Prosecco receives UNESCO World Heritage status

The status was officially announced on Sunday for the Prosecco landscape, and includes Le Colline del Prosecco di Conegliano e Valdobbiadene, and the DOCG vine growing area; “characterized by ‘hogback’ hills, ciglioni — small plots of vines on narrow grassy terraces — forests, small villages, and farmland,” states UNESCO.

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee, met in Baku, Azerbaijan, on Sunday to congratulate Italy and its Veneto Prosecco region.

The campaign to nominate Prosecco started in 2008, and Italy’s National Commission for UNESCO officially gave its support January 2017. The application included submitting a 1,300-page dossier.

‘For centuries, this rugged terrain has been shaped and adapted by man.’
In particular, the training of vines since the 17th century has helped contribute to the unique aesthetics of the landscape.

This region spans over 500 towns, with 15 towns producing Prosecco Superiore DOCG – the top-quality bubbly produced.

Italy has more UNESCO sites than any other country in the world, with a total of 55.
Some wine regions, including Barolo and Pantelleria, with seven UNESCO sites in Tuscany.

Sales of Prosecco rose six percent in 2018 to 460 million bottles, of which 75 percent were exported.

Official UNESCO details:
N45 57 10.9 E12 13 34
Date of Inscription: 2019
Property : 20,334.2 ha
Buffer zone: 43,988.2 ha
Ref: 1571rev
Full description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1571/

Franciacorta, Italy’s Premium Sparkling Wine

What and Where is Franciacorta?

Franciacorta is a sparkling wine from the Province of Brescia, Northern Italy with DOCG status. It was first referenced as Franzacurta in the Eighth Book of Brescia in 1277. Guido Berlucchi produced the first Franciacorta in 1961, and during 1995 the sparkling wines of Franciacorta were awarded DOCG status. This tells you that Franciacorta has some history but it’s is a very young wine appellation and it has some serious merit.

Franciacorta’s layered geological formations boast complex microclimates. The wines are defined by both a sub-Alpine and Mediterranean-type climate due to the proximity of Lake Iseo. 

The wines are produced using the Méthode Champenoise, or ‘Traditional Method’, in which the second fermentation takes place in the bottle, using a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Bianco grapes This gives the wine more yeast contact, and results in a drier wine with biscuit and brioche notes creating a long finish.

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to visit this beautiful wine region and here is an overview.

I visited Ca’ del Bosco and was fortunate to see the harvest and quality control taking place.

Founded in 1969, is an icon of Italy’s Franciacorta region. The winery’s state-of-the-art cellar, unique in Franciacorta, has allowed the winemaking team to produce the best wines possible and with the highest quality. Their wines have collectively earned 41 “Tre Bicchieri” awards by Italy’s Gambero Rosso, since 1998, the second-highest awarded winery in history by the publication.

Here is my video of what we saw on our tour.

Wines Tasted:

Vintage Collection Saten
Tasting Notes: silky smooth, soft, and well-rounded

Cuvee Prestige
Tasting Notes:  a well-balanced wine, fresh and crisp

Vintage Collection Brut
Tasting Notes: structured, full-bodied, intense and persistent.  

Other Wines In The Region

On my second day, I visited the co-op of  Cantine La Pergola. This winery is certified organic and uses a small percentage of sulfite.

Founded in 1979, Cantine La Pergola is made up of 45 members, 30 of which confer grapes, and control 80 hectares of vineyards, 90% of which are organic: with the annual production reaching 300,000 bottles (50% certified organic).

Wines Tasted:

VALTÈNESI DOC CHIARETTO – SELENE (2016)
Note: This wine is known as the “wine of the first night” because it is literally produced in one night.

Tasting Notes: beautiful floral notes; well balanced; light elegant wine

La Pergola Lugana
Tasting Notes: soft floral notes, excellent balance some hints of jasmine

La Pergola – Eos (2012)
Note: autochthonous grape varietal Groppello (cultivated 1300) with small percentages of Marzemino, Barbera and Sangiovese.

Tasting Notes:  bright ruby red; aroma and taste recall spices, herbaceous notes, and minerals and persistent almond aftertaste

La Pergola – Brol (2010)
Notes: Aged 18 month in second-hand oak barrels; limited production (5000
liters per year)
Tasting Notes: Red fruits with some spice notes; high acidity

In addition to producing delicious local wines, Cantine La Pergola also produces olive oil and organizes bike tours.

 Azienda Agricola Ricci Curbastro. This winery is quite historical with a history of 17 generations. The owner, Mr Cubastro introduced me to the soon-to-be 18th generation, his eldest son.

The most impressive aspect of this vineyard is that it is one of the few family-owned in the region. I also toured their museum which incorporated historic winemaking tools. Cubastro winery owns 32 hectares of vineyards and has created solar energy panels that help run and maintain the winery. The next step for this winery is to convert all of their production to organic.

 

 

 

Wines Tasted:

Franciacorta Brut
Note: blend of 60% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Blanc, 10% Pinot Nero
Tasting Notes: Light, easy to drink, hints of floral notes

Franciacorta Rose Brut
Note: This salmon pink wine is perfect for the nice warm summer day
Tasting Notes: Light; refreshing, hints of floral note

Sebino IGT Bianco ZeroNote: No preservatives or chemical treatment
Tasting Notes: Nice minerality and freshness; good balance

I also visited Azienda Barone Pizzini, the first organic winery in the Franciacorta region. Silvano Brescianini, General Manager and Vice President of the Consortium provided us with a tour and details about the winery.

We started our session watching a video about the historical aspect of the winery. The video can be viewed here. The most impressive aspect of this winery is how organized it is and how the facilities are arranged. Is it no surprise that this winery is a Biodiversity award winner! They produce 70-80 different types of wines.  

 

 

Wines Tasted:

Golf 1927 Franciacorta Docg
Tasting Notes:  Nice mineral and floral notes with delicate notes of honey; elegant,
creamy and fresh – well-balanced

 Satèn Franciacorta DOCG Edition 2014
Note: name familiar to the word “silk”
Tasting Notes: Some nice citrus notes, with pressing minerality

Rosé Franciacorta DOCG 2013 Edition
Tasting Notes: Pinot Noir is transformed into hints of rose petals in the glass; The structure and balance of this wine are interwoven in a lingering tension between its rich flavor and acidity.

I had lunch at Agriturismo Corte Lantieri with a menu dedicated to Franciacorta Festival and the area’s traditional food.

Thereafter I went to Azienda Guido Berlucchi , a beautiful medieval-looking vineyard. Berlucchi has been producing certified organic wine since 2016. It took the winery about four years to fully convert to organic wine. And today, it is known as the largest producer of wine in the region I was happy to learn that the sparkling Berlucchi 61 Brut Franciacorta wine that I tried can be found at LCBO / Vintages (Ontario, Canada). 

http://www.lcbo.com/lcbo/product/berlucchi-61-brut-franciacorta/514323#.WsK1ErYrIWo

VINTAGES#: 514323 

Wines Tasted:

Palazzo Lana Saten (2008)
Tasting Notes: refined notes of apple and pear, with an appealing acidity and firm structure, along with delicious, crisp notes of fruit.

Berlucchi ‘61 Brut
Tasting Notes: fragrant notes, crisp with hints of apple and pear and citrus, with a long finish

Berlucchi ‘61 Saten
Note: 100% Chardonnay
Tasting Notes: hints of citrus fruit, some tangy acidity, full and firm structure

The last winery I visited was Azienda Agricola Mosnel which was located in the open and fresh area of Franciacorta where the grapes are exposed to a lot of breezes coming off of the alps. The grapes will ripen a week earlier here than other areas. In this vineyard, 20% pinot blanc is harvest more than other regions and wineries due to climate region.

If you are ever in the Franciacorta region, visit the vineyards mentioned and also check out the Franciacorta Festival September 2018.

Shadi Yazdan and Liz Palmer

 

 

 

Perrier-Jouët Wins 2 Golds at the Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships for its magnums Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Blanc de Blancs 2004 and Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé

The Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships is the most respected, comprehensive and rigorous international sparkling wine competition in the world. The 2017 edition attracted entries from 29 countries, which was more than ever before. Perrier-Jouët is very proud to have been awarded by the judges two Gold medals for two magnums: Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Blanc de Blancs 2004 and Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé.

Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Blanc de Blancs is the quintessence of the Perrier-Jouët style. The cuvee expressed the purity of the Chardonnay: floral and intricate with the brilliance and rarity of a yellow diamond.

Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé is the most gourmet wine of the collection, a full and fruity blend that confers generosity and spontaneity. The cuvee is fresh, fruity and floral, with an inviting salmon pink hue.

About Maison Perrier-Jouët

Maison Perrier-Jouët is an iconic champagne house with an exceptional vineyard. It is known for the finesse and elegant floral style of its wines, fashioned by the expertise of only seven Cellar Masters since its foundation in 1811. Since its 1902 collaboration with Art Nouveau pioneer Emile Gallé, creator of the anemone design for its Belle Epoque prestige cuvée, Perrier-Jouët has commissioned work from established and emerging artists including Daniel Arsham, Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance, Miguel Chevalier, Makoto Azuma, Tord Boontje, Studio Glithero and Simon Heijdens, and more recently Tord Boontje, Vik Muniz, mischer’traxler, Ritsue Mishima and Andrew Kudless.

Confirmed Growth For The Sparkling Wine Market

imagesThe segment is extremely healthy: the global market for sparkling wines proved to be bullish once again in 2015, as confirmed by research by FranceAgriMer. Production, consumption and trade are all showing growth.

Production continues to rise

Production of sparkling wine reached 19 million hectolitres in 2015, equivalent to 2.5 billion bottles, according to data by Agrex Consulting. It accounts for 7% of global wine production, compared with 5% in 2000. 

Leading producer countries

France Germany Italy Spain
4.38 million hl 2.9 million hl 2.9 million hl 1.6 million hl

Consumption is also on the rise

Global consumption totals 17.6 million hl, up 4.1% on 2005/2014. It is growing faster than consumption of still wines which rose 1.3% over the same period.

Leading consumer countries

Germany Russia USA France
2.9 million hl 2.4 million hl 1.9 million hl 1.8 million hl

Per capita consumption

Germany France USA Russia
4.7 bottles/yr 3.7 bottles/yr 0.8 bottles/yr 2.2 bottles/yr

Exports approach 50 billion euros

7.2 million hectolitres of sparkling wines (> 3 bar) were exported in 2015, equating to 7% of global wine exports. Over ten years, export volumes have almost doubled. Sparkling wines posted 48.6 billion euros in turnover with bottle prices averaging at 6.7 euros/litre, three times the price tag for still wines. Three countries dominate exports: Italy, France and Spain. Italy ranks first by volume with growth of 216% between 2005 and 2015. France leads the way by value thanks to its top end offering Champagne with 55% of turnover for French sparkling wines ascribed to this one appellation. Conversely, French sparkling wines lost ground by volume (-9 points) and value (-10 points) in 2005-2015.

Share of the three leading countries of global sparkling wine exports

Italy France Spain
Volume 38% 24% 23%
Value 20% 61% 9%

Great Britain leads the way for imports

The United Kingdom ranks first by volume with an 18% share but is outstripped by the United States in value terms (19% of imports). 59% of British imports by value come from France. The United States have witnessed soaring sparkling wine imports which have surged by 80% in ten years. The average price tag in the States is high at 9.2 euros compared with 5.8 euros in the UK.

Germany is the second largest importer country by volume, followed by the United States. Prices are low in Germany with the market generating only 10% of the value of global imports. Semi-sparkling wines are the most popular which explains why the average price per litre is just 2 euros.

Source: FranceAgriMer