Fine wine news roundup: 6-12 February
Perrier-Jouet teams up with Christie’s for global collaboration
Champagne house Perrier-Jouet and auction house Christie’s have announced a two-year partnership that encompass bespoke experiences for Christie’s clients, based on the firms’ shared passion for wine and art.
The collaboration will give Christie’s collectors the opportunity to discover Maison Belle Epoque, the residence of the Champagne house’s founding family, which is home to one of the largest private collection of Art Nouveau in Europe. There will also be an auction showcasing ‘exceptional’ Champagnes from the house and VIP experiences from Perrier-Jouet at Christie’s London headquarters in June 2021.
“Our two houses are united by a long-standing shared history. In 1888, Christie’s offered the Perrier-Jouet 1874 vintage, which at the time established the record for the most expensive Champagne ever sold at auction,” said Alexander Staartjes, Perrier-Jouet’s prestige director.
“Today we are proud to be renewing our ties with Christie’s to once again bring the Perrier-Jouet’s ‘Art of Vintage’ to life for its clients,” he added.
Ornellaia announces new Napa venture
Tuscan estate Ornellaia is launching a new venture in California in partnership with Dalla Valle Vineyards.
In a joint statement, the estates said: “Dalla Valle and Ornellaia’s friendship and shared passion for great terroir has propelled us on a new journey to create a unique and distinctive wine that balances the expressiveness of Napa with a decidedly Italian approach to elegance.”
The two estates have been quietly involved in this project for several years and have made four vintages together up to this point, but have not released them. The first release from the label, named ‘DVO’ will be the 2018, due for release in October. It’s an almost 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, with a little Cabernet Franc.
There are roughly 400 9L cases of the 2018 available and both Ornellaia and Dalla Valle have said the 2017 (of which only 200 cases are available) will probably be released at some point.
Growing appetite for organic wine
Organic wine is becoming increasingly popular with British drinkers, according to new data from Nielsen.
While overall organic produce saw 12.5% sales growth for the 12 month period ending 2 January 2021, sales of organic wine, beers and spirits grew 32.9%. According to the report, commissioned by the Soil Association, wine in particular continues to go “from strength to strength” following last year’s report, where it was identified as a ‘big category winner’.
“Organic wine has seen another year of significant growth at almost double that of non-organic during 2020. With a wider range of organic drinks available on supermarket shelves and online, shoppers are making informed choices that will benefit the planet and nature,” said Finn Cottle, trade consultant, Soil Association Certification.
According to Cottle, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has driven a change in mindset for many wine consumers. “The unprecedented crisis of 2020 has brought immense challenges across the entire food supply chain – not least for organic businesses. So, it’s significant that in times of crisis, people are turning to organic products for the assurance of transparency, integrity and quality they provide,” he said.
Chateau Fleur Cardinale begins organic conversion
And on the subject of organic wine, Saint Emilion Grand Cru Chateau Fleur Cardinale has announced it has begun its conversion to organic conversion, which is due to be completed by 2024.
Owners Caroline and Ludovic Decoster said it was the obvious next move after a decade of “painstaking” work to improve the vineyard’s growing practices and reduce its environmental impact. According to the couple their efforts so far have bought them “great personal satisfaction” as well as improved wines.
The couple said: “Now that our vineyard has been completely restructured, we have every confidence in the success of this conversion to organic farming, which will be the next logical step following on from everything that we have undertaken at Château Fleur Cardinale and Château Croix Cardinale in terms of viticultural sustainability.”
With a conversion period of three years, it is hoped by 2024 that the entirety of the vineyards and both red and white varieties will be fully certified.
China’s largest winery to open a wine theme park
China’s oldest and largest winery, Changyu, has announced plans to open a wine theme park in Shanghai later this year.
The site will be split into two areas – one focusing on immersive experiences, the other on food and wine pairing. The experience area will display seasoned oak barrels from Changyu’s 13 wineries around the world, and will use innovative technology to communicate wine varieties, terroir and winemaking knowledge to visitors.
Meanwhile, an extensive dining area will serve up a variety of food and wine pairings, demonstrating the versatility of Changyu’s wines.
Final designs for the venue – spanning a round 7,000 square metres – are still under development, but it’s expected to open its doors for the first time at the end of August.