Posts Tagged ‘America’

Grape Harvest Festival in Mendoza, Argentina

Grape Harvest Festival in Mendoza, Argentina

A first look at vintage quality in South America, with eyewitness reports from growers and winemakers

Ready to taste the first wines of 2013? While vines are just flowering in Europe and North America, the Southern Hemisphere has picked, crushed and fermented this year’s crop. Argentina and Chile experienced a cool growing season, which left vintners waiting for grapes to fully ripen. That wasn’t a problem for big reds like Argentina’s Malbecs and Chile’s Cabernet Sauvignon, but it could be trouble for Chilean Sauvignon Blanc.

Here’s a sneak peek at the upcoming vintage. Check out Wednesday’s report on Australia and New Zealand and come back Friday for details on South Africa.

Argentina
The good news: A long, cool growing season produced what many winemakers are calling fresh wines

The bad news: Up and down temperatures tested winemakers’ patience and required long hang times for grapes to reach full maturation

Read on …

Also read:

Harvest at Spier, Stellenbosch.

Harvest at Spier, Stellenbosch.

A first look at vintage quality, with eyewitness reports from growers and winemakers

Ready to taste the first wines of 2013? While vines are just flowering in Europe and North America, the Southern Hemisphere has picked, crushed and fermented this year’s crop. South African grapegrowers enjoyed a wet winter, meaning healthy yields, followed by a dry, warm summer. But rain during harvest made picking anxious at times.

Here’s a sneak peek at the upcoming vintage. Check out Wednesday’s report on Australia and New Zealand and Thursday’s on Argentina and Chile.

South Africa
The good news: South Africa’s 2013 harvest has drawn praise from most producers, with a strong start and finish to the growing season

The bad news: A bit of rain and humidity mid-harvest forced some producers to scramble for proper canopy management and gamble, successfully, on better weather late

Read on …

Also read:

 

South African wine exports to reach now high in 2013.

South African wine exports to reach now high in 2013.

 

South African wine exports are poised to beat their 2012 record this year following high yields and on demand for premium vintages from North America and Asia, industry executives and growers said.

Wine exports rose to 469 million liters (124 million U.S. gallons) in the year ending April 30, up 25 percent from the previous 12 months and more than triple the total shipped in 2000, data from the Wines of South Africa trade body, or WOSA, show. Bulk shipments rose 53 percent while those of bottled and packaged wines fell 5 percent, as large producers bottled more in export markets.

Although wine has been grown in South Africa since Dutch settlers arrived in the 17th century, the country was cut off from trade during the apartheid era of racial discrimination, which ended in 1994 with the first all-race elections. Two decades on, exporters are seeking to consolidate in established markets such as the U.K. and Germany while boosting sales in Asia and Africa.

“If you think about South Africa’s history, we’ve been making wine for 350 years but it’s only really since 1994 that we’ve actively pursued the export market, that we’ve been welcome and accepted,” Johan Erasmus, general manager of the Glen Carlou winery in the Paarl Valley north east of Cape Town, said at a London tasting in March. “We are much more in touch with consumers worldwide.”

A wet winter meant plenty of underground water, helping to boost yields in 2013, according to Su Birch, Chief Executive Officer at WOSA. Yields at the 2012 harvest rose to 14.13 metric tons per hectare (2.471 acres), the highest for at least six years, and probably climbed to about 14.90 tons this year, according to estimates based on preliminary data from WOSA.

 

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(Image courtesy Captain Grooviss)

(Image courtesy Captain Grooviss)

 

Hard cider sales are showing remarkable growth in the U.S. market as new brands inject dynamism into the category. Eagerly tapping into the trend, brewers including Boston Beer Co., MillerCoors, Anheuser-Busch InBev and others have all jumped into the cider pool.

The U.S. market’s top 10 cider brands increased by 62.6% to 9.58 million 2.25-gallon case depletions in 2012, according to Impact Databank. Most major brands, particularly domestic entrants, showed double-digit increases, including category leader Woodchuck, which grew 25% to 2.53 million 2.25-gallon cases.

Boston Beer Co. launched its Angry Orchard brand in 2011, and it did just 40,000 cases in that year. But last year it gained national distribution and grew to within striking distance of Woodchuck, hitting 2.2 million cases.

In February 2012, MillerCoors’ Tenth and Blake craft-import unit purchased Crispin Cider Company of Minneapolis. Crispin, which was launched in 2008, quickly gained a presence beyond its regional base once MillerCoors took over. Last year, brand volume more than doubled to 714,000 cases.

 

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America's new tastemakers...

America’s new tastemakers…

 

Meet the rising young stars who are changing the way the world drinks.
Ian Brand, 32
Winemaker, Coastview Vineyards, Le P’tit Paysan, Monterey, CA
After moving from Utah to California to pursue surfing, Brand found his real calling at Bonny Doon in Santa Cruz, where he was assistant winemaker from 2004– 2007. He has also been winemaker for Nicholson and Pierce Vine- yards and consults for various clients in the region. Innovative, experimental and eager to push the envelope in the Salinas Valley and beyond, Brand is known for his progressive approaches to plantings, commitment to organic farming and tireless promotion of Monterey as the next region to watch in California.
Bibiana González Rave, 35
Winemaker, Rave Vines & Wines, Santa Rosa, CA
Originally from Colombia and trained in France, where she earned dual degrees in viticulture and enology, González Rave spent years doing two harvests a year, from South Africa to France and California, and was until recently the winemaker at Lynmar Estate, where she earned stupendous reviews for her silky Pinot Noirs and complex Chardonnays. Last year she decided to go out on her own, launching Rave Vines & Wines, where she is laser focused on one place only: Pahlmeyer’s Wayfarer Vineyard on the Sonoma Coast. The first of her cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay will be from 2012. In addition to making a small amount of her own wines, she’s partnering with husband Jeff Pisoni on a Sauvignon Blanc brand.
Read on …

 

 

Technicians assure that 50% remains unpicked. Up to now, quality and health are the premises of this crop.

As it was expected at the end of last year, the 2013 yield seemed to be higher than that of 2012. At that moment, it was too early for a forecast due to the unpredictable climate conditions. However, reaching mid-April, and in spite of rains lashing down most of the summer, technicians of Argentine wineries have anticipated that they expect around 20% more of grape. But, in some regions, this reality varies, and winemakers maintain that harvest will be the same as in 2012.

This is the case of Patricio del Chañar, Río Negro. Marcelo Miras, winemaker at Bodega Del Fin del Mundo, commented that they expect the same amount as in 2012. As regards the harvest, he pointed out: “it corresponds to a Patagonian harvest, with warm days and cool nights, enabling us to reach an excellent ripening”.

In San Patricio del Chañar, about 30% of grapes are still unpicked, and in the Upper Valley of Río Negro, 50% approximately.

In addition, Adrián Meyer, winemaker at Chandon and Terrazas de Los Andes, explained that in general, the trend shows a 15-20% increase of the crop per hectare, compared to 2012. Regarding the grape already harvested, he stressed that all white grapes and only a 15% of reds have already been picked.

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Guns and now fine wine.

Guns and now fine wine.

Wine enthusiasts can now indulge their passion and back the right to bear arms at the same time by joining the National Rifle Association of America’s Wine Club.
‘Now you can support the 2nd Amendment with every wine you buy’ runs the strapline on the homepage of the club, nrawineclub.com, which also offers new members a ‘nine-piece custom NRA engraved wine box’ when they join.
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The US wine industry report.

The US wine industry report.

 

Silicon Valley Bank’s annual State of the Wine Industry Report forecasts 4-8% sales growth in wine for 2013. The report identifies trends and addresses current issues facing the U.S. wine industry, offering data and observations that help that wineries can use to develop their business strategies.

Silicon Valley Bank’s wine report is based on its in-house expertise as one of the largest bankers to the West Coast wine industry for nearly 20 years, a proprietary database of more than a decade of winery financials, ongoing research, and an annual survey of 450 West Coast wineries.

 

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Click to download a PDF of the report:

 

Click thumbnail to view the full-size infographic

Click thumbnail to view the full-size infographic

 

 

cn_image_0_size_argentina-vineyard

 

Consultant winemaker Edgardo del Pópolo has said Argentina’s period of over-oaked and over-extracted wines is “over”.
Speaking to the drinks business after a seminar at the South American Wine Workshop hosted by Santa Rita, Pópolo, who consults for Santa Rita’s Argentine estate Doña Paula, said that the trend in the country now was for greater freshness, balance and regional expression.

He conceded that Argentina’s warmer regions would mean that the country would continue to produce more typically New World wines with sweeter fruit and more concentration, however he added: “But the aim is to make them fresher, more balanced.
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Bulk wine imports more than doubled in the United States this year because of competitive pricing and changing consumer attitudes, according to a new survey from Silicon Valley Bank.
Silicon Valley Bank’s annual State of the Wine Industry survey – published yesterday – noted that bulk wine imports to the US ‘soared’ in 2012 as compared to the previous year, ‘from 13.7m cases, to 31.5m cases, and totalling over 40m cases in the past 12 months.’

According to the survey, the increase is due to higher domestic demand, better access to foreign bulk and favourable exchange rates.

In spite of a high-quality and high-volume California harvest in 2012, survey authors predict a continued increase in bulk imports this year, especially if the dollar strengthens.

Chile, Argentina and Australia were responsible for 75% of all bulk imports to the US in 2012.

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