1. A Spanish ice wine was given official Denominacions (DO) status for the first time ever. This is particularly scandalous because it is the first European ice wine to allow artificial freezing of grapes. The traditional ice wine regions – Germany, Austria and Canada – only allow natural freezing of grapes on the vines. As you may guess, artisan & vine will be boycotting artificied Spanish ice wine.
2. Automated wine dispensers launched in the US. Brilliant. A vending machine for wine in a supermarket. You need to insert an age ID card and pass the breathalyzer installed on the machine then push a button.
3. Momentum grows for “Vins de France”, an alternative to the arguably outdated French appellation controllee (AOC) system. Vins de France will allow wines to be blended across regions for “more consistent” flavours. The wines will be labelled by grape variety, to compete with New World wines. This is the opposite of creating wines with a sense of place; register Boycott #2 for artisan & vine this month.
Image: amidst news stories and innovations, wine at it's best continues to originate from simple, healthy grape vines.