WSET’s Wine Education Week comes to Canada

RAISE A GLASS THIS MONTH TO WSET’s WINE EDUCATION WEEK!

WSET marks its 50th anniversary with its first-ever international celebration of wine education.

Whether you’re a novice or knowledgeable, mad for Merlot or puzzled by Pinot, the world of wine is one that’s ripe for discovery. Having awarded over 500,000 wine lovers one of its qualifications since it was founded in 1969, the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), the largest global provider of wine and spirits qualifications, is celebrating its milestone 50th anniversary with the first-ever global Wine Education Week. The week, taking place from 9-15 September 2019, celebrates the diversity, taste, and culture of the world of wine with a program of interactive events, all of which are focused on learning about and enjoying wines from across the globe.

Wine Education Week will kick off on Monday 9th September with food and wine pairing launch events across the world at 6 pm local time in 24 countries. Starting with Auckland, New Zealand and ending with California, USA, WSET is aiming for a continuous 24-hour global food and wine tasting session. In the UK the launch event will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for wine lovers to help break a Guinness World Record – for the largest ever recorded sommelier lesson. In Canada, there will be launch events in Toronto (hosted by IWEG Drinks Academy) and Vancouver (hosted by Statera Academy).

Following the launch, Wine Education Week will continue with more than 450 fun, educational events in 46 countries to encourage consumers to learn more about wine and to drink ‘better’. With sessions ranging from ‘Deciphering Wine Labels’ to ‘Matches Made In Heaven’ – and ‘World Wine Monopoly’, the events will help attendees make wiser choices when choosing a bottle and to discover the delights of lesser-known wines they might not have tasted before. In Canada WSET course providers are organizing 15 events in five locations over Wine Education Week:

12/9/19 Calgary Finding the perfect match CO.OP Wine Spirits Beer
13/9/19 Calgary Deciphering wine Labels CO.OP Wine Spirits Beer
14/9/19 Calgary Vine to glass CO.OP Wine Spirits Beer
9/9/19 Toronto Wine Quiz IWEG Drinks Academy
11/9/19 Toronto Cabernet and red blends IWEG Drinks Academy
12/9/19 Toronto Ontario wine masterclass IWEG Drinks Academy
9/9/19 Vancouver Secrets to great food & wine pairing Statera Academy
10/9/19 Guelph, ON Finding the perfect match University of Guelph
11/9/19 Guelph, ON Vine to glass University of Guelph
12/9/19 Guelph, ON Deciphering wine labels University of Guelph
10/9/19 Burnaby, BC Finding the perfect match VinoZen
10/9/19 Burnaby, BC Deciphering wine labels VinoZen
10/9/19 Burnaby, BC Vine to glass VinoZen
10/9/19 Burnaby, BC Mastering maturation VinoZen
10/9/19 Burnaby, BC Wine trivia night VinoZen

WSET CEO Ian Harris comments: “Wine Education Week is a celebration of our mission to inspire and inform wine lovers across the world. With exciting events taking place everywhere from New Zealand to Thailand to Mexico and, of course, our home in the UK, I can’t think of a better way to mark WSET’s 50th anniversary and the progress we have made in wine education over the last half-century.”

Full details about Wine Education Week and the events taking place can be found at http://www.wineeducationweek.com .

European wine scientists to share expertise and knowledge with Australian Wine Research Institute

European wine scientists are set to share their expertise with the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) in Adelaide as part of a major EU funded exchange program.

A consortium of 13 members of the Oenoviti International network of grape and wine research organizations, including the AWRI, has received €874,000 in funding to allow 39 wine researchers from the EU to spend a total of 190 months at industry organizations around the world.

As part of the international exchange program, the AWRI said 11 researchers from France, Portugal and Spain were expected to spend time in Adelaide.

“The program aims to enhance collaborative networks, facilitate knowledge sharing and build personal relationships within the international grape and wine research community, resulting in enduring benefits for the people and organizations involved and for global wine producers,” said Dan Johnson, MD, AWRI.

“Our scientists look forward to sharing their knowledge and learning from the high calibre visiting researchers, he added.
Oenoviti International is a network dedicated to research excellence and education in viticulture and oenology. The network includes more than 55 partners around the world and is coordinated by the University of Bordeaux – Institut des Sciences de la Vigne et du Vin.

Program co-ordinator, professor Pierre-Louis Teissedre, said: “When grape and wine scientists from around the world work together and share their expertise and knowledge, there are positive outcomes for all wine-producing countries.”

Participating countries include: Argentina, Italy, South Africa, Chile, France, Spain, and Australia, will host the placements between 2019 and 2023.

Austrian Wine Harvest – Vintage 2019

Austrian winegrowers are looking forward to a good vintage with fully ripe grapes this year. Compared to the big harvest in 2018, an average volume of approximately 2.4 million hectolitres is expected. And after the record-breaking early harvest last year, picking will begin around Lake Neusiedl at the beginning of September. In other regions, the primary harvest will begin in mid-September’, states Johannes Schmuckenschlager, president of the Austrian Winegrowers’ Association.

No late frost damage
After a normal budding, late frost damage could be avoided once more this year, despite a few anxious nights. In contrast to the previous year, flowering took place about two weeks later – at the normal time. Excessive heat in June 2019 with record temperatures over 30°C then led to rapid progress of the vegetation. The dry and hot weather conditions also provided very healthy grapes; this dryness worked against the development of any fungal diseases during and after flowering. The very high temperatures around blossoming led, in some areas to a poor fruit set.

First drought, then relief

In the wine-growing regions of Burgenland and Krems, the heat brought severe drought stress in June and July. At the end of July, however, the onset of rainfall provided relief in most winegrowing regions. Occasionally there was also heavy precipitation in the form of downpours and thunderstorms, and some hail damage was recorded. At present, the vegetation is progressing due to the rainfall.

How does 2019 look?
The development of the vegetation cycle in 2019 points to a fully ripe vintage. Due to the arid stretch after flowering in June and July, the berries are on average a bit smaller, which is also an indicator that there will be some very aromatic wines. And because of the postponement of maturity to a normal, slightly cooler period, growers expect high sugar concentration but sufficient acidity as well. 2019 should offer very harmonious and nicely balanced wines.

All in all, it is quite likely that this year’s wines will have finesse and freshness on top of ripeness and opulent texture because there is plenty of acid backbone to go with the depth of fruit.

Fast facts for vintage 2019

Quality
-Very healthy, fully ripe grape material throughout the winegrowing regions of Austria
-Aromatic wines with good acid backbone, finesse and freshness expected

Harvest volume
-Approx. 2.4 million hectolitres expected
-Vegetation cycle

-Budding at the normal time, no late frost damage
-Hot June/July: rapid progress of vegetation, coloure in some instances; drought stress in most regions relieved by rainfall in late July
-Isolated hail damage

Australian Cabernet Sauvignon Insights

According to Wine-Searcher, Australia produces seven of the world’s top 10 value Cabernet Sauvignon. Based on wines with at least a 90-point rating + and dividing the rating by the wine’s price, Cabernet Sauvignon from Australian regions Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, Coonawarra, Langhorne Creek and Margaret River out-performed wines from international competitors Napa Valley and Bordeaux.

This comes on top of Australia’s strong performance at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards. Of the 27 gold medals awarded to Cabernet Sauvignon, Australia received the most with seven golds ahead of France and South Africa.

Gold medals awarded to Cabernet Sauvignon at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards:

Australia 7
France 4
South Africa 4
Chile 3
China 3
USA 2
Italy 1
Romania 1
Bulgaria 1
Israel 1
Total 27

Did you know that Cabernet Sauvignon is the world’s most planted grape variety?

According to IWSR, Cabernet Sauvignon is the world’s largest selling variety with 163 million cases (9-liter case equivalents) sold across the globe in 2018. Cabernet Sauvignon is Australia’s second most planted red variety behind Shiraz.

In 2019, while the overall Australian grape-crush declined by 3 percent, the Cabernet Sauvignon crush increased by 3 percent to just over 250,000 tonnes and reflecting growing demand, the average purchase price of Cabernet increased by 14 percent to $846 per tonne. Reflecting the premium nature of Cabernet Sauvignon, 12 % of the Cabernet Sauvignon purchased by Australian wineries was at prices above $1500 per tonne (vs 7 % for all grapes).

Australian Cabernet Sauvignon is shipped to over 114 markets around the world, with China and the United States the two biggest export destinations with a combined 70 percent value share.

The premium status of Australian Cabernet Sauvignon is also evident in the latest export figures. Exports of Australian single variety Cabernet Sauvignon averaged A$6.71 per liter in 2018–19, well-above the total average for all red wines of A$4.54 per liter. Australian Cabernet Sauvignon was destined for 114 markets

According to IRI Worldwide, in 2018–19, sales of Australian Cabernet Sauvignon grew 6 % in value in the USA’s off-trade market, double the overall Cabernet market growth rate of 3 %. For Australia, the strongest growth is coming at US$8–14.99 per bottle and, albeit off a small base, above US$25 per bottle.

The Clones
Wine Australia is also investing in R & D into Cabernet Sauvignon. The South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) is currently into the final year of a three-year project, ‘Cabernet Sauvignon trials to evaluate response to climate and management.’ Three field sites of Cabernet Sauvignon plantings will be established in contrasting climates and soils. Each will contain at least 10 Cabernet Sauvignon clones that will be selected in collaboration with the sector and monitored to ensure that vines are well-established.

In the future, clone performance will be evaluated via a range of parameters including vine phenology, vegetative and reproductive growth, water relations and berry traits. The construction of the trial will allow comparison between different clones at the same site and between the performance of each clone in different.

SARDI
https://pir.sa.gov.au/research/about_sardi

Wines Australia
https://www.wineaustralia.com/

Osorno Chile has ‘Tremendous Potential’ for high-quality sparkling wine

One of Chile’s principal producers of sparkling wine, Miguel Torres Chile, is hoping to exploit the Osorno Valley’s “tremendous potential” for high-quality sparkling wine, according to winemaker Eduardo Jordan.

Jordan said he believed the area in the Los Lagos region of Chile was ideally suited to the production of premium sparkling wine.

Jordan said: “The south is the future for sparkling wine. I think that the Osorno area has tremendous potential to produce high-quality sparkling wines since the cold weather and the mixture of volcanic and alluvial soils present the ideal environment for this type of wine.”

He recalled how the producer has been experimenting with sparkling wines made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the region since 2017 and the results “are well on track to-date”.

To make the wines, Miguel Torres Chile is working with a grower with which it has had a long-term contract. It has already released a wine from the area – a Sauvignon Blanc – which is part of its Cordillera range.

“It’s a vertical Sauvignon with a citric acid mouthfeel typical of this area and that which is difficult to find in other areas of Chile”, said Jordon.

Osorno, located at a latitude of 40 degrees – roughly the same as the North Island of New Zealand – it is one of the emerging wine regions in the far south of Chile, giving its name to a city, province and volcano in the region. With as much as 1,500mm of rainfall a year, it can be a challenging area to grow grapes, according to Jordan. It is mainly planted with Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with a smattering of Riesling.

“Due mainly to climate change in Chile, today it is possible to plant vineyards in places that were unthinkable eight to 10 years ago, due to rising temperatures and lower rainfall in the summer months. Osorno is one of those places in Chile where today there are a small number of producers or wineries who have dared to plant vineyards”, Jordan added.

Miguel Torres Chile was founded in Curicó in 1979. Jordan said that temperatures are noticeably warmer now, with the producer, which sources grapes from many regions in Chile, noticing big differences in picking times.

“In 2007 we really started noticing that temperatures were changing. The sea temperatures were warmer and summer temperatures are now 1-2 degrees higher”, he said.

“When we were founded, Curicó was considered south, now it’s central. Itata and beyond is now referred to as the south.”

Source: Drinks Business