SYMPOSIUM ‘ACT FOR CHANGE’ ENDS ON A COLLABORATIVE NOTE

Organized by Vinexposium June 20 and 21, 2022 at the Cité du Vin, the Symposium ‘Act for Change’ gathered over 35 international experts representing 17 nationalities for a series of discussions focusing on the future of wines and spirits between now and 2030.

The event, which was held as part of Bordeaux Wine Week, ended on an optimistic note after addressing the main issues affecting the wine and spirits industry. These include changing consumer patterns, the consequences of climate change and their impact on the production and distribution of wine and spirits. Each talk addressed these issues and provided practical insight, both for industry members attending and those who joined the livestream on Vinexposium Connect, the group’s digital portal. Nine major themes were explored by industry players who view the future with pragmatism, ambition, and confidence in a world of experimentation and solutions to cope with the many challenges to come. At the close of the symposium, speakers agreed that the future of the wine industry would be collaborative, innovative and technological, where ethical practices, transparency, knowledge sharing and engagement between the large companies and winegrowers would be promoted.

Here are some observations on the panel discussions and talks:

If fine wines are to have a future, it will be close to nature

Questioned about the future of fine wines, Oliver Bernard shared his views about the changes awaiting the industry. Expressing a mix of enthusiasm and realism, the director of Domaine de Chevalier stressed the importance of reacting immediately to environmental issues, whilst reiterating his confidence in consumers and future generations in celebrating fine wines. Solutions he mentioned included the emergence of new grape varieties for appellation wines, support for estates to switch over to organic and biodynamic winegrowing and adapting vineyard management techniques.

New consumer habits and new sensory profiles

Questioned about flavour and aroma profiles in 2030, Cathy Van Zyl MW, deputy editor of Platter’s South African wine guide, stated that the South African market was in the process of transitioning to lighter wines. Whisky consultant Colin Hampden-White responded by sharing insight into changing spirits styles, which are increasingly flavourful in response to consumer expectations. Pierre Mansour, wine purchasing director for The Wine Society, stressed that 65% of consumers prioritise climate issues in their choice of wines. Many consumers are looking primarily for ‘honest wines’, showing authenticity, viewed as pure site-expressiveness. Honest wines now seem to be establishing themselves as an emerging and growing trend among consumers seeking added value. They are also asking for variety of choice, catering to their own personal consumption habits, and are turning increasingly towards wines that are drier, more unrefined in style, yet remain savoury, and also towards those that pin their environmental credentials to the mast. For spirits, the future is all about creativity, diversity, assertive tastes, and local traceability. New consumers want to be surprised, they are looking for originality and unexpected styles, which can stem either from new distillation techniques or from creative recipes with unfamiliar ingredients. Stéphanie Marchand-Marion, a lecturer at Bordeaux University studies the latest changes in flavour trends, from the consumer perspective and in terms of climate change. She concluded that wines could survive tomorrow’s climate challenges, provided a balance in their composition was found. 

Tomorrow’s packaging – where changing consumer patterns, innovation and lower CO2 emissions converge

The challenge for the packaging of the future will be to respond to the divergence between the unquestionable need to reduce the carbon footprint stemming from the manufacturing process and consumer perception of sustainable, environmentally friendly packaging. In the consumer psyche, glass remains a sustainable vessel, whereas the reality is more complex. The results of steps taken to recycle bottles are not significant, providing evidence of the discrepancy between interest shown for ecological issues and a real desire by consumers to change their habits. Lulie Halstaed, Director of Wine Intelligence – IWSR, has noticed this particularly in Australia, where 67% of wine and spirits buyers believe in climate change, but only 21% claim to act responsibly. Rob Malin, the founder of When in Rome, launched the first wine sold in a paper bottle, which emits 6 times less CO2 than a glass bottle. As a reminder, the production of glass accounts for nearly 40% of the industry’s CO2 emissions.

Tomorrow’s packaging will have two roles to play: research work and the move towards more sustainable packaging will need to continue, and bottles must be used as a tool for educating consumers of wine and spirits, which are among the most highly packaged products around.

Digitalization of Wine and Spirits

Cyril Grira, Retail & Omnichannel director at Google France, has seen an acceleration in searches for wines and spirits on the Google search engine, as with ‘organic wines’ that have increased three-fold. He also points to the fact that most consumer searches focus on grape varieties, appellations, and local productions. Yet, lack of consumer knowledge on the topic (80% of searches are generic) and of visibility for small producers are barriers to industry performance. The wine industry would benefit from taking a leaf out of the fashion and beauty industries’ book, where multiple formats are used to innovate and tell stories. At the same time, the online sales outlet must connect better with the physical sales outlet. As regards the metaverse, experts expressed reservations, stressing that wine and spirits are primarily part of real-life experiences.

Winegrowing and climate change: opportunities in the face of adversity
As climate change causes upheavals, techniques and typicities across the wine regions are evolving. During the symposium, it was unanimously agreed that coping with climate change and human resilience in supporting winegrowing would be pivotal to tackling the issue. Varietal diversification, planting grape varieties in suitable locations, rootstock and balanced management were all cited as resources. Viewing the future with optimism and ambition, participants called on the industry to take leadership of climate issues and underscored the significance of a collaborative approach – one of the biggest challenges is to think collectively, as a community, so that existing solutions can be shared more effectively.

Geopolitics, wines and spirits – lessons to be learnt from crises

The war in Ukraine undermines control of global capitalism, with consequences including the risk of entering a recession and the supremacy of the dollar in international trade. A new global geo-economy is in the making. Faced with this changing situation, the ability of wine and spirits businesses to adapt must enable them to grasp new export opportunities, in regions such as Africa for instance, and strengthen their brands and their image. Compliance with local rules and protection of brands and appellations are also drivers of this success. Similarly, the impact of climate change affects the geopolitics of wine and spirits, both in the positions taken by leaders and the viability of a supply chain designed to respond to the ‘just-in-time’ logistics expected by younger generations. As Christophe Navarre, chairman of the board of Vinexposium pointed out, “The impact of climate change on winegrowing will be huge. This is a priority mission for businesses, the choice is no longer ours”.

Agro-ecology and innovation: essential bedfellows

Faced with climate challenges and the need to remain competitive in a constantly changing marketplace, agro-ecology innovations are the future. They already come in a variety of forms, from the open access ‘calculator’ for measuring carbon footprint, use of artificial intelligence for managing farms and optimising aspects such as yields – including solutions provided by Israeli company Trellis – to the introduction of regenerative techniques. Although the latter concept covers a whole galaxy of realities, relevant regulations are rapidly progressing and influencing – sometimes even restricting – winegrowing practices. From high-tech solutions to a return to basics, agro-ecology is reinventing itself at the instigation of stakeholders who aim to make it accessible to the broadest audience.

How e-commerce has upended the relationship with the consumer

Lockdown expedited online buying and revolutionised sales. Fabrice Bernard, president of Millesima, commented on how the internet piqued consumer interest about wines that they usually did not drink. E-commerce has changed buying habits, but without driving customers away from shops. This development is compelling e-commerce players to rethink the way they work by creating new technology tools such as those provided by Preferabli, which uses digital technology to help consumers make choices. “We will witness consolidation in the marketplace, but the biggest change over the next ten years will be the increasing number of businesses focusing on the customer rather than on the product. Shops are not the only place where customers can have physical interactions. Digital technology will allow the magic surrounding the product’s story to be developed faster and technology can help tell these stories”, claimed Pam Dillon, co-founder and CEO of Preferabli. The future of e-commerce seems to mesh with a competitive marketplace where customer service will make all the difference.

The future of wine and spirits in 2030 – wrapping up 

The near future will require adjustments to cope with current changes, yet also continued pragmatism, concluded Christophe Navarre, chairman of the board of Vinexposium, who stressed the positive pressure from young people for immediate action in favour of the climate. “Rolling out large-scale, practical actions involves reconciling political agendas, corporate activities, and consumer patterns. This is a complex process. For example, in supermarkets, producers who take positive action are not promoted enough. There is no doubt that this is now one of our missions”, he also pointed out in his concluding remarks at the Symposium ‘Act for Change’.

#actforchange #bordeaux #thesymposium #sustainability #winetrends #winenews #winetrade #vinexposium #CitéduVin #wine #winelovers #winetech #wineconference #wineindustry #wineeducation #wineconsumers #winemarketing #bordeauxwineweek @laciteduvin @vinexposium

Casa Grazia, a Sicilian Winery by Lake Biviere, that is fully immersed in biodiversity

Prior to Sicily en Primeur 2022, we visited a number of wineries. One winery that stood out was Casa Grazia. Maria Grazia Di Francesco, CEO of Casa Grazia opened to the doors of her new cellar and welcomed us to the magnificent rural landscape of Lake Biviere Oriented Reserve. Maria is truly an advocate for women in wine – I was thrilled to meet her and her daughter. The Casa Grazia Winery is located in Gela, Southern Sicily. The family has been grape producers since the 1980’s and starting from 2005 they bottled their first wine. More recently, in 2020 they achieved organic certification.

Casa Grazia covers an area of ​​about fifty hectares, almost completely planted with vineyards, is 120 meters above sea level and a few steps from the sea. The vineyards are influenced by Lake Biviere, a natural saltwater reservoir rich in biodiversity. In this area the mild winds and sea breeze meet the warm and dry air currents of the Sicilian hinterland, creating a unique microclimate which is favorable for the cultivation of both native and international grapes: Frappato, Nero D’Avola, Moscato and Grillo along with Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon all on limestone-sandy soil.

The estate has eight labels:
Two white wines: Zahara and Adorè;
Five red wines: Laetitya, Victoria 1607, Gradiva, Emiryam and Vi Veri, and
One Sparkling wine: (rosé) Euphorya.

After the tour we had a technical tasting of seven wines:

2020 ‘Euphorya’ Spumante Rose; 2021 Zahara; 2021 Adore; 2021 Laetitya; 2020 Victorya 1607; 2019 Gradiva and Emiryam.

All the wines have great balance, wonderful character, and elegance. My favorite wine was Victorya 1607.  I found out after the tasting that this wine was named as a tribute to Vittoria Colonna Enriquez, Countess Consort and regent of Modica , who in 1607 gave 75 settlers two hectares of land, on condition that they cultivate one vineyard. The vineyards also fall perfectly in the D.O.C.G. of the Cerasuolo of Vittoria, the only Sicilian D.O.C.G. The 1919 vintage of Cerasuolo di Vittoria “Victorya 1607” received a Gold Medal with 96/100 from “Decanter World Wine Awards 2021.” It was such an honor to have tasted this wine knowing the backstory.

It was wonderful to meet Maria Grazia Di Francesco, like her wines, she also has wonderful style and elegance.  Maria presented all the women at our tasting a beautiful bouquet of flowers – what a lovely surprise and memorable experience.

@casagraziawines #womeninwine #womenleaders #casagrazia #winenews #wineexperience #winelovers #sicilia  #travelling #winetravels #winetourism #winetasting #sparklingwine #sicily #winesofsicily #vineyards #wineinfluencer #wineadventures #traveldiary #traveling #sicilianwines #italianwines #travelsicily #DocSicilia #ViniDocSicilia #SiciliaDoc #Sicilia #Sicily #SicilyWine #WineofSicily #DrinkSicily #sicilianwine #sicilianwines

UC Davis Library Acquires “Le débat du vin et de leaue” the first wine book written in French [dated 1515]

The UC Davis Library, Archives and Special Collections recently acquired Le débat du vin et de leaue with help from a $38,000 gift from the B.H. Breslauer Foundation. The book, a debate between wine and water by Pierre Jamec (or Japes), is the first known book about wine published in French. This edition was printed around 1515 and was bound later by Antoine Bauzonnet, one of the great French bookbinders of the early 19th century. It is the only known copy of its printing.

The book’s topic, a debate between water and wine personified, is an offshoot of the classical-era poems and fables that were used to define virtues and dictate how people should live. The debate between water and wine, which initially appeared in Greek, was popular among the Goliards, wandering medieval scholars who frequented taverns. The text of Le débat first appeared as Denudata veritae in the 12th century. The French version of the poem dates to the 14th or early 15th century.

The library’s earliest item on wine is a 12th-century bifolium from the library of the legendary wine merchant, gourmand, wine writer and bibliophile André Simon (1877–1890). The earliest printed item about wine in the rare book collection is the text of a complaint printed in 1500 on behalf of the City of Nuremberg, against a Brandenburg official who levied a wine duty on shipments for the city. Until now, the library’s earliest French book on wine was Deuis sur la Vigne, Vin et Vendages (1549). Le débat du vin et de leaue is now the library’s earliest French work on wine and the only record of the popular, historical debate in the library’s collections.

Sources:
Gary Price
UC Davis Library – Archives and Special Collections

#winebooks #winebook #library #winelovers #frenchwinebok #ACdavis #historicbook #winebookcollectors #winenews #winereading #books #winelife #winereaders #wineeducation

 

Sicilia en Primeur 2022: April 27 to May 1

From April 27 to May 1, the town of Erice is hosting the most important Sicilian wine event. “Sicily has proven to be able to govern the climate change and it is a candidate for pioneer and leader in sustainable viticulture 4.0 even in the new context related to climate change”

I’m absolutely thrilled to participate this year in the 2022 Sicilia en Primeur! This year it is back is back in the historic medieval town of Erice for the 18th edition.

This year the theme is: “Back to the roots, Sicily experiencing the future”, this not only represents a message of sustainability of the Sicilian wine production, but it is also representing the future of Sicily’s viticulture.

Besides presenting a preview of the wines of the previous vintage, the event was organized by Assovini Sicilia, who also introduce the Italian and international press to the extraordinary variety of wines with a series of tastings of 500 wines from Assovini Sicilia associate wineries.

Sicilia en Primeur is also an opportunity to promote Sicily’s viticultural and historical-archaeological heritage through wine tours hosting national and foreign press, to emphasize that the binomial wine and culture is an increasingly winning drive in Sicily.

“The topic chosen for this edition, “Back to the roots. Sicily experiencing the future”, takes on a significant and actual value because it puts the Sicilian wine production at the center of the debate on climate change, and nominates the island as a pioneer in sustainable viticulture 4.0 also in this new context, says Mr Laurent de la Gatinais, President of Assovini Sicilia. Thanks to its privileged position, its pedoclimatic and geopedological characteristics, continues Mr de la Gatinais – Sicily proves to be capable of ruling the consequences of climate change. The ability of producers and of the Sicilian territory to adjust to certain extreme conditions over the years – from lack of water to high temperatures- has allowed them to acquire a know-how which is today the base of a Sicilian model of sustainable viticulture, as well as the key to success. Variables such as biodiversity, good traditional practices, current and sustainable agronomic techniques and indigenous varieties play a fundamental role in the future of Sicilian viticulture. All these elements, combined with research, study, experimentation and the quality of production, make Sicily a unique wine laboratory and a leader in the sustainable management of climate change”- concludes Mr de la Gatinais.

In this edition and after two years of absence, Italian and international journalists started wine tours April 27 and will end on April 29 followed by all meeting up on April 30 with the conference and opening ceremony of Sicilia en Primeur 2022. Numerous speakers will give their technical-scientific contribution to the topic of Sicilia en Primeur “Back to the roots. Sicily experiencing the future”, including professor Antonio Zoccoli, (President of the National Institute of Nuclear Physics – “There is no wine without neutrino”), Professor Marco Moriondo (Institute of Bioeconomics of CNR in Florence “Climate change: observed and expected impacts on viticulture”) and the enologist Mattia Filippi (Uva Sapiens “The good practices of Sicilian wine companies following climate change”). The latest news includes a special focus on Catarratto, with the masterclass held by Professor Nicola Francesca “Catarratto: Time and Altitude giving Birth to the Beauty of an Aroma”.

The première of the wines from the latest vintage will be at the center of the walk-around tasting, which has always been an opportunity of confrontation and meeting between the press and Assovini Sicilia producers.

The technical tasting organized by AIS (Italian Sommelier Association) scheduled on May 1st, will be the final event for Sicilia en Primeur 2022.

“Sicilia en Primeur is an important event for the Sicilian wine sector because it represents its excellence. Assovini Sicilia plays a fundamental role in spearheading new solutions and understanding the challenges. Today, over 94% of the wine sector is represented by three pillars: Assovini Sicilia, the Consorzio di Tutela vini DOC Sicilia and the Fondazione SOStain Sicilia. Together, we can lead the change” states. Mr. de la Gatinais, President of Assovini Sicilia.

#winesofsicily #sicilianwines #italianwines #travelsicily #siciliaenprimeur2022 #siciliaenprimeur
#DocSicilia #ViniDocSicilia #SiciliaDoc #Sicilia #Sicily #SicilyWine #WineofSicily #DrinkSicily #sicilianwine #sicilianwines #vinosiciliano #vinosicilia #vinisiciliani #winelovers #wineexperience #travelling #instadaily #winetravels #winetourism #traveler #travelgram #winetasting #wineinfluencer #wineadventures #traveldiary #traveling#italianwine #italianwinelovers #AssoviniSicilia #erice2022

The première of the wines from the latest vintage will be at the center of the walk-around tasting, which has always been an opportunity of confrontation and meeting between the press and Assovini Sicilia producers.

The technical tasting organized by AIS (Italian Sommelier Association) scheduled on May 1st, will be the final event for Sicilia en Primeur 2022.

“Sicilia en Primeur is an important event for the Sicilian wine sector because it represents its excellence. Assovini Sicilia plays a fundamental role in spearheading new solutions and understanding the challenges. Today, over 94% of the wine sector is represented by three pillars: Assovini Sicilia, the Consorzio di Tutela vini DOC Sicilia and the Fondazione SOStain Sicilia. Together, we can lead the change” states. Mr. de la Gatinais, President of Assovini Sicilia.

#winesofsicily #sicilianwines #italianwines #travelsicily #siciliaenprimeur2022 #siciliaenprimeur
#DocSicilia #ViniDocSicilia #SiciliaDoc #Sicilia #Sicily #SicilyWine #WineofSicily #DrinkSicily #sicilianwine #sicilianwines #vinosiciliano #vinosicilia #vinisiciliani #winelovers #wineexperience #travelling #instadaily #winetravels #winetourism #traveler #travelgram #winetasting #wineinfluencer #wineadventures #traveldiary #traveling#italianwine #italianwinelovers #AssoviniSicilia #erice2022

Record Number of Wine Regions to Exhibit at London Wine Fair

The London Wine Fair will take place June 7 to 9 this year and is on track to host an unprecedented number of wine-producing countries this year. Along with all the large wine-producing countries and organizations, participants can also expect to see emerging regions.

Among the first-time exhibitors are Murcia & Galicia, Armenia, Romania and Portuguese region, Setubal. Wines of Ukraine will also have a special destination stand in the heart of the Trading Floor to showcase Ukrainian wines. As winemakers from Ukraine are unlikely to be able to attend due to the ongoing conflict. The stand will also be hosted by international wine industry professionals, including Sarah Abbot MW, Brad Horne, and Irina Gridina, who have volunteered to help champion the country’s wines. Several Ukrainian wineries have already sent their wines, which are currently being shipped to the UK.

Wines of Armenia, exhibiting for the first time this year, will occupy a pavilion hosting 13 wineries, while Setubal, a region south of Lisbon and which borders Tejo, will also have a strong and exciting presence with offerings from 11 wineries.

Wine Australia will be making a triumphant return, having not exhibited for more than a decade; they will bring 26 wineries over to exhibit – all of them looking to export to the UK for the first time.

ProChile is also returning, and France, Italy and Spain will all have a sizeable presence at the fair this year. Additionally, Wines of Georgia, and Greece will be back, with highlights including wines from Crete and Central Macedonia.

Overall, there will be 30 wine-producing countries attending, making the 40th London Wine Fair the biggest and most comprehensive yet.

Event director Hannah Tovey said: “We are around two months out from the doors opening and the show is filling up beautifully. The offering has never been so broad, with huge scope for visitors to discover new territories, producers and wines, alongside a raft of spirits, beers, ciders and non-alcoholic drinks.”

For further details: https://www.londonwinefair.com/

#londonwinefair #winefair #winelovers #winetasting #winenews #wineeducation #london #londonwine #LWF22 #womeninwine#wineevent #winetime #vin #wine #winebusiness #wineandfood #winetrade #winetourism