Internationally famed French Chef Alain Ducasse declares war on the “Dry January” trend. At the beginning of January, Chef Ducasse was “horrified” to see New York diners drinking iced tea at lunch and not wine. Shortly thereafter he launched an initiative to entice patrons of his restaurants to drink wine during the first month of the year, not less.
“I’ve noted that trend, but I don’t want to see or hear of it, I am opposed to it,” states Chef Ducasse and he further adds that he wants to “rid consumers of their inhibitions” with regards to drinking wine.
In November, the French government abandoned a campaign urging people to give up alcohol in January after the wine industry pushed president Emmanuel Macron to drop it.
“Dry January” began in the UK in 2013 and has since been adopted around the world. Last year one in five Americans participated in the initiative, giving up alcohol for the first month of the year.
Alain Ducasse has runs restaurants all over the world, including the three Michelin star Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester in London and Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenée in Paris.
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At its AGM last month, the Provence wine council (CIVP) approved a three-year action plan costing €7 million a year, which includes drives in no fewer than 15 export markets. From 2019-2024, Provence’s producers have established a clear agenda to support premiumization of their wines; increase the share of exports from 37% to 45%; and diversify shipment destinations, particularly towards the Asia/Pacific region (more specifically to China and Japan).
“Our actions in France and abroad are aimed at constantly increasing the reputation and image of our appellations across the globe. A levy increase is never taken lightly. This bold decision is a sign that producer companies are aware of the challenges to be met and the collective resources that need to be deployed”, states Jean-Jacques Bréban, chairman of the Provence wine council.
Château Laffitte Carcasset has just released a new wine which, when viewed through an app on a smartphone, appears in augmented reality.
The wine, a classic 60% Cabernet Sauvignon 40% Merlot blend, is destined for the export market and pays tribute to a key figure in the region’s history.
Jean Lafitte bought a wine estate in ‘Carcasset’ in 1781, naming the estate after himself and passing it down to his children.
The 35-hectare estate has partnered with the SnapPress app and POSQA, a start-up that supports augmented reality projects, on the initiative.
The producer hopes it brings “young, connected consumers” to the brand, and also to Bordeaux.
Made from grapes sourced from the 2016 vintage, the wine was fermented in stainless steel vats before being matured in oak for 12 months, creating a wine that is approachable and “easy-to-drink in its youth”.
Eden Villages, owned by French businessman Pierre Rousseau, acquired a majority stake in estate in 2017. Since 1958 it had been owned by members of the Padirac family.
Upon acquiring Laffitte Carcasset, his first winery, Rousseaux said he would implement a renovation and restructuring project, drawing on his experience gained through running his company, which specializes in mobile homes and motorhomes and already deals in the wine tourism sector.
Comexposium and Vinexpo Holding have entered into exclusive negotiations to create a new joint venture entity. This new joint venture responds to the constantly changing and developing global wine and spirits industry and would create the foremost global organizer dedicated to the industry.
- The new entity will be the world’s leading organizer of events dedicated to wines and spirits, with annual figures of over 78,000 visitors from 140 countries and 5,900 exhibitors.
- With equal stakes, the new entity will benefit from the international reach and expertise of Comexposium, the world’s 3rd largest events organizer, and Vinexpo, an internationally reputed brand, specialized in organizing professional events in the wine and spirits sector.
- The new entity will boast a portfolio of 10 iconic events: Wine Paris (Vinisud/Vinovision Paris), World Wine Meetings and World Bulk Wine Exhibition (Amsterdam and Asia) from Comexposium, Vinexpo (Bordeaux, Paris, Hong Kong, Shanghai and New York) as well as the Vinexpo Explorer events from Vinexpo Holding.
- Further, the new business will look to create new events and developments to support the international growth of the wine and spirits industry.
- The project is supported by all the strategic advisors including the Boards of Vinisud and VinoVision Paris and the Vinexpo Strategic Committee.
Pierre Clément, Chairman of AVS and of the VinoVision Paris Board of Directors states:
“Bringing these two entities closer together is a totally novel approach for our industry! We started our partnership in 2019 and now, we want to make it stronger and more established with a shared commitment to join forces bringing our knowledge and expertise together.”
Fabrice Rieu, Chairman of the Vinisud Board of Directors, added: “This joint initiative is a historical moment for our brand and all its stakeholders, allowing France, with its richness and expertise, to regain its place on the centre of the world stage as a reference and leader in professional events dedicated to wines and spirits”.
“In a global economic environment, this commitment to working together is a significant step to serve the development of businesses in the wine and spirits sector. Thanks to this alliance, the Bordeaux-Gironde Chamber of Commerce and Industry intends to create a powerful flagship brand which will proudly defend French colours abroad”, said CCIBG President Patrick Seguin.
“The alliance we are building marks a significant turning point for the world of wines and spirits. It will allow us to extend our influence, develop a portfolio of must-attend events and meet the expectations of markets throughout the world”, confirmed Vinexpo Board Chairman Christophe Navarre.
Pernod Ricard targets “new generation” with a redesign of its Powers Irish whiskey brand.
The group’s Irish Distillers unit, which handles Powers, said last week that the design will “inspire a new generation” of Irish whiskey consumers. The overhaul includes a squatter bottle and a new label incorporating the diamond ‘P’ trademark, one of the first registered in Ireland.
Following the official launch of the rebranding Powers Gold Label in March, the update will be introduced across Powers Three Swallow and Powers John’s Lane from mid-2020 in the US and the rest of the world towards the end of the year. In Ireland, Powers Three Swallow and Powers John’s Lane will roll out in March. Powers Gold Label will be reviewed “in due course”, Irish Distillers said.
Conor McQuaid, CEO of the division, said: “Powers has been famous for its bold taste profile and character since the family distillery was established in 1791. We are excited to introduce this new look to the world and inspire a new generation with the unique history and personality of Powers.”