Tag: wine production

How Has Climate Change Affected Wine Production In 2017?

 TAGS:undefinedThe International Wine Organisation, (OIV), has reported that this year’s wine production has been the lowest since the 1960s. Although we are still drinking more and more wine. There are also areas of decrease in production for different areas of the population, and this year we have seen an 8% decline; reaching 246.7 hectoliters.

One of the reasons, and the main cause of the decline in wine production, established by the OIV, is due to climate change. This change in productivity is due to hot autumns, as well as frosts that have come later than usual. Changes that are having a negative impact on the Earth and nature.

This does not cause the drop in consumption because there is enough stock (in France alone there are 154 million hectoliters in stock) nor the surge in prices because exports are doing well. According to OIV experts, some cheaper wines may have slight price increases, but high-end wines will maintain their prices.

Climate change is affecting especially countries like Italy, France and Spain. We have seen it in the vintage of this year, which has been ahead of schedule and has left a lower production: 35.7 million hectoliters of wine and must in Spain.

However, the wine world in general moves, with all kinds of events, the increase in wine tourism and exports that, as we have pointed out, are superior.

There is more data of this low production because from the Directorate General of Agriculture (DG Agri) of the European Commission and predicted that the wine production expected in the 2017/18 campaign would have an estimate of just 145.1 million hectoliters, which is a 14.4% or more than 24-million less than last season.

Wine Production Under Strain

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The International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) reported that this year’s wine production had been at its lowest since the 1960’s. Indeed, the harvest saw an 8% fall in production with only 246.7 million hectolitres. Moreover, despite a growing wine consumption among different population types, the production decreases steadily.

According to the OIV, climate change is one of the main reasons for these poor figures and it blames warmer autumns and longer frost periods which impede the grape’s development.

Yet, this does not cause a drop in consumption because there is enough stock (e.g. only in France, there are 154 million hectolitres in stock) nor a surge in price as exports are thriving. According to OIV experts, cheaper wines may slightly increase their price, but high-end wines will maintain themselves.

Climate change is especially affecting countries such as France, Italy and Spain. We witnessed it with this year’s vintage, which was ahead of schedule and yielded a lower production: 35.7 million hectolitres of wine and must in Spain.

Nonetheless, the wine world remains dynamic thanks to all kinds of events: wine tourism is flourishing and exports are rising.

More data on low production were published by the Directorate General for Agriculture of the European Commission which predicted that next year’s wine production would have an estimate of just 145.1 million hectolitres, which is 14.4% lower and over 24 million hectolitres less than last season.

 TAGS:Domaine Du Tariquet Premières Grives 2016Domaine Du Tariquet Premières Grives 2016

Domaine Du Tariquet Premières Grives 2016, a white wine from Côtes de Gascogne vinified with gros manseng.

Buy Domaine Du Tariquet Premières Grives 2016

 

 TAGS:Casa Castillo Monastrell 2015

Casa Castillo Monastrell 2015

Casa Castillo Monastrell 2015  is a red wine from Jumilla produced by Propiedad Vitícola Casa Castillo.

Buy Casa Castillo Monastrell 2015

2015: a crop that will make history in La Rioja

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We have already exposed sometimes that the 2015 vintage will be one of the strongest and highest quality throughout Spain. In fact, it has come before and the collecting of grapes is ahead because of the high temperatures occurred in recent months.

The Plenary of the Regulatory Board of the Qualified Appellation of Origin Rioja announced that this year’s harvest will be so important that can make history. This makes them feel motivated to predict good prospects for the 2015 harvest and the Spanish wine in general.

Thus, the regulatory board has highlighted and raised the maximum performance of production up to 6,955 kg per hectare for red varieties compared to 2014. It is estimated that the productive potential of the current vintage will be 61,912 hectares, and of these, the most (57,907) are for red varieties, while 4,005 hectares are for white varieties. Both increase compared to the 2014 campaign.

The council considered that these data can be positive and very encouraging, estimating 441.3 million kilos of grapes to harvest. This figure is 1.7% more than last year.

In total, the Qualified Appellation of Origin Rioja, one of the most important in Spain and the world, can produce 308.9 million litres of wine from the 2015 harvest. This figure would be 4.6% higher than the 2014 vintage, which was 295,2 million litres of Rioja wine.

These figures would give an historic record for this appellation, promising fine wines, crops, production and sales for next season.

 TAGS:Coto de Imaz Reserva 2008Coto de Imaz Reserva 2008

Coto de Imaz Reserva 2008 is a red wine with DO Rioja from the El Coto de Rioja cellar produced with tempranillo from the 2008 vintage and 12.5º of volume of alcohol. 

 

 

 TAGS:Viña Ardanza Reserva 2005Viña Ardanza Reserva 2005

Viña Ardanza Reserva 2005: a red wine with Rioja DO made with tempranillo and garnacha of 2005 and 13.5º of alcohol strength.

 

 

Sweden, lagging behind England in wine production due to climate change

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It is well known that human industrial activity, mainly carried out during the last decades and characterized by intensive use of fossil fuels, is influencing slowly, but dramatically the planet’s climate, causing global temperatures to grow slowly and generating some changes in the weather of specific parts of the world.

It is something we should begin to control before it is too late, but in some places is enabling activities to an unprecedented level. Is it the case of wine production in Sweden, which is being benefited from the general rise in temperatures, making its warm seasons to get longer and, therefore, facilitating the task of growers and the improve in product quality, increasingly appreciated inside and outside its borders.

In the region of Malmö, one of the largest cities in Sweden, we can find vineyards that now enjoy a summer one month longer than half a century ago, as Hällåkra, where more than 20,000 vines are grown on an area of ??approximately 6 hectares of soil. The fact is that in these latitudes the temperature increase has been greater than the global average, and the Nordic viticulture is becoming a serious commercial alternative when until recently it was considered little more than a hobby for retirees.

Although Swedish wines are still a great unknown among the general public, the initiative of small producers is beginning to attract the interest of local fine dining restaurants, which begin to include them in their wine lists, with special attention to white and sparkling wines, more adaptable to the nevertheless special climatic conditions of the area, unsuitable for growing red grapes.

 TAGS:Nyetimber Classic Cuvee 2009Nyetimber Classic Cuvee 2009

Nyetimber Classic Cuvee 2009:  a sparkling wine with Sussex DO based on 2009 grapes. Uvinum community values Nyetimber Classic Cuvee 2009 with 4 points on 5.

 

 

 TAGS:Kenton Bacchus 2013Kenton Bacchus 2013

Kenton Bacchus 2013: a white wine with DO Devon with a blend based on the 2013 grapes. 

 

 

Go green: the best eco-initiatives in wine production

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In recent years, winemakers have begun to participate in environmental initiatives to reduce the impact of wine production on the environment. There are many initiatives that have been undertaken and, thankfully, we will see many more. Today, some of the success stories related to wine production from a sustainable perspective are based on the following methodologies.

Solar energy:

The use of solar panels is increasingly becoming a constant feature in wineries. Far Niente pioneered the use of solar panels in California in 2008. The winery was the first to test the system called Floatovoltaic. Also De Bortoli, with the largest solar panel in Australia and Jackson Family Wines is already building the largest solar installation for a vineyard existing so far.

Water Footprint:

Jackson Family Wines has a water conservation strategy that allows them to save 9 gallons per year in California; Borboli Down Under in Australia created a green farm to reuse waste water to irrigate their grain and fodder crops. Concha y Toro was the first winery in the world to measure its water footprint in 2010: about 97% of the irrigation water they use comes from groundwater sources.

Design wineries:

Ven Cava, located in the Guadalupe Valley in Mexico, opened a cellar with a roof made from recycled ships. The couple Alejandro D’Acosta and Claudia Turrent designed these vaulted ceilings and decorated the walls with old glasses from a local factory. In Chianti, the Antinori building designed by the architectural firm Archea Associati was made to harmonize with the landscape, with rows of vines in the ceiling and holes that fill the interior with light.

Drones:

Drones are helping winemakers to defend themselves against diseases that kill their vines. The magnate Bernard Magrez, Airbus and Bordeaux engineers, plus a financing from BIVB made possible the testing of drones to detect diseases of vines. The idea is that what drones detect can be used in order to obtain better results.

Geothermal energy:

In New Zealand geothermal energy is used to produce 13% of electricity supply in the country. They are lucky to get 70% of its energy from renewable sources and hope to increase this figure to 90% by 2025. In California, geysers are one of the two locations with high temperature geothermal resources, used to power turbines and generate electricity.

Packaging:

Last year went on sale the first paper wine bottle called Paperboy. Made of compressed paper, recycled and printed with natural inks, this 65 grams bottle has been created by the manufacturer Greenbottle, the beverage packaging designers Stranger and Stranger, and Californian producer True-Hurst.

“Paperboy is as green as it is possible to make a bottle of wine”, says Kevin Shaw from Stranger and Stranger. “It weighs only one ounce empty, and so a huge amount of energy is saved in shipping; it is rigid and strong, and safe for three hours in an ice bucket”.

Species recovery:

Wine cooperative Plaimont decided to lead an innovative initiative against climate change, reviving ancient grapes that naturally have low alcohol content and are planted in sandy deep soil, allowing the vineyards to survive roots diseases, decreasing therefore the pesticide use. In a 39 hectares plot different varieties of grapes are planted, of which 12 grapes are unknown to the wine world.

Transportation:

The Cono Sur winery in Chile also marked its green attitude with transport: all workers use bicycles to move within the facilities. This winery compensates 100% of its carbon emissions, so it was awarded in 2011 with the “Green Company Of The Year” in the “Green Awards”. “The bicycle symbolizes the passion of Cono Sur, commitment and respect for the environment”, says head oenologist Adolfo Hurtado, and adds: “Cycling is my favourite hobby, I use my mountain bike whenever I can and I carry it on vacation”. At the Chimbarongo facilities there is a giant sculpture of a bicycle located in the heart of the vineyard.

In the same vein, at Cono Sur they also use a flock of geese to reduce the cost of fuel used to plough the vineyards. In Bordeaux, Château Pontet-Canet is the first winery to use this process with horses, and the same pattern has been repeated in Rhône by Michel Chapoutier, biodynamic producer with sheep.

Honey:

One way that green mentality vineyards have increased their biodiversity is through the production of honey. In Pessac-Léognan, Château Brown released his first batch of honey for vintage 2011. Produced by 20 beehives located near the Bordeaux vineyards, 65000 bees fed with flowering acacias made possible the vintage. Hives contribute to pollination of vines, their bees help reducing the amount of insecticides used in the vineyard. The director of Château Brown, Jean-Christophe Mau considers the possibility of increasing the number of hives in the coming year because, in addition, honey is put on sale in the estate shop.

This green initiative inspired Emiliana in Chile, where employees develop a parallel project that includes the production of honey, olive oil, herbs and vegetables that provide an extra income to the people involved.

In the line of this post, we propose today wines already produced organically, minimizing the environmental impact caused by working the vines.

 

 TAGS:Château Jonc Blanc Les Sens du FruitChâteau Jonc Blanc Les Sens du Fruit

Château Jonc Blanc Les Sens du Fruit is na organic wine of the Wines without Appellation (France) DO.

 

 

 TAGS:Porto J.W. Hart Réserve Ruby Bio RougePorto J.W. Hart Réserve Ruby Bio Rouge

Porto J.W. Hart Réserve Ruby Bio Rouge is a organic wine with DO Port and 20º of alcohol strength. 

 

 

 TAGS:Natura Ecologico 2012Natura Ecologico 2012

Pinord is the maker of this Natura Ecologico 2012, an organic wine with this DO: Penedes with the best bunches of xarel·lo from the 2012 vintage.

 

The elaboration of wine

 TAGS:In the first place let’s clarify that is difficult to express how to elaborate wine in a few words, we just try to convey to the reader what we can summarize after visiting wineries, especially in times of harvest and what the experts explain about.

If we simplify, we can say that what is needed for the grape juice to transform into wine is a process that should be the most natural way possible: fermentation. This is a chemical phenomenon whereby the grape sugar turns into alcohol and carbon dioxide, and it is produced by the intervention of the yeasts found in greater proportion in the skins. When the grape skins are broken, yeast start to work on sugar resulting in fermentation.

Then the grapes are brought from the vineyard holding together the bunches, then settled to the wine press, a cellar space for that function, next they will pass through the destemming process, there emerge the grains to be pressed and the juice extracted. This juice, consisting of pulp, skins and seeds is called must, and this will be put to ferment in tanks or barrels. Normally yeast would act to transform all the sugar into alcohol, or at least until it reaches a level of 15% alcohol in wine, but often happens that some grapes are too sweet and the process must be stopped manually.

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Currently the process by which wines are elaborated is accompanied by the use of technologies never even imagined for such process, elements that are now extremely needed to ensure quality. For example, it is known that white wines require that fermentation occurs at low temperatures, thereby cooling equipment will be necessary to slow down the fermentation process, achieving control of the process and preventing the oxidation, an absolutely damaging agent in the process of creating wine. By contrast, red wines do not require temperatures as low, but the oxygenation should be also avoided in its elaboration process.

Those wines which mature in oak casks, whether white or red, face a very soft oxygenation process because the element is ?strained? in small proportions, but stops if it is bottled and corked. Its stay in bottle is necessary and essential to make the wine settle, achieving an optimal point of maturity.