The Consejo Regulador DOCa of Rioja unveils strategic five-year plan

The Consejo Regulador DOCa of Rioja has unveiled a five-year strategic plan aimed at boosting the region’s sustainability credentials, driving wine tourism and increasing exports.

The aim is to boost total sales from 230 million litres in 2020 to 312 million litres by 2025, with export to account for 44% at 137 million litres, in addition to increased turnover of the Rioja brand by 23%, said the regional body.

White Rioja is set to grow to a total of 12% of volume and rosado to 5% of volume, a projection which aligns with current trends in the UK – still the most important export market for Rioja, the DOCa added.

Referred to as “a blueprint” for Rioja to establish itself as a global leader in wine production, the new strategy was developed following a year-long review carried out in collaboration with all key regional stakeholders, and in consultation with experts from each of the region’s 12 key export markets.

Central to the DOCa’s plans will be a focus on establishing Rioja as a leader in sustainability to help safeguard the future of the region, with key metrics having been developed to measure progress in this area, including the reduction of pesticide use by 50% and carbon footprint by 10%.

Another key pillar of the new strategy will be a focus on increasing wine tourism, with a target of reaching 1.3 million visitors by 2025, compared to the 343,000 visitors counted in 2020. The DOCa said it expected the number of wineries able to offer visitor experiences to rise to 250, just over a third of the region’s total.

Moreover, it said that digitalization would also play a prominent role in driving sales from the region with a target to quadruple online sales.

“The new strategic plan exemplifies Rioja’s pioneering character and aims to increase the value of the region and raise awareness of our wines, particularly in key export markets,” said President Fernando Salamero.

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Louis Roederer Launches Single-Vineyard Still Wines

Champagne house Louis Roederer has launched a pair of single-vineyard Coteaux Champenois wines, known collectively as ‘Hommage a Camille’.

Named after Camille Olry-Roederer, the great-grandmother of the house’s current CEO, Frederic Rouzaud, the wines are single-site, varietal Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

The Pinot Noir is made from a plot of 43 ‘ares’ (100 ares to a hectare) in the ‘Charmont’ lieu-dit in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, while the Chardonnay is from an old 55-ares plot in the ‘Volibarts’ lieu-dit in Le Mesnil-Sur-Oger.

The Pinot Noir is known as ‘Camille Charmont’ and the Chardonnay known as ‘Camille Volibarts’ are from the 2018 vintage.

The house said in a statement that both wines are the result of, “a long process of observation and experimentation”, which reveals, “another facet of the Champagne terroirs”. The house’s cellar master, Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, has been experimenting with still wines since at least 2002.

Camille Olry-Roederer took over the running of the Roederer company after the death of her husband Léon in 1932. She remained in charge until 1975 and was known to be especially fond of the house’s still wines.

The wines will be released in March, with the Pinot Noir priced at €160 (£155) and the Chardonnay at €140 (£130). Production figures are low: 1,631 bottles of the Pinot and 2,880 of the Chardonnay.

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Seven Oregon Pinot Noirs Make Wine Spectator’s Top 100 List

Wine Spectator’s Annual Report names 100 of the best, most interesting wines in the world, with seven made in Oregon

Around this time every year since 1988, Wine Spectator gathers the best of the best wines its editors have tasted throughout the year, bestowing their favorite, most excellent wines made in or imported into the U.S. with a spot on the highly coveted “Top 100 list.” Oregon wines are often overrepresented on this prestigious list, garnering around five or six spots annually, or 5 or 6%, which is no small feat considering that Oregon accounts for far less than 1% of global wine production.

But in 2020, the number of Oregon wines set a new record in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list with seven Oregon Pinot noirs earning their way on to this list. Put another way, this means 7% of the most exciting wines in the entire world are made in Oregon.

How hard is it to get onto Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list?
The magazine receives about 11,000 wines each year for evaluation, so the odds of getting on this list are more than 100 to 1.

According to Wine Spectator, “Our selection prioritizes quality (based on score), value (based on price) and availability (based on the number of cases either made or imported into the United States). These criteria are applied to the wines that rated outstanding (90 points or higher on Wine Spectator’s 100-point scale) each year to determine our Top 100…These wines are a diverse group—ranging from emerging labels and regions to traditional estates exploring new directions—and all generate the excitement we call the “X-factor.”

Winners this year include a top ten entry, Beaux Freres Pinot Noir Ribbon Ridge The Beaux Frères Vineyard 2018 with a score of 95, (the Beaux Frères Vineyard pictured above, photo by Carey Critchlow). Senior Editor Tim Fish described this wine as “A wine of presence and expression, impeccably structured yet elegantly layered, with evocative raspberry, rose petal and brown baking spice notes that pick up richness and tension toward fine-grained tannins.”

The other six winners and their respective spots on the list plus ratings are below. According to the magazine, a rating of 95-100 is deemed as a “Classic.” and a wine rated with a 90-94 is “Outstanding.”

#19: Résonance Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2017, 93

#29: The Four Graces Pinot Noir Dundee Hills Reserve, 2017, 94

#33: Ken Wright Pinot Noir Willamette Valley, 2017, 91

#37: Bergström Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Cumberland Reserve, 2018, 94

#64: La Crema Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2018, 92

#79: Stoller Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2018, 90

“Placing a record seven Oregon wines among the world’s Top 100, and five in the top 40, is welcome recognition for Oregon and a reflection of the exceptional fruit and winemaking talent here,” notes Oregon Wine Board President Tom Danowski.

Stoller Family Estate appeared for the first time on this list in 2020, and the designation is not lost on founder and owner Bill Stoller. “Wine Spectator is one of the most influential publications in our industry, and it’s an incredible honor to earn a spot on its Top 100 list,” he said. “Our Vice President of Winemaking, Melissa Burr, has been honing her craft over the last 15 years. She created an everyday Pinot Noir that embodies the spirit and complexity of our region. To have our 2018 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir place alongside some of the best in the world is a testament to Melissa and her team’s dedication.”

“THE GRAPES FOR HUMANITY – SAVE HOSPITALITY FINE WINE CHARITY AUCTION

 

 Over 300 lots of exceptional wines, winery tours, autographed bottles

guitars donated by Rock and Roll Hall of Famers

Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson of Rush

 

Monday September 28th – Wednesday October 7th, 2020
Online through
Waddington’s Auctioneers & Appraisers

Grapes for Humanity invites you to Save the Date for our “Save Hospitality Fundraiser” virtual fine wine auction September 28th – October 7th, 2020, presented by Waddington’s Auctioneers and Appraisers.  This special auction features not only some of the world’s finest and rarest wines, but also many lots of exceptional ready-to-drink wines from the finest wine regions.

“After years of enjoying their service, it’s our turn to serve them,” said Geddy Lee. “The Chefs, Sommeliers, Waitstaff, Delivery personnel, Farmers, Fisherman, Bakers and more whose livelihood has evaporated virtually overnight. Right now we must throw a lifeline to those who need us. I reached out to some fellow wine lovers and asked them to raid their wine cellars to help us raise funds to support staff and independent restaurant owners to weather this storm.”

At the top we have multiple vintages of first-growth Bordeaux and Grand Cru Burgundy, four vintages of the world’s rarest port, Quinto do Noval Nacional, 18 vintages of Australia’s most famous wine Penfold’s Grange, Pinot Noirs from the only two great growths of New Zealand Ata Rangi and Felton Road and 25 lots of the inaugural Cuvee of the Heart Pinot Noir and Chardonnay blended by Thomas Bachelder Canada’s leading winemaker from contributions of 30+ Ontario winemakers! The Ferragamo lot features a 3 litre of their best wine Il Borro plus a tour, tasting, a dinner and a three night stay at their Relais et Chateau resort in the heart of Tuscany. We have rare verticals from historic Ontario wineries such as Cave Springs and Henry of Pelham.

For buyers seeking immediate enjoyment, we have Malbec from the historic Patagonian producer Humberto Canale, Sancerre from the 500 hundred year old Joseph Mellot winery in the Loire, powerful rich wines from Bodega Numanthia in Toro Spain, some of British Columbia’s finest plus award winning wines from Pond View Estates here in Ontario and mixed lots from exceptional wineries.

Whether you are looking for something to savour with tonight’s dinner or some wine to treasure and hold for future enjoyment…this auction has it all and more. However, don’t take our word for it, peruse the Auction Catalogue.

Proceeds will directly benefit Ontario Hospitality front-line workers through the Toronto Restaurant Workers Relief Fund; the Bartender’s Benevolent Fund; and independent Ontario restaurants through savehospitality.ca.  To find out more about Grapes for Humanity, visit grapesforhumanity.com.

Vintage wines, collectible rarities, memorabilia, and once-in-a-lifetime wine experiences for the emerging collector as well as the aficionado, this rare opportunity offers exceptional wine from multiple producers, varying vintages, and unique experiences.

Bid once, bid often and prepare to delight in your purchase for a good cause.

To donate funds or for more information, contact: 2dry@rogers.com

France pours more aid as wine sector faces ‘Major Difficulties’

This week the government of France stepped up financial support for wine growers faced with a deep drop in demand after lockdowns closed restaurants and bars and U.S. tariffs curbed exports.

“The state will increase to 250 million euros its support plan to wine growing and we will request this aid to be distributed as quickly as possible because cash needs are pressing,” French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Wednesday.

Castex made the announcement during a visit to the Menetou-Salon and Sancerre vineyards in the Loire region.

“The international situation, the health crisis, a drop in exports: our wine sector faces major difficulties. State support must continue and intensify,” Castex said on Twitter earlier.

France has already provided some support, but the wine industry has called for more action.

In April, the European Commission decided to support crisis management measures in wine and other agriculture sectors affected by the coronavirus crisis.

In May, France cleared a 140 million euro ($165.87 million)crisis mechanism to distill surplus wine into industrial alcohol to be used to produce hand sanitizers.

Then in June, the government unveiled an additional 30 million euros of support for the wine industry, including 15 million for the launch of a private storage scheme for two million hectolitres of surplus wine, an alternative to distilling.

In addition to the impact of COVID-19, France’s wine industry has suffered from U.S tariffs on imports imposed as part of the trade dispute between the European Union and the United States over aircraft subsidies.

Source:  Reuters