cellar 4 – ‘Investment’: 90 bottles of wine with an average price of $300; choose 15 wines, six bottles of each. $25,000
Cellar 2 adds – 2008 Louis Roederer; 2010 Climens; 2013 Pavillon Blanc; 2014 Bonneau du Martray Corton Charlemagne; 2011 Comtes Lafon, Volnay; 2006 Forts de Latour; 2013 Ornellaia; 2013 Claude Dugat, Gevrey Chambertin.
Cellar 3 adds – 2009 Dom Peerignon (Tokujin Yoshioka edition); 2002 Pol Roger Winston Churchill; 2013 Aile d’Argent; 2015 Domaine Leflaive, Puligny Montrachet Clavoillon 1er Cru; 2009 Hosanna; 2001 Léoville Las Cases; 2005 Vieux Château Certan; 2005 Montrose; 2007 Prieuré-Roch, Nuits Saint Georges Clos des Corvees; 2011 Solaia and 2013 Araujo.
Cellar 4 – 2012 Angélus; 2009 Pontet Canet; 2014 Geroges Roumier, Chambolle Musigny; 2009 Pavillon Rouge; 2008 La Mission Haut-Brion; 2015 Robert Groffier, Chambolle Musigny Les Hauts-Doix 1er cru.
Here is the breakdown – The US$5,000 entry-level instant cellar includes some of the best French Burgundy and Bordeaux, as well as Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Italian Barolo. At the high-end of the spectrum, Sotheby’s offers two US$25,000 cellars, which give potential buyers a chance to purchase either a range of top-flight wines for “enjoyment” or a more select group of top red Burgundy and Bordeaux for investment.
The “enjoyment” cellar, as Sotheby’s has dubbed it, includes 55 different wines, for a total of 165 bottles. The range of wines chosen is designed to give future collectors a chance to explore and discover what kinds of grapes, regions, and styles they prefer. Fans of white Burgundy, for example, have eleven selections to try, offering the chance to compare styles of winemakers and different vintages.
The cellar includes two white Burgundies produced by Domaine Leflaive in 2015, a Bourgogne Blanc, which is the most generic appellation for white wine in Burgundy, and a selection of premier cru, a designation in Burgundy a notch below the top-tier Grand Cru that’s only given to single vineyard wines.
Buyers can decide whether they prefer one over the other, or compare Leflaive’s Burgundies to two examples of 2015 white Burgundies produced by Jean-Noel Garnard.
The “investment” cellar, by contrast, includes only 15 selections of red wine, with six bottles of each, meaning the average price of each bottle is US$300. The 90 bottles are more or less evenly split between Burgundy and Bordeaux, and are from top producers and vintages expected to grow in value. Examples range from a 2005 Vieux Château Certan from Pomerol, Bordeaux to a Domaine Anne Francoise Gros Echezeaux Grand Cru from Côte de Nuits in Burgundy.
Sotheby’s is also offering two versions of the instant cellars in Hong Kong: an introductory cellar of 46 bottles for HK$33,000 and an intermediate cellar of 62 bottles for HK$70,000.
For the collection management and advisory business, Sotheby’s is targeting clients who are eager to build a cellar but aren’t confident in their tastes, or what they should buy. For an annual fee Sotheby’s will work with these clients to ascertain their preferences (“we have a fun questionnaire,” Gilbert says), but it’s up to the client how much they want to be involved and “how much they want us to take the reins,” she says. Sotheby’s will even buy wines from “trusted sources” outside the company, as well as from Sotheby’s, and will help install and manage the inventory.
For long-time collectors, Sotheby’s can help track inventory, as well as guide clients on what wines to drink, sell, or continue to age.
Sotheby’s will charge an undisclosed annual fee for its wine advisory services, while the fees for collection management will be tailored to the individual needs of each client.
It’s official “The Ultimate Guide to Champagne” is now available at La Cité du Vin’s “Reading Room” reference library. The librarian has added it to La Cité du Vin’s collection under the category of “Champagne Books”.
La Cité du Vin’s “Reading Room” is an area open to everyone, offering a wide selection of literary, historical, artistic and anthropological works relating to the world of wine. Here you will discover more than 1,200 key works in 16 different languages for reference use.
La Cité du Vin is a unique cultural venue in Bordeaux, France, devoted to wine as a cultural, universal and living heritage. It offers amazing experiences around the world, throughout the ages, and across countless cultures and civilizations. You can book tickets on their website www.laciteduvin.com and onsite.
About “The Ultimate Guide to Champagne”
The Ultimate Guide to Champagne takes you through, chapter by chapter, to find out everything you need to know about the wonderful world of Champagne. With original photography, illustrations, charts, maps and a Champagne Tasting Cheat Sheet — this is an essential book for Champagne lovers.
The book consists of 22 chapters covering everything from the region’s history and viticulture, to tourism information, gastronomy and even health benefits.
The book is recommended for everyone, from beginners to experts. It’s a remarkable point of reference into which any wine-lover or professional can dip in and browse.
It was a culinary evening of magic, from the moment I arrived at the private home in Oakville, I knew that a night of elegance and celebration was ahead!
It was an honour and privilege to participate in this event as the “Special Guest” speaker, to discuss my book “The Ultimate Guide to Champagne” and personally sign 40+ copies.
The event was well-organized by Christian Frayssignes, Dale and Jim Egan and catered by Kerr St. Café, Oakville.
60 members and guests had the opportunity to taste six champagnes, personally selected by cellar master Christian Frayssignes and Liz Palmer to pair with specially designed and prepared by Kerr St. Café, Oakville, while listening to jazz and blues tunes by pianist Rob Roland.
Champagne and Food Pairings
Lacroix-Triaulaire NV Brut
Brie & peach crostini with Roquefort & field honey
Fresh watermelon cube with elderflower,
apple-cucumber slaw & candied ginger
J. de Telmont Grande Reserve Brut NV
Tuna poke with herbed russet chips and
fresh parsley vegetable spring roll
Henriet-Bazin Selection de Parcelles ler Cru
Mini chicken parmesan lollipops with marinara dipping sauce
J. de Telmont Blanc de Blanc 2010
Lobster petit-fours…. butter poached lobster set on
roasted potato cubes with avocado puree & tarragon
Delouvin-Bagnost NV 70% Pinot Meunier
Rare thinly sliced grilled beef tenderloin swirled on mini Yorkshire
puddings with horseradish cream & pomegranate
Jean Pernet N.V.
My favorite pairing for the evening was J. de Telmont Blanc de Blanc 2010 with Lobster petit-fours/butter poached lobster set on roasted potato cubes with avocado puree & tarragon.
I want to thank The International Wine and Food Society-Oakville for an extraordinary evening and in particular President, Christian Frayssignes and hosts Dale and Jim Egan.
And a special thank you to Esprit du Vin, Tod Warner and Kathryn Taggart Braneff!
“Dame Chevalier” of the Ordre de Coteaux de Champagne