THE CHAMPAGNE 2020 HARVEST REPORT “SPLENDIDE!”

2020 completes an exceptional trilogy for the harvest: as in 2018 and 2019, the weather conditions have offered a very high-quality harvest, which is one of the requirements to make a great wine. The beginning of the year was particularly wet with the dampest February on record. Heat and drought set in mid-March and the vines were 16 days ahead on a 10-year average; it will not lose this edge, even registering an exceptionally fast maturation process the week before the harvesting.

While last year’s temperature record was broken (42.9°C), this year it was the driest July in history. Due to the drought, the grapes are of a lighter weight than average but in excellent sanitary condition. The musts are well balanced, fruity, with a beautiful freshness and a great aromatic expression; the alcoholic degree lies between 10 and 10.5% vol.

The year 2020 is, of course, characterized by the health safety measures linked to the Covid-19 epidemic, which had to be put in place for the 120.000 seasonal workers recruited in vineyards or pressing centres.

Given the maximum yield limited to 8,000 kg/ha, the harvest was carried out, individually, a little faster than usual but spread over a normal period of about three weeks, given the heterogeneity of maturation between vintages and grape varieties. The tasting of berries and seeds and the analysis of the sugar content present in the grapes allow each winemaker to adapt the beginning of his harvest and optimize his grape picking circuit, plot by plot, at optimum maturity.

With the superb trilogy 2018, 2019, 2020, Champagne should have in a few years blends and, probably, exceptional vintages, all living up to the celebrations of the event that the whole world is waiting for: the end of the Covid-19 pandemic.

French Version

′′2020 complète en effet une trilogie exceptionnelle : comme en 2018 et en 2019, les conditions météorologiques ont offert une récolte de très grande qualité, première des conditions pour élaborer un grand vin. Le début de l’année a été particulièrement arrosé avec le mois de février le plus humide jamais enregistré. Chaleur et sécheresse s’installent dès la mi-mars et la vigne débourre avec 16 jours d’avance sur la moyenne décennale ; elle ne perdra plus cette avance, enregistrant même une dynamique de maturation exceptionnellement rapide la semaine précédant le ban des vendanges.

Alors que l’an passé, le record de température avait été battu (42,9°C), cette année, c’est le mois de juillet le plus sec de l’histoire qui a été enregistré. En raison de la sécheresse, les grappes sont d’un poids inférieur à la moyenne mais dans un excellent état sanitaire. Les moûts sont équilibrés, fruités, présentent une belle fraîcheur et une grande expression aromatique ; le degré alcoolique se situe entre 10 et 10,5% vol.

L’année 2020 se singularise bien sûr par les mesures de sécurité sanitaires liées à l’épidémie de Covid-19 qui ont dû être mises en place pour les quelque 120 000 saisonniers recrutés dans les vignes ou les centres de pressurage.

Compte tenu du rendement maximum limité à 8 000 kg/ha, la récolte a été effectuée, à titre individuel, un peu plus rapidement que d’habitude mais s’est étalée sur une durée normale d’environ trois semaines, compte tenu de l’hétérogénéité de maturation entre crus et entre cépages. La dégustation de baies et de pépins et l’analyse du taux de sucre présent dans les raisins permettent à chaque vigneron d’adapter le début de sa vendange et d’optimiser son circuit de cueillette du raisin, parcelle par parcelle, à maturité optimale.

Avec la superbe trilogie 2018, 2019, 2020, la Champagne devrait disposer dans quelques années d’assemblages et, probablement, de millésimes exceptionnels, à la hauteur des célébrations de l’événement que le monde entier attend : la fin de la pandémie Covid-19 ′′.

Source : Comité Champagne

WOMEN IN WINE TALKS Announces an exclusive “Live Talk” with Albiera Antinori – Tenuta Guado al Tasso and Priscilla Incisa della Rocchetta – Tenuta San Guido

WOMEN IN WINE TALKS

hosted by

Liz Palmer, President – Les Dames d’Escoffier (Ontario Chapter)

 

It is our great pleasure to invite you to be part of an exclusive “live talk” with

Albiera Antinori – Tenuta Guado al Tasso

and

Priscilla Incisa della Rocchetta – Tenuta San Guido
Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy

 

This event is scheduled for

Monday, September 21st at 7 pm (Rome time) on Zoom Platform  

Shari Mogk-Edwards (Canada) and Filippo Magnani (Bolgheri) will modulate the discussions between Albiera Antinori and Priscilla Incisa della Rocchetta. You will learn about the amazing story of their families, the Bolgheri territory, and its wines.  This is not to be missed!

 Albiera and Priscilla, two women representing two historical and renowned Italian wine estates in Bolgheri, producing the iconic wines Guado al Tasso and Sassicaia. Nowadays, these two women together with Cinzia Merli from Le Macchiole winery, are also guiding the direction of the Board of Consorzio DOC Bolgheri and will discuss the vision of this wine appellation and territory.

Filippo Magnani, one of the top global Italian wine travel experts in Italy, will provide an overview of Bolgheri as “the hidden gem of Tuscany”, and why Bolgheri should be the next wine destination for both wine enthusiasts and wine professionals.

Host and Organizer:

Liz Palmer – President of Les Dames d’Escoffier (Ontario Chapter), Award-winning author, Dame Chevalier de Coteaux de Champagne, Educator, Wine Judge and voted one of the “Top 20 Global Wine Influencers for 2020 “ and founder of UPSocial Wine and Spirits Agency www.liz-palmer.com

Speakers from Bolgheri:

Albiera Antinori – Owner of Tenuta Guado al Tasso in Bolgheri / President of Consorzio DOC Bolgheri Tuscany / Member of the Association Le Donne del vino in Italy  (The Women of Wine of Italy) www.guadoaltasso.it  

Priscilla Incisa della Rocchetta – Co-owner of Tenuta San Guido in Bolgheri / Vice-President of Consorzio DOC Bolgheri Tuscany / Member of the Association Le Donne del vino in Italy  (The Women of Wine of Italy). www.tenutasanguido.com

Moderators:                                    

Shari Mogk-Edwards is the founder of Shari’s Picks Consulting. Her career spans 36 years with the world’s largest single buyer of beverage alcohol – the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. As a former VP and head buyer at LCBO, Shari Mogk-Edwards tasted and selected wines and spirits from around the world. She developed Shari’s Picks and now makes wine recommendations. www.sharispicks.ca

Filippo Magnani – Wine Travel Expert in Italy and Writer  (The Italian Wine Insider). In 1999 he founded Fufluns Wine Tours, a boutique travel operator specialized in Wine Tours in Tuscany & Italy. www.filippomagnani.itwww.fufluns.com


Zoom link to join the Women in Wine Talk 7 PM (Rome)
on
Monday, September 21st 

[complimentary ticket] Click here for your complimentary ticket!

Eventbrite Page:

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/women-in-wine-talks-with-albiera-antinori-priscilla-incisa-della-rocchetta-tickets-120133780371

We look forward to seeing you.

With warm regards,

Liz Palmer
Founder of Women in Wine Talks
President of Ontario Chapter Les Dames d’Escoffier

 

US Wine Market Adapts to “New Normal” According to Nielsen Report

US off-trade consumers are settling into new normal following the incredible sales spikes seen at the height of the pandemic, the latest data from Nielsen has shown, but US wine appears to be losing out to imports from New Zealand, Italy and France in the most recent weeks.

According to data for the week ending 22 August, wine in the US off-trade grew 17.4%, marginally lower than the previous week, and well below the 25.2% of the whole Covid period to date. Spirits meanwhile led the charge at with growth of 26.2% (down from 27.2% last week, or 33.5% over the whole Covid-period to date) led by the whiskey (24.2%), which accounts for a third of the spirits category, tequila (+59.1%), ready-to-drink cocktails (+101%) and cognac (+53.2%).

Hard seltzers also saw triple-digit gains, up 113% this week, compared to the same period last year. Although this growth has slowed slightly, it still accounts for 10.2% of sales in the latest week.  Craft and super-premium beer also showed strong sales within the core beer category, which rose 9.8% overall.

Drilling into wine sales, sparkling wine grew well ahead of table wine, rising 35.5%, compared to table wine’s 13.3% growth.  However, the data showed sales of American table wine are losing out to wines imported from New Zealand (23.6%), Italy (23.3%) and France (18.7%) at a faster rate than pre-pandemic, with the market share of domestic table wine falling 3 percentage points, on the back of a 2.5 percentage point decline in Californian wine.

US Consumers are settling into a new normal, according to Nielsen’s vice president of beverage alcohol Danella Kosmal, with year on year trends up 18.5%

However, Kosmal stressed that although off-premise growth rates for alcohol continue to outpace growth rates of total consumer goods, the off-premise growth was not enough to make up for the total losses in on-premise channels. “There has been a significant shift in volume from on-premise channels, which has exaggerated growth rates for off-premise alcohol,” she said.

The latest data showed that the US Wine Market Adapts to “New Normal” According to Nielsen Report premise saw steady growth, showing the seventh consecutive week without decline, with the average rate of sale per average establishment up 3% compared to last week. This metric varied in different states across the US, with New York rising 4% in the last week, and Illinois seeing the strongest growth, at 11%, making it only a third (36%) below the ‘normal’ level of the same week last year.

However, the average rate of sale in outlets that are currently open is still down 22% compared to the same period last year.

The Institute of Masters of Wine announces 16 new Masters of Wine

The Institute of Masters of Wine has announced 16 new Masters of Wine, taking the total number of MWs in the world today to over 400.

Based in nine different countries, the new MWs are Mike Best MW (UK), Nick Bielak MW (UK), Beans Boughton MW (UAE), Duane Coates MW (Australia), Jacqueline Cole Blisson MW (Canada), Róisín Curley MW (Ireland), Tracey Dobbin MW (France), Heidi Hansen MW (Norway), Christophe Heynen MW (Belgium), Annette Lacey MW (Australia), Ido Lewinsohn MW (Israel), William Lowe MW (UK), Geoffrey Moss MW (Canada), Ray O’Connor MW (UK), Adam Porter MW (UK) and Louise Wilson MW (Canada).

There are now 409 MWs based in 30 countries.

The new members of the IMW have proved their understanding of all aspects of wine by passing the Master of Wine exam, recognised worldwide for its rigour and high standards.

The MW exam consists of three distinct parts; the theory and practical exams that are taken at the end of stage two, and the research paper submitted at the end of stage three. The RP is an in-depth study on a wine-related topic from any area of the sciences, arts, humanities or social sciences.

In addition to passing the exam, and before new members have the right to use the title Master of Wine or initials MW, they are required to sign the IMW’s code of conduct. By signing the code of conduct, MWs agree to act with honesty, integrity and use every opportunity to share their understanding of wine with others.

The second MW crop of 2020 shows the continued internationalisation of the IMW. The top six countries where MWs are based around the world are Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, the UK and the US.

Mike Best MW (UK)

Based in Lewes, close to the South coast of England, Mike works for 3rd Floor Wines, Wines, selling to independent wine shops in the area. Before this Mike spent five years working at the WSET, helping to establish new wine schools across the South of England. He continues to teach all levels, including Diploma at the WSET School in London. Mike’s interest in wine began whilst working in a gastropub in his native Yorkshire and spent a year working in ASDA’s wine department before moving south to work for PLB. Stints working for wineries in both England and Australia have given him practical experience. He hopes to spend his newfound free time getting back on the cricket field for the wine trade sports club. Mike is currently the youngest MW in the world.

Research paper

An investigation into the current cellar door practices of Great Britain’s wine producers. What part might they play in the future growth of the industry?


Nick Bielak (UK)

Nick moved to Italy in 1996 and soon got into wine while working at a winery in Puglia. There he cut his teeth on all things Italian wine, the complexities of the different DOC/Gs, the myriad of Italian wine producers, and exporting Italian wine around the world. In 2003 he briefly worked for a national importer as an Italian wine specialist before joining up with Nicolas Belfrage MW, in 2006 at Vinexus, Italian wine marketers and exporters. Nick has since continued to market Italian wine in 10 different export markets around the world with some of the world’s most prominent distributors and Italy’s finest producers. Nick is a dual national, British and Italian, and roams the many wine regions of Italy exploring the exhilarating geographies of what Italian wine is today. He spends his time between Italy and the UK.

Research paper

An investigation into the challenges faced by the Prosecco DOC producers since 2010.


Beans Boughton MW (UAE)

Beans is a wine buyer based in the UAE working for MMI as fine wine category manager. Beans is a confident communicator, eager to engage with fellow consumers at all stages of their wine journeys. Beans’ passion for wine began rummaging around Gloucestershire wine cellars at a young age. After studying ancient history at UCL, his professional engagement with wine started at Oddbins. Following a foray into the world of banking, Beans joined the team at Planet of the Grapes, completing the WSET Diploma in 2009 and moving from van driver to running a fine wine shop, bar and restaurant in the City. He gained experience buying wine in the cash and carry, and wholesale distribution sectors before moving to the UAE to join MMI.

Research paper

Examining the impact of market visits by winery principles on brand performance in the premium on-trade channel in Dubai.


Duane Coates MW (Australia)

Duane has a long-held passion for Australian and international wines. He expanded his knowledge with vintages in Burgundy, the Rhone Valley and the Douro Valley. Exposure to European wines and winemaking has given Duane a broad perspective on techniques and wines styles. Other passions include archery, motorcycles and music.

Research paper

Methods of preserving freshness in opened bottles of wine.

Jacqueline Cole Blisson (Canada)

Jacqueline (Jacky) is a Canadian wine writer, educator, and consultant. After obtaining a BA in communication studies at Concordia University, Montréal, Jacky moved to Burgundy to pursue a career in wine. While completing an advanced masters in wine science and international trade at the CFPPA de Beaune and AgroSup Dijon, she worked harvest seasons in Beaune and the Walker Bay, South Africa. Since returning to Montréal, Jacky has focused on sharing her passion for fine wine through her freelance wine writing, speaking engagements, judging, and her wine education YouTube video series.

Research paper

A study into Ontario’s quest for global fine wine recognition.


Róisín Curley MW (Ireland)

Róisín holds a BSc in pharmacy and an MSc in viticulture and oenology. In 2015 she established her micro-négociant business, Maison Róisín Curley, in Burgundy. A négociant vinificateur, she produces wine in small quantities from carefully selected parcels from various appellations throughout Burgundy. Róisín divides her time between Burgundy and her beloved County Mayo, in the west of Ireland, where she works alongside her brother Mark as a pharmacist in their family business.


Research paper

A scientific study comparing the influence of three different strains of Oenococcus oeni on malolactic fermentation kinetics and chemical properties relating to the colour and flavour of Pinot Noir wine from Burgundy.


Tracey Dobbin MW (France)

Tracey is a Newfoundlander based in Bordeaux since 2011. She is a wine educator and consultant buyer in Canada and France. Her company Autour du Vin offers a range of wine education including WSET courses and wine tours throughout Europe. She is also the co-owner of Les 3 Cavistes, an importing agency in Canada. Tracey holds an MBA in wine management and marketing (INSEEC Bordeaux) and a master of science degree (McMaster University and Dalhousie University). Tracey is an avid distance runner and spends most of her free time chasing after her one-year-old daughter. Her favourite way to enjoy a glass of wine is at a kitchen island with family and friends.

Research paper

Dry white wines from Grand Cru Classé Sauternes: Perceptions of négociants, châteaux and key market retailers on the market performance and market potential of these wines.


Heidi Hansen MW (Norway)

Heidi lives and works in Oslo. She manages all wine courses and educations at the Culinary Academy of Norway and teaches both the sommelier education and all levels of WSET. She started as a cook, completed her sommelier education in 2009 and worked as a sommelier for five years before her current job. Heidi also loves running courses focusing on food and wine for wine enthusiasts and connoisseurs. When she was working as a sommelier, Heidi took part in various competitions and holds medals from both the Norwegian and Nordic sommelier championship.

Research paper

Online wine tasting courses in Norway. Examining the quality of corrective feedback through an online platform and the opportunities for development.


Christophe Heynen MW (Belgium)

Christophe is the founder and managing director of Gustoworld, a leading (fully C02-neutral) fine world wine importer with extensive activity in Belgium and France. He is also the owner of several wine import companies in these countries. Christophe is an alumnus of the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), Switzerland, from which he graduated in 1998 with a BSc in hotel and restaurant management. After a career in the hospitality industry in Canada and the US, Christophe returned to Europe to start his wine business. Christophe loves discovering world food and wine cultures and is a member and former president of several entrepreneur associations. His passion for wine led him to the WSET Diploma, and he joined the MW programme in 2015. Christophe is based in Belgium with his wife and two children.

Research paper

An analysis of the use of crowdfunding methods as a tool for financing new vineyard and winery projects worldwide from the perspective of wine entrepreneurs.


Annette Lacey MW (Australia)

Annette has extensive management and operational experience across all levels of restaurants and hospitality venues. She is currently the group beverage manager for Solotel, a large and diverse hospitality group in Sydney. Annette has held similar roles, having developed her skills as a restaurant manager and sommelier for international hotel groups and award-winning fine dining restaurants across traditional, modern and Asian cuisines. She has completed all levels of WSET and is a certified educator focusing on the development of the next generation through the delivery of wine courses in the Australian market. Annette was the 2014 winner of the Vin de Champagne Award (professional) and was selected for the Len Evans tutorial. She also has experience as an associate judge at numerous wine shows around the country and participates in trade and educational tastings, presentations and master classes.

Research paper

An investigation into whether the Tasmanian GI should be sub-divided.


Ido Lewinsohn MW (Israel)

Ido is an Israeli winemaker. He studied viticulture and oenology in Italy, interned at San Guido’s Sassicaia and travelled extensively. He worked in Italy, France and Australia before returning to Israel in 2007 to become a winemaker. In time he became the head winemaker of Recanati Winery. On his return to Israel, he established Lewinsohn Winery in his family’s garage, where he produces his ‘Garage de Papa’ wines. In 2017, Ido was appointed head winemaker of Barkan – Segal Wine Cellars, Israel’s largest producer. Ido lives outside the city with his wife and two daughters.

Research paper

Grapevine leafroll virus crisis in Israel. How has the industry been affected and what is it doing to combat the disease?


William Lowe MW (UK)

William is the Master Distiller and co-founder (along with his wife and business partner, Lucy) of Cambridge Distillery. His 22-year drinks industry career has seen him working in a variety of fields, from bartender to restaurant manager, wholesaler to educator. Despite his specialism in spirits, William was awarded the inaugural Wines from Spain Master of Wine scholarship prize following his achievements in the WSET Diploma. The continuing theme in his career has been the effort to draw the world of wines and spirits closer together, something he is a step closer towards with the title Master of Wine.

Research paper

Does wine tasting education improve performance in qualitative assessment of spirits?


Geoffrey Moss MW (Canada)

Geoffrey is the principal of Lithica Wine Marketing, a boutique branding and marketing agency with a focus on direct-to-consumer sales and marketing. After graduating with a degree in political science from McGill University, Geoffrey took the only logical next step and enrolled in a winemaking and viticulture programme. His approach to sales and marketing is informed by working for some of the leading wineries in Canada along with his experience both in the vineyard and cellar. Geoffrey takes a customer-centric approach with the aim of elevating brands by creating long-term brand ambassadors. He is also a wine writer and critic, with contributions to Gismondi on Wine. Geoffrey resides in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley.

Research paper

A case study: Factors affecting wine club termination for nine California wineries.


Ray O’Connor MW (UK)

Born and raised in Ireland, Ray found his passion for wine when working in a Dublin restaurant. On discovery of his new vocation, he applied himself wholeheartedly to wine studies. He won the George O’Malley Trophy for the highest tasting paper in Ireland in the WSET Diploma exam before moving to London where he worked as a sommelier for Gordon Ramsay. The six years spent working as commercial manager for the International Wine Challenge enabled him to train his palate for the practical paper of the MW exam. While on the MW study programme he was selected for the AXA Millésimes scholarship. Over the years, Ray has been a wine judge, ran his own wine school and won the Young Wine Writer of the Year Award in 2007. Since 2013, he has been the wine director for Naked Wines UK and spends a large amount of time in wine regions around the world sourcing new winemakers, with a keen focus on quality control. His other passions largely revolve around running, music and Guinness.

Research paper

An investigation into the chemical and sensory elements in the use of specific inactivated yeast in bulk-shipped Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.


Adam Porter MW (UK)

Adam first became interested in wine whilst reading history at Oxford University and participating in the university’s varsity blind tasting competition. He now has 15 years’ experience in the wine industry gained in a variety of buying and marketing roles. Most recently he was the purchasing and channel strategy director at Jascots, an award-winning importer and wholesaler specialised in supplying the quality independent on-trade in and around London. Previously, he was at Sainsbury’s supermarkets in the trading team and started his career managing stores for Majestic Wine. Outside of work, Adam enjoys practising yoga and rowing on the Thames.

Research paper

Can premium wines be marketed in single serve cans in the UK retail market?


Louise Wilson MW (Canada)

During her career, Louise has worked in several different fields, including export, retail, hospitality and education. Louise holds a BSc from the University of Calgary, a WSET Diploma and is a certified sommelier with the ISG. One of the highlights of her journey to becoming a Master of Wine was the honour of receiving the Yalumba Scholarship and having the opportunity to visit Australia’s oldest family-owned winery. Louise lives in the Niagara region in Canada and is especially passionate about Canadian wine.

Research paper

An investigation into consumer attitudes toward vegan and vegetarian wine in Canada.

VIEW RESEARCH PAPERS HERE

 

 

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.