• Portuguese Native Wine Grapes and the New Age of Discovery
    by Mike Veseth on 29 Novembre 2022 at 09:01

    One of the wonderful things about wine is its ability to surprise and delight — there are always new wines made with unusual wine grapes and from unexpected places to enjoy. A person who is bored with wine, given this great discovery potential, is bored with life! Portuguese explorers were at the forefront of the

  • Wine Wars II Receives 2023 Gourmand Award for Outstanding “Wine & Sustainability” Book
    by Mike Veseth on 22 Novembre 2022 at 09:01

    My latest book, Wine Wars II: The Global Battle for the Soul of Wine, has been recognized by Gourmand International as an outstanding “Wine & Sustainability” book. Four books (see list below) were identified for special recognition in this category, and all are entitled to wear Gourmand’s “Winner” logo for promotional purposes. In the spirit

  • Lombardia – produzione di vino e superfici vitate 2021 – dati ISTAT
    by bacca on 29 Novembre 2022 at 19:00

      La produzione di vino in Lombardia è stata di 1.4 milioni di ettolitri nel 2021, in calo del 9% sul 2021 ma allineati alla media degli ultimi 10 anni (1.39 milioni di ettolitri). I dati ISTAT che qui pubblichiamo nel dettaglio sono coerenti con quelli rilasciati dal MIPAAF (ministero), che accredita alla Lombardia una

  • Zonin – risultati 2021
    by bacca on 27 Novembre 2022 at 19:00

    Il bilancio 2021 di Zonin evidenzia il ritorno al fatturato pre-pandemia di quasi 200 milioni di euro, mentre i margini restano ancora piuttosto distanti dal livello (peraltro record) generato dall’azienda nel 2019. Con un margine EBITDA dell’8% per un valore assoluto di circa 15 milioni, quasi 10 milioni di euro di ammortamenti e l’impatto di

  • The Big One is Coming! Hurricane, Cyclone and Typhoon Season in Italy
    by noreply@blogger.com (Alfonso Cevola) on 27 Novembre 2022 at 21:45

    Over the past 50 years I have been an avid Italy watcher. In time I became an active participant in the wine trade. In the boat, either rowing or rocking it, depending on my role at the time, navigating the sea of Italian wine has been a vigorous and spirited undertaking. But now that I have debarked, I observe from the shore. As we go into the month of December, the world is collectively gasping a sigh of relief, as the hurricane, cyclone and typhoon seasons are winding down.  But the way I see it, for the future of Italian wine, there is a storm season coming, a big one. And for those on the wrong side of the squall, there will be an unprecedented jolt. For the way of Italian wine is undergoing, once again, a tectonic change. People get ready! Population Shifts/Demographic Diversification Italy is losing many of its young people to other countries. Already, the Italian ex-pat population of London exceeds that of Bologna or Pisa, according to Stanley Tucci’s Searching for Italy program on CNN. Italians in the UK have dramatically increased since 2008, over 230%.  Along with that, migrating populations from North Africa, Albania, Morocco, Ukraine and China are altering the culture and demographics of Italy. As well, an aging and increasingly hidebound Italian population are seeing its traditional way of life in upheaval. Mores, technology, communication, language, family values, religion, all are causing Italy to virtually shake in its boots. It is not a good time for the culturally inflexible in Italy. So, Italy is losing, once again, some of its youngest and more entrepreneurial people to other countries, the UK, Canada, The US, even China. A friend of mine, extremely well established and known in wine circles in Italy, went to Shanghai three years ago. He hasn’t been back to Italy. Point being, Italy is losing its native population and the replacing population are not being totally embraced by the remaining Italian population as well as needed. Not to say there aren’t open minded (and open-hearted) Italians in Italy who are embracing a more diverse culture. There are. But not with much help from its political leaders. Italy is stuck, culturally, in a 19thcentury colonial mindset when it comes to its politicians. And that mentality also bleeds into the Italian wine trade. Very hard to be a woman, to be Black, to be young, to be poor, to be different, and get an invite to the table in Italy.  Nonetheless, that twister has already headed to the Italian peninsula, and Sicily too. The winds of transformation are blowing. Quality/ Style Italy, long known for inexpensive and ever-available quantities of drinkable wine, has, for some time, labored under the “cheap and cheerful” banner. But Italy, like so many other developed Western countries, is seeing a spike in the creation of and demand for luxury and ultra-luxury items. Clothes, design, furniture, jewelry, watches, perfumes, cars, yachts, you name it. Italy is a luxury brand these days. Still, there are those industrial/conglomerate interests that suck on the teat of Italy’s vigorous and inexhaustible supply of wine. For them, quantity = riches.  They worship at the altar of “Feed the masses, dine with the classes.” But that world is also undergoing revisions. China is ramping up its wine production all over its huge country. 32 times the size of Italy, three cities in China, Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou account for more population than all of Italy. And China knows how to replicate almost anything. Just ask the watchmakers in Switzerland or the clothing designers in Paris. It’s just a matter of time before China ferrets out the best places where to make Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Bordeaux, Champagne/Prosecco/Cava, Napa Valley style Cabernet Sauvignon, and Italian Nebbiolo (Barolo/Barbaresco) and Sangiovese (Chianti Classico/Nobile/Brunello). Not to mention Chile, Australia, California, etc. 50 years from now it will be a different world altogether. And I say that because Italy must make the intellectual shift to a quality and style of wine that will indisputably say, “Made in Italy and only in Italy.” But the folks in power, both in the political realm and the commercial, are not facilitating that transition. Why? Well, like most places of power, there is corruption, even in the most unthought of places. In the Italian wine world, one can go to Vinitaly and see it on display unabashedly. I’ve had my moments of exposure to and enlightenment from it. The Übermensch’s response was to try and cancel people like me. Young Italians know quality – it is in their bones. And the world is queuing up every day for high quality and authentic unique expressions of wine. That is the way the world is going. And that is another storm that is hitting Italy’s shores. It’s going to take more than an umbrella and an under the table solution. I can't wait to see how this plays out. Representation How Italy goes to market has been operating under a “tried and true” formula since the end of WWII. But since then, the world has seen an array of unprecedented changes. Population of the world has more than quadrupled. The communication channels are swifter and more elaborate. Shipping, via water and air, are the stuff dreams were made of in 1945. We’ve gone to the moon for heavens sake. Everything has changed inexorably. But the importer/broker/wholesaler/distributor/retailer modality still lumbers on, a broken-down survivor of an ancient patriarchal model. Oy! I couldn’t imagine working in the wine trade today under the heft of that whale. And still, it persists. Well, that storm might be a bit further out to sea, but it is building, and the tsunami that it will bring will upheave even the mightiest leviathan. Already we are seeing a more direct mode of getting wine to the end-user. And it is growing faster than your 401K (not that that is saying much in 2022). Still, the momentum is building. And Italy is slumbering. Again, other economies in the world are figuring this out. I can order something on November 25th from China, say a workout suit. Cotton and cashmere. And it will be here in time to wrap and put under the Christmas tree. Sure, it isn’t as regulated as alcohol. But the logistics of moving the product from the factory to the consumer is the same. Same with phones, watches, cameras, perfume, battery powered tools, solar panels, etc. and not just China. Italy must break the yolk of the old paradigm before the wave arrives and washes everything out to sea. Communication Along with that, the way we communicate product knowledge is changing. Once upon a time, a wholesaler’s rep would be knowledgeable and could explain the benefits of most products in its portfolio. These days, not so much, as the business has consolidated so much now that those super salespersons have aged out or migrated to other more lucrative fields. Not to say there aren’t those still there, trying to fight the good fight. But the large companies are just too big, with too many priorities. And they are run by wealthy people who live in a different world than most people. The craft of selling is dying, being replaced by online platforms, some good, some not as good. When a distributor’s proprietary online selling platform lists a wine as a “White Barolo” something has gotten lost in the process. Or broken. And it is too prevalent to attempt a fix, by the worker bees. There isn’t enough time. And at the top, is there really the desire for that level of detail? I’m skeptical. Meanwhile, there’s a grass roots communication revolution that has been stirring for 20 years now. Blogs, social media, Instagram, quicker and more representational viaducts of data that young people, who grew up with the computer take to, like the proverbial duck to water. And speaking of water, that flood storm has already been brewing for some time. Italy just hasn’t figured it out as well, what with taking the month of August off, 2-3 weeks during Christmas, a week or so in Easter time, along with the changes of government, elections, strikes and those most-necessary trips of rest and rejuvenation to Cuba or Thailand, Nepal, or Dubai. In other words, it just doesn’t hurt bad enough yet to do something about it. But the flood brings bacteria and virus, not necessarily physical ones, but emotional and practical ones. You’ve been warned! Cohesion Probably the Achilles heel for Italy and Italians. Because individuality is so valued among the populace. To be “particulare” is de rigueur. But other cultures are banking on the single-purpose of mind that will help them win whatever campaign they are waging. Italians are unique and expressive and wonderful. But they are wailing and flailing in a lifeboat, with everyone aboard saying to go in a different direction. And five years in a commercial period, these days, is like a century. It is hard make up the losses. Just ask an 80-year-old who just lost 15-25% of their retirement money what they think of a five-year plan to recoup the loss. I can tell you what one told me, but I can’t use the exact words here. So, that is the little cyclone that Italy is and will continue to encounter, in the wine world and beyond. Look, nothing is impossible. But time, there is only so much of it. The world, right now, is racing towards an existential precipice. This might all be irrelevant. But the human spirit believes (and hopes) that there will be a bright future ahead for our children’s children’s children. If not, why even be here in the first place? Oh right, this is all an accident of nature, earth and life. I don’t think so. We’re all here for a purpose. The question to the Italian wine world is: What is your purpose in the here and now and what are you doing about it to make that future happen?   More reading: Is Italy (and Italian wine) heading towards a catastrophic precipice?   © written and photographed by Alfonso Cevola limited rights reserved On the Wine Trail in Italy wine blog +  Italian wine blog + Italy W

  • There Are No Sick Bees Here
    by noreply@blogger.com (Alfonso Cevola) on 20 Novembre 2022 at 22:00

    From the Archives ~ Nov. 18, 2007I have been back in Texas less than a week. During the first half of November, I visited six regions in Northern Italy. These were wine producing areas that were mountainous. There was usually a temperate valley included, for the grapes. We visited wine producing areas such as the Valle d’Aosta, Valle de la Roya, Valtellina, Valpolicella and the Valle Isarco.Today I worked in my garden. It is past mid November and the figs on the trees are ripe, the basil is still growing and I harvested a 5 pound cucuzza squash. There are dozens of baby cucuzzas that probably won’t survive the coming cold spell later this week. The oregano and the rosemary will, though.I don’t know how to go about telling stories about the wine valleys we visited. They were intense visits, lots of climbing and probably too many appointments. But what diversity there is between the regions. Is this Italy? Happy to report, it is, although it will be difficult to find many of the wines, and the food to go with it, in Italian restaurants here in the US.One place that captured my heart was Airole in Liguria. Positioned in the Italian Riviera, this is a little known area, but what a treasure. Stark landscapes, dramatic inclines, awesome vistas, heroic spirit of place. On the trip into Liguria, and specifically to Airole, we had an appointment with Dino Masala, whose A Trincea property makes a wonderful olive oil from the Taggiasca olive. The oil is a dense, prehistoric kind of primordial slime that is worth fighting over. Brilliant yellow, cloudy, dense and desirable. If an olive oil can be sexual, the oil from Liguria is a symbol of that kind of sensual quality one normally associates with a person. It is an elixir, a medicine, an antidote, a vitamin, mineral and vegetable, a full meal and an anointing potion.Dino Masala charges €18 Euro for a 1 Liter bottle of his oil. That’s precious enough. He also makes a variety of white and red wines, but it is his signature wine called Roccese that was one of the most interesting finds of the trip. Made mostly with the famous Rossese of Dolceacqua and blended with other indigenous grapes of the area. That could mean Italian or French varieties, as we straddled the two worlds on these mountaintops, shared between vines and olives, thyme and ruta. The wine is this rich, fleshy, ride in the back seat of a '55 Chevy - smooth, comfy and pleasurable.Dino Masala is a man with a tan from working on his land, not from a tanning machine or a bottle. He is less about the wine and more about the land. Here is a man who, when he puts his head on a pillow, sleeps so soundly, so deep, that when he awakes, resurrects himself everyday as a new man. An entrepreneur who has made several fortunes, but who sees his bees and his vines and his mules as his real wealth. As we were walking though his property, which looks and feels like something out of Cervantes and the Douro, the bees were buzzing so loudly as to be the dominant hum of the world around us. “There are no sick bees here,” Dino remarked as we walked through a wall of the busy little creatures, intent upon gathering as much of the precious nectar that they could find, or steal. Yes, the air was filled with the sound of bees with the music of Leonard Cohen playing in the valley below.Maybe it is just that I haven’t been here that much. For me Liguria is a wonderful find. It is rustic and wild, far from cities and frescoes. It is a wild side of Italy. At the end of the day I smelled like a bouquet of herbs - ruta, thyme and rosemary. From the top of A Trincea I remarked to Dino that his place is the Macchu Picchu of Italy. He nodded, as if that hadn’t been the first time someone had said that to him. To the old Roman bones inside this soldier of the vines, it was like coming home.The Macchu Picchu of Italy written and photographed by Alfonso Cevola limited rights reserved On the Wine Trail in Italy

  • Perchè il vino italiano dovrebbe guardare all'Africa (e non alla Cina)
    by Elisabetta Tosi on 22 Novembre 2022 at 15:47

    Tra le molte, stimolanti sessioni dell’ultima edizione di Wine2Wine Business Forum, quella che personalmente mi ha colpito di più è stato lo speech corale dedicato ad alcuni Paesi dell’Africa subsahariana come Nigeria, Sudafrica, Ghana, Kenya. Un piccolissimo spaccato su un continente in merito al quale la maggior parte degli italiani è rimasta ferma al “hic sunt leones” di coloniale ottocentesca memoria, semmai aggiornato (spesso in negativo) dalla cronaca delle problematiche migratorie. Invece l’Africa è un luogo di millenarie culture oggi in grande fermento, dinamico, giovane, con enormi potenzialità. Un luogo al quale il mondo del vino dovrebbe iniziare a guardare con attenzione. Degli spazi che il vino italiano potrebbe ritagliarsi su questo continente ho parlato con uno degli speaker di Wine2Wine: Victor Ikem, business director di Drinks Revolution Limited. L’intervista integrale (in inglese) è pubblicata qui.

  • Dove porta Wine2Wine?
    by Elisabetta Tosi on 2 Novembre 2022 at 11:27

    Come sempre, anche in questa edizione del Business Forum di Vinitaly International in programma tra pochi giorni (7-8 novembre) a Verona Fiere le direttrici proposte (leggi: worksops, speeches, seminari) sono numerose, e toccherà fare delle scelte. Wine2Wine propone ogni anno tematiche di discussione di grande attualità, ma come al solito spetta a chi partecipa individuare quelle più coerenti con la sua destinazione finale.

  • Poil de Lievre 2017 – Domaine Bobinet
    by Francesco Petroli on 21 Aprile 2020 at 10:15

    Poil de Lievre 2017 - Domaine Bobinet, un vino quotidiano, in equilibrio tra luminosità calde e luci fredde, generoso nei sapori e ritmato dalla tensione acido/sapida. The post Poil de Lievre 2017 – Domaine Bobinet appeared first on Into the Wine.

  • My Lovely Quarantine #2
    by Claudio Celio on 17 Aprile 2020 at 07:34

    Domaine Belluard - Domaine Des Cavarodes - Francois Ganevat - Lassaigne - Praesidium - Skerlj - Vodopivec The post My Lovely Quarantine #2 appeared first on Into the Wine.

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  • What an ex-lover and commercial wine had in common
    by Alice Feiring on 15 Gennaio 2022 at 17:54

      I recently pulled out my old book and started to read at random and thought I’d share some of it. Many of you reading might not know that my first book was published in 2008 before we really ever talked about natural wine, when the wine world was still new and not talked about but very much feared. Here’s my unedited reading of the beginning of Chapter 2.  It goes on to visit U.C. Davis where I wasn’t exactly welcomed, got into a few nasty tussles about native yeast and irrigation. So, this incident was in 2006, Big Joe was the late and certainly great, Joe Dressner. And thus, and thus.. it goes.     what i learned at UC Davis   and below, continues to the point that I am about to meet Roger Boulton.

  • On Pét-Nat, Soup Dumplings, and Chemo (At Least I Can’t Taste the Mouse)
    by On Design on 16 Novembre 2021 at 14:46