I am delighted and honoured to be joining a distinguished group of speakers at the 1st Annual Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture Minister’s Conference – March 3 and 4 at the Halifax Convention Centre, Nova Scotia.
The theme of this year’s conference is “Farming for the Future – Thriving in a Changing World.” There will be local, national and international speakers addressing key issues and opportunities in agriculture – from innovation to labour and climate change.
I will be a keynote speaker discussing International Wine Marketing Strategies for 2020, and will also be participating on a Climate Change Panel along with Dr. Evan Fraser, Director Arrell Food Institute/University of Guelph, and Olivier Humbrecht MW and Winemaker/Owner Zind Humbrecht, Turckheim, France discussing “From Resilience to Opportunities” with respect to the global wine industry.
Say tuned for my follow-up report!
Conference details: https://www.perennia.ca/agriconference/
I traveled to Puglia, Italy early October 2019 to attend a four-day educational tour. The Educational Tour Guagnano (Salento – Puglia – Italy) “Negroamaro Stories” was carried out with the support of the Comune di Guagnano, the Municipality of Trepuzzi, the Gal Terrad’Arneo, the Municipality of Porto Cesareo, of the National Association of AIS of Lecce, and Solento Wine Shop.
Puglia is geographically located in the south-eastern tip of Italy, covering 7,469 sqm. It is bordered by the Adriatic Sea on the east, by the Ionian Sea on the southeast and the Gulf of Taranto in the south. Its climate is Mediterranean, with hot summer temperatures only partially mitigated with sea breezes.
On my first day I attended the Museo del Negroamaro for a press conference, which kicked off the 2019 “Stories of Negroamaro” tour. In attendance were partner organizations, participating wineries, local politicians, and artist Arianna Greco.
Conference speeches and presentations were given (in Italian) by:
Antonio Rizzo – Ass. cultura e al marketing territoriale del Comune di Guagnano;
Claudio Maria Sorrento – Sindaco del Comune di Guagnano;
Chiara Tondo – Ass. all’Agricoltura del Comune di Guagnano;
Cosimo Durante – Presidente Gal Terra d’Arneo;
Viviana D’Amico – Presidente del Comitato Tecnico Organizzativo del Premio Terre del Negroamaro; and
Titolari e Rappresentanti – Aziende Vinicole Guagnano.
The conference introduced us to the Guagnano and Terra d’Arneo area and presented grape harvest data for 2018-2019.
After the presentations and speeches, I met and mingled with Italian wine journalists, winegrowers and members of the local and regional associations, while tasting the delicious local cuisine.
After lunch, I participated in a tour of the Museo del Negroamaro. I found out that the Museum was formerly a millstone from the 1800s. It now houses antiques and antiquities from yesteryear, such as traditional presses, barrels, fermenters, weighs, pressure switches, and other tools and equipment previously used in the processing of grapes and winemaking. The Museum also houses the Negroamaro Study Center.
Over the next four days, I will be visiting eight wineries or Cantinas in Puglia and tasting their DOC and IGT wines, with a focus on the indigenous varieties Primitivo and Negroamaro. The participating wineries include: Cantele Cantele; Cantina Sociale Enotria; Vini Leuci; Feudi di Guagnano; Cantine Cosimo Taurino; Cantina Moros di Claudio Quarta; Taurino Francesco; and Tenuta Marano.
The first winery visit was Cosimo Taurino
The Taurino family have been growing grapes and making wines in Puglia for seven generations. This multi-award-winning estate owns 80 hectares of cultivated vineyards exclusively with Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera grapes, both indigenous to Salento. The Taurino’s family respect for terroir and for native grapes is inspiring, and their impact on the vinous history of Puglia is unprecedented.
Two wines that really stood out for me were:
Cosimo Taurino, Notarpanaro Salento 2010
Tasting Notes: This wine offers complex aromas of cherries and raspberry, with some notes of wood and spice, which all come through on the palate; this medium-bodied wine has fleshy tannins and a long finish.
Cosimo Taurino, Patriglione 2013
Tasting Notes: This wine has notes of red berries, leather, tobacco, and some traces of pepper. It’s a rich and full-bodied wine with a good balance.
Unfortunately, I could not complete the rest of the tour due to a family emergency.
What I learned in Salento….
Negroamaro is a deep, black-colored grape with taste characteristics of black currant, cherry, blackberry and cloves with some cinnamon undertones. It is almost exclusive to the Salento region (Brindisi and Lecce) and is harvested in late September.
Negroamaro is used in 13 regional Dop labels (out of 28 in Puglia) and is produced in the provinces of: Brindisi, Lecce and Taranto: Alezio, Brindisi, Copertino, Galatina, Leverano, Lizzano, Matino, Nardò, Negroamaro in Terra d’Otranto, Salice Salentino, Squinzano, and Terra d’Otranto.
Negroamaro has a high alcohol content with some floral and fruity aromas; this makes it an ideal blending wine because the aroma does not distract from other grape varieties.
It is worth mentioning that one of the secrets to the fabulous tasting Pugliese wine is the soil. It’s dense red clay, high in iron-oxide – this provides a sweet, structured, full-bodied wine.
Over the last few years, the wines of Salento have been gaining tremendous success. The next-generation winemakers have both improved the taste and the image of the wines in this emerging wine region.
A special thank you to the municipal administrations, for organizing this wonderful trip. I’m looking forward to going back to Puglia in the near future and learning more about this up-and-coming wine region.
Champagne Castelnau has announced its partnership with Amaury Sport Organisation, organizer of the Tour de France and other cycling events.
The annual epic cycling race will begin in Brussels today (6 July), making its way to Épernay and Reims in the Champagne region. The peloton will arrive in Epernay on Monday 8th July, departing Reims on Tuesday 9th July.
In its capacity as official Champagne of Amaury Sport Organisation, organizers of the Tour de France, Castelnau has released a limited edition of its Brut Reserve NV to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the famous Yellow Jersey. The Cuvée Siècle Jaune is a blend of 50% Pinot Meunier, 40% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir, with 40% reserve wines and it comes in a black bottle with yellow writing.
Champagne Castelnau will also be served at the end of each stage of the Tour de France and hosting a series of events in celebration. The race traverses several wine regions in eastern France, including Alsace, before making its way through Provence and the Languedoc.
The race’s inaugural edition was 1903 – it has been held annually since that year, except for the period during the Two World Wars.
Twenty-five female leaders in the food, beverage and hospitality industries assembled to celebrate the official approval of the Ontario Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier last week.
The highlight of the evening, besides the speeches, was a champagne toast with Laurent-Perrier Cuvee Rose Constellation. Which was a hit!
The women were in aww with the stunning detailed gold Robe which encased the bottle.
Salmon-pink in color; The nose is precise and very crisp with a lasting impression of freshness with hints of strawberries, redcurrants, raspberries, and black cherries.
Intensely fruity flavors begin clean and well-defined upon entry, the wine opens up to provide a melange of flavors of fresh strawberries, raspberries and wild cherries. It has great length and is well rounded.
“Constellation is the new pouring ritual”