Young drinkers flock to organic wine


While Christmas is definitely taking everyone’s time, here’s the latest roundup of the news that you might have missed.

This week we learn about the growing thirst for organic wine and the latest deal between beverage giants Moët Hennessy and Campari, we also take a look at the latest attempt to put Bolivian wine on the map.

We also reflect on the brilliant life of the famous French winemaker Philippe Cambie and the last tourist campaign of Ribera del Duero in Spain. Finally, we take a look at the latest findings that suggest that the ancestry of European grapes may be more diverse than previously thought.

Consumers of organic wine are on the rise and rejuvenate – survey

A survey of wine drinkers in the UK, France and Germany found that while wine consumption has declined, organic wine consumption is on the rise Рand its consumers are getting younger. The Mill̩sime Bio / Ipsos study, conducted among 3,000 consumers (1,000 consumers, over 18, in each country) between September and October, found an average increase of 10% (compared to 2015) among those who said they had bought organic products and, while overall wine consumption appears to be declining (73 percent of Europeans have tried wine in the past six months, down from 82 percent six years ago), organic wine consumption seems to have increased.

Almost a third (29%) of Europeans surveyed said that organic wines were part of their regular purchases – up from 17% in 2015. In France, regular consumption of organic wine more than doubled, from 17 to 36 % in six years.

In demographic terms, 46% of those under 35 say they have tried organic wines against 38% of those under 55. More than half of those surveyed believed that organic viticulture and wine production was better for the environment.

The survey also found that over 60 percent of consumers were willing to pay more for organic wines. He also pointed out that the price differential between conventional and organic wines had increased from € 0.9 in 2015 to € 2.90 in 2021 – “probably linked to the current debate over fair pricing and consumer willingness to pay. more for better [wines]”the study said.

Nonetheless, 36% of those surveyed said the higher price of organic wines was a factor in not buying them. However, this was not the main reason, with consumers citing lack of product information as the main obstacle to their purchase.

“For me, the main point to remember is that we go from consuming curiosity to consuming habit,” said Nicolas Richarme, head of the organic wine trading organization SudVinBio. Alongside Millésime Bio, SudVinBio is due to host a physical (and online) organic wine fair in January.

EU gives green light to online Moet-Hennessy & Campari merger

The European Union has given the green light to the French drinks giant Moët Hennessy and the Italian spirits giant Campari to engage in a 50/50 takeover of the Italian online direct-to-consumer platform, Tannico.com . The two companies announced their decision in July, but subsequent anti-competitive issues resulted in a case being filed in European courts in November.

According to Spanish news agency Europapress, Brussels found no competition concerns with the merger, pointing out that the nature of the online platform – which itself holds a majority stake in the popular French wine website and direct-to-consumer spirits Ventealapropriete.com – still allow Moët and Campari’s competitors to sell their products on the platform.

Proof that owning the retail platform can be as compelling as product sales, as any supermarket executive will tell you.

“This partnership represents a significant step forward in our global e-commerce development strategy,” said Philippe Schaus, boss of Moët Hennessy, in July. “While e-commerce was already an increasingly important channel for wines and spirits, the global pandemic triggered a significant acceleration. “

EU approves Bolivian wine

If you are asked what the Masters of Wine actually do with their time, there is always the uplifting story of Dutch MW Cees van Casteren and his efforts to bring Bolivian wines to the European market. An effort that paid off this week, with the EU’s announcement to the landlocked South American country that Bolivian wines had been approved for export to the European Union.

“Soon, the households of the old continent [Europe] will be able to raise his glass with an excellent high altitude Bolivian wine, “Michael Dóczy, head of the EU delegation to Bolivia, said in an official announcement on Wednesday.

It comes some time after van Casteren was sent to the country funded by the Dutch government in 2010, and his attempts to unite the three main local producers (the family cellars Kohlberg, Campos de Solana and Aranjuez) in an attempt to push exports was covered by The Economist financial publication in 2020.

“They didn’t even want to sit together at the same table,” van Casteren told the publication – none of their representatives showed up at the first summit.

“Prompted by Mr van Casteren, they bought oak barrels for the improved aging and irrigation systems,” said The Economist. “The prices followed. The big sales and the high profits were not. Bolivian producers are too small to attract the interest of European distributors and cannot afford to market and distribute themselves.

Hopefully for Bolivian vineyards and Cees van Casteren’s CV times are changing.

© Philippe Cambie
| Grenache champion, Philippe Cambie was one of the great winemakers of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Tributes pour in for Philippe Cambie

All week long, tributes poured in around the world to the late Philippe Cambie, the famous southern Rh̫ne wine consultant who died last weekend at the age of 59. Cambie, whose physical stature was such that it was rarely overlooked, had an enormous influence on the wines. from his southern France and, although he was born in Herault, Languedoc, he settled in Ch̢teauneuf-du-Pape Рthe region with which he is perhaps most associated.

Nonetheless, his involvement in winemaking extended beyond French borders, reaching countries like California (where he created the Central Coast Pinot Noir Beau Marchais label with his business partner and seasoned winemaker Adam Lee), the Spain and even Macedonia and Romania. Famous American wine critic Robert Parker named him Winemaker of the Year in 2010 (Cambie competed in 15 wines that scored 100 Parker points).

Nicknamed “the Pope of Grenache” and “the Mozart of the blend”, the tributes seemed to spend as much time covering his warm personality as his talent as a winegrower.

“A great loss for the southern Rhône in particular but someone who really understood wines from everywhere,” Jancis Robinson said on Twitter, “very accessible and a great friend of California”.

“Although he possessed an incredible amount of talent, knowledge and global notoriety in winemaking, Philippe has always remained humble and genuine,” said Colorado-based wine critic Jeb Dunnuck. “Despite his larger than life personality, he was a kind soul, gentle and loving in his essence, and a dear and cherished friend to many.”

“He was a generous, gifted man, full of character,” said French wine commentator Yohan Castaing.

Decanter magazine Rhone expert Matt Walls said he was a very talented winemaker, “and as a man, always open and kind. He will be missed.”

“He was also larger than life,” Wine Spectator said. “A 6’2 giant” from a man who loved good food, wine and friendship. A long-time single, he was very happy to be seated at a table in an excellent restaurant, surrounded by friends, or to cook in his own kitchen for them. “

In 2013, Cambie told a wine researcher that he wanted to be buried next to his father in his native Hérault. He is survived by his mother and one brother.

Ribera del Duero will receive an exceptional boost of 3.6 million euros for sustainable tourism

Spain’s Ribera del Duero wine region is set to receive € 1.8 million in funding to improve its local Wine Route tourism project. The funds, which are part of a European Union boost filtered by the Spanish government to local tourism initiatives, will be used to increase sustainability and help continue the ‘digitization’ of the visitor experience in the region. .

Miguel Ángel Gayubo, president of the Ribera del Duero Wine Route, told local newspaper Diario de Castilla y Leónhe he was “excited” by “the unprecedented opportunity” for the region.

“We are taking up this new challenge with the idea of ​​positioning the Ribera del Duero Wine Route as a leading wine tourism destination in terms of digitization and sustainability,” he said.

According to El Diario de Castilla y León, the region will receive an additional 1.8 million euros from a regional fund in Soria to finance the “Puro Duero, Tierra de Frontera” project, aimed at promoting sustainable local development and economic revitalization of the region.

EU grapes have Asian ancestors

The oft-told story that Shiraz might have its roots in Shiraz (Iran) or that Muscat might have ties to Muscat (Oman), perhaps not so far-fetched. A research team in Italy found that European grape cultivars – widely considered to be descendants of native wild grapes – are in fact most likely the product of crosses with older Asian varieties.

According to an article in New Scientist on Tuesday, “the genetic analysis performed by Gabriele Di Gaspero at the Institute of Applied Genomics in Udine, Italy, and his colleagues suggests that European wine grapes actually come from domesticated grapes ( V. vinifera subspecies sativa) which were originally cultivated for consumption as fresh fruit in West Asia. “

Given the added credibility of the idea that Georgia is the birthplace of viticulture, Di Gaspero’s team postulates that European varieties likely date back to the South Caucasus region (which would also cover Turkey, Iran , Armenia and Azerbaijan).

“The wild plants grew near vineyards and crossed each other – it wasn’t intentional. But the breeding results created adaptive traits that were probably selected intentionally by humans,” says Di Gaspero. “Bringing together this genetic evidence and existing historical evidence, the introductions to southern Europe and inland probably occurred in Greek and Roman times, although we do not know of more precise dates. . “


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