What happened in the world of wine in November 2022? Here are the wine news of the month to know so you never lose the thread: from research to combat climate change to new wine formats, from a surgical theft in Madrid, from wine auctions to the rankings, to the awarding of Michelin stars. Here's what you need to know about the Sommelier Wine Box column.
Rankings, auctions, Top 100 Cellar Selections, a theft in Madrid, alternative formats and research to combat climate change. Here's what happened in the wine world in November 2022.
Italy places three wines in the top 10 of the "Top 100 Cellar Selections" of the famous American magazine Wine Enthusiast . In second place was the Sassicaia 2019 from Tenuta San Guido, in ninth place was the Barolo Bricco delle Viole 2018 from the GD Vajra farm, and in tenth place was the Barbaresco Bordini 2019 from Fontanabianca , a winery that we had the pleasure of having in the selection, selected for us by sommelier Gabriele Scalici.
The Italian production fares well in the Top 100 2022, placing third in terms of number of bottles with 17 labels, just behind France (18) and the United States (38).
2. Barolo en primeur
The second edition of the “Barolo en primeur” solidarity auction ended with satisfaction. 14 barriques from Vigna Gustava owned by the CRC Foundation auctioned off, each of which will yield, after refinement, 300 bottles of Barolo marked with a numbered label, created by Michelangelo Pistoletto. The vinification is carried out by ENOSIS Meraviglia by Donato Lanati. The proceeds will be donated to non-profit projects.
3. Map of the Contrade of Etna
A map has been published which precisely reports the position of the 133 Contrade in the Etna DOC territory , created by the Consorzio Tutela Vini Etna DOC.
4. Best sommelier in Italy AIS
Alessandro Nigro Imperiale climbed to the top of the AIS national competition and won the title of best sommelier in Italy, Trento DOC award. We interviewed him.
In second and third place two sommeliers who we know very well because they have selected several of the wines we offer: Marco Casadei and Simone Verganini.
5. Counter climate change in the vineyard
A conference in Soave closes the «Soilution System» project , which deals with climate change and heroic viticulture, to create innovative solutions with low environmental impact to reduce the erosive risk and achieve better soil management in high-altitude vineyards.
We read in various places about a regenerative agriculture project, which traps carbon with particular soil processing, and about the interesting results
Even the Champagne region (i.e. a place not exactly at the forefront of environmental attention) is starting to implement sustainable policies in the vineyard.
Research launched in the laboratory in La Rioja and led by genetics researcher Pablo Carbonell is showing that vines aged 35 years and older appear to cope better with climate change because they are genetically more diverse. The goal is to ensure that wine producers plant specific grape varieties that are adaptable to new climatic conditions.
6. Counter climate change in the cellar
We continue, timidly, to talk about reusing old wine bottles . Here referring to City Winery, which opened its fourteenth location in Manhattan's Grand Central Terminal on November 14. It launched a program that offers participants who bring back an empty bottle a $5 credit toward their next label.
Jancis Robinson and Hugh Johnson are some of the wine journalists who have signed an open letter to raise awareness of the need for alternative and more sustainable formats for wine. So: boxed and canned wine, barrels, paper bottles and in bags, which have a lower carbon footprint than glass.
7. A wine theft
132 valuable bottles (worth more than €150,000) were stolen from the cellars of the two-Michelin-starred Coque restaurant in Madrid.
8. Champagne is running out
It seems that people who are passionate about the genre are consuming Moet Hennessy Champagne to the point that they are running out of supplies .
9. Michelin stars
The 2023 Michelin stars have been awarded. The Michelin Guide Italy 2023 was presented on 8 November 2022. Antonino Cannavacciuolo was awarded 3 stars and 2 restaurants in Rome do the double.
There are 19 new green stars in the Michelin Italy Guide 2023: at the moment, unlike the others, there is no downgrading (green star lost). They are those that reward environmental attention and sustainability, and in particular the supply of only organic products, zero km, zero waste policies... in a word, sustainable cuisine.
10. Wine consumption in the UK
Research shows that young people, meaning people aged between twenty and thirty, drink much less wine than their parents , in favor of other drinks. However, those who consume wine in this age group seem to do so with great awareness.
11. A symbolic story from Ukraine
The story of the wines in the Goodwine (Kyiv) store, from the missile attacks on the deceased employees, to the bottles left intact and sold to support the Ukrainian army is a symbol of resistance.
12. Napa Valley
After years of protest, construction of a winery “funfair” in Napa Valley has been stopped .
13. Wine auctions
Among the most significant wine auctions of the month, we highlight that of Christie's , in its London headquarters, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Californian winery Ridge Vineyards.
Thank you, and see you next month for updates on wine news from around the world.