Spring has finally arrived and so has the arrival of Sperling Vineyards “Spring Releases”

This vintage marks the third year of certified organic wines from Sperling Vineyards. Sperling Vineyards is British Columbia’s oldest heritage vineyard, and home of Canada’s leading organic and biodynamic winegrower Ann Sperling.

Ann Sperling and her family are pioneers, first in the history of agriculture in the Kelowna region, and in both biodynamic and organic viticulture, and winemaking practice. The proof of their success is in the long lineup of awards. Taste for yourself!  Their wines are known to be wines of elegance, texture & authenticity.

Sperling Vineyards Blueprint

Location: Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

Established: Four generations: 1860s – land was cleared, settled and the farm was officially established in the1920s

 First vintage: 2008

Winemaker:  Ann Sperling

Viticultural Practices: Organic and Biodynamic

Estate: 45 acres

This anticipated release includes the following wines, with tasting notes.

Organic Market White 2018

Aromas of peach and orange with hints of honeysuckle;
soft on the palate with flavours of apple, apricot, grapefruit and pear; nice long and fresh finish
89 Points

Organic Pinot Gris 2018

This lovely estate-bottled PG has a nice weight; aromas of white fruits, on the mouth beach and honey, lingering with clean mineral flavours; refreshing acidity.
89 Points

Organic Natural Amber Pinot Gris 2018

Aromatically this orange wine has hints of earl gray tea, jasmine, and stone fruits; while the palate is fresh and long with texture and finishes fresh.

From the Vision series, this lovely orange wine is made from 40% whole cluster, 40% whole berry and 20% pressed juice from hand-picked Pinot Gris. Natural yeast and malolactic fermented, this wine has had nothing added and nothing taken away (no sulfites, or additives, and no fining or filtration). Being unfiltered it is slightly cloudy.
90 points

 Organic Pinot Noir 2017

This light ruby wine has some notes of spicy strawberry on the nose;
I found it to be a medium-bodied wine that is dry with some strawberry flavours and fresh acidity; excellent length.
91 points

Organic Vision Chardonnay 2017

Beautiful bright gold; on the nose, aromas of fresh apples, pear, and quince; while tasting I found it had a good weight with flavours of baked fruit and some spic; well-balanced acid keeps it fresh with a long finish.
89 Points

Organic Old Vines Foch Reserve 2017

Deep ruby colour; with a nose of plum and hints of spice; I found the wine to be medium-bodied, dry, with plum and cherry flavours; fresh and lively in the mouth with a long finish.
91 Points

Sperling Vineyards is also offering FREE SHIPPING across Canada right now, with some other tempting promotions – Market Series wines: buy 5 get the 6th free or spend $75 and we’ll include a gift with purchase.

Check out their website for details https://sperlingvineyards.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

US Drinkers Have Increased Wine Consumption During Lockdown

America’s 77 million regular wine drinkers upped their frequency of wine consumption during the pandemic lockdown, despite the closure of many on-premise establishments, according to new consumer research out this week.

The new Wine Intelligence US COVID-19 Impact Report polled a nationally representative sample of 2,000 monthly US wine drinkers during March and April 2020 to understand how their wine drinking behavior was changing as a result of the restrictions due to the coronavirus. The findings paint a picture of a nation finding new occasions for wine drinking – at lunchtime, or catching up with friends online, or replacing the trip to the restaurant with a more indulgent evening meal.

The growing volume of wine purchased was tempered by a small decline in the average price per bottle paid overall, according to the research. However, within this average were significant variations by consumer type. More involved and committed wine drinkers, who mainly spend between $15 and $20 per bottle normally, tended to spend a bit more than usual, while less frequent wine drinkers tended to spend a bit less.

There was significant growth in online shopping across all age groups, with the most likely users of online channels being younger, urban, affluent consumers. This same demographic, who in normal times are more likely to drink wine in social settings such as bars and restaurants, also tended to spend more on take-home purchases.

While the majority of respondents said the origin of wine they bought during this period stayed the same, there was a notable shift in purchase preferences towards domestic wines and away from imports. Some 18% of respondents reported buying more wine from California and other US regions during this time, while 20% said they were buying less wine from France, Italy and Spain. Additionally, US wine drinkers increased their trust in California wines and conversely, lost trust most among old world wines, particularly those from Italy.

Looking to the future, US wine drinkers, on the whole, expressed caution about going out to bars and restaurants immediately after lockdown restrictions were ended – around 40% said they would be less likely to visit a restaurant, while 27% said they would be more likely.

Analysis of this data suggests there is a distinct attitudinal contrast at work among consumers. At one extreme is an optimistic and active group who have made minimal changes to their lifestyle and are less nervous about returning to the on-premise – they tend to be younger, more affluent and city-based, and comprise about 17% of monthly wine drinkers. At the other extreme, 20% of monthly wine drinkers have reacted strongly to the lockdown, and have significantly cut down on spending and wine consumption, and are very reluctant to return to an active social life.

The Wine Intelligence US COVID-19 Impact Report will be published on the 6th of May 2020. It includes latest insights pre, during and predicted post-COVID-19 restrictions, including beverage repertoire, wine buying and consumption behaviors, brand health and lifestyle behavior changes.

Commenting on the report, Wine Intelligence CEO Lulie Halstead said: “Our data supports other evidence that shows that US wine drinking is holding up and that sales will continue to be solid once lockdown ends. In fact, there are clear opportunities with certain consumer segments right now and also in the medium term as we move to post-lockdown behavior. Looking ahead, the US wine drinker is understandably quite cautious about their household finances and the idea of getting on a plane. Thankfully for the wine category, their intention seems to be replacing big treats like vacations and big events with small treats like a nicer bottle of wine.”

Source:  Wine Intelligence

WineAmerica discloses how wineries are being “creative” in the face of adversity

The average US winery lost US$51,201 from March 15 to April 15 and expects to lose a further $134,626 in May, due to the latest survey by industry association WineAmerica.

There is some cause for optimism.

Having released bleak figures back in March, the industry association has said the results of its second survey has brought in some more “uplifting” findings.

Last month, WineAmerica revealed that US wineries lost a total of US$40,439,764 in March due to Covid-19, but warned that the figure could be far greater as only 10% of the nation’s wineries responded to the information request.

In its second survey, the industry association found that the average winery lost $51,201 between March 15 and April 15 and expects to lose $134,626 in May if the current situation continues through to the end of the month. Wineries estimate that it will take an average of four months to return to normal business levels.

This survey was returned by 727 wineries in 45 states, a smaller survey sample than the first.

It revealed that wineries have resorted to ingenuity in order to bring in money. The most popular new strategy was offering curbside pickups, with 84% of those surveyed saying they had done this. 63% said they had reduced shipping costs, 60% had offered special promotions, 54% had carried out local home deliveries, and 53% said they’d put out ‘wine club specials’.

28% revealed they had engaged in the growing trend of virtual wine tastings. Just 5% of those surveyed said they hadn’t tried any of these initiatives.

WineAmerica stated that it was “highly likely” that the marketing experience and willingness to adapt will “serve the industry for years to come”.

15% of those surveyed said they had been forced to stop production, however, 62% said that production speed had been reduced due to Covid-19.

Due to the global pandemic, the average American winery had to lay off five members of staff, although a quarter of those surveyed said they didn’t make any job cuts.

As expected, wine tourism has taken a huge hit. The average winery in America has 17,644 annual visitors, with 1,482 expected during the 15 March to 15 April period. Due to coronavirus, visitor numbers were down by an average of 90.5% and tasting room sales fell by 74.5%. However, direct-to-consumer (DtC) sales increased by 8%, with many wineries reporting sales rising by double or triple digits.

WineAmerica president Jim Trezise said that wineries and tourism “have a symbiotic relationship” and described visitors as being “the lifeblood of the industry”.

He said that marketing innovations “have mitigated losses due to closed tasting rooms, but not entirely”.

As some states start to lift lockdown measures, Trezise says WineAmerica is working to develop “best practices for tasting rooms” that will both protect the safety of visitors and employees.

https://wineamerica.org/

Asia Pacific Wine and Spirit Institute helps industry professionals with online learning during social distancing

APWASI launched this week 20 online wine and spirit certification courses in 26 languages. The newly released programs include the world’s first certified courses in “Icewine”, “Wines of China”, “Caviar” and “Truffles”.

The APWASI (Asia Pacific Wine and Spirit Institute) board unanimously agreed to move the launch forward to offer support to those in the airline, cruise line, hotel and hospitality industry who are facing uncertain, challenging and life-changing situations because of the global pandemic.

APWASI will be making the important Wine Essentials 1 Course complimentary and other courses qualify for special pricing. The program goals are to allow people to be more productive, acquire new knowledge and get certified during this period at home that many are experiencing.

In 2018/2019 there were over 100,000 wine and spirit students globally undertaking courses from various wine bodies. The wine and spirits market is explosively dynamic and experiencing generational, global and dramatic taste changes. APWASI’s mission when developing these career courses was to combine required fundamental theory and practical skills required for the workplace.

Industry experts were consulted to ensure APWASI courses had the impact and relevance to enable course graduates to be seamlessly and more easily absorbed into new career positions. As a non-profit organization, APWASI wants ensure the courses can be delivered globally and at scale.

Dr. Clinton Lee, Executive Director APWASI said, “It is imperative students have the choice now of a condensed route to attaining new skills with the flexibility to further upgrade those skills during their career. Not only are work skills important but so are cultural awareness levels. I was adamant that APWASI courses incorporate cultural awareness and we have done that. As a lifelong student myself, I can share through my own experience, that lifelong learning is the only way forward.”

APWASI developed a holistic approach for their students, from start to career, by developing strong strategic alliances with pivotal partners in the field. APWASI strategic alliances include Quini (http://www.quiniwine.com), a respected, established online wine tasting software company. Students can taste wine and record professional-grade tasting notes with ease, anywhere, anytime and recall them at the touch of a button. Students can also take online language study components through APWASI’s strategic partnership with Rosetta Stone Language. “Studying Italian wine and language just became much easier,” said Dr. Lee. APWASI students will also be able to keep up-to-date online with the wine industry through our highly valued APWASI strategic partner, Wine Spectator magazine.

Students will be able to access APWASI strategic partners, including global recruitment agencies geared to focus on APWASI graduates, to assist in placement during and after their course completion.

Roger Noujem, CEO of Quini, said, “Global industry requires talent that is digitally savvy in cross-functional areas of business. Going well beyond being personally knowledgeable about wine, for example. It is skills related to bringing automation ideas to the workplace that have now become more important than ever in the wine and hospitality sectors. With the new depth of education, certifications, virtual environment and partnerships that APWASI has crafted, we see a paradigm shift that QUINI is exceptionally proud to help advance and stand shoulder to shoulder with APWASI on.”

For further details: http://www.apwasi.com.

Ontario Adopts Temporary Measures to Support Bars, Restaurants and Alcohol Retailers During COVID-19 

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has announced a number of temporary measures to support local businesses in Ontario that have been significantly impacted by the spread of COVID-19.

Effective immediately, licensed restaurants and bars in Ontario will be allowed to sell alcohol with food takeout and delivery orders between the hours of 9:00 am and 11:00 pm. All active liquor licensees may immediately begin offering this service if they choose and there is no application process or fee required. Liquor may be sold for takeout or delivery through a third party, such as a food delivery service or ordering platform, provided they are acting on behalf of the licensee.

Additionally, the AGCO is temporarily allowing authorized grocery stores and liquor manufacturer retail stores to begin selling alcohol as of 7:00 am in order to support early shopping programs for vulnerable people and to provide greater flexibility to retail stores. The temporary extension of hours also provides greater flexibility for all alcohol retail stores to choose their hours of sale to meet public health objectives. Consumers are encouraged to confirm operating hours with retailers.

The AGCO is also extending by three months the term of all active liquor, gaming and cannabis licences, authorizations and registrations during this extraordinary situation. In all cases, licensees do not need to do anything. Existing licences will simply remain in effect for the extended period, at no additional cost.

“Everyone at the AGCO is concerned for the individuals, families, businesses and communities affected by this virus. We are working closely with the Government of Ontario to find ways of supporting Ontarians and the sectors we regulate during these challenging times” states Jean Major, Registrar and CEO, AGCO.