SPLENDOR IN THE GLASS: It was a world of wild wine in 2021 | Sun Glade


2021 has been an interesting year to say the least.

COVID-19, gas prices, nearly empty store shelves, shortages of other products, the list goes on. As much as we would like to forget 2021, back to the news of the world of wine.

A 2019 6-liter bottle of The Setting 100% Napa Cabernet Sauvignon from Glass Slipper Vineyard sold for $ 1 million at the Carnivale Wine Auction in New Orleans. The sale makes it one of the most expensive wines ever to be auctioned.

The International Organization of Vine and Wine has estimated that global wine production in 2021 will be down 4% from last year, to around 250 million hectoliters or 25 billion bottles, close to the most historic low of 22 billion in 2017.

On September 19, a furnace caught fire in Verallia, one of Argentina’s largest glass factories in Mendoza, spreading rapidly, destroying machinery and supplies.

The owner says it could take a year to rebuild. The company manufactures 35% of Argentinian wine bottles.

American winemakers face their own glass problem. Wineries that depend on imported glass experience delays of up to 12 months on bottles.

Spain has appealed to thieves behind a burglary of fine wine in which 45 bottles were stolen. “We will pay what you want.”

Ten old vintages of Château d’Yquem dating from 1900 and more than 20 Burgundy Romanée-Conti wines estimated to be worth more than a million euros were among the great wines stolen from the prized wine cellar of the Atrio in the early hours of October 27. No one has come forward yet.

Champagne prices have gone crazy in recent months, up 7%.

Hail, frost and mildew have made the 2021 growing season the most difficult in years, but the quality is high and the reserve wines will ensure there will be no shortage of champagne. Just higher prices.

The drought has left many wine growers in Napa wishing for a bigger harvest. Sauvignon blanc yields are down 30% and Cabernet Sauvignon harvests 10-15% lower, but there is still hope that 2021 could be a high-quality vintage.

Frank Family Vineyards of Napa Valley was acquired by Treasury Americas for $ 315 million. Justin Vineyards & Winery acquired Lewis Cellars for an undisclosed amount.

Delicato Family Wines has agreed to acquire the Francis Ford Coppola winery. Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, the oldest winery in Washington State and accounting for nearly 60% of the state’s wine production, was sold to Sycamore Partners of New York, a private equity firm, for 1.2 billion dollars.

Constellation Brands paid $ 285 million for Prisoner Wine Co. Thistle Gate Vineyard, just 25 minutes from Charlottesville, sold for $ 1.2 million.

Ponzi Vineyards, the pioneer of Oregon wine, was acquired by the Bollinger family, owners of Bollinger Champagne. The sale price was not disclosed, but the deal includes the 40,000-case cellar, tasting room and 35 acres of vineyards. This is the first purchase of a Bollinger cellar outside of France.

Six master sommeliers were stripped of their titles on 22 counts, including test fraud, sexual harassment, assault and arson.

U.S. postal carriers have not been permitted to deliver wine since a 1909 law prohibited the shipping of alcohol by mail.

But 19 members of Congress, led by Representatives Jackie Speier, D-California, and Dan Newhouse, R-Washington, introduced the USPS Shipping Equity Act on May 17 to end this ban.

Since the passage of California Proposition 64 in 2016, which legalized the commercial and recreational cultivation of cannabis, many farmers have moved to the best wine regions to grow their cash crop.

Wine growers fear they will have to compete with the cannabis industry for water, tourism and labor.

Napa Valley’s Duckhorn Vineyards became a listed company on the New York Stock Exchange in March, when it offered 20 million common shares at an initial asking price of $ 15 a share.

The French body that governs wine appellations has approved six grape varieties to be added to the grapes currently authorized for the production of Bordeaux wines.

The winemakers hope the new grapes will prepare them for a changing climate.

The recently approved red varieties are Touriga Nacional, used to make port; Castets from the south of France; Marselan, a cross of Grenache and Cabernet; Arinarnoa, a cross between Merlot and Petit Verdot.

For white wines, Alvarinho, mainly from Spain; and Liloril, a staple Chardonnay grape.

With these new grape varieties, my concern is: will Bordeaux wine still taste like Bordeaux wine?

Guess we just have to wait and see.

Here is 2022. May it be better than the previous one.

Stay healthy

Merry Christmas



About Michael Brafford

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