Another Record year in Cognac: 200 million bottles shipped

For the fourth straight year, exports of Cognac have continued their steady rise

For the fourth straight year, exports of Cognac have continued their steady rise, with an increase of 8.2% in volume and 5.4% in value. The previous record of bottles shipped (200 million) has been surpassed, with 205.9 million bottles shipped between August 2017 and July 2018. With 3.2 billion euros (roughly 300 billion dollars) in revenue, Cognac contributes significantly to France’s trade surplus in the wines and spirits sector, accounting for nearly a quarter of the total value of French wine and spirits exports and placing Cognac at the top of the major appellations.

Cognac consolidated its position in the NAFTA zone with 89.8 million bottles shipped. This translates to an increase of 9.4% in volume and 0.2% in value, in the 9th consecutive year of growth2. The United States remains the leading market, with 86.5 million bottles shipped during the period. “The brown spirits category is growing in the US market. The historical presence of cognac and the constant investment by the Cognac houses in this market have reinforced the performance of cognac in the U.S.,” explains Patrick Raguenaud, President of the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC).

The East Asian market continues to grow, with 60.9 million bottles shipped (an increase of 13.5% in volume and 12.4% in value). China is driving growth in this zone, with nearly 26.2 million bottles shipped. For Patrick Raguenaud, “these good results confirm China’s continued appetite for Cognac, even with transitions currently taking place in that market.”

Shipments to continental Europe remain stable with a slight loss of 2.0% in volume but a rise of 3% in value, for a total shipment of more than 41.3 million bottles. These results are due to a small decrease in exports to western and northern Europe and growth in Russia and Latvia. “Particularly in the United Kingdom, our largest European market, shipments remain stable, despite the uncertainties of Brexit,” says Patrick Raguenaud.

Significant potential for development in the rest of the world

Increased exports also continue in other areas, with strong potential for Cognac in countries such as South Africa, Vietnam, Oceania and the Caribbean4. Exports to these markets rose by 12.2% in volume and 5.3% in value. All together, these promising markets represent more than 6.7% of total exports, or nearly 13.9 million bottles.

Exports increase for all categories: V.S., V.S.O.P. and Hors d’Âge

Representing 50% of total volume, the V.S., V.S.O.P. and older categories—including Napoléon, X.O. and Hors d’Âge—continue to play a prominent role in Cognac’s strong performance5. The success of V.S. (minimum 2 years aging) cognac continues to be driven by the North American market–which accounts for half of all cognac shipments—growing in volume by 6% and in value by 4.1%.

Representing a little less than 40% of the production, V.S.O.P. (minimum 4 years aging) shipments increased by 10% in volume and 2.1% in value. Napoléon (minimum 6 years aging), X.O. and Hors d’Âge (minimum 10 years aging, respectively) are also experiencing significant growth with a rise of 12.4% in volume and 10.3% in value, thanks to strong results in East Asia.

According to Patrick Raguenaud, «the good momentum we are experiencing today in these three quality-designated categories can be explained by cognac’s strength in all markets, with varied consumption patterns.

Cognac: spearheading French wine and spirits exports

According to the Fédération des Exportateurs de Vins et Spiritueux de France (Federation of Exporters of Wines and Spirits of France) and the Fédération Française des Spiritueux (French Federation of Spirits), 2017 saw French spirits exports reach new records and break the € 4 billion mark, for a total of 437 million liters (an increase of 2.4%). Cognac, accounting for 70% of the value of spirits exports, gave a strong boost to the overall value. In addition, Cognac now represents nearly a quarter of the total value of all French wine and spirits exports.

Christophe Forget, Vice President of the BNIC, comments on cognac’s growth, which confirms its dynamism and international influence: “Cognac growers and négociants are confident in their future prospects and continue to fully invest in the development of the appellation, the markets and the quality of their products.”

 

Source: Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC).

U.S. Guinness Brewery is set to open August 3, 2018

Starting August 3, 2018 Guinness beer will be brewed at its own U.S. brewing facility.

Starting August 3, 2018 Guinness beer will be brewed at its own U.S. brewing facility.

Guinness’ parent Diageo announced January 31, 2017 by press release that they would build a U.S. version of Dublin’s famous Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore County, Maryland.

The $50 million project includes the construction of a mid-sized Guinness brewery, packaging and warehousing operations as well as a tasting room, retail store and visitor center at Diageo’s Relay, Maryland site.

The new brewery would feed Guinness’ innovation program by creating new beers for the U.S. market, but the vast majority of the brand’s world-renowned stout offerings would continue to be brewed at the St. James’s Gate facility in Dublin, the company said.

“Opening a Guinness brewery and visitor center in the US will enable us to collaborate with fellow brewers and interact with the vibrant community of beer drinkers,” Diageo Beer Company, USA president Tom Day said in a press release. “Given the success of our Open Gate Brewery in Dublin and the popularity of beer tourism in the US, we are confident that Americans will welcome the opportunity to come experience Guinness brewing in Baltimore County.”

The full press release is included below:

RELAY, Md., January 31, 2017 – Continuing the momentum from Diageo Beer Company USA’s positive half year financial results, Diageo today announced its intention to build a US version of Dublin’s popular Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore County, Maryland. As currently planned, the company would build a mid-sized Guinness brewery and a Guinness visitor experience with an innovation microbrewery at the company’s existing Relay, Maryland site. This new brewing capability and consumer experience, combined with a packaging and warehousing operation, would bring the company’s investment in Relay to approximately $50 million. The new brewery would be a home for new Guinness beers created for the US market, while the iconic Guinness Stouts will continue to be brewed at St. James’s Gate in Dublin, Ireland. Visitors would be able to tour the working brewery, sample experimental beers brewed on-site at the taproom, and purchase Guinness merchandise at the retail store. While finalization of these plans is still contingent on reaching agreement on several considerations, the project would represent a significant investment in Maryland in terms of economic development, job creation and tourism.

“Opening a Guinness brewery and visitor center in the US will enable us to collaborate with fellow brewers and interact with the vibrant community of beer drinkers,” stated Tom Day, President, Diageo Beer Company, USA. “Given the success of our Open Gate Brewery in Dublin and the popularity of beer tourism in the US, we are confident that Americans will welcome the opportunity to come experience Guinness brewing in Baltimore County. We appreciate the support we have received so far from state and local officials and look forward to continuing to contribute to the local community.”

The project would re-establish a Guinness brewery in the US after 63 years of absence. The new brewery and visitor experience would become part of Diageo’s production facility in Relay, site of the historic Calvert Distillery which opened in 1933. Relay was chosen as the preferred location for this project for several reasons, including the site’s proximity to major East Coast tourist and population hubs, availability of skilled employees, and space to build and adapt existing structures on the property. While many specifics are still being evaluated, it is estimated that this project could generate approximately 40 jobs in brewing, warehousing and an agile packaging operation, which may include canning, bottling and kegging. In addition, the Guinness visitor experience part of the project could create approximately 30 jobs. A significant number of construction jobs would likely also be created during the building phase, and the company would endeavor to hire as many local firms as possible to conduct this work.

“Guinness’ plan to build a brewery at its historic facility in Relay, MD is great news for job creation, manufacturing, and tourism in our state,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Beer tourism attracts millions of visitors to towns and communities across the country every year and I look forward to welcoming Guinness to the roster of excellent breweries we have here in Maryland.”

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot said, “Today’s announcement is an exciting development for Maryland’s thriving tourism industry and our state’s burgeoning, award-winning brewing sector. The Guinness facility will be a strong boost for our economy by creating good-paying jobs for Marylanders and by attracting visitors from across the region and the country. I am optimistic that all stakeholders will come together and work collaboratively with the General Assembly to ensure that this innovative project moves forward.”

“Baltimore County is thrilled that Diageo is reviving a historic building with the iconic Guinness brand. The brewery and tap house has all the hallmarks to become a popular tourist destination and will be a perfect complement to our local craft breweries,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

Tom Quirk, Chair of the Baltimore County Council whose district encompasses the Relay site, stated, “More than just a brewery, this is a significant investment in our community that represents a new direction for the historic Relay facility. Leveraging Guinness’ 250 years of brewing heritage and capitalizing on its great location for welcoming visitors to Baltimore County, this will be a strong boost for tourism, not only in the county, but the entire region.”

President Jason Chorpenning of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 27, which currently represents employees at Diageo’s Relay facility, also expressed support, saying, “UFCW Local 27 is very excited about the prospect of a brewing operation in the Baltimore market, and the potential for more jobs and membership in our great local union. We wholly support any legislation necessary to make this opportunity happen, and we will work with Diageo to ensure the success of this endeavor.”

“As the largest Diageo beer distributor in the state of Maryland, we are very excited about today’s announcement by Diageo Beer Company USA to resurrect its facility in Relay and build a brewery,” said Evan Anthanas, President, Chesapeake Beverage. “Not only will this project help build the Guinness brand in Maryland, the tourism piece and brand experience planned for this project will certainly enhance Maryland’s beer industry and be a benefit to our retail customers.”

Prominent Maryland restaurateur, Mark Loundas of Bill Bateman’s Bistro commented, “What an exciting announcement for tourism in Baltimore County and the state of Maryland. I know that this Guinness brewery project will benefit the entire hospitality industry including hotels, beverage alcohol retailers and other tourist destinations throughout our region.”

Diageo hopes to receive approvals and to begin construction this spring with the goal of opening the brewery this fall to mark the 200th anniversary of Guinness being first imported into the US.

As reported in Diageo’s half-yearly financial results last week, Diageo Beer Company USA organic net sales increased 3%.

About Diageo

Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit and Buchanan’s whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands, and performance, visit us at www.diageo.com. Visit Diageo’s global responsible drinking resource, www.DRINKiQ.com, for information, initiatives, and ways to share best practice.

https://www.diageo.com/

Diageo North America: @Diageo_NA

About Guinness

The Guinness brand was established in 1759, when Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year lease on St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin. Brewed using four main ingredients, water, barley (malted & roasted), hops and yeast, Guinness is the world’s most popular stout. The iconic beer is brewed in 49 countries worldwide and sold in over 150 with almost 9 million glasses of Guinness enjoyed every day around the world. The most GUINNESS is sold in Great Britain, Ireland, USA, Nigeria and Cameroon. More information can be found at www.guinness.com.

https://www.guinness-storehouse.com/en

@homeofguinness

George Brown College Inaugural Wine Symposium – June 25

This year’s theme will focus on the Business of Wine in the new Global Economy

This year’s theme will focus on The Business of Wine in the new Global Economy: An exploration of trends in the World of Wine.

On June 25th, George Brown College’s Centre for Hospitality & Culinary Arts brings together a renowned group of wine industry leaders for an in-depth look at The Business of Wine in the new Global Economy.

In the College’s inaugural Wine Symposium, wine writers, authors, winemakers, winery owners, restaurateurs, sommeliers, agents, enthusiasts, and students will gather for an interactive day filled with discussions, workshops, tastings, and presentations.

Speakers will take an insightful look at subjects such as innovation in the wine business, the modern-day vineyard and the digital impact on the industry. Breakout sessions offer guests master tastings lead by top sommeliers and thought-provoking discussions from the world of wine.

Keynote speaker Dr. George Soleas, President of the LCBO.  Other presenters and panel discussion experts: Darryl Brooker, General Manager of Mission Hill Family Estate in British Columbia, Toronto-based Master Sommelier Jennifer Huether, and Global Wine Educator Marnie Old from Philadelphia, Liz Palmer, award-winning author and Global Wine Influencer.

When:   Monday, June 25, 2018
Where: Centre for Hospitality & Culinary Arts, George Brown College

 300 Adelaide Street East, Toronto
Time:    8:00am-6:30pm
Price:    $175 + HST ($75 for full-time students)

Website: gbcsymposiums.ca

 

Pre-conference tours:
Saturday June 23, 2018: Prince Edward County
Sunday June 24, 2018: Niagara

 

SANDRO BOTTEGA AWARDED RIEDEL WINE MAKER OF THE YEAR IN TORONTO

Sandro Bottega, the owner and Managing Director of the Italian winery and distillery Bottega, will be honoured this evening with the 2018 Riedel® Winemaker of the Year Award. 

Sandro Bottega will receive the award from The Cambridge Food & Wine Society, on behalf of Riedel, the Austrian crystal glassmaker who is the world leader in functional wine decanter design.

The official ceremony is held this evening at the historical Biagio Ristorante, 155 King Street East in Toronto.  In attendance will be Canadian authorities and European consuls, the Riedel family, Mrs. Shauneen E. Bruder, Honorary Consul General of Luxembourg in Toronto and Leo Chan, President of the Cambridge Food & Wine Society.

The Riedel® Winemaker of the Year Award is granted to Sandro Bottega for “having enchanted wine and gastronomic art lovers since 1977, in over 120 countries worldwide, with his artistic skills, the entrepreneurial ability and energy, and the quality and genuineness of the products”.

Sandro Bottega comments: “I feel deeply honoured and grateful, and I dedicate this prestigious recognition to my parents and to the whole company who has worked with creativity, passion and humbleness to produce wines, grappa and liqueurs, always in compliance with the corporate values: Quality (Italian taste and authenticity), Design (expression of the excellent aesthetic character of being made in Italy) and Social Responsibility towards the environment and the community”.

This award has been presented to great names of the world of wine, such as Robert Mondavi, U.S.A. (2005), Karl Kaiser and Donald Ziraldo, Canada (2006), Lamberto Marchesi de Frescobaldi, Italy (2007), Léon Beyer, France (2008), João Nicolau de Almedia, Portugal (2009), Miguel Torres, Spain (2014).

The evening at Biagio Ristorante, whose theme is “Marco Polo Revisited”, will feature an array of international tastes including Italian food and wines, as well as grappa and single malt Scotch whisky. Funds raised from this event will go towards the charity, Grapes for Humanity Canada.

Press Release: Liz Palmer’s website ranks as one of the top Champagne sites


Toronto, November 29, 2017/PRNewswire/ — Industry professionals have ranked Liz Palmer’s website (www.liz-palmer.com) as one of the “Top Forty Champagne Websites” on the web. Chosen from thousands of top Champagne websites and blogs Feedspot used analytics, indexing and social metrics, with data being refreshed once a week.

The awards were announced Friday, November 24th. Websites and blogs were reviewed based on following criteria:

  • Google reputation and Google search ranking;
  • Influence and popularity on Facebook, twitter and other social media sites;
  • Quality and consistency of posts; and
  • Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review.

Liz Palmer states:

“This award offers evidence of my focus on delivering outstanding experiences for my readers and followers. I’m extremely pleased to receive this recognition and continue to work every day to make the online experience better.”

Anuj Agarwal, Founder of Feedspot states:

“I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 40 Champagne Blogs on the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of this!”

About Feedspot

Feedspot is an online RSS feed reader with straightforward implementation and design, and a number of ways to share content that shows up in your feeds. Tools for reorganizing feeds and lets you keep track what’s going on in your industry. Feedspot allows you to “pull” articles into a central place for your easy reading. Along with its desktop reader, there is also a mobile version that allows you to read articles on your smart phone.

About Liz Palmer

Liz Palmer is a well-respected wine journalist since 2004 and has an international reputation as a critic and judge. Liz has had the pleasure of interviewing and tasting with some of the industry’s leading winemakers, professors and personalities.

Liz Palmer’s articles have appeared in national and international magazines. She is one of four founding international hosts for #ChampagneDay 2011-2017; she has served as a judge for the 2013-2017 Global Traveler’s Wines on the Wing airline wine competition (New York); 2014-2017 Michelangelo International Wine Awards (South Africa) 2014-2017; and for the The Stevie Awards for Women in Business (New York) (2014-2017).

Her Memberships include: Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada, Circle of Wine Writers (UK), International Federation of Wine and Spirits Journalists and Writers (FIJEV); Wine Century Club (NYC), The Fine Wine Reserve, and Les Dames d’Escoffier (President – Toronto Chapter).

2017 Awards:
Liz Palmer’s first book, “The Ultimate Guide To Champagne” has received the National Award for the best French Wine Book at the Gourmand World Awards. Most recently at the 2017 Best Book Awards – USA, “The Ultimate Guide To Champagne” won three awards – overall “Winner” in the “Best Interior Design” category; “finalist” in the “Travel: Guides & Essays” category; and “Finalist” in the International” category.

On April 7th, 2017 she was awarded the title of “Dame Chevalier” of the Ordre de Coteaux de Champagne at an official ceremony in Paris.