Wines of Argentina appoints Maximiliano Hernández Toso as new president

The Wines of Argentina has recently appointed Maximiliano Hernández Toso as its new president for the next two-year period.

Toso will serve a two-year term as president, supported by Guillermo Barzi, who will continue as acting vice president of the institution.

Tosco was appointed during an Ordinary General Assembly of Wines of Argentina yesterday, held over videoconference.

Hernández Toso is the co-founder and director of WHT Partners, an Argentine venture group that invests in high-end wine and owns Riglos and Huarpe wineries. He has been on Wines of Argentina’s board of directors since 2015, and previously occupying the role of treasurer.

He has an MBA from IDEA and the London Business School and a Master’s in public policy from Carnegie Mellon University, where he studied as a Fulbright fellow. Toso has also taught and directed the wine management programme at ADEN Business School and has also spent time working as a private and independent consultant to entrepreneurs, investors and multi-lateral organizations.

Commenting on his new role, Hernández Toso said: “It is a privilege for me to lead this institution, which I respect and admire for the great work it has done since its inception. We have many challenges ahead, but also great opportunities to innovate and continue bringing Vino Argentino closer to the world and raising the perception of Argentina as a modern winemaking country thanks to the enormous wealth and diversity of our terroirs.”

Vice president Guillermo Barzi, added: “Over the years, Argentina has shown that it is capable of surprising and competing internationally with great wines of the world. The goal is challenging, but we will keep the focus on collaboration agreements and education as a way to reach new audiences.”

Wines of Argentina website:  https://www.winesofargentina.org/en

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

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/

One Billion Steps Challenge for Breast Cancer Research! [Breast Cancer Society of Canada]

For nearly 30 years, thousands of walkers have joined us at our Annual Mother’s Day Walks, powered by Cleo. This year, things are different, so rather than getting together, we’re inviting everyone to take part in the One Billion Steps Challenge for Breast Cancer Research every day in May.

“It’s an opportunity to do something good for yourself while doing something to help prevent 14 Canadian women from dying of breast cancer every day,” said Kimberly Carson, CEO of the Breast Cancer Society of Canada. She continues, “It’s important now more than ever to remain active for both our physical and mental health. We encourage everyone to get active throughout May – and to get your steps in however it’s right for you. You can be inside in your living room, or in your backyard – wherever it is safe for you.”

Together We Will Reach One Billion Steps!

Everyone is invited to register at mothersdaywalk.ca and have their steps count towards the One Billion Steps Goal! We have some great exercise videos and incentives to motivate everyone to get active throughout May – whether walking, stepping, exercising or dancing.

Challenge your family, friends and colleagues!

Stay active all throughout May! Our mobile app will track your ranking against the entire pool of participants, and you can share your achievements on your social media channels.

There is no cost to join and we have incentives for everyone who raises more than $50 in donations.

Register today at mothersdaywalk.ca

Before May 1, we will send you the mobile app (iPhone and Android) that will track your steps from May 1- 31.

CEO of Cleo, Lisa Hryciuk is taking the One Billion Steps Challenge, challenging her colleagues to do 20,000 steps every day in May. “It’s a big goal, but there’s work to do – more than 26,000 Canadians are diagnosed with breast cancer every year! Cleo is proud to have supported the Breast Cancer Society of Canada and its mission to save lives through breast cancer research for 18 years.”

The Breast Cancer Society of Canada has partnered with GenWin to provide the One Billion Steps Challenge. “Once registered, participants will receive a link to download a mobile app which will track steps and fundraising progress. It’s easy to invite friends and family to support you or to challenge them to participate,” said Moody Hashem, CEO of GenWin.

We’re challenging all Canadians to join the One Billion Steps Challenge to help save lives through breast cancer research!

Source:  Breast Cancer Society of Canada