Georg J. Riedel Honoured by Wine Spectator Magazine

10TH GENERATION GLASSMAKER ACKNOWLEDGED FOR “DISTINGUISHED SERVICE”

Writing in Wine Spectator, News Editor Mitch Frank states how Georg Riedel “revolutionized how we drink wine by spreading the gospel of his family’s wine glasses”. Georg educated tens of thousands of wine drinkers on the benefits of varietal-specific glassware and brought financial stability to the company in the 1980s through savvy business development and an evangelist’s approach to marketing his products.

“I am sincerely grateful to Wine Spectator for offering me this outstanding reward and it is an honor to be named in line with the most respected personalities of the wine and food industry,” says Riedel. “I am not the first Austrian, but the first glassmaker to be called to the Wine Spectator Olympus, and am very proud to share the honor with my team and family.”

Riedel follows luminaries of the global wine community in his receipt of the award and stands apart as the first glassmaker to receive the accolade. Past honorees include Julia Child, Robert Mondavi, Christian Moueix, Angelo Gaja, Francis Ford Coppola, Andre Tchelistcheff, fellow Austrian Wolfgang Puck, and Californian Governor Gavin Newsom – larger-than-life personalities whose contributions to the wine and culinary world are innumerable.

The Riedel family’s business began in 1756 when Johann Leopold Riedel (3rd generation) founded a glass factory in Bohemia (in what is today’s Czech Republic). In 1945, the successful family business came to an abrupt end due to World War II, when all German possessions were nationalized and German-speaking people expatriated.

In 1956, some two hundred years after the first factory was opened, Walter Riedel (8th generation) and Claus Riedel (9th generation) were offered the unique opportunity to take over the bankrupt glass factory Tiroler Glashütte in Kufstein, Austria. It was in this new period that Claus Riedel became known as the first glass designer to create wine-friendly glassware. His designs were launched from the 1950s to the 1970s, and continue to have a major impact on today’s universally known glass shapes.

Georg Riedel (10th generation, born 1949) joined the family business in 1973 as the company’s accountant. At an early stage, he became passionate about wine and how glass shapes profoundly influence the perception of wine’s aromas and flavors. Gifted with fine senses and supported with strong commercial talents, he quickly took over the company’s direction, developing varietal specific glassware.

At the same time, a New World wine boom created new demand and highlighted new wines of classic varietals grown on foreign soils. The launch of Riedel’s first machine-made line, VINUM – the perfect wine glass at a popular price level – built the foundation for a solid future for the company.

Georg opened his first subsidiary as importer and distributor in the USA in 1979 and have since opened eight more around the globe including China, Japan, and Australia. He was the first to approach wine distributors to represent the Riedel brand, which grew the company’s presence around the world to over 100 countries. As a shrewd businessman, without bank loans and using accumulated company cash, Riedel acquired the then much larger glass companies Nachtmann and Spiegelau in 2004. With this takeover came the opportunity for Riedel to produce all glasses in the company’s own factories.

Today, Georg’s children Laetizia, a solicitor and Maximilian, the current CEO, are the Riedel team members responsible for directing and guiding the family business as the 11th generation.

Source: Riedel, Austria

Vinexpo New York Launches 2020 Brochure

Vinexpo New York has released its brochure for its March 2-3, 2020 trade show, which provides details for those attending the event.

Vinexpo is urging exhibitors to join its regional pavilions which it says gives produces “added presence and recognition within the exhibit hall” and helps top buyers “seek products from specific regions.”

To view the brochure https://www.vinexponewyork.com/visitor-brochure/
Vinexpo New York made its debut in 2018, followed by 2019 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center March 4-5.

The 2019 show featured more than 400 exhibitors from 26 countries and 3,000 wine and spirits professionals – including a mix of importers, distributors, wholesalers, buyers and e-commerce specialists from over 40 US states and seven Canadian provinces. Its conference program included six sessions addressing issues such as global climate change and its impact on the wine industry, emerging technologies in the wine and spirits industry, and trends in the US wine market.

The 2019 edition also saw several new additions, including the WOW! World of Organic Wines pavilion, which hosted more than 20 organic wine producers from five countries; a Wine & Spirit Education Trust Pop-Up classroom; Uncork New York, sponsored by the New York Wine & Grape Foundation; and the Wine Spectator 90+ Showcase and Tasting Bar, highlighting wines to have earned 90 points or higher in its blind tasting reviews.

Previous exhibitors include Diego Bertolini, manager of Wines of Brazil, who said of the show: “Our expectations were exceeded on the first day: we met more than 50 distributors and 10 importers. It’s a great opportunity to develop and increase awareness and sales in the US.”

Wines of Chile to increase small producer participation

Aurelio Montes Sr., president of Wines of Chile, recently outlined his objectives in getting smaller producers involved in the trade group “Wines of Chile”.

Montes took over as president last month has stated that one of his objectives is to offer reduced or free-entry for smaller producers to join the organization.

“My role is to make Chile better known and more respected,” he said. “I think small producers are weaker as they don’t have the resources to travel and put their wines out into the market, in the same way that a larger producer does.”

Speaking more generally about his plans for his two years in office, Montes echoed the trade organization’s goal to raise the profile of Chilean wine.

“I aim to make Chile better known, although we are pretty successful already. In terms of wine production, we are number one among the new world countries and we are fourth in the world as a whole. So that puts Chile in a very privileged position and we’re really happy about that.

“Chile is perceived as a country with good value for money, inexpensive wines – unbeatable value for money I would say. One of my targets is to put Chile where it deserves, although it is already a well-renowned country, it deserves to be a couple of steps higher and in a better position.”

Montes also revealed that the organization was focusing its attention on its top three markets – China, the US and Brazil – with the aim of doubling its activities in each of the markets. In particular, he spoke of a desire to “recover the American market” after losing ground since the financial crisis in 2008.

Montes will be president of Wines of Chile until 2021, and he is a well-respected figure in the industry and a founding member of Viña Montes.

Source: Drinks Business

Bourgogne Wines Cave de Prestige selection for 2019

Last week the Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB) announced the exclusive Bourgogne Wines Cave de Prestige selection for 2019.

This year,1,528 samples were submitted for tasting, from vintages 2015 through to 2018. This represents a rise of 34% compared to 2018 and is perhaps not surprising given the very fine 2017 vintage from which 64% of submissions hailed. The 2017 vintage was more generous than 2016 for the majority of Bourgogne appellations, and 2018 looks to be promising.
Selected by a jury of experts 12% of the submissions were chosen, making a total of 191 wines. They will be showcased for one year, both in France and abroad, at marketing and training events for market influencers such as wine store owners, sommeliers, restaurateurs and journalists, and also for the general public through the École des Vins de Bourgogne.

There was a record number of submissions as follows: cooperative cellars 9%; négoce trade 13%; with estates making up the remaining 78%. Most of the 84 Bourgogne appellations were represented, from Régionale wines to Grand Crus.

The winning list will follow shortly.

US and EU winegrowers hit back at Trump’s proposed Tariffs on EU wine

US members of international grower organization Wine Origins Alliance have written to the government’s trade representative, calling for the scrapping of proposed tariffs on EU wine.
In a letter to US trade representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, the group strongly urged him to exclude wine and wine products from the list of goods that may be subject to WTO tariff countermeasures, as a result of a WTO dispute over EU subsidies to Airbus.

It echoes a similar letter from the organization’s European contingent to the European Trade Commissioner, signed by representatives from Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne, Chianti, Rioja, and Jerez.

The Wine Origins Alliance comprises 25 organizations across 10 counties, which together represents nearly 80,000 wineries and growers, who are focussed on promoting and protecting wine growing place names worldwide and preventing the purposeful misuse of geographic names.

The appeal after the US government identified $21 billion-worth of EU good imports, including wine and cheese, which it said could be subject to tariffs in the ratcheting up of trade hostilities between the two blocks in response to the EU subsiding aerospace and defense group Airbus. Last year the WTO ruled the EU subsidies to the company were illegal in the culmination of a 14-year dispute between Airbus and US company Boeing.

In response the EU is also expected to authorize tariffs countermeasures on US-made wine and other products.

The letter pointed out that the US and the EU are two of the world’s leading wine producers and last year collectively exporting $28 billion of product and urged the US trade representative to remove wine from the list and work with the EU to reduce and eliminate tariffs.

“We urge you to work with the EU government to reduce or eliminated wine tariffs, not raise them. Promoting wine exports by removing trade barriers is critical to driving industry growth and creating new industry jobs,” it said.

Signatories of the letter include the President of the Napa Valley Vintners Association, Linda Reiff, Sonoma County Vintners’ executive director Michael Haney, Oregon Winegrowers Association CEO Tom Danowski, alongside representatives from Pasa Robles Wine Country Alliance, the Long Island Wine Council, Santa Barbara Vintners, the Missouri Wine and Grape Board, and Willamette Valley Wineries Association.

In a similar move, the presidents of the Conseil Interprofessional du Vin de Bordeaux (CIVB), Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico, Bureau Interprofessional des Vins de Bourgogne (BIVB), Consejo Regulador DOCa Rioja, Comité Champagne and Consejo Regulador del Vino del Jerez urged the EC’s Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström to exclude wine from any list of goods on the tariff countermeasure list.

Source: Drinks Business