Book review for the OIV Awards: Sustainable and Innovative Wine Tourism – Success Models from all Around the World 

I just finished reviewing a book for the OIV Awards: Sustainable and Innovative Wine Tourism – Success Models from all Around the World, Monograph by Raul Compes Lopez and Gergely Szolnoki 

It was a fascinating read on the sector. The monograph compiles the works of 36 authors from 15 nationalities and explores the evolution of wine tourism in different countries and includes coming out of Covid-19.

My general overall impression is that it is a must-read for the international wine tourism industry, especially now coming out of the pandemic, it is extremely relevant.

Liz Palmer 

#bookreview #monograph #winebookreview #winebook #academicwinebook #winetourism  #sustainability #gastronomy #destinationmanagement #Innovative winetourism #oiv #preservingregionalheritage #bookstagram #winehistory #winelovers #booklover #winetravel #enoturismo #winecountry #winejudge #bookawards #internationalbookawards 

“Anteprima 2021”- Wine Preview of Vernaccia di San Gimignano by Filippo Magnini 

“The ancient crowned hill through the eyes of the queen grape”

When you are in the direction of San Gimignano, in the heart of Tuscany, you cannot help but be enveloped by the magical atmosphere, you get catapulted into a fairy-tale. The hills of “Queen Vernaccia” crown the city of San Gimignano; at its foot lies the most fascinating and characteristic landscape of the Val d’Elsa. Impressive from a distance are the tips of the “crown”, a little Manhattan of the Middle Ages. The city of San Gimignano in the first centuries after 1000 AD was embellished with seventy towers and numerous palaces, built by the many wealthy families to display their wealth and power. Still today, the fourteen beautiful towers remain to characterize the city center and to make the unique and recognizable silhouette of the crowned hill. It is right inside the walls of the beautiful San Gimignano that every year we have the pleasure to taste the new vintages of wines made in this fascinating territory.

The event this year was different from the usual February schedule. The Anteprima Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2021, in fact, was a month-long event that started on Wednesday the 19th of May and closed on Monday the 14th of June. The first day was dedicated exclusively to the Italian and international press. For the occasion, the consortium chose two principal venues: the De Grada Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, where all the journalists and writers were called to taste and evaluate the latest vintages of the sixty-nine wines produced by thirty-four wineries (Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2020, Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2019, Vernaccia di San Gimignano Riserva 2018); and the Dante’s Chamber in the Town Hall for the 16th edition of the ‘White Wine and Its Territories’ series: “Vernaccia in Comedy”.  A choice linked to the tradition and history of Italy. In fact, this year is the 700th anniversary of the death of the poet Dante. The consortium has intertwined the main six female protagonists of Dante’s work and 6 characteristic white wines of the territory of San Gimignano. These six samples were chosen to be compared with as many wines from those that are among the major denominations for white wines: Alto Adige Valle Isarco Veltliner, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore, Orvieto Classico Superiore, Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes Blanc and Palette Blanc. A so-called ‘battle’ between elegant queens, in a magnificent hall that narrates through its frescoes the path of our life.

TASTING REPORT 

During my stay at San Gimignano, I blind-tasted all the wines, which were majestically presented by the Consorzio del Vino Vernaccia di San Gimignano.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2020 (34 wines reviewed)

 

 

 

 

 

on my radar

Winery:  Fattoria di Fugnano
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2020 – Da Fugnano 

Brillant with pale straw core and watery rim. Pronounced flavour of pineapple with peachy overtones. Dry and sapid with bright acidity. Well balanced with good fruit and harmonious finish.  I like this wine.

Winery:  Fattoria San Donato
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2020 

Pale yellow core with greenish hues. The nose is fresh and fruity with scents of lemon and apricot. Vibrant entrance with medium alcohol. Dry with good acidity and a fruity finish. Lovely wine.

Winery:  Il Colombaio di Santa Chiara
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2020 – Selvabianca 

Pale yellow core, lighter on the edge. Intense flavour of citrus fruit and green apple with light floral notes. Dry with lovely acidity which matches a good alcohol level. The aftertaste is persistent with pleasant notes of almond at the end. Very good wine !

Winery:  Il Palagione
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2020 – Hydra 

Straw coloured with paler rim. The bouquet is intense and ample with notes of grapefruit and apricot with scents of ginger. The mouth is intense and fresh with racy acidity. Quite a long finish. Fine, charming wine !

Winery: San Benedetto
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2020 – Selvabianca 

Clear with lemon colour turning slightly green on the rim. It expresses nice aromas of lemon and peach mixed with light notes of acacia. The acidity matches well with the rich fruit. Balanced palate with quite a long persistence.  I really appreciate it.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2019 (18 wines reviewed)

 

 

 

 

 

on my radar

Winery:  Montenidoli
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2019 – Fiore 

Deep yellow core, lighter on the edge. The wine expresses a beautiful bouquet of lime and orange peel with overtones of thyme and mint. It is vibrant and structured to the palate with harmonious and fresh finish. Great potential for the ageing.

Winery:  Mormoraia
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2019 – Ostrea

Intense straw core with paler reflections. Intriguing nose with flavour of pear and maruted fruit with a hint of almond.  Lovely, creamy palate with present acidity. Discrete alcohol level with fresh finish. Delicious wine !

Winery:  Panizzi
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2019 – Vigna Santa Margherita 

Colour ranging from medium yellow core to lighter rim. Intense flavour of lemon with scent of candied apricot. Slight notes of vanilla. Dry, lively palate with good acidity. Rich and elegant aftertaste.  Great wine.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2018 Riserva (10 wines reviewed)

 

 

 

 

 

on my radar

Winery:  Cappella di Sant’Andrea
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2018 Riserva  – Prima Luce 

Brilliant, deep yellow colour. Intense bouquet of lemon and jasmine flowers with a hint of mint. Fragrant entrance, round with ripe fruit and good acidity.  Well structured, mineral and complex.  I really like it !

Winery:  Cesani
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2018 Riserva – Sanice 

Medium yellow core with lighter hues. The wine displays an intense perfume white peach, grapefruit, and lemon with a light buttery note. Dry, sapid and intense with good acidity and freshness. Well balanced and harmonious. Excellent wine.

Winery:  Guicciardini Strozzi
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2018 Riserva

Medium yellow core with paler rims. Clean with beautiful nose of ripe apricot and mango with flowery overtones and a hint of almond. Medium body with lively acidity and freshness. The alcohol is well balanced with the fruit.  Elegant aftertaste.  Great wine.

A FEW NOTES ABOUT THE 2020 VINTAGE  

2020 was characterised by an excellent seasonal trend. The onset of the vegetative stages was a little early but still normal for the long term. The harvest also started a week earlier than in 2019. The health of the grapes was excellent and their quality was good, albeit slightly lower than the previous year. The wines of this vintage are smooth and round, have good aromas and their acidity is not excessive.

SAN GIMIGNANO AND ITS QUEEN GRAPE VERNACCIA 

San Gimignano is a small town of Siena, rich in charm and history. The village of San Gimignano is located almost halfway between Florence and Siena (about 60 and 45 km), and is easily reachable by car or a bus. It is a territory situated completely on hills at altitudes between 200 and 400 m above sea level. The soils are of the Pliocene era, dating back between 6.8 and 1.8 million years. And it is certainly the composition of the ancient soil that makes the wines produced in this denomination extremely fascinating and complex. The terroir of this area is characterized by the presence of fossils and shells, it is composed of pliocene soil and clay. These extremely calcareous sediments make the soil ideal to create vigorous and mineral white wines.The surface area of the Municipality of San Gimignano is of about 12,500 hectares, 5,600 of which are destined to farm productions (vineyards, olive groves, cereal crops). The San Gimignano hills present variable exposures, altitudes, soil compositions and availability of water. The multiple and sometimes unique combinations of these single factors have, even in such a small area, a significant effect on the characteristics of the wines made there.  The combination of the unique variables for wine growing in San gimignano: different exposures, altitudes, soil compositions and water…, determine, even in such a restricted area, a significant impact on the characters of the wines produced there.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano is a white grape variety present in Tuscan since ancient times. Its bunches are large, long and pyramidal in shape, with an average density of compact and medium berries, round, very pruinose with thick peels. It has an unmistakable amber color when it is shone by the sun. A vine that finds its perfect condition in growing in calcareous-clay or tuffaceous soils

Always a big thanks to my colleague and friend Liz Palmer ! 

Wine-Based Cocktails Drive Interest, As Wine Looks To Expand Its Audience

As the summer-selling season began in earnest and the demand for pre-packaged drinks continues to trend up, leading wine marketers have been busy maneuvering amidst a tricky economic landscape—trying to bridge the gap between the general market and craft cocktail enthusiasts. Buoyed by last year’s off-premise surge, a slew of wine-based ready-to-drink cocktails have thrived, even though they’re still dwarfed by much bigger malt-based counterparts—especially in the hard seltzer and iced tea arenas. Spirits-based RTDs have also had a big headstart and offer stiff competition for shelf space. Most wine industry players haven’t yet fully participated in the wine-based cocktail category, but that could soon change.

The biggest label in the category is Patco Brands’ Rancho La Gloria, a line of wine-based RTD Margaritas at 13.9% abv. Launched in 2011, it skyrocketed to 1.3 million 9-liter cases last year—up more than 200% from 2019—according to Impact Databank. Gluten-free and made with 100% Blue Weber agave wine, Rancho La Gloria is also sold in canned and popsicle packaging formats, aside from the traditional 750-ml. bottle. Southern Champion’s Buzzballz Chillers is a wine-based offshoot from its larger spirits-based cousin, BuzzBallz. Featuring a lineup of flavors such as Horchata, Lotta Colada, and Hazelnut Latte, Buzzballz Chillers debuted in 2019 and depleted 375,000 cases last year.

The biggest industry player investing in the wine-based cocktail arena is E.&J. Gallo, with its launch of Barefoot Hard Seltzer—which depleted over half-a-million cases in 2020, according to Impact Databank. The line includes Pineapple & Passion Fruit, Cherry & Cranberry, Peach & Nectarine, and Strawberry & Guava flavors that are at 4% abv and retail at $8 a 4-pack and $20 for a variety 12-pack. Aside from seltzer, Gallo also previously introduced Barefoot Spritzer in the canned RTD category—retailing at $3 a 250-ml. can or $9 a four-pack, the spritzer range has an abv of 5.5% and comes in Moscato, Rosé, Summer Red, Crisp White, Red Sangria and Pinot Grigio expressions.

Wine-based cocktails more than doubled in size last year to over 5 million cases overall—according to Impact Databank—and in a space of less than 10 years have already begun to outsell the entire dessert/fortified wine and vermouth/aperitif segments combined. Wine RTDs continue to do well in 2021 as off-premise volumes surged 72% in the half-year ending May 22 in Nielsen channels.

Retail dollars grew even faster, soaring 86% to $161.3 million the past 26 weeks, as higher-priced cocktails profited from drinkers trading up from flavored malt beverages. And although wine-based RTDs have undoubtedly benefited from the off-premise boom during the pandemic, further investment from other major players is expected to keep the category on the rise even after the economy fully recovers.

Leading Wine-Based RTDs In The U.S.
(thousands of 9-liter case depletions)
Brand Company 2019 2020 Percent
Change
1
Rancho La Gloria Patco Brands 427 1,300 204.5%
Barefoot Seltzer E.&J. Gallo Winery 525 +
BuzzBallz Chillers Southern Champion 233 414 77.3%
Beatbox Future Proof Brands 100 198 98.5%
Uptown Southern Champion 8 142 +
Flybird Don Sebastiani & Sons 1 107 +
Total Top Five2 769 2,685 249.2%
1 Based on unrounded data.
Source: IMPACT DATABANK © 2021

Sources:
Shanken News
Impact DataBank

#wine #winenews #wineeconomics #instawine #winebasedcocktails #winebased #winecocktail #cocktails #summer #summervibes #summer2021 #summercocktails#winetrends #rtd #cocktailgram #winegram

Les Dames d’Escoffier Ontario “Uncorked” Wine and Gift Basket Auction

Les Dames d’Escoffier Ontario sends a sincere and heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone that participated in our recent “Uncorked” online auction.  The response exceeded our expectations, and we could not be more pleased and humbled by your thoughtfulness.

The event was a success in part due to our wonderful partner Crafting for a Cure, our generous sponsors, thoughtful donors and the bidding wars that took place at our online auction!

Stay tuned for our press release which will have a complete list of our sponsors, volunteers, and top bids.

Liz Palmer
President, Les Dames d’Escoffier Ontario

#corkedwineauction  #fundraiser #lesdames #lesdamesdescoffier #ldei #wineforacause #uncorked #womensupportingwomen #craftingforacure #womeninwine #wine #instawine #womeninhospitality #womeninwinebusiness #torontoevents  #wineauction #wineauctionToronto  #LesdamesON #Charityevent  #wine #onlinewineauction #winelovers #cfc #charity #philanthropy #torontoonlinewineauction #onlineshopping #torontowineauction #thankful #grateful 

New Chianti Classico subzones or ‘UGAs’ have been approved

Last week at the June 2021 assembly of Chianti Classico’s governing Consorzio, a “very large majority” of Consorzio members approved changes to the disciplinare that have the potential to put some separation between the Riserva and the Gran Selezione levels. Here are two key aspects to the proposal:

  • Focus on Sangiovese and native grape varieties

The current rules for all Chianti Classico wines require a minimum of 80% Sangiovese, but the new GS level will strengthen the connection with that variety (and push the wines a little closer to those of Brunello di Montalcino) by raising the requirement to 90%. Additionally, the remaining 0–10% of the wine will be restricted to native Italian grape varieties (e.g., Canaiolo, Ciliegiolo, Colorino, etc.). International varieties will not be permitted in Gran Selezione bottlings; and

  • Zonation

The Consorzio has come to an agreement on a first order of non-overlapping subzones that will allow producers to highlight and promote local variations within the 20-mile-long Chianti Classico denomination. These will be officially known as UGAs (unità geografiche aggiuntive, “additional geographical units”). It does not appear that there will be a requirement for a GS wine to be from a single UGA, but those that are will be able to carry the subzone name on the label.

Chianti Classico DOCG includes all or part of nine communes, and the new UGAs will follow commune boundaries to a large extent (see accompanying map). The communes of Castellina, Gaiole, Radda, and San Casciano will remain intact as subzones, while the three partial communes of Barberino Val d’Elsa, Poggibonsi, and Tavarnelle in Val di Pesa will be combined as the San Donato in Poggio UGA. The commune of Greve will become four UGAs: Greve, the highly regarded frazioni of Panzano and Lamole, and the lesser known frazione Montefioralle. Finally, the southern commune of Castelnuovo Berardenga will be broken into two UGAs: Castelnuovo Berardenga and Vagliagli (which is destined to be added to the list of most mispronounced wine locations).

Apparently, there is already talk about extending the use of these UGAs to the basic and Riserva levels as well as GS.

This proposal will have several hoops to jump through before it becomes official, then the wines will be required at least 2½ years of aging before release.