The news of wine in the world of March 2023: everything you need to know. From the consequences of the failure of the Silicon Valley Bank to the fires in the Chilean vineyards, up to Antinori who climbs the world rankings.
We have selected the most important news from the world of wine for March 2023, the ones you absolutely need to know to keep up to date.
Here they are:
1. SILICON VALLEY BANK
By far the biggest news of the month, the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (which occurred on March 10, 2023) threatens to cause a huge financial crisis for the California wine industry as well. In fact, for nearly 30 years, it has been the financial institution of choice for the California wine industry.
Among the more macroscopic consequences, the fact that wineries - especially those with capital exceeding 250,000 dollars - have their accounts blocked . But there's more, for the future: in addition to cash flow and loans, the bank offered many vital services for operators in the sector, including updated reports with comprehensive analyzes to guide decisions related to sales, marketing, agriculture and impending challenges, as well as events, auctions, training...
The Drinks Business exclusively gave the news that Axel Heinz will leave his role at Ornellaia and Masseto this summer to face new challenges in France. Born in Germany and raised in France, Heinz has been estate director and winemaker of Ornellaia since 2005: during his 17-year tenure both Ornellaia and Masseto have grown to produce some of the most sought-after Italian wines on the secondary market.
It was later known that he leaves for the Château Lascombes (Bordeaux cellar).
3. SCIENTIFIC NEWS
New genetic evidence shows that the grapevine was domesticated in two locations and 3,000 years earlier than previously thought . A significant, large study involving 89 researchers from 23 different institutions changes what we know about the origin of the vine. Published in the journal "Science" shows that already 11,000 years ago there were two centers in which the vine was cultivated: one in the area corresponding to today's Israel, Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan, and the other in the Caucasus.
On October 27, 2021, a couple had stolen wine worth 1.6 million euros while they were guests of the Atrio hotel and restaurant ( Cáceres ). It immediately seemed to be the theft of the century in the wine world. In early March they were sentenced to 4 years in prison by a Spanish court .
Prowein (March 19-21) took place in Düsseldorf (Germany) in March, the largest and most important world fair for wines and spirits, which again this year was able to count on a unique range of products from all over the world.
Vinifera was held in Trento on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 March, the market exhibition of artisanal wines from the Alps.
Vinitaly starts tomorrow (2-5 April 2023). The program of meetings, seminars, master classes and presentations is very rich, with over 4,000 exhibitors. There has already been discussion among insiders for the event dedicated to the relationship between wine and health scheduled for 2 April.
6. FIRES IN CHILE
Fires continued in Chile in March, killing at least 25 people and destroying more than 2,000 homes. More than 400,000 hectares of land have been burned , with damage visible even on NASA satellite images.
Viticulture is one of the most affected sectors.
7. AN ACCIDENT
A large truck has spilled 10,000 empty wine bottles on Highway 101 near Healdsburg, California, at a time when there is a major glass shortage.
Antinori has been nominated as "The World's Most Admired Wine Brand 2023" : it is the first Italian winery in history to reach the top of the Drinks International ranking.
9. WORKING CONDITIONS
Three of Brazil's largest wineries (Salton, Aurora and Garibaldi) have been suspended by ApexBrasil, the government's trade and investment promotion agency, following an operation to rescue more than 200 workers from what have been described as "conditions analogous to slavery" .
10. REX PICKET
Rex Pickett , the author of the novel that inspired 'Sideways' - soon to become the most influential wine film ever made, winning an Oscar in 2004 - said he was "completely ripped off" , having in his opinion not received the fair economic return for a film made with 16 million dollars which earned over 100 million dollars at the box office and which still today determines a very important induced for Californian wines.
Pickett says he got only $12,500 when director Alexander Payne optioned his manuscript and has never seen another cent from the film. He sold the book to his publisher for only $5,000 and copyright checks were disappointing. In total, he said the book earned him less than $100,000.