Washington to gain six new AVAs in 2020

Washington will be gaining six additional AVAs to its current fourteen, as part of the state’s fast-growing wine industry.

Doug Marshall, Senior Marketing Manager at Washington State Wine Commission is hopeful that the new AVAs will become a reality over the next six to 12 months. The region reached 1,000 wineries a few months ago, having grown from 200 in 2003.

“The growth has been pretty substantial, and we believe a lot of that growth comes down to quality,” Marshall told Harpers.  As an emerging region with only 20 to 30 years of winemaking experience, he added, Washington is now beginning to get into its stride, with a better understanding of its potential sub-regions, climate, and terroir.”

The new proposed AVAs include: The Burn, White Bluffs, Candy Mountain, Goose Gap, and Royal Slope.

“We know more about the region now, so we are understanding where boundaries are, recognizing regions… the new AVAs, and one of reasons we are seeing so many with six in the works, is that we are really honing our region in” states Marshall, and

“As people become more willing to explore and explore something they don’t know, [with] any wine region that is primarily premium, that gives us a leg up because that is our world,” he said by way of explaining the ongoing expansion of Washington’s winemaking scene.”

He further adds that “as a young region with just “20 to 30 years of winemaking tradition, Washington and its producers, including an influx of younger, second-generation winemakers, is now beginning to get more fully into its stride – understanding its potential sub-regions, soils, and climates.”

Wine Trends:  What to watch for in 2020

Wine Intelligence has announced its annual Wine Trends Report for 2020, which will reflect global challenges in the industry.

Richard Halstead, COO of Wine Intelligence, states “wine is a risky business,” specifying challenges around climate change, discretionary consumer spending influences in different countries, and global trade policy changes.

Here are their five predictions for the next 12 months, assuming global consumer spending does not fall off a cliff, and the weather does not cause any more mayhem.

  1. Wine volume consumption will globally decline.

Wine Intelligence sees the developed world drinking less wine in 2020, but overall, the value of wine consumed won’t be heavily impacted.

“Those drinking less wine have compensated by spending more on the wine they do buy, with the characteristic result that prices per bottle have been rising considerably for several years now in major consumption markets,” said Halstead.

There’s a prediction that this trend could mean trouble for the producers and brands with business models dependent on selling more for smaller margins.

However, this trend also noted that consumers are looking for brands that are thoughtful, have provenance or are culturally interesting. In this way, premiumization is about not only the price and quality of the liquid but also of the brand’s story and actions.

2. Sustainability claims will be scrutinized.

Environmentally friendly buzzwords are thrown around commonly on wine packaging and marketing, and it’s predicted that 2020 will see consumers investigating these claims.

While Wine Intelligence research suggests that many consumers read the word “sustainable” and believe it, Halstead said: “we also notice a smaller but growing minority of purchasers are more fundamentally committed, typically for a combination of environmental, ethical, social or lifestyle reasons.

“Next year I expect this latter group to be more zealous in their scrutiny of winemaking or viticultural claims, and more willing to call out what they see as transgressions or unacceptable standards,” states Halstead.

3. CBD wine will be explored further.

Cannabis-based drinks have been on the radar of predictions for a while now, however, considering an array of different international laws, they have yet to take off.

“As with many things in our industry, cannabis drinks products remain at the mercy of regulators in most jurisdictions, not to mention some serious product development and taste optimization challenges,” said Halstead.

While Wine Intelligence is not anticipating mainstream acceptance or popularity of cannabis wine drinks in 2020, they do predict more companies will start to explore it.

4. Products from less high-profile wine countries will become more popular.

Wine Intelligence predicts countries like Germany, South Africa, Portugal, and Greece, will see great growth in the popularity of their wine products.

“We believe 2020 will be a year where some old styles become new again to the next generation of consumers,” said Halstead.

Halstead points to specific examples including German Riesling, refreshing whites and red blends from South Africa and Portugal, and lighter white styles coming from Greece.

Halstead also describes the common thread of these products and states: “All will be meeting the growing consumer needs for more aromatic, fresh, lower alcohol whites, and lower tannin but interesting reds.”

5. Greater investment into creative packaging and serve formats.

“Our prediction is that we will see far more innovation in packaging coming to market next year than we have in the past few years, driven by the needs of business to reduce carbon footprint, to offer more recyclable containers, and to offer serve sizes that fit an age devoted to lowering volumes but increasing values,” Halstead said.

Brands will be focused on labeling and designs that stand out to busy and more visually oriented consumers, while also being classic enough to reassure shoppers of their quality. Look out for different bottle shapes, icons and coloring that go against the grain of what else is on the shelf.

Wine Intelligence’s 2019 trends and predictions were over 80% accurate.

 

The European Commission publishes harmonized oenological practices authorized in the EU

The European Commission published December 5 2019, in all EU languages, the detailed files of the International Organisation of the Vine and Wine code of oenological practices.

The oenological practices are defined, their objectives highlighted, as well as their conditions of use and the types of wines to which they apply. They include various types of fermentation and ways to acidify or de-acidify wine.

The European Commission stated that the object was to make the regulations “easier to read and to understand”, allowing winemakers to quickly comprehend the practices that are authorized in the EU.

The guidelines were the “last step” in the process of aligning EU wine legislation to the Lisbon Treaty. They simplify the requirements necessary to make wine for sale in the EU while increasing the consistency between both the EU permitted oenological practices and the international code of approved procedures published by the OIV.

The June update amended the regulations surrounding the presentation and labeling of wine, authorizations for vine planting, checks to avoid fraud in the wine industry, vineyard registers, and documents needed to accompany imports and exports.

The European Commission’s new 63-page document lists common winemaking procedures, giving their definition, objectives and permitted EU prescriptions.

The document covers topics including carbonic maceration, use of sulfites, controlled oxygenation, tirage, acidification and de-acidification, fining and filtering procedures, and stabilization and pasteurization techniques.

 

 

The English version of the document can be viewed here:

 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=OJ:C:2019:409:FULL&from=EN

Volume 62 English Edition Information and Notices
5 December 2019

Corby Spirit & Wine teams up with the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) for New Year’s

For the seventh consecutive year, the TTC is partnering with Corby Spirit and Wine to help New Years’ partygoers stay safe, by providing a night of complementary TTC rides. Starting December 31st after 7 p.m., all TTC streetcars, buses and subways will be free of charge until 7 a.m. on January 1st.

Corby Spirit & Wine also promotes responsible drinking through this partnership by various activations and messages through its website and social media. For more information about Corby Safe Rides and for a chance to win one of 10 prizes of a year of free TTC transportation, visit CorbySafeRides.ca and engage on social media using the hashtag #CorbySafeRides.

“New Years’ Eve is one of the most celebrated nights of the year and we want to do our part in helping people get home safe,” said Corby CEO Patrick O’Driscoll. “For the last seven years, we’ve provided over 1.2m rides to Torontonians, keeping our streets safe on one of the biggest party nights on the calendar.

“We could not be more proud of this partnership and its results keeping people from driving when they have been drinking.”

Corby:  https://corby.ca/en/

Toronto Transit Commission: http://www.ttc.ca

 

 

 

 

 

Michelin Guide Acquires Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

Michelin bought a 40% stake in the Wine Advocate back in 2017 and their full commitment to expanding into wine was realized this year. Nicolas Achard, CEO of Wine Advocate and as Managing Director of Michelin Experience Asia, announced last Friday in New York, with respect to full ownership, “We got to know each other for the past two years before we decided to complete the acquisition and we realized that Michelin and the Wine Advocate had the same culture in regards to the importance of their independence [from the restaurants/hotels and wineries they are reviewing].”

Achard further states that both companies also follow a rigorous methodology when it came to giving Michelin stars or Robert Parker Wine Advocate scores.  He goes on to say “Leading RPWA’s passionate teams is not only thrilling, but also an incredible opportunity to combine the strengths of the Michelin Guide and The Wine Advocate.”

The full integration would ensure, “long-term synergies between oenology and gastronomy through the pursuit of experiences based on food and wine pairing, as well as the creation of new digital content and services”.