San Pedro is launching a new wine brand to support (Glaciares Chilenos) Patagonian Glaciers

 

Chile’s Viña San Pedro is launching a new sustainable, organic wine brand called “South Cause” which will raise money to support Glaciares Chilenos, an NGO that aims to conserve Patagonian glaciers.

San Pedro, which is part of the VSPT group is launching the new wine brand in Europe, North America, and north Asia by the end of the year.

Labeled “South Cause” the new brand comprises four different wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, a red blend, Sauvignon Blanc, and a rosé, all targeted towards millennials and the younger generation of wine drinkers.

Rodrigo Romero, vice-president of global marketing for VSPT, described the new wine label as an “activist brand”, and he states:

“So far most of the things we have done have been in-house. We heard about Glaciares Chilenos and thought maybe we could have a role in this. And what better way to do it than create a new brand that stands for this sentiment. It proves it’s not an after-thought. It’s a range of quality wines that also embrace the cause.”

The wines are certified organic and vegan, will be released in eco-friendly packaging, which is either made from recycled materials or is itself recyclable.

VSPT has recently pledged to reduce the quantity and weight of its bottles and packaging so that 100% are separable, reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2030.

Sales of “South Cause” wines, will be priced between US$12-$15 per bottle, depending on the market, and will directly benefit Glaciares Chilenos.

VSPT has signed an agreement with the NGO which will see it give the organization a set lump sum each year to fund its scientific research and educational campaigns. The NGO will also receive a variable amount of money each year, based on sales of the wine.

Glaciers act as climate regulators, reflecting between 45% and 80% of the sun’s light, helping to cool the earth’s temperature. Glacier-melt causes sea levels to rise, leading to flooding and the loss of land. In the last six years, Chile’s glaciers have decreased by 8%, the equivalent of 1,800 Olympic-sized pools.

Glaciares Chilenos is dedicated to the preservation of Chile’s Patagonian ice fields, which represent 82% of the glaciers found in South America. The issue is particularly pressing given that 70% of the Chilean population is supplied with water originating from mountainous areas and the glacier refill zone.

Milano Wine Week Goes Digital – October 3 – 11 2020

Milano Wine Week will represent the first international wine event since the global Covid-19 shutdown. This year the organizers have set up a series of food and wine pairing demonstrations with top Italian chefs, for both trade and consumers that focuses on wine providing the inspiration for the dish – this online event will take place at a test kitchen near the Piazza del Duomo.

Milan Wine Week 2020 will be focusing on experiential events that connect with wine consumers, rather than a wine fair with booths. The organizers are also setting up small wine worlds within the popular neighborhoods in Milan; one neighborhood will focus on Franciacorta wines while another will focus on Prosecco wines, i.e., each neighborhood will have wine bars and restaurants focusing on that specific wine area. Each neighborhood will become a particular wine consorzio (association).

For trade and media, there will be a series of masterclasses and wine tastings as well as seminars that will not only focus on advice, guidance and networking opportunities but it will speak about exploring opportunities in a post-Covid world while all events will honor rules and government guidelines for avoiding the spread of the virus.

Milan Wine Week an international event and for 2020 they have upped their digital game by having events taking place in ten key cities: New York, San Francisco, Miami, Toronto, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Moscow, Munich and London that will be linked live to events taking place in Milan such as a winemaker leading a tasting and connecting live to other international cities via the internet.

Last year, Milan Wine Week attracted over 300,000 attendees across 300 event spaces in the northern Italian city.

“When our reality changes we need to change accordingly. Milano Wine Week has risen to the challenge by turning a gap into an opportunity,” Federico Gordini, Fonder of Milano Wine Week states

“During the lockdown, we decided to reimagine and adjust our business model in order to create something that was revolutionary and suitable for these times, trying to achieve an even bigger endeavor at an international level, while complying with strict regulations,” he added.

The week-long event will also gather opinion leaders, international professionals and consumers, and will include seminars, masterclasses, tastings and forums exploring everything from millennial drinking habits to wine retail trends.

“We will act as a broadcaster streaming a series of programs that can be accessed in real-time around the world. For the first time in our history we have decided to create a common thread connecting all the events in our schedule,” Gordini said.

Pre-registration : https://www.milanowineweek.com/digital-wine-fair-pre-registration/

Reims Tourism Office offers free Champagne to promote tourism

Attracting tourists post-Covid is undoubtedly a challenge. The Greater Reims Council has launched a new initiative called “Champagne, to make your summer awesome!” Visitors to the city will be treated to a bottle of grower Champagne. The greeting has an undeniably elegant touch, though there are some strings attached.

 

A total of 3,000 bottles, sourced from 68 different producers, will be given (one/adult) to those who qualify. The giveaway is said to have cost €50,000.

 

This initiative was launched July 15 and is subject to certain criteria. To qualify, tourists must spend at least two consecutive nights in the City of Reims, or the surrounding area, and stay in a hotel, guesthouse or gîte. Airbnb does not qualify. Also, during their trip, visitors must eat in a local restaurant and order at least one dish and drink. Fast food outlets are excluded from the list. Finally, in order to qualify, tourists must provide proof that they have paid for one leisure activity, such as renting a kayak, a winery visit, bike hire, or cinema ticket. Once they have paid for these holiday treats, visitors are required to go to the Reims tourist information office to receive their complimentary bottle.

This follows news of poor sales of Champagne during the Covid-19 pandemic. Industry body Comité Champagne said that sales were down 32% for the period January to May compared to the same period in 2019.

Women in Wine Talks — Fall Schedule

Les Dames d’Escoffier Ontario (Canada) is proud to host  “Women in Wine Talks™” as an online platform to raise awareness of women in the wine industry to impact positive change. We shine the spotlight on global women business leaders, winemakers, authors and industry experts.

The Concept
Women in Wine Talks™ are inspiring conversations, virtual wine-tastings and panel discussions with wine industry experts.

“Memorable and Elevated Virtual Experiences”

Women in Wine Talks™ is designed for every wine lover, at all levels; with international participation.

Past speakers included:

Elizabeth Gabay, MW
One of the world’s foremost authorities on rosé wines, is the author of ‘Rosé: Understanding the Pink Wine Revolution’, and President of the Jury at International Rosé Challenge – Rose Tasting and Talk.

Maggie Henriquez, Ph.D., CEO Krug
Leadership in Challenging Times with Maggie Henriquez CEO of Krug Champagne – Leadership Talk

Janet Dorozynski, PhD
Trade Commissioner Canadian Wine, Beer and Spirits
Q and A with Moderator: Shari Mogk-Edwards

Watch this space for our upcoming talks commencing September 2020, which will include:

Beatrice Cointreau
She was born into a long line of vine-growers and distillers.  Beatrice has her Master of  Law, in business, an MBA, studied at the Bordeaux Institute of Oenology, and at the ISIPCA European School of perfumery. She is also the great-granddaughter of the Cointreau liquor founder and granddaughter of the founder of Rémy Martin.

Reva Singh
Founder & Editor-in-Chief of India’s first wine magazine Sommelier India

Ariane Khaida
Executive Director of the Chateau Wines Division Barons de Rothschild

Lorraine Immelman
CEO, Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards (South Africa)

Father and Daughter team of Michel Drappier and Charline Drappier of Champagne Drappier

Ann Sperling
A leading force in the Canadian movement towards organic and biodynamic fine winemaking 9BC Winery and winery in Argentina)

Alysha Harker
Canadian Director for Riedel

…and many more exciting speakers in the world of wine and spirits!

Recent Testimonials:

What a successful inaugural virtual event! It was very interesting to learn there are over 400 appellations for Rosé wines, and how the various regions are grouped together. Elizabeth Gabay is exceptionally knowledgeable, and very generous sharing her passion, about Rosé wines. As she spoke to us from her home in the south of France, it was entertaining tasting wines virtually and comparing comments with each of the participants. There are a few I plan to try as a result! I am looking forward to the next virtual wine event!  Shari Mogk-Edwards

Janet Doroznyski’s presentation
Very informative and helpful presentation.  Thank you!
Jessica DiFruscia

I was honoured to be included in the LDEO Women in Wine Talks. Leadership in Challenging Times with Maggie Henriquez was inspirational and poignant.  Ms. Henriquez shared her life work and experiences while sharing optimism for the future.  Thank you Liz for setting this up.
Doris Bradley, Professor, George Brown College

I was really pleased to participate to Women in Wine Talks’ on-line conference on last June 23rd: Leadership in Challenging Times with Maggie Henriquez, President and CEO of Krug Champagne. Maggie is a very high-level personality with a great and riche experience. During one hour, Maggie shared honestly her experiences in top-level wine and/or spirits global groups. Her words were really inspiring. We can define her as a self-made woman who had different leadership and crisis management experiences – as top-level group leader – in global groups in Southern America, Northern America, Europe.  She gave concrete examples of crisis management and solutions development through her own experience.  She also clearly told to participants her point of views and clues about trends after current covid-19 crisis: crisis is always a hard step full of challenges but generating new business opportunities.

The on-line conference organization was also very high-level. First of all, to share debates with Maggie and also at a technical level. We were over 25 people connected at the same time from different countries.

Special thanks to really great job done by Liz Palmer, Founder UPsocial Wine + Spirits and her associate, Virginia Hutton – Loïc OROFINO, France

Wonderful webinar with Maggie Henriquez, CEO of Maison Krug. Inspiring to hear her talk about the various times throughout her business career when the world, and wine world, was in the midst of a global crisis and how she navigated through – with the key message being to support and retain your staff against all odds. The only thing that would have made it better was to have a glass of Krug in hand.
Janet Dorozynski, Ph.D. Dip WSET, WSET® Certified Educator
Trade Commissioner, Canadian Wine, Beer and Spirits and TourismTrade Sectors Bureau (BBI)/Bureau de secteurs commerciaux (BBI)
Global Affairs Canada/Affaires mondiales Canada

Champagne popping out of Covid-19 – Liz Palmer’s Presentation – Sparkling WINE Week July 1 2020

Sparkling WINE Week – July 1st 2020
Champagne Post COVID –
Session 3 – 15.30 – 16.00 Seminar: Champagne popping out of COVID-19  – Sparkling WINE Week Liz Palmer, Key Note Speaker

 Champagne Popping Out Of Covid-19

 Remember …only sparkling wine, from the Champagne region of France, can be called “Champagne”.

Brief Overview Of The Region

Location: the Champagne Region is located in the Northeastern part of France, about 1h30 from Paris by car and 45 minutes by TGV (high-speed train).

 Districts: The viticultural boundaries of Champagne are legally defined and split into 5 wine-producing districts: Aube, Côte des Blancs, Côte de Sézanne, Montagne de Reims, and Vallée de la Marne. The towns of Reims and Épernay are the commercial centers of the area. Reims is famous for its cathedral, Notre-Dame de Reims – this was previously used for the coronation of the French Kings and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Grapes: Three grapes are mainly used – Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Meunier.

Other approved varietals include: Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Arbane, and Petit Meslier

  • These together are less than 0.3% of plantings.

31% of vineyards in Champagne are planted with Chardonnay which performs best on the Côtes des Blancs and on the chalk-slopes south of Epernay. Chardonnay produces lighter, fresher wines and gives finesse, fruit and elegance to the final blend. It is the sole grape used in Blancs de Blancs.  Note:  No other authorized white grapes, i.e., Pinot Blanc, Arbane, Petit-Meslier and Pinot Gris can be used in making a Blancs de Blancs.

Pinot Noir accounts for nearly 38% of the plantings in Champagne and lies at the heart of most blends – it gives Champagne its body, structure, strength and grip. It is planted across Champagne and in the Aube district.

The final varietal is Meunier which accounts for nearly 31% of the plantings. This varietal is durable and resistant to spring frosts – found in Marne Valley. It produces a soft, fruity style of wine that is ideal for blending with the more assertive flavours of Pinot Noir. Producers allege that Pinot Meunier lacks aging potential, but this does not deter Krug from including 15% of it in their final blends.

Champagne is a collective of over 16,000 growers and 340 houses. The region as a whole has put a proactive focus on climate change and sustainability since 2003 it was the first in the world to produce a carbon footprint assessment and identify the main sources of emissions in their systems. Based on learnings from the assessment, the region rolled out a plan to cut emissions by 75% by 2050. A nearer-term goal ensures that 100% of the area holds an environmental certification by 2030. (As of 2019, about a fifth of the region held a certification.)

Champagne Shipments

The latest shipment figures are attached [as at April 20, 2020] « too early to tell the effects » since 50% of the shipments occur between September – December 2019, the next figures are expected to be announced around the 10th/15th of July – so watch for this – usually published in French.

Going back to 2019 – Champagne reached its highest ever turnover, breaking the €5 billion mark for the first time in its history, while the start of this year was also very strong in terms of sales of the sparkling wine. The beginning of 2020 was good in terms of consumption – and now it’s a different story.

2020 Pandemic 

With gatherings over the past three months across large parts of Europe, and around the world, canceled or postponed, and bars and restaurants closed, it should come as little surprise that Champagne sales would be seriously affected, especially as the nation’s worst-hit by the pandemic are some of Champagne’s biggest markets: France, Italy, Spain, and the USA.

As a whole, the Champagne region immediately reacted when the W.H.O. declared a global health emergency with the coronavirus pandemic [January 30, 2020].  France announced the first coronavirus death in Europe [February 14, 2020].

What Initial Steps Were Taken? 

  • Adapted general safety measures in the vineyards and cellars, and made the continuation of the work possible.
  • established guidelines for « mating confusion » which usually is done by hand in large groups (the whole village at once).

What is mating confusion:  This technique is based on a natural insect (scent or aroma) pheromone which confuses a male butterfly into not mating with the female. If the insects don’t breed, they aren’t a threat to the vines – this is called sexual confusion.

Mating confusion was postponed a few times and eventually suspended and did not take place in many villages. Typically, the growers would rather take the risk to lose a percentage of their grapes to the insects, than giving up on a « biocontrol  – which is a component of an integrated pest management strategy. It is defined as the reduction of pest populations by natural enemies.

[Note: Champagne is the leading European country, in terms of surface, when it comes to mating confusion and half of their surfaces are under mating confusion].

  • During this time, the Comite Champagne reminded the growers and houses, of the strategic orientations of the region: growth in value rather than in volume.
  • During the crisis, the Champagne Region interacted with the French government, to ensure that economic measures were in place to support the domaines and wineries.
  • The Presidents and executive board members of the houses have clearly communicated that Champagne expects a fall of shipments by 100 million bottles (i.e. minus 30% to minus 35%) over the year, resulting in a loss of turnover of 1,7 Bn€.
  • During the months of April and May, Champagne has managed to establish an “adaptation” of the collective system which is aimed at ensuring the survival of the houses and companies, such as:The 2020 harvest will be bottled in two parts:

the first part, as usual, January 1st 2021;

with the second part to be bottled as of January 1st 2022

(ensuring that there is a reasonable level of production in 2020 (in order to sustain domaines and all players, who depend on selling grapes). This avoids providing the markets with too much wine.).

[Note: Currently there are almost 4 years of shipments in stock (or 1,43 Bn bottles)]

  • The French government was solicited to reinforce the “Loi EGalim” or “**EGalim Law”] in the French off-trade, because it has had, in the past, positive effects on the Champagne market overall by limiting extreme discounts.

**[in long form this represents – law for the balance of trade relations in the agricultural and food sector and healthy, sustainable, and accessible food for all].

  • The EGalim Law set recent promotions as follows: 1 bottle offered for 3 purchased, as opposed to « buy one get one free ».

[Note: This call to the government is a positive sign on Champagne being firm on its value growth strategy.] 

Increased Digital Activities

  • The growers, houses and the Comite Champagne have all changed the way they communicate including increasing their social media activities.
  • recently launched Champagne education platform [Mook] champagne-mooc.com.

Classic Version

Course in English with subtitled videos

Access to 4 educational modules

The Champagne making process

The Champagne terroir

History and Economy of Champagne

Diversity and Tasting

Free

A N D 

Premium Version

Course in English with subtitled videos

Access to the 4 educational modules of the classic version

Additionnal contents:

Extra videos

Test your knowledge

Get the official Statement of completion

49€ (taxes included)

Strategy – Post-COVID

  • The main driver to rebuild a « desire for Champagne » is to collectively build the visibility of Champagne as a region that has invested in an eco-friendly production management [this is a number one concern for consumers 25-35 years in many key markets] and Champagne as the drink for celebrations, and special moments, but also the drink to make moments special — Champagne as a treat during hard times, a break within the rush, a comforting drink, for some.
  • And as Louis Roederer’s cellar master Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon states “We make something which is not essential but, at the same time, it is essential for pleasure and bringing people together. We make a wine for celebration, so we decided that, in difficult times, it is important to do what we do and try and make an even better wine for the future.”
  • Some brands, including the Union of Growers have organized charities to support medical teams in the region.
  • The environmental effort of the region (previously mentioned), for the last 20 years and with objectives set for 2025, 2030, 2050, these strategic fundamentals are long-term.

Harvest 2020 

  • There was initially a challenge to get seasonal workers for the upcoming harvest above at least 50% of the 120,000 required. With most coming from Eastern Europe, it’s both a challenge to determine how and when they can travel to France, and then to implement social distancing which anticipated for the end of August. This is no longer an issue as the UE will be reopening and students will be available.  The challenge remains to implement social distancing.
  • This is a manual and collective task that can cause incredible logistic challenges (transportation and meals).

Champagne Tourism

  • When it comes to tourism the region has adapted the government guidelines to reopen and the sites have just started to open.

France is Europe’s most-visited country, making tourism a key pillar of the economy.

  • Experts say it’s too early to evaluate the full effect of the COVID-19 crisis, but the European Commission is already calling for a new “Marshall Plan,” using EU funds, to save the tourism industry.
  • Once the lockdowns are fully over, and plans for a vaccine are in place, we will all want to celebrate – with Champagne of course!

Sources:

Comite Champagne
Thibaut Le Mailloux
Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon

 

 

Liz Palmer

liz@liz-palmer

www.liz-palmer.com