Global Coalition to Protect Wine Place Names Adds 20th Member

The South Australian wine region of Barossa became the latest signatory of the Joint Declaration to Protect Wine Place & Origin, a global movement to ensure wine place names are protected and not abused or miscommunicated to consumers. The coalition welcomed Barossa on Friday at a meeting in San Francisco, where members discussed how to build on the coalition’s recent successful effort to protect place names online.

SF Declaration Meeting 28-October-2016.jpg

“Over the last year, our coalition has expanded its work to protect wine place names globally, including online where consumers increasingly shop for the wines they love,” said Linda Reiff, president and CEO of the Napa Valley Vintners wine trade association, one of the founding signatories to the Declaration. “We are proud to have another esteemed winemaking region join our collective efforts to ensure consumers aren’t misled and that the identity of a wine’s place is protected.”

In January 2016, American-based Internet name registry Donuts launched the new .wine and .vin domain extensions. Prior to the launch, members of the Declaration worked with Donuts on an agreement that put safeguards in place to ensure the extensions could not be falsely used to mislead consumers. On the heels of this effort, representatives from Barossa attended last week’s coordinating meetings with other Declaration members and will participate in activities that were outlined for the coming year.

“We are honored to join this remarkable group of leading world wine regions dedicated to protecting place names. Barossa wines, like all those represented in this coalition, are unique in representing their sense of place,” said James March, CEO of the Barossa Grape & Wine Association. “Despite our fierce competition in the worldwide marketplace, we all agree that location is the most important ingredient in creating truly unique and distinctive wines.”

Text Box: Members from the Declaration gather around Barossa representative Anne Moroney at a meeting in San Francisco on October 28.Since it was first signed in 2005, the Declaration efforts have led to increasing attention around the protection of wine place names. For example, this year five winery members of the Napa Valley Vintners announced that they are voluntarily giving up use of the name Port on their fortified dessert wine labels. While the producers have the legal right to use the term because they were grandfathered following the signing of the 2006 U.S. and European Commission Wine Trade Agreement, each agreed to abandon use of the semi-generic term in support of Napa Valley’s efforts to protect winemaking place names and its alliance with Porto in the Declaration. 

For more information, visit origins.wine or follow the coalition on Twitter and Facebook.

About the Declaration

The Joint Declaration to Protect Wine Place Names & Origin was signed in Napa Valley on July 26, 2005. The signatories of the Declaration include: Barossa, Bordeaux, Bourgogne/Chablis, Champagne, Chianti Classico, Jerez-Xérès-Sherry, Long Island, Napa Valley, Oregon, Paso Robles, Porto, Rioja, Santa Barbara County, Sonoma County, Victoria, Tokaj, Walla Walla Valley, Washington state, Willamette Valley and Western Australia. To lend support and read the full text of the Declaration visit origins.wine.

 

“The Ultimate Guide To Champagne” Launch at Le Dokhan’s, Paris

14632893_1231555573576023_1853317179271174336_n-2“The Ultimate Guide To Champagne” was revealed and launched to a select group of industry people in Paris last week.

The event was held at Le Dokhan’s, Paris – which is Parisian Institution. This classic 18th century hotel features an elevator which is upholstered in vintage canvas from Louis Vuitton trunks; the Salon Cheminée, was a wonderful gathering space and was adorned with original engravings by Picasso and Matisse. How could it be so perfect!  Moving over to the Champagne Bar, it should be noted that, Bar Le Dokhan’s was the first Champagne bar in Paris to serve Champagne exclusively (this was mentioned in “The Ultimate Guide To Champagne”. With an extensive champagne list, Bar Le Dokhan’s currently offers 200 varieties of premium Champagne.

In attendance at the launch was Fabrice Martin, General Manager of Le Dokhan’s Hotel, Nicolas Manfredini, Co-fondateur Hachetag Agency, Paris and Matthias Breton, Head Sommelier.  They highly praised how beautiful the book looked and the extensive knowledge inside. Thumbing through chapters, sipping grower champagne, Liz Palmer gave a brief history of how the book came about and the chapter outlines.

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About the book:

There is much more to champagne than the drink – Champagne is named after the region where it is grown, fermented and bottled.  This essential guide takes you to this region, explores its culture and honours its history.

Unlike any other book about Champagne, The Ultimate Guide To Champagne is the most comprehensive and visually stunning guide you’ll ever come across – in these pages you’ll discover:

Over 220 Engaging Photos, Maps, Detailed Charts, and Historical Anecdotes

How to Explore the Region

Grape Varieties and Styles

Grand Marques / Growers and Cooperatives, The Annual Viticulture Cycle, Harvest and Production, Champagne and Food Pairing Guides

How to Cook with Champagne

Recipes from Champagne Families

How to Taste and Identify Flavors

How to describe and Rate Champagne

How to Shop, Store and Serve

Champagne Etiquette & Style

Tips for Weddings

International Champagne Bars

The Economics of Champagne

Health Benefits

Science Facts

Extensive Glossaries

and much more…

The Ultimate Guide To Champagne is highly recommended for everyone, from beginners to experts.  It’s a remarkable point of reference into which any wine lover or professional can dip in and browse.

The Champagne Bible for ALL wine lovers.

So pop open your favorite Champagne, pour yourself a glass, and start reading The Ultimate Guide To Champagne!

 

One of North America’s leading experts on Champagne, Liz Palmer wrote The Ultimate Guide To Champagne with a strong personal passion for Champagne and the region.

Amazon Books  : https://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Guide-Champagne-Liz-Palmer/dp/0991894634

 

Champagne Announces 2016 Harvest Dates

 

The Champagne region has announced the start dates for the 2016 harvest.  Commencing today (September 12) through to September 26h there will be over 120,000 pickers, porters, loaders and press operators descend on the vineyards of Champagne for the harvest – the moment every winegrower has been waiting for.

Each harvest is different in terms of grape ripeness, potential alcohol levels and natural acidity – so picking the right moment to harvest is essential.

A ripening observation network for the accurate timing of harvests.

Twice a week, just as the grapes start to change colour (véraison), samples are taken from some 450 control plots spread throughout the Champagne area. The selected clusters are then checked for rate of colour change; average weight; estimated sugar and total acidity content; also for any incidence of grey rot.

The results are transmitted the same day via internet, so allowing the Comité Champagne to establish reference values for each parcel of vines, together with mean average values (potential alcohol levels and natural acidity) for each department and grape variety.

A data summary is then notified to the technical officers concerned, starting with the regional heads of the AVC (Association Viticole Champenoise). This enables them to attend the pre-harvest meeting with a very clear idea of when picking should start in their respective communes.

It is the pulp that contains the organoleptic compounds and elements required for effervescence (sugar, acidity, etc); and only pulp alone can deliver the desired clear, pale juice, bearing in mind that 3/4 of Champagne wines are made from black grapes. Pulp extraction is specifically designed to avoid colouring or staining the musts when pressing black-skinned grapes.

Hence the need for manual picking, selecting whole, undamaged clusters that must remain that way right up to the point of pressing itself. The clusters are transported to the press house in purpose-made bins with drainage holes that allow any juice to escape, so preventing the berries from macerating in their own juice.

Manual picking remains the tradition in Champagne – the requirement for whole, undamaged grapes is the same today as it was in the 18th Century.

Pickers have roughly a three-week window in which to work – beyond that point the grapes will be past their best. Just to complicate matters, all Champagne grapes reach their peak of ripeness at about the same time.

Some 120,000 pickers work in teams (‘hordons’ in French) of four per hectare, of which nearly 100,000 are given bed and board by the Winegrowers and Champagne Houses.

Harvesting employs:

  • Pickers
  • Porters (of grape bins)
  • Loaders (of bins)
  • Loaders of bins onto trailers
  • Loading bay handlers
  • Drivers
  • Forklift truck operators
  • Press operators
  • Fermenting room operators
  • And Cooks

Maximum yield per hectare

Yield regulation

  • The harvest base yield fixed by the INAO is 10,400 kg/ha, revisable upwards or downwards depending on the quality and quantity of the yield but capped at 15,500 kg/ha for AOC production.
  • The rationale for capping yields lies in the high-density planting system in Champagne, with vines planted very close together (8,000 per hectare) to improve ripening and therefore quality. Limited juice extraction – just 102 litres of must per 160 kg of grapes – is a key part of this policy and brings the final yield to 66 hectolitres per hectare.

The full list of dates can be viewed here www.champagne.fr

Which Airline has the Best Wine? The Results.

Global Traveler, the only AAM-audited magazine for business and luxury travelers, has released their results of its 12th annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Competition.

The competition, held May 10, took place at INNSIDE New York Nomad. I was one of the judges who participated in the blind tasting of airlines’ white, red and sparkling wines. Before the tasting, I cleared my mind of bad experiences of on-board wines tasted at 30,000 – 40,000. The other judges hailed from the industry, including sommeliers, wine shop owners and winemakers.

The Process:

Airlines are required to submit five different wines — two red wines, two white wines and one sparkling wine/Champagne — to be eligible for the Best Overall International Business Class Wines on the Wing award or the Best Overall International First Class Wines on the Wing. This year, the overall winner in both categories was Singapore Airlines.

The Results:

In the white wine category, Best International Business Class White Wine was Paulo Laureano Reserva 2014, Alentejo, Portugal, submitted by TAP Portugal. For first class, the winner was Emirates with François Villard Condrieu de Poncins 2014.

The best business-class Champagne was Singapore Airlines’ Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve NV. The best first-class Champagne was a tie between British Airways’ Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle Grande Cuvée, NV; and Singapore Airlines’ Dom Pérignon 2006.

When it came to red wine, American Airlines reigned supreme in the business-class and first-class category with Monte Zovo Amarone della Valpolicella 2012, Italy, and Domaine de la Présidente, Cairanna 2013, Côtes du Rhône, France, respectively.

For the eighth consecutive year, Global Traveler awarded the Best North American Wines on the Wing. North American airlines submitted first-class and business-class wine samples, depending on their domestic flight offerings.

American Airlines swept the North American category, taking Best North American Wines on the Wing, and the awards for white, red and sparkling wines.

For the sixth year, Global Traveler awarded the Best Alliance Wines on the Wing. The participating airlines were divided by their airline alliance. The overall points for each airline were tallied and averaged to determine the alliance with the highest total. Congratulations to Star Alliance.

Competition director Eunice Fried spent months preparing for the blind tasting. Fried, an accomplished wine journalist and respected wine expert, resides in New York City.

Global Traveler is the only U.S.-based publication to conduct such a survey in the United States.

The top airlines in each category are:

BEST INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CLASS WINES ON THE WING

  1. Singapore Airlines
  2. Delta Air Lines
  3. All Nippon Airways
  4. Brussels Airlines
  5. Emirates

 

BEST INTERNATIONAL FIRST CLASS WINES ON THE WING

  1. Singapore Airlines
  2. All Nippon Airways
  3. American Airlines
  4. British Airways
  5. Emirates

 

BEST CHAMPAGNE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CLASS

  1. Singapore Airlines
  2. Delta Air Lines
  3. Emirates
  4. Aer Lingus
  5. All Nippon Airways

 

BEST CHAMPAGNE INTERNATIONAL FIRST CLASS

  1. British Airways/Singapore Airlines (TIE)
  2. All Nippon Airways
  3. Emirates
  4. American Airlines

 

BEST WHITE WINE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CLASS

  1. TAP Portugal
  2. Fiji Airways
  3. All Nippon Airways
  4. Delta Air Lines
  5. Singapore Airlines

 

BEST WHITE WINE INTERNATIONAL FIRST CLASS

  1. Emirates
  2. American Airlines
  3. All Nippon Airways
  4. British Airways
  5. Singapore Airlines

 

BEST RED WINE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CLASS

  1. American Airlines
  2. TAP Portugal
  3. Brussels Airlines
  4. Air Canada
  5. Singapore Airlines

 

BEST RED WINE INTERNATIONAL FIRST CLASS

  1. American Airlines
  2. All Nippon Airways
  3. Emirates
  4. British Airways
  5. Singapore Airlines

 

 

Fleur du Cap Wine and Artisanal Salt Pairing – A Unique Experience

FdC-CabernetSauv-Beef South Africa’s critically acclaimed-chef Craig Cormack has teamed up with Fleur du Cap winery to create specially designed dishes, which are seasoned with unique salts and perfectly paired with award-winning unfiltered Fleur du Cap wines.

Just as there are regions for wine growing, there are also regions for salt. Craig has sourced out black lava salt from the volcanic rock pools of Hawaii, the sea and desert of South Africa’s arid West Coast, Khoisan and Oryx Desert salt, pink Murray River Salt from Australia, and rare Persian Blue Salt from rock crystals.

Craig explains the process: “One of the challenges when pairing salt and wine is to create food that will enhance the wine without dominating it. The natural process of crafting Fleur du Cap wines by allowing the style inherent in the grapes to guide the winemaking team, works particularly well with unrefined, artisanal salts, reverting back to nature in both the food and the wines.”

Some of Craig’s pairings include: Merlot paired with Beef Carpaccio paired with Kala Namak Salt; Chenin Blanc paired with Pizzadeliere paired with Caviar Salt; Cabernet Sauvignon paired with Salted Beef paired with Oryx Salt; Pinotage paired with Salted Peanut, Chocolate and Banana Mouse paired with Peruvian Salt, amongst others. Each dish has a unique salt profile which, when paired with Fleur du Cap wine, brings out the complex flavours of these varietals.

Situated in the hart of Stellenbosch wine country, Fleur du Cap vineyards reflect the rich biodiversity of the Cape Floral Kingdom. One of only six such plant kingdoms in the world – home to over 9,600 plant species.

“Our wines are crafted with nature in mind based on our winemaking philosophy of Regional Excellence”

My favorite pairing
Cabernet Sauvignon paired with Salted Beef paired with Oryx Salt

Oryx Salt
South Africa; natural white unprocessed and sundried; trace minerals

Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Tasting Notes

Complex flavours of blackcurrant, blueberry with hints of violets and mocha; integrated oaking adds firm tannins, which give a long finish.

Blend
100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Food Suggestions
This complex wine is the ideal accompaniment to fillet of beef and roast lamb but goes equally well with rich, robust dishes and strong cheeses.