What will we remember August 2022 for in the world of wine? We have collected and selected the main wine news, with a look at the whole world: from the early harvest to concrete actions against climate change, which is increasingly looming as the true challenges of contemporary times. Six wine news in brief, to always keep up to date.
Wine news for August 2022 not to be missed.
1. HARVEST 2022
In August there was a lot of talk about the fact that this year the harvest was brought forward in various regions, by approximately 7 to 20 days. At the beginning of the month, the grapes were already being harvested for the sparkling wine bases in Franciacorta, Oltrepò Pavese, Colli Berici...
There is optimism about the 2022 vintage in Italy, because the drop in quantity is matched by quality that promises to be good. You can read about it, among others, in Wine News and on the Ansa agency website.
Side note on the grape harvest in Italy: to save the harvest, a resolution by the Liguria region following an appeal to the TAR by the Durin winery allowed the wild boars that were devastating the vineyards to be shot or captured .
Things are slightly different in Chile , where the drought has been very intense but the temperatures have been cooler. These aspects lead to a lower and, apparently, excellent quality harvest. The Drinks Business writes about it.
2. SOMMELIER UNIFORMS, AGAIN
Last February we reported on a dispute between Nicole Hesslink and the FIS association: the latter had reacted in a disjointed manner to the request for explanations as to why, for female sommeliers, the uniform with a skirt was required. There was talk about it again in August because Nicole Hesslink made it known that she had been sued for defamation by the association. How far we still have to go.
3. DEAR ENERGY
The current geopolitical situation, which has been discussed for many months, has a direct impact on the economy and therefore also on wine production.
The increase in energy prices, combined with the difficulty of finding labor, weigh heavily on the wine sector, while the prices of wine grapes are attacked by speculative phenomena according to what Coldiretti Puglia reports , which sees a risk of lowering the quality of the wines that will go on the shelves.
4. REACT TO CLIMATE CHANGE
Here's how winemakers around the world are reacting to climate change.
How is France reacting to climate changes that put production at risk (for example, there was enormous damage from a tornado in the western area of Châteauneuf-du-Pape )?
Early harvests, restoration of old grape varieties that are well adapted to new climatic conditions or genetically modified vines, up to the hypothesis of more extreme solutions such as moving production to more favorable areas.
You can read about these various forms of adaptation here , in English:
Jancis Robinson instead reflects on the fact that European legislation must take into account the extraordinary drought of recent years and give greater possibility to irrigate the vineyard due to the changed climatic conditions which are already the norm. In particular, it focuses on Bordeaux, also referring to the studies on water stress in the Bordeaux vineyard carried out by prof. Cornelis van Leeuwen of the University of Bordeaux.
In California the tenor of the discussion relies heavily on technological aspects, with drones and sensors connected to intelligence systems that analyze and anticipate the needs of the vineyard, but there is also a line of thought that considers the increase in biodiversity and ways of to cultivate more sustainable crops to combat climate change and mitigate the huge problem of fires here.
5. A NEW WINE CENTER FOR CALZEDONIA
The Calzedonia group announces a new wine project based on three production territories and on the Signorvino distribution platform. The objective is the construction of a production center that is divided between the Castelli Romani area, in Lazio - where the Group has an estate of 30 hectares (Tenimenti del Leone) - and Alghero in Sardinia, where it has recently purchased 16 hectares vineyards and has planted a further 10 and Trentino, where production will start in a few years with a focus on Classic Method sparkling wines. The group then moves up the supply chain and enters wine production, with an investment of over 20 million euros, as reported by Il Sole 24 Ore .
6. OTHER WINE NEWS OF AUGUST 2022
Here we collect other news that happened in August.
The Vini Lunardelli company, which has been producing a controversial line illustrated by labels with images of Hitler and Mussolini since the mid-1990s, has announced that it will stop marketing it from 2023. Long live!
In Castelfranco Veneto , in the province of Treviso, a theft of 800 euros of Champagne from the supermarket, on August 15th.
The Catalan group Reserva de la Tierra is accused of passing off 40 million bottles of cheap table wine as valuable. A big thing, to continue to follow.
And to close, not news but an interesting reflection on machismo in the world of wine , resulting from 4 suicides of French vignerons that occurred in 2021. Research carried out around the world, in fact, highlights a high level of stress for the category, exposed to risks connected to the unpredictability and complexity of work in the vineyard and cellar. The pressure is also strong from a financial point of view, especially for small producers (so dear to us at Sommelier Wine Box), who have family-type economies and for whom producing wine is much more than a job.
The author, Vinka Danitza, places the enormous pressures on producers in the context of a stereotypical culture of masculinity, which does not allow vulnerability or asking for help. The full piece can be read here .