The Consejo Regulador DOCa of Rioja unveils strategic five-year plan

The Consejo Regulador DOCa of Rioja has unveiled a five-year strategic plan aimed at boosting the region’s sustainability credentials, driving wine tourism and increasing exports.

The aim is to boost total sales from 230 million litres in 2020 to 312 million litres by 2025, with export to account for 44% at 137 million litres, in addition to increased turnover of the Rioja brand by 23%, said the regional body.

White Rioja is set to grow to a total of 12% of volume and rosado to 5% of volume, a projection which aligns with current trends in the UK – still the most important export market for Rioja, the DOCa added.

Referred to as “a blueprint” for Rioja to establish itself as a global leader in wine production, the new strategy was developed following a year-long review carried out in collaboration with all key regional stakeholders, and in consultation with experts from each of the region’s 12 key export markets.

Central to the DOCa’s plans will be a focus on establishing Rioja as a leader in sustainability to help safeguard the future of the region, with key metrics having been developed to measure progress in this area, including the reduction of pesticide use by 50% and carbon footprint by 10%.

Another key pillar of the new strategy will be a focus on increasing wine tourism, with a target of reaching 1.3 million visitors by 2025, compared to the 343,000 visitors counted in 2020. The DOCa said it expected the number of wineries able to offer visitor experiences to rise to 250, just over a third of the region’s total.

Moreover, it said that digitalization would also play a prominent role in driving sales from the region with a target to quadruple online sales.

“The new strategic plan exemplifies Rioja’s pioneering character and aims to increase the value of the region and raise awareness of our wines, particularly in key export markets,” said President Fernando Salamero.

#RiojaWine #Rioja #WineLovers #Wine #winetasting #Vineyard #tempranillo #instawine #redwine #vinotinto #winetime #winestagram #spain #spanishwine #winery #enoturismo #vinos #vinho #winenews #winetourism

WINEGB ANNOUNCES ITS CALENDAR OF ACTIVITIES FOR 2021

WineGB has just released its 2021 calendar of activities as part of its UK market development strategy. This year there will be a strong focus on wine tourism and the retail sector, underpinned by industry values including sustainability, product excellence and innovation.

Activities kick off with a virtual three-day wine tourism conference next month. ‘Wine Tourism in the UK: the route to success’ will run 2nd – 4th March, 10 am-12 pm each day. Whilst aimed primarily at industry members, many of whom are actively engaged in wine tourism, the calibre and line up of speakers will be instructive and inspiring for anyone working within the wider tourism and hospitality industry.

English Wine Week is moving to June, taking place Saturday 19th – Sunday 27th June. Celebrating English vineyards and wines in a week that includes Summer Solstice and Midsummers Day as well as the beginning of flowering seemed a timely and seasonal move for both vineyards and the many retailers selling English wines. With the range of wines now readily accessible and reported record sales of English wines in the last year, the Week provides the perfect opportunity to team up with retailers to spread the strong message of availability, together with encouraging more people to visit the many vineyards that are open to the public (in times without lockdown restrictions). More information about how WineGB will be proposing to work with retailers will be released shortly.

There will be a separate Welsh Wine Week, scheduled to take place Friday 4th – Sunday 13th June. Supported by the Welsh Government’s Drinks Cluster, there will be a veritable toast to the growing number of vineyards across Wales. Further information will be available from https://drinkwelsh.co.uk

The pandemic last year meant that the annual WineGB Trade & Press tasting was cancelled. This year’s tasting is scheduled to take place on Tuesday 7th September (subject to any restrictions of course) and promises to be the key showcase event for GB wines and the recent excellent vintages and releases.

The WineGB Awards will see judging taking place over the week of 7th June at Ashling Park Wine Estate, Sussex. Led by Co-Chairs Susie Barrie MW and Oz Clarke, the wines will go through a rigorous tasting process with the highest calibre of judges. The aim of the Awards is not only to celebrate excellence but to provide significant promotional opportunities for all the winners through an extensive social media campaign and supporting all stockists and resellers. The medal wins will be announced on Thursday 24th June (during English Wine Week). A trophy announcement and awards ceremony is planned and further details will be released in due course.

A number of dedicated social campaigns will also be rolled out over the year. Upcoming is a Valentine’s focus with a difference: #WineMyHeartAway is running in association with Susie Barrie MW and Peter Richards MW together with Majestic and encouraging followers and industry alike across their social channels (Instagram and Twitter) to share the first time they fell in love with wine. To celebrate International Women’s Day on 8th March, WineGB is teaming with Women in Wine London to run a series of Instagram Live interviews across that week until 15th March, featuring women from some of the many different areas of the Great British wine industry.

Comments Julia Trustram Eve, WineGB’s Marketing Manager: “Whilst last year was incredibly challenging for many of our members, the rise in retail and direct to consumer sales demonstrated that consumers are more clearly focussed on provenance, sustainability, buying from local producers – all of which our industry is proud to provide. Above all we want to set out a calendar of events and projects that focus on key consumer drivers and allows them and the trade to engage with this wonderful industry of ours, which is going through remarkable growth and bursting with confidence.

“We sincerely hope that the many tourism operations and our own trade tasting will be able to take place in person – we cannot wait to see everyone again and give the trade a chance to connect with our wines. Here’s to a great 2021.”

Further information – visit https://www.winegb.co.uk/trade/

FIJEV Talks June 24, 2020: Wine Tourism / FIJEV Table Ronde – Oenotourisme

I’m honored to be part of FIJEV Talks: Wine Tourism / FIJEV Table Ronde – Oenotourisme on Thursday, June 25th, 2020- 06.00 pm Rome/Paris time, 7pm Beirut time. I will be joining three other international guest speakers who will focus on actual and future challenges for global wine tourism.

Wolfgang Junglas, President of FIJEV will moderate the talk

Speakers will be:
* Liz Palmer (FIJEV) – Canada
* Nathalie Touma (Wine Producer) – Lebanon
* Alejandro Paadín (FIJEV) – Spain
* Filippo Magnani Filippo Magnani (FIJEV) – Italy

#wine #winetalks #winetourism #ChateauStThomasWinery #ChateauStThomas #oenotourism #WomenInWine

https://lnkd.in/gpKez_d

Stay tuned for a followup report on our talk!

Chubut – Argentina’s New Emerging Wine Region

With just 65 hectares of vines, the emerging wine region of Chubut in Patagonia is Argentina’s most southerly region.

Patagonia encompasses over 50% of the total landmass of Argentina, which is 5% of its population. The area consists of four main wine-producing provinces: La Pampa, Neuquén, Río Negro and Chubut. Despite its size, the region only has 1.88% of the country’s vineyards. While the first winery opened, in Río Negro, in 1909, much of the rest of the GI is relatively new, particularly Chubut.

Just 65 hectares of vines are planted in Chubut, 50ha of which are controlled by Bodega Otronia in Sarmiento. These are among the southernmost vineyards in the world, occupying a latitude of 45°. With winds as high as 110kmph and rainfall as low as 200mm per year, Maximo Rocca, commercial director of Otronia, describes it as a totally “new way of winemaking in a new world of wine production”.

“Our winemakers decided not to talk about terroir but micro-terroir,” he says, noting how from the start, the producer’s vineyards have been divided into blocks. Achieving just half a kilo of grapes per plant, Otronia has invested in a series of different-sized untoasted foudres, as well as concrete tanks and eggs in which to age its wines.

With two traditional method sparklers made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the pipeline, Otronia has released just two wines: a white blend made from Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay; and a single varietal Chardonnay, made from a blend of two blocks.

“It’s going to be a word-of-mouth project,” says Rocca. “It’s difficult to explain what we’re doing in just one sentence.

Praising the support of the local government, he says the winery aims to work with sommeliers to create “a team of ambassadors to communicate what Chubut is doing and tell the story”.

Moving northwest, around the towns of Trevelen and El Bolsón, rainfall is higher and conditions are less blustery, but frost is a near-constant threat.

With the majority of producers having just a couple of vintages under their belts, this is a region still finding its feet, both in terms of the grapes that can be grown and the style it should produce.

Sparkling experiments

Like Otronia, Casa Yagüe is also experimenting with sparkling, having also released a Sauvignon Blanc and two single-varietal Chardonnays, one with oak, the other without. “We want to do a lot of things, but we’re going step by step,” explains Juli Yagüe, head of PR and trainee winemaker, who recounts how the winery has an automatic sprinkler- and frost-prevention system, which is triggered when the temperature drops below 0ºC. The winery has just planted Pinot Noir and has the potential to produce a maximum of 20,000 liters.

Moving further north, red varieties are more prevalent, with Pinot Noir and Merlot particularly finding favor.

At Nant y Fall, based on the curiously named Valle 16 de Octubre outside of Trevelen, Pinot Noir is the most planted variety. Having released two wines – a still red Pinot Noir and a rosé Pinot Noir – the producer hopes to launch a Riesling and a Gewürztraminer in December.

Family member and winemaker Emmanuel Rodriguez says: “Summer temperatures here range from -2ºC to 35ºC, and all four seasons are extreme.”

With the aim of producing 17,000 bottles once all 2.5ha are in production, Rodriguez is experimenting with his first oak barrels, as well as using different yeasts in his Pinot Noir to enhance both the structure and the aromatic profile.

Two hours’ drive further north, fellow family-owned producer Chacra Adamow has had its fair share of hardships. Having been assured that its site was frost-free, the producer lost 60% of its first crop in its first year. Proving resilient, it replanted its damaged vines and is aiming to hit the 10,000 mark in order to be “commercial”.

Overcoming problems

Planted with Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc, Pedro Adamow, the owner of the estate, says: “We were excited by the result we achieved in 2015, but we know there are still many problems to overcome. The goal is to keep 10,000 vines alive then build our own winery. Our dream is to have an oenotourism business with a restaurant, hotel and tasting room.”

At such an early stage of proceedings, and without viticultural knowledge of the area, Adamow describes each vintage as “a silver bullet”.

“You only get one shot then you have to wait another year to correct any mistakes that you made,” he says. “It can be frustrating.”

Adamow’s wines are made by Camilo De Bernardi of Familia De Bernardi, just over the border into Río Negro by the town of El Bolsón.

Another producer that is overcoming challenging conditions and using them to its advantage is Familia Ayestarán, which produces wine under the Oriundo label. Winemaker Darío González Maldonado said that he’d made what he believes to be Argentina’s first ice wine. Made from 100% Gewürtztraminer, Maldonado explained that he harvested the grapes when temperatures hit -8 degrees Celsius and followed the regulations that govern ice wine production in Canada and Germany. Argentina has no guidelines for this type of wine.

The resulting 11% ABV wine contains 50g/l of residual sugar, with only 300 bottles made in total. Having taken control of an abandoned 17-year-old vineyard in El Hoyo back in 2014, Familia Ayestarán had its first proper vintage in 2017 and also produces a Merlot, white blend and sparkling wine.

Biodynamic hopes

With two hectares of vines, including Pinot Noir, Merlot, Gewürztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc, De Bernardi hopes to one day become biodynamic.

“I’m focusing on getting the acid balance right at the moment,” he says, confessing that he is still not completely satisfied with the style of his wines.

However, despite struggling with frost, he noted that his reds were able to achieve almost 14% ABV – much higher than other wines in the area.

Plans are afoot to help local restaurants stock wines from Chubut, while the government is organizing a press trip to the region for journalists based in Buenos Aires.

As things stand, Otronia’s Rocca notes: “Chubut’s wines need to be consumed with knowledge. There’s a trend for wine production in cool and extreme areas, but we’re all still learning because it’s all so different from how they do things in Mendoza. You’ve got to bear in mind that we’re 2,000km further south,” he says.

That distance, however, is also a blessing. Argentina now has a new region capable of producing aromatic white varieties and fresher, light reds, while the acidity achieved in grapes provides an ideal base wine for sparkling. Chubut’s potential, therefore, is far-reaching.

Source: Drinks Business

Italy is named the world’s best wine country

Italy has been ranked as the best country in the world for wine lovers in a recent survey by Lastminute.com.

The survey compared thirty wine-producing countries by various criteria with Italy finishing with the highest score. It beat out other counties due to the fact that it offers the most wine tasting experiences; with 993 overall to choose from, and Italy has a total of 21 wine regions.

But how did Italy top France?

In three instances:

1. The number of wine tasting experiences – Italy 993 vs. France 406;
2. Italy has more vineyards open to the public – Italy 33 vs. France 31; and
3. The average price of a bottle of wine is less in Italy – €4.77 vs. €5.73 in France.

For the record, France came second, Spain third, South Africa fourth, Portugal fifth, while Australia came in 15th place, Canada 24th, and the US at 27th. The UK, which is fast making a name for itself for the quality of its sparkling wines, came in 30th place on the list.

https://www.lastminute.com/en/discover/wine-lovers-travel-index