Future Wine: Vintages Will Be More Important Than Ever

* News report: Extreme weather in the Champagne appellation of France caused a 60% drop in the wine grape crop for 2021. It’s the smallest harvest in four decades.

* News report: The overall crop in France fell by 29%. That’s 25% lower than the average for the past five years, and the smallest on record.

* News report: Countless olive trees in Italy’s Puglia region have fallen victim to the Xylella fastidiosa bacteria.

We could go on, but the purpose of citing these news reports is to point out that wine grapes, olives and other crops closely associated with them do not exist (or grow) in a vacuum. Without the cooperation of Mother Nature, first and foremost, they can be adversely impacted, and sometimes severely.

What does this mean for wine lovers and olive oil aficionados?

Well, at least for 2021, you can expect to have less Champagne and less table wine available from France, and less olive oil available from Italy. By extension, because of the law of supply and demand, you can expect to see higher prices on those products.

What to do? It would be a good idea to start strategizing now so you don’t find yourself making purchases when the prices are at their highest.

Rather than waiting for the release of 2021 vintage wines, start stocking up on the 2020, 2019 and 2018 vintages, as they become available. If you buy just a little more from each of those years, you’ll fill in gaps that the 2021 shortages could cause.

We live in a time when there are no guarantees when it comes to agricultural products — and make no mistake, wine is an agricultural product. Extreme weather, record-setting fires and other factors have seemingly eliminated the concept of a “typical” harvest season, prompting grape growers and winemakers to hold their collective breaths until all the grapes have been brought in each year.

While many wineries have established “house styles” for their various bottlings, it’s possible that it will be more difficult for those styles to be maintained given the changes in weather patterns and other factors.

More than ever, Vinesse will provide a critical service in assessing each new vintage and each new wine, separating the best from the rest for wine lovers to enjoy.

* News report: Extreme weather in the Champagne appellation of France caused a 60% drop in the wine grape crop for 2021. It’s the smallest harvest in four decades.

* News report: The overall crop in France fell by 29%. That’s 25% lower than the average for the past five years, and the smallest on record.

* News report: Countless olive trees in Italy’s Puglia region have fallen victim to the Xylella fastidiosa bacteria.

We could go on, but the purpose of citing these news reports is to point out that wine grapes, olives and other crops closely associated with them do not exist (or grow) in a vacuum. Without the cooperation of Mother Nature, first and foremost, they can be adversely impacted, and sometimes severely.

What does this mean for wine lovers and olive oil aficionados?

Well, at least for 2021, you can expect to have less Champagne and less table wine available from France, and less olive oil available from Italy. By extension, because of the law of supply and demand, you can expect to see higher prices on those products.

What to do? It would be a good idea to start strategizing now so you don’t find yourself making purchases when the prices are at their highest.

Rather than waiting for the release of 2021 vintage wines, start stocking up on the 2020, 2019 and 2018 vintages, as they become available. If you buy just a little more from each of those years, you’ll fill in gaps that the 2021 shortages could cause.

We live in a time when there are no guarantees when it comes to agricultural products — and make no mistake, wine is an agricultural product. Extreme weather, record-setting fires and other factors have seemingly eliminated the concept of a “typical” harvest season, prompting grape growers and winemakers to hold their collective breaths until all the grapes have been brought in each year.

While many wineries have established “house styles” for their various bottlings, it’s possible that it will be more difficult for those styles to be maintained given the changes in weather patterns and other factors.

More than ever, Vinesse will provide a critical service in assessing each new vintage and each new wine, separating the best from the rest for wine lovers to enjoy.

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Posted in Editor's Journal, Wine and the Environment

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