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A new solidarity wine for Ukraine and some (good) news about the 2022 harvests
Year 12, No. 10
The news is definitely not taking any time off these days and in mixed in with the midterm elections in the United States, good news came from Ukraine in that the Russians have retreated from Kherson and the right bank of the Dnipro River.
The war is clearly not over and, after a small pause, the Russians lit into Ukraine with a new volley of missiles that continue to cripple their civilian infrastructure.
"Miquel, we've seen this on the news. It's horrible. What does it have to do with wine?"
I wanted to give some context as the Ukrainians are facing a terrible winter and we in countries not being invaded by Russia need to give whatever direct humanitarian assistance we can to help them survive this.
As my wife and I had friends from the Mariupol/Kherson region visiting us in 2019 who participated in a small microvinification wine I was making from Grenache in Priorat, I've decided to release all the bottles for sale with 100% of the money going to an organization in this southern region called, Rebel Volunteers. They've been providing humanitarian aid to locals as well as well as non-weapon support to the military such as shoes and clothing.
You can read the entire press release for this wine named, "Tocat per l'Est" on the Quel Celler website. Even if you can't contribute by purchasing this solidarity wine, I beg of you to contribute to other initiatives as people are lacking everything in these regions from glass for their windows to heating to running water and temperatures have just started dropping below zero Celsius...
IN THE NEWS
On a positive, wine-related note for Ukraine, they've just re-joined (*) the OIV (International Wine Organization). While this may seem like something trivial when in the middle of a war, it's crucial to keep pushing forward to a future when there is no longer this horrible, illegal war.
Also in the news, the DOP Cebreros to the west of Madrid has had its largest harvest to date showing that they're very much not a region in decline anymore--welcome news to all of us who love their Grenache wines.
Actually, despite it not being a bumper crop across all of Spain, many regions are reporting higher harvests this year including: DO Cariñena in Aragón up 9%, DO Rías Baixas in Galicia with its third-largest harvest in history, and then DO Gran Canaria which pulled in a whopping 67% more than 2021. Yowzas.
The 2022 harvest in Spain appears to not have been the blowout that it could have been. Luck of course, is not on our side in this rapidly-changing climate.
And it seems it just wouldn't be a proper summary of wine news without mentioning that there's been a massive wine labeling fraud (*) with Bordeaux wines, yet again.
For something of a change of pace, we go up to Northern Italy and the little pocket of Oltrepò Pavese in the deep southwest of Lombardia. My brand-new report breaks down this region and its rather complicated sub-DOCS as well as having an accompanying tasting report of nearly 100 wines.
AND NOW THIS
There are some excellent articles forthcoming on wines from the Croatian coast that I'm excited to share in the near future, but in the meantime, read about a cross-vinous exchange involving some top-tiered wines from Priorat.
Do you know Garnatxa Peluda?
I would be shocked if you did as it's a lesser-known variant of red Grenache slowly making its way back into the spotlight after being simply another part of the blends for decades. Here I take a look at a brand-new wine from the very small DO of Alella just north of Barcelona as well as the progress being made with the grape and its overall tasting profile.
Lastly, do you like "the best" wines from a region? Don't we all!
I've started up a new series on the site called, "Top Shelf" and its inaugural article is about some very, very choice wines from DO Montsant that you should really get to know.
Drink well, be well.
(*) articles are free to read