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Oak barrels with Burgundy wine ageing in the cellars of Chanson, Beaune

Burgundy grand cru: small volume, high prices

The wine world is really not a stronghold of equality. The average export price of a grand cru (red & white) from Burgundy in 2018 was 87 euros per bottle. The red ones are more prestigious and averaged 101 euros per bottle. The whites were “only” at 56 euros. These are prices that most other […]

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Glass of Chateau Potensac, Medoc, Bordeaux, Cru Bourgeois

Cru Bourgeois will be reintroduced in Médoc

The designation Cru Bourgeois for chateaux has existed in Médoc for many years. Various attempts to rank them, roughly in the style of the 1855 classification, have been made since the 1930s. More or less successful. It was previously a (semi-official) classification but is currently a private label. But from 2020, a serious attempt will […]

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Champagne bottles that are organic, "bio"

French consumers buy more and more organic wine

Organic wines are becoming more and more popular with French wine consumers. 48% of them would like to see a larger range of organic wines in the stores where they normally buy wine. The fact that the wine is organic is a buying argument for 50% of the young and 38% of the older consumers. […]

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A vine suffering from Phylloxera vastatrix

Phylloxera discovered in Washington State

Walla Walla, a well-known wine region in Washington State, was believed to be exempt from the vine louse (phylloxera vastatrix). Therefore, the recent discovery of the louse that is so dangerous to the vines dealt a heavy a blow to the wine producers. All of Washington, and especially Walla Walla, has the kind of sandy […]

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Spraying in the vineyards

Wine producers’ difficult choices among the wealth of pesticides

Wine producers are facing difficult choices today. Not least in what way they should manage the vineyard. Conventional, sustainable, organic or biodynamic? They have a variety of pesticides to choose from. More if they grow conventionally, less if they are organic. However, there are very different opinions about how dangerous these products are (e.g. glyphosate) […]

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Yeast fermenting the must

The right kind of yeast helps to reduce sulphur in wine

A wine’s sulphur content is increasingly scrutinized. Sulphur dioxide is added to the wine as an antioxidant and stabiliser. But its use has diminished, rather drastically I think, in recent decades, in part thanks to better winemaking technology and knowledge. Sometimes you see “no added sulphur” on a label. But you rarely see a wine […]

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Vineyards on the Corton hill, Aloxe-Corton, Burgundy

Dry year but good quality in Burgundy

Burgundy winemakers have been fighting the elements this year. Spring frosts, hail, millerandage during flowering and – perhaps most damaging – lack of water. But when the harvest started on August 31 for the crémant wines, the spirits were high. In prestigious Côte d’Or, picking started around 13 September and continued for 10 days in […]

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Grapes dried on the vine due to heat, Champagne

Good quality harvest in Champagne after record-breaking summer

The harvest in Champagne was in full swing when we kicked off our autumn wine tour season with Champagne on September 11. And we mostly saw happy faces. Alexandre Penet at Champagne Penet-Chardonnet in Verzy looked very pleased when he talked about his healthy-looking grapes. Charles Philipponnat at the eponymous small prestige house in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ […]

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One of the oldest wine cellars in Marlborough, at Auntsfield, New Zealand

New Zealand celebrating 200 years as a wine nation

Congratulations! On September 25, 2019 it is 200 years since the first vine was planted in New Zealand. An anniversary well worthy of a celebration, don’t you think? It was the Reverend Samuel Marsden, Chaplain to New South Wales, Australia, who on this day in 1819 planted vines in Stone Store in Kerikeri in the […]

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Merlot just in from harvest, Medoc, Bordeaux

100 hectares of Swedish vineyards

The fact that you make wine in Sweden often surprises foreigners. This is understandable. It is not an obvious wine country. David Morrison, in his blog The Wine Gourd, has taken a closer look at the wine “industry” in Sweden. David is originally from Australia but lives in Sweden. He’s made a good summary of […]

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Chat Fou 2016, Côtes du Rhône, vin artisanal et naturel

(New?) rules for natural wines?

Natural wine is here to stay. And although the EU has said that there will be no official rules for this category, it does not prevent private groups from setting up their own. As, for example, Vinnatur in Italy (www.vinnatur.org) has done. Now Sébastien David, winemaker in Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil in the Loire Valley, is trying to […]

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Fredholms Vin Elsa, Spanish wine award

Fredholms Vineyard receives medals again

We congratulate Fredholms Vingård! It is not often we have the opportunity to write about a Swedish wine winning medals internationally… This small winery in the south of Sweden has once again obtained medals in an international wine competition. Elsa, a white wine made from the grape solaris, received a gold medal and the red […]

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An old village in Rioja, Spain

Where is turruntés grown? In Rioja of course!

Yes, turruntés, not torrontes. Rioja is best known for its red wines. But that is no reason to ignore the whites. You can find them in different styles. They can be seriously full-bodied wines with lots of mouthfeel or fresh and floral everyday wines. To put white wine in oak barrels is an old tradition […]

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Vineyard in Bordeaux with grass and grass removed

Corsican wine region bans glyphosate

The discussion about the future of glyphosate continues. It is very contested if glyphosate is dangerous or not at all dangerous (when properly used). In 2022, it will again be on the EU agenda, until then it is allowed. But France (at least the government, but not all farmers) wants to ban glyphosate before that. […]

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Pinot noir almost ripe in Central Otago, New Zealand

Exceptional vintage 2019 in New Zealand

We came to New Zealand in March earlier this year, just when the 2019 harvest was about to begin. We saw lots of fine grape bunches and we had the feeling that it would be a good harvest, a great vintage. And it was. In fact, 2019 is an exceptional vintage, in all regions, from […]

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A glass of rosé in the garden a summer evening

The incredible success of rosé wines

No summer without rosé wines? Well. Anyway, people will drink a lot of rosé wine this summer, worldwide. World rosé consumption increased by 32% between 2002 and 2018. France drinks the most. One-third of all rosé wines made in the world is drunk in France (don’t forget there’s a lot of tourists in France). France […]

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Hail nets in Chablis

Violent hail storm destroys vineyards in Crozes-Hermitage

Hail storms can be violent and the 20-minute storm that affected Crozes-Hermitage and part of Saint Joseph on June 15 was exceptionally violent. Some winegrowers saw their future harvest reduced by at least 50%. The hail storm then continued to Savoie and into Switzerland where the damaged continued. The hailstones were of a size that […]

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Bottles "sur lattes" in a cellar in Champagne

Nicolas Feuillatte buys Champagne Henri Abelé

Champagne’s largest cooperative Nicolas Feuillatte is getting even bigger. Feuillatte recently bought the champagne brand Henri Abelé, which, since 1985, has been owned by the huge Spanish cava producer Freixenet. Henri Abelé sells around 300,000 bottles annually. The house has beautiful cellars in Reims. It does not own any vineyards. Instead, it has long-term contracts […]

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