Marselan started its commercial journey a mere thirty years ago, as an unknown cross useful in the fight against mildew. It has since won medals and trophies for Chinese wines and has been acclaimed as the new Chinese variety.
However, the variety is fast spreading around the world with producers needing to learn how the variety expresses itself in new terroirs and with different winemaking techniques. With such a short history, there is little inherited knowledge as to how this variety behaves and ages. With such diversity in style and quality, it is also a difficult variety to market, with suspicion in more conservative markets over its cross status.
We will be looking at examples from France, Spain, Italy, Bulgaria, Romania, Israel, Lebanon, Uruguay and China to see what the potential is and where it is going.
Elizabeth Gabay has been in the wine trade for thirty years, and an MW since 1998. She has lived in South-East France since 2002. Elizabeth specialises in the wines of southern France and Central Europe with a particular interest in viticulture, climate change, winemaking and non-mainstream varieties. International judge and speaker, she writes for magazines such as Decanter, Meininger, The Drinks Business, The Buyer, Sevenfifty and GuildSomm. Author of "Rosé: Understanding the Pink Wine Revolution" (2018) and a new e-guide "The Buyer's Guide to the Rosés of Southern France" (2021).
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.
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 determine 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.
Do you prefer Rieslings that are floral or fruity? Or do you appreciate an Old World style of Riesling with a petrol character?
Regardless of your preference, the characteristics of the wines you enjoy come from the vineyard. Climate, site, and vineyard management practices directly impact the production of specific flavors and aromas in wine grapes.
In this session you will learn how the unique Riesling qualities you value are produced in the vineyard and how climatic variation impacts those traits.
Justine Vanden Heuvel is an Associate Professor in Cornell Universitys School of Integrative Plant Science. She is actively involved in both research and teaching. She co-teaches the popular Wines & Vines class at Cornell, as well as more advanced courses including Principles and Practices of Growing Grapes and Making Wines.
Dr. Vanden Heuvels research focuses on optimizing flavors and aromas in wine grapes, and improving both the environmental and economic sustainability of wine grape production systems in cool climates. In response to the broad needs of the grape and wine industry, her program has established a strong focus on multi-disciplinary and collaborative approaches.
Dr. Vanden Heuvel is widely published in the field, with some of her most recent work appearing in the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, HortTechnology and the Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research. She is currently writing a textbook intended for college-level introductory courses in Viticulture and Enology.
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