Winemaking in a crazy climate

, ,

Video: Koshu and beyond. A tipping point for Japanese Wine.

On the 23rd October 2019 we presented two fully-subscribed Masterclasses on New Wave Japanese Wines. The first session was held at 67 Pall Mall, London’s renowned private members’ club for wine lovers, and was followed by a walk-around tasting. The second Masterclass was held at Trade Soho member’s club for the hospitality community.

The masterclass showcased a selection of wines, with a focus on Koshu, with diverse wines chosen to highlight Japan as an emerging and thrilling cool-climate wine producer. Koshu is Japan’s calling card – an indigenous variety of increasingly diverse and always elegant character with amazing food-matching power.

For a quick briefing on how the UK trade is responding to contemporary Koshu, and other Japanese Wines, watch our video here.

And for details of the event, wines and menus, see our Event Report.

 

,

2019 Vintage Report from Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG

A harvest of “exceptional quality” for the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Prosecco Hills of Conegliano Valdobbiadene.

Wines from this vintage will be the first to be made in line with new production regulations that allow for dryer styles of wine.

Solighetto, 17th October 2019 – An exceptionally high quality harvest for Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G. has just come to an end. The 2019 harvest, the first after receiving the new recognition from UNESCO, began about ten days later than in recent years. 2019 was a welcome return to a more typical, classic, climatic pattern.

Harvesting took place in ideal conditions. The weather in spring and summer had been ideal for grapes optimum ripeness, composition and balance. We registered an average pH of 3.30 (3.26 in 2018) and acidity of 6.55 (5.92 in 2018), values that are ideal for the production of elegant sparkling wines.

This month we have just spent on the Rive vineyards has been one of intense work; for us vine-growers this is the most important time of the year. The outstanding quality of the 2019 harvest rewards us for the fatigue of the entire year, consisting of difficulties and dedication but also of successes that have resonated around the world: starting off with the accolade from UNESCO, but also including the fiftieth anniversary of the Denomination and our ban on glyphosate, which has made us the largest wine zone in Europe to forbid the use of this well-known herbicide,states Innocente Nardi, President of the Producers’ Consortium for Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco.

Quantity is down in 2019, with a reduced yield of of 3- 5% on the previous year.

After a typically cold winter, spring was cooler and rainier than usual, causing a delay in budbreak and subsequently in the ongoing phenological stages of the vines. This was followed by a summer with typically hot temperatures, which partly allowed the vines to catch up on the phenological development that had been slowed back in May. Critically, the weather was fine during the period of the harvest, allowing growers to deliver particularly healthy grapes to the wineries.

Given the characteristics of the region, whose steep slopes and hilly terrain are difficult to access with machinery, in Conegliano Valdobbiadene 600-700 hours of manual work are necessary per hectare each year. This compares to an average of 150-200 hours on the plain, where mechanization is much more common. As a result, our heroic harvest represents the period when the growers in the region must demonstrate the most ingenuity.

The harvest, as usual, commenced in the most easterly zone and on slopes with the most exposure to sunlight, such as the vineyards at San Pietro di Feletto. This was followed by the more central zone of the Denomination (Refrontolo, Pieve di Soligo, Col San Martino and also the premium-quality Cartizze area) and finally the vineyards of Valdobbiadene.

The high quality harvest rounds off an exceptional year for the denomination, whose “Prosecco Hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene” have been awarded UNESCO recognition as a World Heritage Site due to their unique and ancient cultivation and landscape.

The wines made from this 2019 will be the first to take advantage of new production regulations passed in August, which, in addition to current permitted styles, allow for:

Sui Lieviti” (“On the Lees/Yeasts”), sparkling wines that have been refermented in bottle. This style pays tribute to a traditional type of product for the zone and to the long history of making sparkling wines in the area.

Extra Brut”, (residual sugar between 0 and 6 gr/lt.). This style is becoming more popular as it highlights the mineral elegance of our top wines, and also appeals to those looking for a more gastronomic style of Prosecco Superiore DOCG.

For more information, and to find out about our sampling program of top quality wines from Conegliano Valdobbiadene, please contact us.

 

Here’s to a long, fine Summer (of Soave)…

“One must maintain a little bit of summer, even in the middle of winter.”

– Henry David Thoreau

The first ever #SummerofSoave is drawing to a fine, long finish. We’ve been working with some of the UK’s best importers and most dynamic wine merchants and restaurants to shine a light on the fine quality and diversity of Soave.

You can see some of the activities and events featuring this well-known but still underestimated Italian white on the Summer of Soave website.

But Soave is for life, not just for Summer, and we are showcasing some of the most complex and long-lived wines of the denomination with two masterclasses exploring the newly official “Soave Crus”. These single sites are now protected under Italian law, vindicating the vision and commitment of Soave’s top producers, who have been bottling superb wines from these old, specific vineyards for many years. The official status has renewed attention on these wines, whose intensity, quality and complexity makes them the Burgundy of Italy.

Members of the wine and hospitality trade are invited to join a very special masterclass, led by Sarah Abbott MW, on the Soave Crus, to be held at Trade Soho on the 9th October. Click here to book!

Grape Harvest Traditions