Fame for wines of Spain? The death of Wine Twitter?
Year 13, No. 02
When up in the Languedoc region of Southern France last week, I talked to an Englishman who's known for crafting some head-turning wines like his very expressive 100% Cinsault. As we were chatted and looked at the new food offering he was building next to the cellar (as a table d'hôtes) he said, "This is my exit plan, really."
I was shocked as while he only produces 15,000 bottles of wine a year, they are quite well known and he has no problem selling them. He said the problem is that he believes there's no future for viticulture due to climate change. Our winters in Europe aren't cold enough or for long enough to kill off various pests in the vineyards or to allow the vines to enter full dormancy.
As if to hurl a bit of spite at him, Mother Nature decided to give us a mighty hit of sub zero winter this week that we'd been waiting for. While the low has dropped to -8C (17F) at night with a threat of snow, it's perhaps not stunning for some, but definitely cold when living in the Mediterranean.
This trip to France was one that gave me a good deal of food (pun intended) for thought which I'll write up in a new report coming out in a few days.
"Thinking time" is something that I've had a wealth of recently what with the lengthy holiday periods in Spain only truly coming to an end in the middle of January this year. But one of the things that's really nagged at me for some time is, why aren't the wines of Spain more renown (*)?
In 2021, Spain produced the most wine of any country in the world. An impressive statistic, but despite this wealth of wine, why are the top regions of the country rarely heralded for the fine wines they make? In researching and discussing this issue widely, it would seem that it's a matter of outdated and incomplete educational programs and materials in English out there, with a healthy dose of prejudices and biases tossed into the mix. There are random splashes of other things which you might find interesting to discuss in what became a very animated comments section after the article.
Also, I take a look at the "death" of Wine Twitter (*) following Sir Musker's antics after acquiring the platform. Maybe you don't know this segment of Twitter? It's not an official place or anything and it's a strange corner of a strange social media. But with Twitter in a constant state of near-implosion one might think it will just vanish into the ether, or not.
IN THE NEWS
There are a great many regions in Spain that remain a touch, well, "hidden". I had the opportunity to taste and chat with some folks in DO Almansa which was an interesting taste journey.
And just as a leopard can't change its spots, so too can't the quite the corrupt Reserva de la Tierra company simply repaint its façade (*) and thinks it can keep going about its business and continue selling cheap wine in supermarkets.
AND NOW THIS
Feel like drinking an excellent Priorat wine? I know I do. If there's anything the world can't get enough of, it's great new projects in Penedès making new wines. And maybe you've not had anything from Saint Chinian, France in awhile? That should change.
Drink well, be well.
(*) articles are free to read