French regions compete to replace Paris as wine ‘capital’

Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, and Rome have all been making their pitches to be the new home of the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) after it announced they were leaving their Paris offices.

The OIV plans to settle into its new headquarters by 2024.

The OIV is one of the world’s most prominent wine organizations and has 48 member states, including most major wine-producing countries, except the US and China. It produces annual reports on global wine production and consumption.

Such an international scope gained the OIV the monicker “UN of wine” and its headquarters as “wine’s world capital.”

Mayor François Rebsamen of Dijon, where the OIV offices would be located if Burgundy gains the nod, revealed they have solid funding brought by the region’s support.

The decision will be finalized with a vote of all of the member countries.

However, it’s France who would choose which of its cities to propose for OIV approval.

Word has gotten out that the French government is leaning toward recommending Dijon.

A French government proposal for the location is expected to be made at the next OIV General Assembly on July 12, a spokesperson said.

The OIV member states are given a reflection period and may vote in October 2021.

Source: Econo Times

U.S. Imports Of French Wine And Spirits Soar

After French drinks export shipments to the U.S. dropped significantly in 2020 due to tariffs—whose five-year suspension was announced this past Tuesday—exports have been rebounding strongly in the first four months of 2021. In this calendar year through April, U.S. imports of wine and spirits from France leapt 25% and 13% in volume terms respectively, according to French government agency BusinessFrance. French beer and cider also registered gains during the period.

Provence is now the single-largest region among French wines exported to the U.S. and increased 15% through April in volume terms, driven by ongoing growth for rosé (+17.5%). But the fastest-growing wine region is the Languedoc, which soared 86% year-to-date. Gains were recorded nearly across all segments as vermouth exports to the U.S. rose 41% year-to-date while Champagne surged 48%. Veuve Clicquot and Moët & Chandon together comprise over two-thirds of the Champagne market in the U.S.—according to Impact Databank—and bucked the trend last year by registering volume gains during the pandemic.

With the exception of vodka (-37% year-to-date), imports of French spirits also recorded impressive increases through April. French liqueurs soared 47% in volume terms, while the largest segment, Cognac, rose 49%. After crossing the 5-million-case mark last year, Hennessy Cognac became one of the 10 largest-selling spirits overall in the U.S. market for the first time. Hennessy and Rémy Martin, which is also growing strongly, comprise well over three-quarters of the Cognac market in the U.S., according to Impact Databank.—Juan Banaag

Source: Shanken News Daily: Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business

French winemakers set candles and straw ablaze to save vines from frost

fires at vineyards

French winemakers have lit candles and burned bales of straw to try to protect their vineyards from sharp spring frosts, with the forecast of more cold nights this week raising fears of serious damage and lost production.

Temperatures plunged as low as -5°C overnight in wine regions including Chablis, in Burgundy, and Bordeaux, which could hurt shoots already well-developed because of earlier mild weather.

Outside Chablis, known around the world for its fruity, acidic white wine, a deep orange glow from tens of thousands of candles hung over the rolling vineyards in the early hours.

Winemaker Laurent Pinson said he had put between 300 and 600 large candles – burning cans of paraffin – across many of his 14 hectares of vines.

“The harvest is at stake over a few nights – one, two or three nights – and if we have no harvest, that means no sales, no wine for consumers,” Pinson told Reuters. [ . . . ]

Continue at source: French winemakers set candles and straw ablaze to save vines from frost | Reuters

This extraordinary $16 French rosé proves that 2020 was a good year for pink

Wines

RECOMMENDED | Also, another exceptional French rosé, a Loire white, and two juicy reds from Chile and South Africa to savor.

April 2, 2021 at 12:00 p.m.

Spring is here, and the weather is warming, if inconsistently. Let’s welcome rosé season. And here’s some great news: From my initial tastings of 2020 French rosés, the vintage was outstanding. Here are two examples that could almost convince me that I don’t need any others for the summer, they are so good. A caveat though: Shipping woes from the pandemic — even before the Suez Canal incident — have slowed the arrival of wines from Europe and elsewhere. Luckily, there are plenty of this week’s recommendations in stock, including an amazing Muscadet from France’s Loire Valley and two juicy, spicy reds from Chile and South Africa.

GREAT VALUE

Domaine des Herbauges Eléon’Or Rosé 2020

(Extraordinary/Sublime)

Loire Valley, France, $16

One of my favorite activities of spring is tasting through the new crop of rosés in anticipation of dinners on the patio or cool refreshment after a trail hike. This beauty suggests the 2020 rosés from France will make our summer of 2021 especially delicious. The blend is grolleau noir (an obscure Loire grape), gamay and merlot. The color is a bright pale pink that somehow seems to refract light into flavors of strawberries, cherries and candied raspberries. Stock up on this, even as you explore others. Alcohol by volume: 12 percent

Continue reading “This extraordinary $16 French rosé proves that 2020 was a good year for pink”

France’s lockdown vice? Cheese

French households feasted on cheese last year as they turned to home cooking and sought gastronomic comfort during coronavirus lockdowns that shuttered the restaurant trade.

The amount of cheese purchased by French shoppers for at-home consumption increased by more than 8% in 2020, compared with just 2% the previous year, according to figures from farming agency FranceAgriMer and market data firm Kantar.

That was part of a shift in food consumption in many countries last year as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, with households initially bulk buying staples like pasta and flour, and later settling into home-eating habits with extra purchases of products like butter.

In France, mozzarella saw the steepest rise in demand among major cheese categories, with a 21% volume jump, followed by a 12% increase for raclette – a winter favourite eaten melted with potatoes and cured meats. Continue reading “France’s lockdown vice? Cheese”

France: Exports Of Wines And Spirits Fell 13.9% In 2020

The global pandemic and a trade war with the U.S. delivered a one-two punch to France’s wine and spirits industry in 2020. According to the Federation of Wine and Spirits Exporters (FEVS), exports fell 13.9% last year as the industry hopes a new presidential administration will deliver some relief [ . . . ]

Continue at: France: Exports Of Wines And Spirits Fell 13.9% In 2020