As the door to 2021 slowly swings open, the landscape looks both familiar and transformed at the same time. When the U.S. wine industry entered 2020, for example, the problems seemed to be stagnant demand on one side and excess wine grape supply on the other. Not a good situation for the world’s largest wine
The Wine Economist World Tour is back on the virtual road in 2021. We hope for the return of in-person events before too long, but until that’s possible virtual events will do very well. Here are the first three stops for the new year. The Unified: State of the Industry The Unified Wine & Grape
Fonte: Constellation Brands investor relations Le ultime settimane sono state una combinazione di buone notizie per Constellation Brands, che in borsa si è riportata sui livelli pre-crisi di inizio 2018, per un valore di mercato di 45 miliardi di dollari e un prezzo di 230 dollari per azione (dopo aver toccato il minimo di 120
Fonte: elaborazioni inumeridelvino.it su dati FiBL-IFOAM Le superfici vitate biologiche convertite o in conversione nel mondo sono cresciute del 5% circa nel 2018 per raggiungere quota 422mila ettari. Nel corso del 2018 però si assiste a un rallentamento della superficie in conversione, che cala del 7%, più che compensato da un incremento della superficie
Once, on a fast run up the autostrada from Ancona to Verona, an old friend and I were talking about epiphanies. He’d had many in his life and had distilled it down to its essence. “It’s a bolt of lightning - Il Fulmine.” I’ve thought about those moments lately, as it seems we’ve been having more than our share of “Il Fulmine” in today’s world. And as we sail through time, many of us have those moments when our purpose is distilled in a flash, and everything is bright and clear, if only for that moment.
It’s much like a photograph. 1/100th of a second. And then something else. Not gone, but no longer there with the energy and the force it initially struck with. I guess you could say it’s a bit like those times when you are intimate with someone and for a moment everything disappears and there is only light and passion, and emotion and energy.
And while it wasn’t quite that dramatic when it happened, looking back on that day, I realize I was then bound to wine, it made an indelible impression. Let me tell you about it.
It was harvest time, 1977, in the hills of Calabria, between Cosenza and the Tyrrhenian Sea. I was with my young, new family, traveling around Italy and Greece. We’d made it to Calabria and had found my mother’s family on her mother’s side. We were staying with them, getting to know them, and them, us. They were people of the land, working it, clinging to their little side of the hill and pulling out whatever they could to provide sustenance. It was right up our alley, as back in California, where we lived, we’d made the attempt to live simply. We were young and poor. The economy was faltering. And there was a movement to go back to the land.
I saw that my relatives were living that life, not dreaming about it. Perhaps they were wishing for a more glorious life. But they had the basics of life. And with that they had fresh air, clean water and a place to live that was unencumbered with the useless detritus of civilization. And, they could see the stars at night.
One of those nights, after dinner, my cousin invited me down to the cellar. “We have a little work to do,” he said, “Vieni qua.” I followed.
As we ventured into the dim subterrane, several of his other relatives and friends, all elder men, joined us. I thought of the sweat lodge ceremonies a Native American friend once told me about, and wondered if this was going to be something akin, ala Italiana. Indeed, there was a prescience to that feeling, but one that would not materialize for years and miles.
In the corner of the room the new wine was gurgling. In another niche, an ancient hutch held bottles of all kinds and sizes, filled with older wine. A solitary, bald lamp hung above, illuminating the cold, damp room.
I was almost expecting flames to appear above our heads, the stage was set for the possibility of a portentous juncture. I didn’t know what to expect. But, as with anything unforeseen, one can evade it or one can embrace it. I was all in, regardless.
When one falls in love, it does unpredictable things to the world around and inside of one. Time stops, then times speeds up. Then time disappears, along with space. Butterflies appear, amidst a cosmic storm of unheralded expectations. It’s a giant swirl of emotion coupled with a visceral grip that feels like a roller coaster gone off its tracks. It’s exhausting and exhilarating.
Have you ever been in a dream where some thing had you in its grip and wouldn’t let you go? It can be frightening if you tense up and fight it. It’s like being in a wave that has just pounded you. But, if you just relax and let go, eventually the waves subside and you pop up above the foam, just in time to grab a much needed breath of air. Free, and still very much alive.
As it happened, a simpler scenario played out. It seemed that the new wine needed to be bottled and the old wine in the bottles was taking up room. A fitting metaphor for life if I ever heard one. And one that shadows us all on the wine trail.
The grapes were ancient ones, with names like Greco and Moscato and Calabrese. The aromas were as seductive as the Sirens from the islands in that nearby western sea. The musty, ebullient sapidity of the older wines, released from their urns, stirred all who sat at that wobbly table, both veterans and inductee.
So, we went about the business of emptying the bottles, one by one until the wee hours of the morning. I swear my Italian was never better in those moments. I was being initiated into the mysteries of Bacchus. Little did I know this ceremony would portend a life, and a livelihood, that I didn’t know was stalking me. I’ve often spoken of being a slave to the wine gods. This was the moment I was conscripted into that legion.
Later that day, after much needed rest (and coffee) it dawned on me that I had witnessed something momentous, but I didn’t know exactly what. It would only be years later, many years, that the meaning of those hours in the room where it happened would shine a light upon the path that I had tread all these years. It was the epiphany, that bolt - Il Fulmine - that provided me with a purpose.
And it unfurled among the humblest of places, with family and friends.
written and photographed by Alfonso Cevola limited rights reserved On the Wine Trail in Italy
wine blog + Italian wine blog + Italy W
Transformational over Transactional
Something I am detecting, acutely, in these early days of 2021, are the relationships that were shaped while working in the wine trade. How many times did I sit at someone’s mother (or grandmother) table enjoying a home-cooked meal while tasting the wines they also made? What did they get out of it? Another meal for a bunch of American wine buyers. Another lost night. More free wine consumed, eating into the margins.
It’s something I ask a lot. Then, maybe it was because they knew I had buying power. But not now. I’m done with that. So, why, if at all, do some of those folks still stay in touch?
I’ll go you one even better. How many times did I send a consumer to a winery in Italy for a visit and those folks at the winery rolled out the red carpet? I mean wine, dinner, maybe even a place to sleep. And for what? Maybe a couple of cases in someone’s cellar, at best?
There has to be more to it than a mere transactional sentiment. It doesn’t make any sense to spend time and money and labor and all that only for a couple of cases of wine. I say this not because I am cynical of my Italian winery friends motivation.
No, I really think many of my Italian friends in the wine trade in Italy aren’t thinking about the transaction as much as the need to transform the hearts and minds of Americans (and other nationalities too). It wasn’t that long ago that they (we) had to spend an inordinate amount of time apologizing for the wine we made (or sold) because they (we) felt it might not be rising to the standards set by our French cousins. I know, that seems like a lifetime ago. But the need to please can often outweigh rational and proper business practices. In other words, transformational relationships surpass the merely transactional ones, over time.
And that is so funny right now, to me, because I have been examining my old wine trade relationships and have found too many of them were merely (to them it seems) the price of doing business. The newly landed wine blogger who didn’t know anybody, who was short of cachet and needed a little support, emotionally (and maybe even financially). The executive who was trying to make inroads into the greater world of Italian wine and wanted to tag along to make some of my relationships also theirs too. The wine buyer, the sommelier, the list goes on. Sadly, those folks, in the post-Covid world of stark, brutal reality, have fallen by the wayside. The friendships have dissolved, gone. Sad.
But, in the transactional world, one knows that nothing is forever. You get a great by-the-glass placement that’s making everybody a bunch of money, and the competition takes the wine buyer to a strip club and gets him a lap dance, and badda-bing, you lose the placement. The wine buyer got a better deal. It was just another transaction. Not even a good business decision, by the way.
So, back to the Italians who have made transformative relationships more important than their business transactions. An example.
There is a wine producer in Piedmont, and I will not use his name, because the person is a very humble person who would be embarrassed by the story I am about to tell you. But for years this person has had me in their home, taken me to dinner, spent time with me, both in Italy in in my own home. We’ve become friends.
Yes, for a short while we did a little business together but the importer changed and it became almost impossible to do business in the future. But always at Vinitaly there was a moment to have an espresso, talk about books, ideas, or the blue sky, even though this person never made a bloody red cent off of me or my influence.
I felt guilty, for sure. I always wanted to do something, something more. But the stars never aligned.
But I also realized that both of us are doing fine in the world. Why couldn’t it be more than a transaction, a real relationship, a friendship? And that was really what it was and is.
[I know, not a tasting note in sight. Alfonso walking the plank with another one of his cockamamie ideas.]
We’ve all had a lot of time to think. We’ve shed a lot of things. Some of us have died. I’ve given away books, clothes, tools, music, money, and yes, stepped away from people I thought were my friends, but for some reason or another are no longer. We’ve all sacrificed something in this past year.
But my friend in Piedmont, is still my friend. I drink his product at home from time to time. I think warmly of him, and he isn’t the only one. There are scores of people in Italy whom I think about in that regards, even though they have nothing – I repeat – NOTHING – to gain from my present position.
This is the golden nugget that makes Italy and her people and her wine so indisputably ascendant. Because these people know something about the value of real relationships, they are and will continue to succeed even in these trying times. And you know what? I’m going to be there with them, raising glass after glass for them, and with them, because that’s how you succeed in the wine business. When you give it all your heart, and then some.
Happier new year, y’all!
written and photographed by Alfonso Cevola limited rights reserved On the Wine Trail in Italy
wine blog + Italian wine blog + Italy W
Uno scrigno di vera meraviglia l’Oltrepò in tavola e molto spesso anche nel bicchiere ma di certo anche il peggior marketing di territorio di ogni tempo, almeno finora. Tra bollicine e storia, bianchi autoctoni e alloctoni di stile e pregio, … continua »
Finalmente ci siamo arrivati: la roadmap tracciata da Jean Baptiste Lecaillon ha raggiunto un primo importante step di evoluzione nella produzione dello Champagne più famoso di ogni tempo, per molti il migliore in ogni versione, per tutti il più longevo.… continua »
Cantina Tollo, cooperativa abruzzese che commercializza 13 milioni di
bottiglie, oggi tra le più importanti e consolidate realtà del settore
vitivinicolo italiano, chiude il bilancio con risultati positivi: l’azienda
in relazione all’esercizio 2019-2020 ha redistribuito oltre 20 milioni di
euro tra valore del conferimento dei soci, redistribuzione e indotto delle
aziende locali. Una grande soddisfazione per il Presidente di Cantina Tollo
Tonino Verna che, tracciando le linee guida per il futuro, ha comunicato la
nomina di Andrea Di Fabio a Direttore Generale.
La prima etichetta di questo nuovo anno è di un prodotto che si inserisce a
buon diritto in uno dei principali trend che attraversano il mondo del
vino, quello organic. Questo Valpolicella Ripasso della Cantina di Negrar
fa parte infatti della sua linea top di gamma versione bio Domini Veneti.
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.
Se per il tuo occhio ironico io intravedevo la speranza era per nascere ironica che fui fra le prime a immaginarti vivo.Amelia RosselliTratta da Le Poesie, Garzanti Editore, 1997, Milano.A cura di Emmanuela Tandiello, prefazione di Giovanni Giudici.
Cosa sognano gli animaliCosa sogna Iubi mentre distesa qui vicino fa micro scatti ed emette suoni che sembrano richiami amorosi?Scrivo qualche riflessione sul mio e nostro 2020 e una certezza c’è, i sogni della cagnolina che da due anni vive con me.Eppure le sue orecchie sono così vigili e, pur assorbita dai sogni, forse sente il rumore dei miei pensieri; allora, alza la testa e guarda verso di me, sospesa, in attesa di un segnale.Mi piacerebbe perdere conoscenza mentre scrivo, come lei quando sogna. Avere la mente abbastanza vigile da registrare cosa accade e da potersi attivare al primo segnale, ma restare comunque assorto dal piacere dell’immaginazione. In una condizione senza tempo.
a cura di alice mazzali e matteo gallelloillustrazioni di selene baiamonte
L’intervista poggia su due incontri, entrambi avvenuti presso la sede di Porthos. Il primo, un incontro informale, si è svolto l’8 febbraio 2018, con Emanuele Giannone e Boris Tacchia. L’altra parte della conversazione è estratta dalla serata del 20 novembre 2018, la prima di “Dialoghi”, il seminario sul linguaggio del vino tra ragione ed emotività, a cura di Matteo Gallello, Emanuele Giannone e Sandro Sangiorgi. Abbiamo deciso di unire le parti senza soluzione di continuità.Un grazie particolare a Emanuele Giannone per la partecipazione e a Boris Tacchia per il lavoro sui testi.
Sandro Sangiorgi: A un certo punto della tua vita hai deciso di scrivere questi due libri, Epistenologia I e II: lo hai fatto per una “necessità” o hai avuto la sensazione che ci fosse bisogno delle tue parole nell’universo del vino? Ogni volta che leggo un libro mi domando se realmente sia stato necessario averlo pubblicato. Me lo chiedo innanzitutto con i miei lavori ed è per questo che scrivo poco: ogni volta, pian piano, mi scoraggio. Ci vorresti motivare la nascita dei tuoi volumi?Nicola Perullo: Parto dalla necessità di una ricerca complessiva, che coinvolge tutta la mia vita. Per me la filosofia non è un mestiere, è un modo di vivere. Sono un professore di filosofia, di Estetica in particolare, e ho seguito questa linea di ricerca per motivi personali. L’interesse per l’Estetica, poi, si è sviluppato nella passione per l’Estetica del gusto e in questo modo sono riuscito a unire la mia passione con lo studio. Da un certo punto, il cibo e il vino non sono stati solo oggetto di indagine e di riflessione ma mezzi per comprendere e per portare avanti anche il mio modo di vedere le cose. Il cibo e il vino sono stati dei prismi. Lo dico perché oggi ci sono molti studiosi per cui la gastronomia è una questione di moda e si occupano di questi temi come potrebbero fare con altri. Nel mio caso, invece, il cibo e il vino hanno seguito l’evoluzione delle mie idee, del mio sentire, del mio pensare. A un certo punto, intorno al 2010, questo percorso ha preso una direzione chiara e ho cominciato a lavorare al libro Il gusto come esperienza. Mi sono avvicinato al vino con te, nel 1993, e l’ho portato avanti per molti anni, sperimentando poi i Master Slow Food e Pollenzo. Il vino è diventato, per me, un amore.
Several years back I went to visit a majestic place in Cahors, Chateau Lagrezette, and had, well, a very significant ghost sighting that still raises the hair on my arms. This ran in Wine & Spirits magazine, October 2008. * The imposing Château Lagrezette castle, straight out of Sleeping Beauty central casting, is a little medieval, a little Renaissance, and really, not much rock ’n roll, except for its owner, the charismatic Alain Dominque Perrin, whom I had come to profile. It was June and the famed Cahors strawberries were out, as well as the last mushrooms of spring. I ate both greedily. I was to sleep in the moulin, a house recreated on top of a burned-down old watermill, just steps away from the castle. Sometime after the blackest part of the night, I woke up with a dog-like sense of danger. The small hairs stood up on my nape, and being fairly hairless by nature, I felt their effort. Something smelled off in that paradise, surrounded by vines and woods that commingled the fresh smell of grape blossom and ferns. Something smelled rotted and dank. Five years later I can still summon the smell, feel the white coverlet
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