I’m excited to participate as a speaker in the “1st Annual Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture Minister’s Conference”

I am delighted and honoured to be joining a distinguished group of speakers at the 1st Annual Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture Minister’s Conference – March 3 and 4 at the Halifax Convention Centre, Nova Scotia.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Farming for the Future – Thriving in a Changing World.” There will be local, national and international speakers addressing key issues and opportunities in agriculture – from innovation to labour and climate change.

I will be a keynote speaker discussing International Wine Marketing Strategies for 2020, and will also be participating on a Climate Change Panel along with  Dr. Evan Fraser, Director Arrell Food Institute/University of Guelph, and Olivier Humbrecht MW and Winemaker/Owner Zind Humbrecht, Turckheim, France discussing “From Resilience to Opportunities” with respect to the global wine industry.

Say tuned for my follow-up report!

Conference details: https://www.perennia.ca/agriconference/

Liz Palmer

French Super Chef Alain Ducasse Reduces Wine Prices to Discourage “Dry January”

Internationally famed French Chef Alain Ducasse declares war on the “Dry January” trend.  At the beginning of January, Chef Ducasse was “horrified” to see New York diners drinking iced tea at lunch and not wine. Shortly thereafter he launched an initiative to entice patrons of his restaurants to drink wine during the first month of the year, not less.

“I’ve noted that trend, but I don’t want to see or hear of it, I am opposed to it,” states Chef Ducasse and he further adds that he wants to “rid consumers of their inhibitions” with regards to drinking wine.

In November, the French government abandoned a campaign urging people to give up alcohol in January after the wine industry pushed president Emmanuel Macron to drop it.

“Dry January” began in the UK in 2013 and has since been adopted around the world. Last year one in five Americans participated in the initiative, giving up alcohol for the first month of the year.

Alain Ducasse has runs restaurants all over the world, including the three Michelin star Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester in London and Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenée in Paris.

What are your thoughts on this ?

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

California Wine Institute announces Danielle Giroux as new Director for California Wines Canada

The California Wine Institute announced yesterday the appointment of Danielle Giroux as its new Director of California Wines Canada, responsible for marketing and promotion in the largest single-country market for California wines. Giroux brings 15 years of wine industry sales and marketing experience to the role, including marketing and communications strategy, brand development and event management. She recently served as Vice President, Marketing at Colio Estate.

“This is an exciting time for California wines. We are well-positioned to grow and prosper to the benefit of our member wineries, our trade partners and wine lovers around the world who are fans of California wines,” said Honore Comfort, Vice President of International Marketing for Wine Institute. “Danielle’s experience and knowledge of the Canadian market will bring momentum to plans to grow sales and market share over the next several years.”

“I am honoured to have the opportunity to lead the California wines team in Canada,” said Giroux. “Wine Institute has built a solid foundation for California wines in Canada over the past few decades and I’m excited to be part of the next chapter.”

Giroux replaces Rick Slomka who will be retiring in June after more than 26 years representing the wines of the Golden State. Giroux will be starting her new role at the beginning of January 2020.

According to the wine association, Canadian sales of US wine, 95% of which hail from California, totalled around 6m cases last year, amounting to a retail value of more than US$1bn.