Spring has finally arrived and so has the arrival of Sperling Vineyards “Spring Releases”

This vintage marks the third year of certified organic wines from Sperling Vineyards. Sperling Vineyards is British Columbia’s oldest heritage vineyard, and home of Canada’s leading organic and biodynamic winegrower Ann Sperling.

Ann Sperling and her family are pioneers, first in the history of agriculture in the Kelowna region, and in both biodynamic and organic viticulture, and winemaking practice. The proof of their success is in the long lineup of awards. Taste for yourself!  Their wines are known to be wines of elegance, texture & authenticity.

Sperling Vineyards Blueprint

Location: Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

Established: Four generations: 1860s – land was cleared, settled and the farm was officially established in the1920s

 First vintage: 2008

Winemaker:  Ann Sperling

Viticultural Practices: Organic and Biodynamic

Estate: 45 acres

This anticipated release includes the following wines, with tasting notes.

Organic Market White 2018

Aromas of peach and orange with hints of honeysuckle;
soft on the palate with flavours of apple, apricot, grapefruit and pear; nice long and fresh finish
89 Points

Organic Pinot Gris 2018

This lovely estate-bottled PG has a nice weight; aromas of white fruits, on the mouth beach and honey, lingering with clean mineral flavours; refreshing acidity.
89 Points

Organic Natural Amber Pinot Gris 2018

Aromatically this orange wine has hints of earl gray tea, jasmine, and stone fruits; while the palate is fresh and long with texture and finishes fresh.

From the Vision series, this lovely orange wine is made from 40% whole cluster, 40% whole berry and 20% pressed juice from hand-picked Pinot Gris. Natural yeast and malolactic fermented, this wine has had nothing added and nothing taken away (no sulfites, or additives, and no fining or filtration). Being unfiltered it is slightly cloudy.
90 points

 Organic Pinot Noir 2017

This light ruby wine has some notes of spicy strawberry on the nose;
I found it to be a medium-bodied wine that is dry with some strawberry flavours and fresh acidity; excellent length.
91 points

Organic Vision Chardonnay 2017

Beautiful bright gold; on the nose, aromas of fresh apples, pear, and quince; while tasting I found it had a good weight with flavours of baked fruit and some spic; well-balanced acid keeps it fresh with a long finish.
89 Points

Organic Old Vines Foch Reserve 2017

Deep ruby colour; with a nose of plum and hints of spice; I found the wine to be medium-bodied, dry, with plum and cherry flavours; fresh and lively in the mouth with a long finish.
91 Points

Sperling Vineyards is also offering FREE SHIPPING across Canada right now, with some other tempting promotions – Market Series wines: buy 5 get the 6th free or spend $75 and we’ll include a gift with purchase.

Check out their website for details https://sperlingvineyards.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 2020 Sommelier Wine Awards celebrates wines from across the globe

The results of the Sommelier Wine Awards 2020 are in, revealing the competition’s most diverse line-up of winning wines to date. The UK’s leading on-trade wine competition has seen some of the fastest-growing trends in the industry come to light, with stand-out entries from categories including orange wines, Semillon and Japanese wines, with a record year for Ribera del Duero and less prominent sparkling wines.

Stand-out regions in this year’s competition included Spain’s Ribera del Duero, with a record-year of 37 awards and 80% of entrants taking home a medal. Chilean Sauvignon Blanc producers, namely from Leyda Valley, were unexpected stars amongst the judges, commended for their refined style, which stood head and shoulders above the other Sauvignon Blancs tasted from Chile.

As well as Chilean wine, many other New World wines enjoyed the spotlight. This year saw Japanese wine represented for a second year, with even more entries this year, and every Koshu taking home a medal, including one Gold. Red wines from Australia and Argentina made a name for themselves by experimenting with different grape varietals and blends, regarded highly amongst the judges for moving away from oak and often high price points. As a result, they received more Gold medals than ever before.

Although quality Prosecco and Champagne continue to perform well, this year saw less prominent fizzes on the rise, with Crémants, frizzantes, Franciacortas, Cavas and New World sparkling wines, all performing extremely well.

Sicilian wines were praised by judges for their quality and affordability, with a third of the red wines entered at under £10. Greek reds have increased considerably in quality according to the judges, with the country receiving almost 50% more Gold medals since 2019. Wine entries from Alsace and Germany were applauded for their compatibility with food. These two categories are always big hits amongst the judges, leaving them thirsty for even more entries.

Grapes performing fantastically well at this year’s awards included New World Semillon, with over 85% of entries receiving a medal. Many other unique trends emerged from the awards this year and are expected to grow in the coming months, including orange wine, now a category in its own rights for a second year, was very warmly welcomed by the judges, paving the way for modern and interesting wines that have not previously been frequently represented in the on-trade. A huge trend across beer and spirits, the no and low category has begun to gain traction within wine, with the competition showing that it is moving in the right direction and the trend expected to see further growth in response to consumer appetite.

Speaking about the 2020 awards, Micaela Martins Ferreira, Competition Director, commented: “A huge congratulations to all our medal winners. Year-on-year there is such a high standard of wines, it’s so fantastic to see entries spanning all corners of the globe, and with diversity, this year, really shining through.

“Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the industry, and when it bounces back, which I’m sure it will, there is an incredibly strong line up of wines available to the hospitality sector. I look forward to seeing these trends develop over the next 12 months and in particular, can’t wait to see some of the exceptional wines tasted during this year’s SWA appearing on wine lists across the UK.”

SWA, now in its fourteenth year, is judged by Master Sommeliers, Masters of Wines and some of the best names in the world of wine, including Director of Wine at Ten Trinity Square, Jan Konetzki; Wine Development Manager at Le Cordon Bleu, Matthieu Longuère MS; and Director at Vinoteca, Charlie Young.

In light of the worldwide pandemic, the Sommelier Wine Awards will be donating £5,000 to The Drinks Trust – a charity which provides support, care and assistance to the drinks industry workforce, who need support now, more than ever.

All winning wines from the Sommelier Wine Awards 2020 can be found on www.sommelierwineawards.com

 

US Drinkers Have Increased Wine Consumption During Lockdown

America’s 77 million regular wine drinkers upped their frequency of wine consumption during the pandemic lockdown, despite the closure of many on-premise establishments, according to new consumer research out this week.

The new Wine Intelligence US COVID-19 Impact Report polled a nationally representative sample of 2,000 monthly US wine drinkers during March and April 2020 to understand how their wine drinking behavior was changing as a result of the restrictions due to the coronavirus. The findings paint a picture of a nation finding new occasions for wine drinking – at lunchtime, or catching up with friends online, or replacing the trip to the restaurant with a more indulgent evening meal.

The growing volume of wine purchased was tempered by a small decline in the average price per bottle paid overall, according to the research. However, within this average were significant variations by consumer type. More involved and committed wine drinkers, who mainly spend between $15 and $20 per bottle normally, tended to spend a bit more than usual, while less frequent wine drinkers tended to spend a bit less.

There was significant growth in online shopping across all age groups, with the most likely users of online channels being younger, urban, affluent consumers. This same demographic, who in normal times are more likely to drink wine in social settings such as bars and restaurants, also tended to spend more on take-home purchases.

While the majority of respondents said the origin of wine they bought during this period stayed the same, there was a notable shift in purchase preferences towards domestic wines and away from imports. Some 18% of respondents reported buying more wine from California and other US regions during this time, while 20% said they were buying less wine from France, Italy and Spain. Additionally, US wine drinkers increased their trust in California wines and conversely, lost trust most among old world wines, particularly those from Italy.

Looking to the future, US wine drinkers, on the whole, expressed caution about going out to bars and restaurants immediately after lockdown restrictions were ended – around 40% said they would be less likely to visit a restaurant, while 27% said they would be more likely.

Analysis of this data suggests there is a distinct attitudinal contrast at work among consumers. At one extreme is an optimistic and active group who have made minimal changes to their lifestyle and are less nervous about returning to the on-premise – they tend to be younger, more affluent and city-based, and comprise about 17% of monthly wine drinkers. At the other extreme, 20% of monthly wine drinkers have reacted strongly to the lockdown, and have significantly cut down on spending and wine consumption, and are very reluctant to return to an active social life.

The Wine Intelligence US COVID-19 Impact Report will be published on the 6th of May 2020. It includes latest insights pre, during and predicted post-COVID-19 restrictions, including beverage repertoire, wine buying and consumption behaviors, brand health and lifestyle behavior changes.

Commenting on the report, Wine Intelligence CEO Lulie Halstead said: “Our data supports other evidence that shows that US wine drinking is holding up and that sales will continue to be solid once lockdown ends. In fact, there are clear opportunities with certain consumer segments right now and also in the medium term as we move to post-lockdown behavior. Looking ahead, the US wine drinker is understandably quite cautious about their household finances and the idea of getting on a plane. Thankfully for the wine category, their intention seems to be replacing big treats like vacations and big events with small treats like a nicer bottle of wine.”

Source:  Wine Intelligence

Vinexpo New York is hosting a free webinar “The Evolving Landscape of the (US) Wine & Spirits Industry”

Despite the challenges the past few weeks have presented, many wineries have successfully shifted their strategies and modified their businesses. They’re not only supporting their staff and customers, but also those on the front lines while keeping business moving.

Attend this free webinar, where you will hear from industry members across the three-tier system and learn what changes they have made, how they continue to adapt and what they expect in the coming weeks.

“The Evolving Landscape of the Wine & Spirits Industry” webinar will take place on Tuesday 5 May at 11:00 am EST.

Among several speakers will be Michael Baum, CEO & Propriétaire, Château de Pommard, Scott Zoccolillo, sommelier and wine director at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse in Philadelphia, and Margie A.S. Lehrman, who is chief executive officer of the American Craft Spirits Association.

Register here https://www.vinexponewyork.com/webinars/the-evolving-landscape-of-the-wine-spirits-industry/

WineAmerica discloses how wineries are being “creative” in the face of adversity

The average US winery lost US$51,201 from March 15 to April 15 and expects to lose a further $134,626 in May, due to the latest survey by industry association WineAmerica.

There is some cause for optimism.

Having released bleak figures back in March, the industry association has said the results of its second survey has brought in some more “uplifting” findings.

Last month, WineAmerica revealed that US wineries lost a total of US$40,439,764 in March due to Covid-19, but warned that the figure could be far greater as only 10% of the nation’s wineries responded to the information request.

In its second survey, the industry association found that the average winery lost $51,201 between March 15 and April 15 and expects to lose $134,626 in May if the current situation continues through to the end of the month. Wineries estimate that it will take an average of four months to return to normal business levels.

This survey was returned by 727 wineries in 45 states, a smaller survey sample than the first.

It revealed that wineries have resorted to ingenuity in order to bring in money. The most popular new strategy was offering curbside pickups, with 84% of those surveyed saying they had done this. 63% said they had reduced shipping costs, 60% had offered special promotions, 54% had carried out local home deliveries, and 53% said they’d put out ‘wine club specials’.

28% revealed they had engaged in the growing trend of virtual wine tastings. Just 5% of those surveyed said they hadn’t tried any of these initiatives.

WineAmerica stated that it was “highly likely” that the marketing experience and willingness to adapt will “serve the industry for years to come”.

15% of those surveyed said they had been forced to stop production, however, 62% said that production speed had been reduced due to Covid-19.

Due to the global pandemic, the average American winery had to lay off five members of staff, although a quarter of those surveyed said they didn’t make any job cuts.

As expected, wine tourism has taken a huge hit. The average winery in America has 17,644 annual visitors, with 1,482 expected during the 15 March to 15 April period. Due to coronavirus, visitor numbers were down by an average of 90.5% and tasting room sales fell by 74.5%. However, direct-to-consumer (DtC) sales increased by 8%, with many wineries reporting sales rising by double or triple digits.

WineAmerica president Jim Trezise said that wineries and tourism “have a symbiotic relationship” and described visitors as being “the lifeblood of the industry”.

He said that marketing innovations “have mitigated losses due to closed tasting rooms, but not entirely”.

As some states start to lift lockdown measures, Trezise says WineAmerica is working to develop “best practices for tasting rooms” that will both protect the safety of visitors and employees.

https://wineamerica.org/