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Displaying items by tag: Climate change

Tuesday, 06 September 2022 11:57

Meeting of the Minds: Climate Change

No topic matters more for the future of wine than climate change.  Will the world’s great wine terroirs be lost?  Can we save them -- and mitigate the effects of climate change -- by intervention, irrigation and regenerative farming?  Is it time for all wine regions to explore alternative varieties?  Will wine-growing in general move up-latitude or up-altitude?  Is the era of glass bottles ending?  Listen to and engage with our panel as they tackle these and other questions in our Meeting of the Minds – Climate Change webinar on Tuesday September 6th

Andrew Jefford, WSG's Academic Advisor will be joined by …

Michelle Bouffard, formerly a classical trumpet player, has worked in wine for the last 20 years as sommelier, educator, journalist and broadcaster.  In recent years she has specialised in questions of climate change in the wine world, having founded the Tasting Climate Change symposium in 2017.

Dr Greg Jones, world-renowned atmospheric scientist and wine climatologist, formerly worked at the Universities of Virginia, Southern Oregon and Linfield and is now CEO of Abacela Vineyards and Winery in the Southern Oregon region of Umpqua Valley, originally founded by his parents Hilda and Earl Jones.

Josep Maria Ribas Portella studied engineering and sustainable energy systems in Catalonia and Sweden, and is now Director of Climate Change for Familia Torres.  His role there involves both climate change mitigation and adaptation for the company as well as raising awareness and fostering collaboration with partner businesses both inside and outside the wine sector.

Photo: Vineyard Fire, Victoria, Australia. Credit: Tom Carson

 

Published in Viticulture
Wednesday, 19 January 2022 12:52

Sustainable Bordeaux with Romana Echensperger, MW

The city of Bordeaux has recently been governed by a green mayor, more than 14,000 hectares of vineyards are certified organic or are being converted, and biodynamics is experiencing great popularity. In the Gironde region, too, it has been realized, not least after various pesticide scandals, that neither people nor the environment can be poisoned for a luxury product like wine. In this webinar, we want to get to the bottom of the efforts for more sustainability in Bordeaux. We want to look at what the big challenges facing the region are and what solutions exist. We will also present different winemakers and their ideas for a sustainable future. 

Presenter: Romana Echensperger, MW

Romana Echensperger MW worked for many years as head sommelier in various top restaurants. Among other things, she was responsible for a 1000-item wine list with exclusively German wines at Berlin's Quadriga restaurant. In 2005, she was voted best sommelière in Berlin. In addition, she was head sommelier at the Vendôme restaurant near Cologne, which is awarded with 3 stars in the Michelin Guide. Since 2015 she can call herself a “Master of Wine”. Today she works independently as a consultant, journalist and in education.

Recently her comprensive book about biodynamic top winemakers in German-speaking countries was published.

Published in Bordeaux wines

Have you ever tasted a Souvignier Gris, a Solaris or a Bronner? What about Regent, Cabernet Cortis or Rösler? These are just some of the disease-resistant varieties that have been bred over the last few decades from complex crossings of vitis vinifera cultivars with American sub-species such as vitis labrusca, vitis riparia or vitis rupestris.

What started as a crude exercise in creating new plant material in the wake of the turn-of-the-century phylloxera catastrophe has become a cutting-edge niche in wine production. Varieties are being developed that have resistance to cold, drought, or to common vine ailments such as downy mildew and botrytis. This has opened the door to a form of viticulture that requires almost no inputs apart from pruning.

Should we call these varieties hybrids or PIWIs or something else? And how is a hybrid different to a crossing or a “direct producer”? Does laboratory crossing of grape varieties overlap with gene-splicing, CRISPR9 or GMOs? Where are the boundary lines in these techniques and what do they mean for viticulture and wine in general?

We’ll talk about why winemakers from France, Austria, the Netherlands, Italy and beyond are planting hybrids – some are even specialising in them, mainly or even exclusively. Many see them as an essential development in the quest for more sustainable viticulture, and as a potential solution to the dangers posed by climate change.

What do they taste like and why has the wine industry’s reaction to hybrids sometimes been rather disparaging? We’ll take a look at some of the most promising varieties, and some of the winemakers who are achieving the best results.

Hybrids might just be the future in wine. So join me for this session if you want to stay ahead of the curve!

Presenter: Simon J Woolf

Simon J Woolf is an award-winning English author and wine writer, currently based in The Netherlands.

An acknowledged expect on the developing niche of natural wine, he's written for Decanter magazine, Meininger’s Wine Business International, World of Fine Wine and Noble Rot, and many other publications. Simon is the editor of The Morning Claret, an online wine magazine which specialises in natural, biodynamic, organic and orange wine.

Simon's first book "Amber Revolution - How the world learned to love orange wine" was published in 2018, and won the Roederer Wine book of the year award in 2019. Simon has also won numerous awards for his magazine features and online columns.

Simon travels regularly to countries such as Georgia, Slovenia, Italy and Portugal, where he continues to research the stories and traditions behind artisan winemaking. His second book, Foot Trodden, a collaboration with photographer and wine communicator Ryan Opaz, was published in October 2021. It is described as a journey deep into the soul of Portuguese wine.

Simon is also active as a presenter, editor, wine judge and translator.

WSG members still enjoy a discount on Simon's book "Food Trodden" ! Get your discount HERE

Published in Grape Varieties

Thirty years ago, Nicolás Catena pioneered high altitude viticulture in Argentina.  While searching for elegance and concentration, the Catena family found a strategy that today can be used for combatting climate change: "go higher". Malbec, Argentina’s leading red varietal was in decline and being pulled out.  Today, high altitude Malbec has led to the rebirth of Argentine wine on the world stage.  Ungrafted vines and ancient pre-phylloxeric vine selections have something to do with this wine revolution.  Join us to learn about how the Catena Institute of Wine uses science to preserve the culture and nature behind wine.

PRESENTER: DR LAURA CATENA

Dr. Laura Catena is a Harvard and Stanford trained biologist and physician, founder of the Catena Institute of Wine in Argentina, and managing director of Bodega Catena Zapata (Est. 1902). Since 1995, the Catena Institute has helped to elevate the Malbec varietal and Argentine wine as a whole. Under Laura’s leadership, Bodega Catena Zapata has earned six 100-point wine ratings and was voted most awarded world winery by VIVINO WINE STYLE AWARDS.  Laura is author of three books, “Vino Argentino,” “Gold in the Vineyards” and the upcoming “Malbec mon amour.” She lives with her husband and three children between Mendoza, Argentina, and San Francisco, California, where she volunteers as a street physician with the Department of Public Health.

Published in Viticulture

Rick's Pick: University of Tarragona instructor and winemaker, Antoni Sanchez-Ortiz focuses on climate change and how viticulture must adapt in Spain’s DOQ Priorat region.

The mesoclimate determines climatic differences due to the topography of the Priorat and that give rise to local modifications or changes that can affect to more or less ample extensions. Factors that condition them include distance to the sea, altitude, orientation, exposure, and latitude. Between nearby municipalities, noticeable differences in temperature, precipitation, insolation and thermal amplitude can be seen, which affect the processes of growth, bud breaking, fruit formation, ripening and, ultimately, the composition of grapes. The prediction of an interval of concentrations of color and tannins would be of utmost importance to define qualities and styles of wine, given the great inter-parcel variability observed in plots of Grenache and Carignan vines within the Priorat DOQ.

Presenter:  Antoni Sánchez-Ortiz

Here is his bio, as narrated by Antoni: 

I was born in December 4th, 1978 into a family with few financial resources in a small valley in the Spain’s Pyrenees. Although my parents never had the chance to go to school, I had some talent to study science and so continued my studies until college. After five years in college, I majored in analytical chemistry and more particularly to assess the degree of chemistry in the University of Barcelona. After I worked in corrosion of automobile engines and intercoolers using the Swaat Tecnique, at Frape Behr. Quickly I moved into the development of a GC-MS (gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy) methods to determinate fatty acid composition from raw materials (mainly palm and coconut oil), where I worked at Henkel Düsseldorf plant in Germany for one year after obtaining a scholarship.

It was there almost by chance where I took a course of wine tasting and there began my interest in the discovery of quality wines. Consequently I fell in love with fine wines. In the following years, after studying enology within the University Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona (Spain) and the University Victor Segalen in Bordeaux. I  graduated as a winemaker at 23 years of age. For 18 years now I have worked full time within the demanding context of producing world-class wines, both as a winemaker and as a viticulturist in the renowned appellation of Priorat,Spain. For many years I have also worked closely with the renowned French consulting enologist Claude Gross, and have travelled to California to study the Pinot Noir blending techniques of Sea Smoke Cellars, the acclaimed Pinot Noir producer near Santa Barbara, California.  I like obtaining outstanding fine wines with a unique personality, making a superb red wine in the Priorat wine growing region, as an expression of varietal and site showcases the best which region’s true native character. Currently, with the consulting company I am also committed to producing one of the high-end, handmade organic olive oil in Spain’s Pyrennees. My conviction that great wine results from an intimate knowledge of the land arises from additional experience in vineyard management and climate warming studies as a PhD candidate with the Viticulture Department at the Faculty of Enology in Tarragona. 

Published in Spanish Wine

Rick's Pick: Miguel Torres discusses the winery's role in the fight against climate change discussion as well as the recovery and rediscovery of Spain’s lost indigenous grapes.

Over thirty years ago, Familia Torres embarked on an exciting project close to its heart: the recuperation of ancestral varieties which were believed extinct after the devastating phylloxera plague of the late 19th century. The idea was to recover the winemaking heritage of Catalonia, and thanks to the efforts of the family's fifth generation, the project is going stronger than ever! More than 50 varieties have been rediscovered so far, a few of which are very interesting from a winemaking perspective.

Miguel Torres, who is now heading these efforts, will share more about this amazing project and how it is also making a positive impact on climate change.

PRESENTER: MIGUEL TORRES

Miguel Torres Maczassek is fifth-generation and has been the General Manager of Familia Torres since 2012. Miguel started as Manager of the Jean Leon winery (Penedès), later at Familia Torres he oversaw the new ventures in Priorat, Ribera del Duero, Rioja, Rueda and Rias Baixas and worked as General Manager of Miguel Torres Chile. Today, his primary focus is the production of wines from unique vineyards and historical estates, climate change and the recovery of ancestral varieties.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SPANISH WINES:

Published in Spanish Wine
Wednesday, 21 November 2012 05:00

Climate Change and Wine with Roger Bohmrich MW

Significant changes in global climate may be the most consequential issue for human beings.

Climate change refers not simply to rising temperatures but to a highly complex phenomenon whose pathway and effects are difficult to project. Wine provides an ideal laboratory for the study of evolving climatic patterns since there is a potential impact on three levels: the plant, fruit and finished beverage.

Changes in temperatures in the 20th century have been recorded in numerous countries and regions, and these data and findings are discussed.

The existing scientific evidence is examined through the lens of viticulture. Implications for the suitability of cultivars to specific regions are assessed, together with the consequences for prevailing practices and wine taste profiles.

The impact to date is seen to be largely benign in marginal areas whereas the long-term threats are judged to be disruptive to varying degrees. Future climate-related changes, if severe, could force a restructuring of viticulture in affected regions. 

 

Published in Viticulture

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