Key figures for the Bourgogne winegrowing region

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An article from Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB)
http://www.bourgogne-wines.com/news/latest-news/key-figures-for-the-bourgogne-winegrowing-region,2536,10366.html?&args=Y29tcF9pZD0xODY3JmFjdGlvbj12aWV3RGV0YWlsJmlkPTg4Jnw%3D

Burgundy 2017 : an early vintage ?

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No two years are the same in the Bourgogne winegrowing region. After fast flowering, which was over by mid-June, even in those areas that tend to tardiness, any fears about springtime frosts were soon a distant memory. Now hopes are high for a fabulous harvest.
Even the Chablis region, which suffered the effects of frost at the end of April, is in a much better place than it was at this time in 2016.
Flowering is finished across the Bourgogne region, with only a few days required for the vines to move from first flowers to producing fruit.
With favorable weather conditions, sunshine and heat alternating with short spring showers, the vines were left to follow their growth cycle at a good pace, without hindrance.
On average, flowering reached mid-point by the first week in June. On the Côte de Beaune, flowering started on 31 May for the Chardonnay and 1 June for the Pinot Noir, soon followed by all other regions. The further north the vines, the earlier they flowered, compared to the average for the period 1994-2016.
In the Mâconnais, flowering mid-point was reached between 3-5 days earlier, while in the
Grand Auxerrois and Chablis, it was eight days.
The 2017 vintage is therefore gradually emerging as an early one. It is ranked among the top three earliest years on the Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits, similar to the 2009 vintage. The nascent grapes are already between 3-5mm across and the bunches should be closed by early July if the weather continues to be fine.
With optimum weather conditions keeping the grapes healthy, the Bourgogne winegrowing region is thus heading for a lovely harvest. In Chablis, things are more mixed. Although globally, things are looking promising, there are a few areas where the grapes are lacking, mainly in the Petit Chablis appellation, and on a few plots of Chablis.
But despite the reigning optimism, it is preferable to be prudent until harvesting is complete, with picking predicted to start in early September.

An article from Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB)
http://www.bourgogne-wines.com/news/latest-news/2017-an-early-vintage,2536,10366.html?&args=Y29tcF9pZD0xODY3JmFjdGlvbj12aWV3RGV0YWlsJmlkPTE1OCZ8

HomeWine News ‘Lucifer heatwave’ kick-starts early Franciacorta harvest

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Hot weather and drought mean that some sparkling wine producers in northern Italy have started harvesting grapes 12 days earlier than normal.
Producers of Italian sparkling wine Franciacorta, in Lombardy, east of Milan, officially began their 2017 wine harvest on 3 August.
Picking began as the so-called ‘Lucifer heatwave’ became the latest spate of hot weather to arrive in parts of Europe this summer; leading to health warnings for citizens and problems for public services in several countries.
In the vineyards, many areas have reported that vines are ahead of schedule in 2017.
Franciacorta producers do not normally start harvest until after ‘Ferragosto’, a national bank holiday, which falls on 15 August.
‘The extremely high temperatures we’ve been having lately made us start the harvest,’ Mauro Piliu, export director of Castello di Gussago, told Decanter.com.
The estate was harvesting Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
The official regulations of the region dictate that the grape harvest must not begin before 1 August. ‘It seems that recently we’ve been getting closer and closer to that date,’ said Piliu.
It’s been a year of extremes in many of Europe’s vineyards.
Earlier in the year, some areas of Italy, Spain and France experienced early blossom followed by devastating frosts, while others were affected by hailstorms.
Franciacorta is expected to see overall yields down by 30% due to earlier frosts, according to the region’s wine council.
Piliu estimated that, due to the weather conditions, the 2017 production of Castello di Gussago will be 10 percent lower than last year.
Italy’s Coldiretti agricultural lobby said it expected wine production across the country to be 10 percent to 15 percent lower than in 2016.

An article from Decanter by Andrzej Binkiewicz
http://www.decanter.com/wine-news/lucifer-heatwave-franciacorta-harvest-374030-374030/

The billionaire André Hoffmann buys Jayer-Gilles estate in Burgundy (in French)

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Encore un nom de la Bourgogne viticole racheté par un étranger. Héritier du laboratoire pharmaceutique suisse Hoffmann-La-Roche, André Hoffmann a acquis ce mois d’août la majorité du domaine bourguignon Jayer-Gilles.
André Hoffmann se présente comme un amoureux de la Bourgogne et de ses vins. Familier du sud de la France, le Suisse, vice-président du groupe pharmaceutique familial Hoffmann-La-Roche, a réalisé son rêve de gosse en acquérant un domaine viticole bourguignon.
Son béguin s’est porté sur le domaine Jayer-Gilles, une maison “synonyme d’une vinification rigoureuse, de vins de grande tenue”, juge-t-il au lendemain de la vente.
La communauté des amateurs et les lecteurs de La RVF se souviennent que ce domaine d’une dizaine d’hectares situé à Magny-lès-Villers, à un kilomètre au nord de Ladoix-Serrigny et d’Aloxe-Corton, a connu une certaine notoriété dans les années 1990 en signant des vins en rupture avec la tradition bourguignonne de l’époque.

HOFFMANN, LA 15ÈME FORTUNE D’EUROPE
Le vigneron Gilles Jayer-Gilles, aux commandes du domaine depuis 1982, restera quelques temps encore le chef d’orchestre, avant de céder la place à deux jeunes vignerons, Julien Gros (domaine Christian Gros), qui a œuvré aux châteaux de Beaucastel (Rhône) et Miraval (Provence), et Alexandre Vernet (domaines Gilbert, Philippe Germain et Manuel Olive).
D’après la dernière liste des plus riches familles d’Europe publiée par l’excellent magazine suisse Bilan, la fortune professionnelle de la famille Hoffmann s’élèverait à près de 26 milliards de francs suisses, soit 23 milliards d’euros, ce qui la place au quinzième rang en Europe.
Désormais à la tête des crus Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Hauts Poirêts, Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru les Damodes et du grand cru Echezeaux du Dessus, André Hoffmann, entend poursuivre en Bourgogne ses efforts de conservation de la nature. Passionné par l’écologie et spécialiste des oiseaux sauvages de Camargue, M. Hoffmann est en effet vice-président du World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF International).

An article from La Revue du Vin de France by Geoffrey Avé
http://www.larvf.com/vin-domaine-jayer-gilles-andre-hoffmann-la-roche-suisse-bourgogne-rachat-transaction,4556402.asp

Colares, Where the Vineyards Snake Through the Sand

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COLARES, Portugal — The vineyards in this small wine region west of Lisbon on the Atlantic coast look like something that slithered up from the sea.
Trained low to avoid the biting wind that blows incessantly off the ocean, the vines resemble green serpents snaking along the sand. It’s as if vines from a more conventional region had come to the beach on vacation and had collapsed in a deep slumber.
Colares, one of the world’s most singular wine regions, emits a sleepy timelessness. The grapes are grown today just as they have been for centuries, except far fewer of them can be found. As recently as the 1940s, vines covered almost 2,500 acres of these sandy soils.
Only about 50 acres remain, spread over a narrow swatch west of the Sintra area, where the royal families of Portugal escaped the steamy Lisbon summers for colorful wind-cooled palaces. Much of the vineyard territory was lost in the 1960s and ’70s to suburban expansion.
Yet Colares produces what may well be Portugal’s most distinctive still wines. The reds, made of the ramisco grape, are high in acid and powerfully tannic, so much so that they are aged for years in the cellars before they are released. The current vintage on the market is 2007.
For all their initial intensity, the wines soften after 10 years of aging, revealing a graceful complexity, with savory kaleidoscopic flavors: herbal, balsam and saline. The wines are low in alcohol, too, seldom reaching 12.5 percent.
The white wines — made from the malvasia de Colares grape, which is genetically distinct from other grapes called malvasia — are fresh, rich and likewise herbal and saline with depth and character. They do not require quite as much aging as the reds; the current vintage is 2012.

An article from The New York Times by Eric Asimov
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/03/dining/portuguese-wine-colares.html?rref=collection%2Fbyline%2Feric-asimov

Your Next Lesson: Godello From Spain

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Wine is full of places and grapes that were virtually unknown 10 or 15 years ago. We’ve covered several of these, including assyrtiko from Santorini and the reds of Ribeira Sacra.
Now we come to godello, a Spanish grape that by the mid-20th century had almost disappeared. As has happened many times around the wine-producing world, a small group of growers and producers, dedicated to godello, revived the grape in Spain and demonstrated what could be achieved with conscientious farming and careful winemaking.
For the next month, we will drink godello from Spain, where it is largely grown in the northwestern regions of Valdeorras, Ribeira Sacra, Bierzo and Monterrei.
Some readers have occasionally expressed discontent with our focus on little-known wines. I would urge you to reconsider any objections. The goal of Wine School is to explore and to discover. This is not only part of the pleasure of wine, it is also a wise strategy for consumers in search of good values.
Highly esteemed wines from high-status areas are almost always going to cost more. The great values tend to be in wines that have not received widespread approval in mass publications. These are the sorts of surprises and discoveries that will delight open-minded consumers.
But the results are not guaranteed. Here’s a chance to see for yourself.

The three wines I recommend are:
-Guímaro Ribeira Sacra Vino Blanco 2014 (José Pastor Selections/Vinos & Gourmet, Richmond, Calif.) $20
-A. Coroa Valdeorras Godello 2015 (De Maison Selections, Chapel Hill, N.C.) $20
-Valdesil Valdeorras Godello Sobre Lías 2014 (Polaner Selections, Mount Kisco, N.Y.) $21

An article from The New York Times by Eric Asimov
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/27/dining/wine-school-assignment-godello-spain.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share

Businesses receive Napa Green certification

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Fifty Napa County businesses were recognized last Thursday for their commitment to environmental sustainability at the inaugural Napa County Green Business Celebration.
Co-hosted by the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV), Sustainable Napa County and Napa County, the celebration acknowledged local businesses and organizations that received their Green Business Certifications or were recertified in the past 18 months.
Attendees included more than 100 business leaders, vintners and community officials.
To preserve and enhance the unique place that is the Napa Valley, Napa County was one of the first participants in the Bay Area Green Business Program, which later became the statewide California Green Business Program.
In 2008, the NVV and other industry partners launched Napa Green Certified Winery, customizing the program specifically for wine producers.
Through these programs, businesses demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship by going above and beyond environmental compliance.
Today, there are more than 90 Napa County Certified Green Businesses, including more than 60 wineries. Re-certification is every three years based on tracking water and energy use and waste diversion and demonstrating continuous improvement in resource conservation.

An article from Napa Valley Register
http://napavalleyregister.com/businesses-receive-napa-green-certification/article_0cbc2353-fcba-5c79-a1d0-2aad4dda88d6.html