Pulling the cork on recent wine stories

Pulling the cork on recent wine stories

Charity funds diversity and inclusion

The Gerard Basset Foundation has made 14 awards and granted four scholarships to help fund work aimed at improving diversity and inclusivity in the wine industry. Gerard Basset was a sommelier and hotelier known for his passion to learn about wine and his generosity in helping others. He died in 2019. The scholarships were awarded to members of groups that are underrepresented in wine circles, and the grants went to organisations that work to address this issue.

St Emilion fallout continues

The future of the St Emilion classification looks shakier than ever after the prestigious Château Angelus announced that it was withdrawing from the list. The move comes on the heels of legal action and heavy criticism relating to the classification. Angelus issued a press release stating that it believed the classification has become ‘a vehicle for antagonism and instability’. Angelus, which is now run by the eighth generation of its founding family, said that it is committed to continuing to strive for excellence in creating its wines.

Burgundy volumes down but quality rises

Burgundy wine producers have revealed that as much as 50% of the region’s harvest was lost as a result of severe frost in spring together with the cold, wet growing season. In the Côte de Beaune, the white grape yield was down 80%. However, producers remain confident that the grapes they did manage to save will produce high quality wine, and prices are likely to rise. The blame for the difficulties has been attributed to changing climatic conditions, with warm winters leading to buds appearing prematurely then being damaged when frost hits in the spring. Persistent rain in late June and early July also contributed to the problems in 2021.

Catalan certification for skin contact wines

An interesting development in Catalan winemaking is recognition for what are known as vins brisats. This refers to the process of making wine using skin contact, which is the process behind amber and orange wines. This style has a long history in Catalonia but has fallen out of favour over recent years and is a small part of modern production. However, some makers are reintroducing skin contact and the best of these wines will be able to apply for an official certification that confirms their quality.

Flat bottles bring environmental boost

Replacing glass bottles is often cited as an essential part of the wine industry working to support the environment. The latest to wade into the argument is Santiago Navarro CEO, co-founder and entrepreneur of Garçon Wines. He wants to replace traditional glass with flat bottles made by his company. His invention is smaller and lighter than its glass counterpart but still holds the same volume of wine and is completely recyclable. His flat creation reduces the amount of packaging and saves space during transportation.

Red wine helps battle Covid

An article in the Mail on Sunday suggested that red wine can help to ward off coronavirus. Citing figures from UK Biobank, which were analysed at China’s Shenzhen Kangning Hospital, the piece suggested that anyone drinking more than five glasses in a week would reduce the risk of testing positive for Covid by up to 17%, compared to non-drinkers. Experts believe this is due to red wine’s high levels of polyphenols, which include tannin. The risk is also reduced for white wine drinkers, who consume up to four glasses a week, although this group only has an 8% lower probability of catching Covid.