Dua Lipa thinks about Argentinian wine
It’s been another crazy week in the wine world, so buckle up to browse this week’s news.
Do you even have a wine business until you get a celebrity endorsement?
That’s this week’s big question as we scour the new threads to find any stories you might have missed. And a lot has happened, with the Argentinian wine industry getting a nice little shoutout from a music star. Continue reading…
Dua Lipa praises Argentinian wine
International pop star Dua Lipa, currently touring South America on her Future Nostalgia Tour, appears to have had a crush on Argentine pizza and wine during her stop in the capital Buenos Aires this week. Posting a series of snaps on Instagram which included a number of her eating pizza and drinking red wine from a Riedel glass, the British singer wrote “good food, good wine, good memories, thank you Buenos Aires”.
The star also slipped a snapshot of a well-stocked Buenos Aires wine cellar including several Philippe Caraguel sparkling wines, a Bodega Rocamadre Viñas Viejas, a Bodegas Chacra Barda Pinot Noir, Pét-Nats (including an Alpamanta Breva Criolla and a Krontiras Afron Aglianico) and several Cara Sur wines including a Criolla.
No indication of the wine chosen and appreciated by the 27-year-old singer, but given the range displayed in the photo and her comment, we can assume that it was an Argentinian wine.
Dua Lipa’s tour continued in Santiago, Chile yesterday, with no indication as to whether she got a taste of that country’s winey production, only an Instagram Story featuring (predictably, perhaps- be) a photo of five cups of Pisco with the accompanying title “Pisco”.
She is performing tonight in Bogota, Colombia.
France overtakes Spain for wine production
Harvesting continues at a brisk pace in Europe, with French media welcoming news (from the Committee of Professional Agricultural Organizations of the European Union, or Copa-Cogeca) that the country is set to regain its position as the world’s second largest producer of wine in 2022. , behind Italy but overtaking Spain.
This follows what looks to be an exceptional year in 2022 after the small French harvest in 2021 affected by frost. According to French wine publication La Revue du Vin de France, wine production this year will be up 16% from 2021, with 44 million hectoliters (4,400,000,000 or 4.4 billion litres). Unlike last year, Spain is expected to suffer more than France in 2022 due to drought conditions affecting yield more severely than its northeast neighbour.
Italy, France and Spain will produce more than 130 million hectoliters of wine (13 billion litres) in 2022. This is 1% more than in 2021.
High-end bottles confiscated at the Argentinian border
More wine news from Argentina this week where nearly 2,000 premium bottles were confiscated at the Brazilian border worth 11 million Argentine pesos (US$78,000) after border agents discovered irregularities in documentation and distribution records.
The seizure, by representatives of the Federal Administration of Public Revenue (AFIP), was part of a wider control of companies, logistics and distribution companies in and around the border town of Bernardo de Irigoyen, in the northern Argentina. A total of 40 companies were spot-checked in a cross-border operation that included Brazilian federal tax officials, members of the Argentine National Institute of Viticulture (INV) and the Argentine Federal Police .
Other goods worth 28 million pesos (US$200,000) were seized and six customs and tax offenses were committed. According to reports, a company labor force survey was also conducted with 28 workers, one-third of whom were not registered by their employers.
As for the seized wine: no news on the brands in question although most news outlets showed boxes of Tocornal (a Chilean brand from major producer Cono Sur, but not exactly a premium label per se).
Bernardo de Irigoyen and his immediate Brazilian neighbors Dionísio Cerqueira and Barracão often make headlines in this way. Last year, lawyer Juan María López was shot and killed in Bernardo de Irigoyen in what was believed to be an attack linked to wine trafficking across the border.
We also reported the brazen robbery of 800,000 pesos (US$5,600) worth of wine from a truck in the area last year – see Thieves bag $800,000 of wine in a truck robbery in northern Argentina (article no. 5).
La Rioja launches a documentary series on the harvest
Kicking off two weeks earlier than usual, Spain’s Rioja wine region is also launching a free docu-harvest series. Dubbed “The Heart of the Harvest”, the five-episode series offers “a live, behind-the-scenes tour of the craftsmanship, culture, tradition and landscape of Spain’s best wine region”.
“There is no place like Rioja during the harvest,” the website explains. “That’s exactly why we’re creating an immersive experience that allows wine lovers around the world to experience Rioja at harvest time.”
Found online, the series, which debuted on August 31, is currently on episode three (The Winemaker), having so far covered The Grower and The Picker. Coming soon: The Consejo (unlikely to feature the minutiae of must weight checking, clerical work, or the sterility of wine approval tastings, but it will be interesting to see what angle they take) and La Celebration (which shouldn’t disturb the production team any metaphorical headache).
Rare spirits hit the US market
Brentwood Auction House in Vancouver, Washington (just north of Portland, Oregon, for our non-US readers) is hosting a major sale of premium whiskeys this month – many of which have never been seen on the North American coasts. The bottles are the personal collection of The Whiskey Wash owner and founder, Nino Kilgore-Marchetti.
The auction covers more than 1,200 bottles of “world-class spirits representing many years of painstaking collection of the finest whiskeys and other spirits from around the world,” according to a press release from the auction house. The collection is part of the Whiskey Writer’s Auction Series which is run in partnership with Benchmark Wine & Spirits of Washington, DC.
Highlights from the auction (Chapter Three of the sale began on Thursday and can be viewed on the Brentwood website) include:
- The Dalmore Astrum 40 years and Aurora 45 years
- Glenfarclas 50 years
- Glenglassaugh 51 years old 1963
- Selected vintages of Highland Park Orcadian (1964, 1968, 1970, 1971)
- Bunnahabhain 46 years old Islay Eich Bhana Lir
- Glengoyne 40 Year Old Highland
- Selection of special bottlings from The Macallan 18 and 25 years old
- Selected bottlings of Teeling Vintage Reserve Irish Whiskey
- Selection of rare versions of Wild Turkey Bourbon
- John Walker & Sons Odyssey Rare Triple Malt
The Norman vineyard celebrates its first harvest
Another addition to our informal series on lesser-known French vineyards comes to you this week from Normandy’s Cotentin peninsula where winemaker François Lecourt harvested his first grapes at Barneville-Carteret on the English Channel coast, across from the sea northeast of Jersey.
Lecourt’s one-year-old vines (he had wanted to wait until 2023 for his first harvest but couldn’t resist) extend over 1.5 hectares and are planted with so-called “Piwi” hybrids (crosses resistant to mushrooms of American vines and European grape varieties), Chardonnay and a little Pinot Noir. A hedge, to protect against wind damage, surrounds the site.
“This project took a lot of time and funding,” Lecourt told regional newspaper La Presse de la Manche. “Although I was able to acquire seven hectares of land for future growth, as well as 80% of the equipment needed for winemaking, I still lack a winery and winery facilities. Without these and customs approval, I can’t produce alcohol yet.”
Lecourt currently has 6,000 vines planted in its Muûs vineyard (which means “best” in the local dialect), to which 14,000 will be added. The location of the projected winery has been identified and it hopes to produce its first commercial wines by 2023.
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