April 2021

Wine production

EU appellations will be granted rights for the production of de-alcoholized wine

Through Jacopo Mazzeo

Posted: April 21, 2021

As part of the forthcoming reform of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) scheduled for January 1, 2023, protected geographical indications and designations of origin will be allowed to produce wines with a low alcohol content below 8.5% abv.

“A new category of ‘de-alcoholized wines’ has been created,” says Daniela Ida Zandonà, adviser to the European Federation of Original Wines (EFOW). “Table wines will be allowed to drop below 0.5% abv, while IGP and PDO wines will be granted the right to dealcoholize down to an abv of between 0.5% and 8.5%.”

Zandonà explains that once the new CAP reform has become law, it will be up to the single denomination to decide whether or not to accept these changes, and how to integrate this choice into its own regulations.

According to the CAP reform proposal, the EU took the decision “in view of the ever-growing consumer demand for innovative vine products with an acquired alcoholic strength lower than the minimum acquired alcoholic strength fixed for products from the vine ”. Such growing consumer demand for alcoholic and low-alcohol beverages was recently highlighted by the latest Opportunities for Low- and Non-Alcoholic Wines report from consumer research and analysis firm Wine Intelligence.

With Wine Intelligence’s report identifying the consumer’s perception of low-alcohol wine as “not really wine” being one of the main barriers to buying, Christine Parkinson, beverage consultant and no & low specialist, believes that these developments should “be a game-changer for the category”.

“People would definitely buy a low-alcohol version of the [appellation] wines that they usually drink, but these are just not available at the moment. It will be interesting to see which region does it first: I think once that happens the floodgates will open, because the demand will really be there, ”Parkinson said.

Wine Intelligence Managing Director Lulie Halstead says the introduction of lower alcohol appellation wines would certainly help build consumer confidence in the category, provided they meet their criteria for wine taste. .

“Based on the evidence we have, consumers are more open-minded [towards the category] with dealcoholized Chianti or Bordeaux for example, but ultimately it all comes down to taste, ”said Halstead.

Zandonà underlines that more technological innovations are necessary for dealcoholized wines to pass the tasting test, but reveals that “certain denominations seem very curious about these developments. They were initially skeptical but decided to evolve according to consumer demand ”.

No change in the regulation of European appellations will be formalized before the reform of the CAP on January 1, 2023, but Zandonà is convinced that “the Member States will not reopen negotiations on issues like those on which they have already set themselves. OK “.

“The CAP negotiations are behind schedule,” she said, “and there are still many outstanding issues to be discussed. “

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Wine processing

Will Banana Wine Processing Plant Reduce Woes For Farmers? | New times

The following article was suggested by one of our readers – if there’s an idea you’d like us to cover, please submit it here.

The woes of banana producers could soon end after the adjustment and commissioning of the Rwamagana Community Banana Processing Center, 1.2 billion Rwandan francs.

Construction of the plant began in 2016 in the Mwulire sector of Rwamagana district but has been at a standstill for years.

According to the Auditor General’s 2018/2019 report, the Center was fully built and equipped in January 2019, but at the time of the audit in January 2020, after one year of preparatory activities for operation, it was not not yet assigned to its intended use.

By the time it started producing in 2020, the equipment failed to produce quality drinks due to the limited skills of the workers.

“We didn’t buy any other machines. We only adjusted the existing machines and equipped the workers with the advanced technical skills needed in the production line. At the beginning of April this year, we started production of two S-Mark certified drinks and are in the market, ”said Valens Bazirihe, general manager of the plant at Doing Business.

The two products include “Inkangaza”, a banana beer produced from banana, sorghum and honey and the other is “Ryongo banana beer” produced from banana, sorghum, water and sugar. , he explained.

The woes of banana producers could soon end after the adjustment and operationalization of the Rwamagana Community Banana Processing Center, 1.2 billion Rwandan francs. Photos: courtesy.

The plant which currently employs 17 permanent workers and between 20 and 30 casual workers has the capacity to produce 28,000 liters per day, he said.

“That means 3,500 cases per day. But currently we produce 800 cases a day and not even every day. We are always operating below our production capacity because we are only at the beginning. As we expand the market, increase facilities and meet demand, production capacity will be maximized, ”he said.

Bazirihe said that once production capacity is maximized, the factory will be able to purchase at least 65 tonnes of bananas per day.

Rwamagana Banana Wine Company Ltd has two S-Mark certified products namely Ryongo Banana wine and Inkangaza y’i Buganza already in the market for consumers.

“We want to work with different farmers from all over the eastern province to obtain raw materials and we will sign supply contracts with them,” he said.

He added that they are also designing strategies that will help to meet with agricultural officers and agronomists as well as farmers in the districts to inform them about the size of the demand for raw materials from factories and how farmers can ensure the production. ‘supply.

The general manager added that the factory plans to produce more products, including pure banana juice, banana energy drink, banana liqueur, banana wine and champagne.

Optimistic farmers

Bonaventure Linganwa, a model farmer in the Mwulire area who grows bananas on 2.5 hectares, said the plant would add value to their products.

“Factory workers recently visited a banana growing project. The operationalization of the plant is good news for banana producers. We will be able to access nearby markets. I really need a stable market because I have over 3,000 bananas, ”he said.

Bazirihe said that once production capacity is maximized, the factory will be able to purchase at least 65 tonnes of bananas per day.

He said that before Covid-19, he was supplying the Kayonza district with bananas, but the supply has been disrupted by the pandemic.

“Because the Kayonza factory is not operating as a result due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I sometimes supply them. I hope that the Rwamagana factory will be a market close to my agricultural project. This reduces the transport costs I incurred when sourcing my harvest in Kayonza and elsewhere, ”he added.

David Nsengiyumva, president of the Rwamagana agro-food cooperative, said the factory will help farmers achieve a “stable market”.

“I grow bananas on two hectares. But the bananas used to produce beer are bought at lower prices due to the lack of a stable market. For example, a pack of bananas with between 30 and 50 kilograms is sold between 1,500 and 3,000 Rwf, while a pack of cooking bananas costs more than 7,000 Rwf. It is a loss for farmers. We hope the factory will add value to our products and avoid promotional prices, ”he said.

Bananas are a traditional and priority crop for food security in Rwanda, cultivated by many, but there is not enough added value to mitigate post-harvest losses.

Globally, the banana sub-sector covers about 23 percent of the total cultivated land in Rwanda, estimated at 900,000 hectares.

Rwanda produced over 759,690 tonnes of cooking bananas in 2018, compared to over 724,540 tonnes in 2017.

Cooking bananas represent more than 40 percent of banana plantations in Rwanda while the rest is used for drinks.

However, farmers suffered post-harvest food losses due to the lack of post-harvest handling technologies.

According to the Fourth Strategic Plan for the Transformation of Agriculture (PSTA 4), Rwanda seeks to reduce post-harvest losses for bananas from 15 percent in 2016 to 9 percent in 2024.

Thanks to the government’s “Uruganda Iwacu” initiative to establish community processing centers, post-harvest losses are expected to be reduced.

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Wine production

One-third of French wine production lost due to cold snap: industry body, World News

At least a third of French wine production this year, accounting for nearly two billion euros ($ 2.4 billion) in sales, will be lost due to unusually cold weather in early spring, a federation.

The secretary general of the National Federation of Farmers’ Unions (FNSEA), Jérôme Despey, told AFP that the estimate was made after consultation with all the players in the sector.

The rare freezing temperatures that caused some of the worst damage in decades to crops and vines hit France earlier this month, with consequences made worse by the fact that the cold snap came after warm weather.

“It is probably the biggest agricultural disaster of the beginning of the 21st century,” Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie said on Monday, adding that France had never experienced such a wave of frost at the beginning of spring. The government is preparing a package of emergency measures.

The government is preparing an emergency rescue plan following rare freezing temperatures that could cause some of the most severe damage in decades to crops and vines across the country.

From Bordeaux to Burgundy and from the Rhone Valley to Champagne, the winegrowers were back in their estates on Friday to inspect the destruction.

To avoid freezing overnight on Tuesday and Wednesday, farmers across the country lit thousands of small fires and candles near their vines or fruit trees.

Some well-heeled wineries have hired helicopters to try and keep the heat close to the ground.

The fire was so intense in the southeast that it left a layer of smog over the region, including the city of Lyon.

In addition to vines, growers of kiwis, apricots, apples and other fruits have been hit hard, as have farmers of other crops such as beetroot and rapeseed.

During a visit to the Loire vineyards, French Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie said it was “an episode of extreme violence which caused extremely significant damage”.

The government has declared an “agricultural disaster,” which means it will start offering financial support to farmers, and Denormandie called on banks and insurance companies to join in the efforts.

Many winegrowers are not insured against the effects of frost due to the cost of coverage and many growers were already struggling financially.

The Covid-19 pandemic has lowered the demand for wine around the world due to the closure of restaurants and bars.

Exports to the United States have also been affected by tariffs on French wine imposed by former US President Donald Trump, while the vital UK market has also suffered from Brexit.

A group of 60 French deputies from wine regions issued an open letter on Friday urging the government to come to the aid of producers, saying they “really feared the worst”.

The practice of lighting fires or candles near vines or fruit trees to prevent frost from forming is a long-standing technique used in early spring when the first green shoots and first flowers are vulnerable to the cold.

Some winemakers also use wind turbines to prevent frost from setting in.

Others use water sprinklers to deliberately create ice that acts like a mini-igloo around the branches, preventing the frost from drying out the leaves.

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Wine production

Late frosts will wreak havoc in French wine production

The severe frosts that hit France this week have severely damaged buds and flowers in vineyards and orchards and will reduce grape harvests in some areas by up to 90%, according to growers and farmer organizations.

“It was as if winter was coming to spring,” says Didier Delagrange, whose family has made wine from grapes grown on the slopes of Volnay in Burgundy for seven generations.

“There has been considerable damage, but we have not yet fully assessed it,” he said. “The Chardonnay was more affected because the [shoots] were more advanced. About half of Burgundy vines have been damaged, according to local producers.

In Chablis, to the north, winemaker Thierry Mothe said the temperature had dropped to -7 ° C and 90-95% of the potential harvest would be lost. “There will be very little harvest in 2021,” he said. “It was like a winter frost, not a spring frost.”

After a series of other issues including US tariffs on wine imports linked to a trade war with the EU and the closure of many restaurants and bars around the world following the Covid-19 pandemic – ” there are areas today which will be in very serious difficulty, ”said Mothe.

The use of radiators is expensive and insufficient to counter a very severe frost. Winegrowers can afford to protect only the vines for their best wines © Pascal Rossignol / Reuters

Even Bordeaux, in southwestern France, was hit by frosts, which also damaged the growth of fruit trees such as apricots, peaches and nectarines, and field crops such as rapeseed and beetroot. sugar. The impact was particularly severe as the frost followed several days of hot weather which accelerated plant growth.

Julien Denormandie, Minister of Agriculture, said that a state of agricultural calamity would be declared to mobilize financial support for farmers. “It is a completely exceptional situation”, he declared on franceinfo. “The losses are significant. The CNIV, which represents wine producers, called the disaster “one of the worst in decades”.

Social networks in France were tagged this week by weird night images smoky braziers lighting up vineyards across the country as wine growers sought to heat the air and limit damage to their crops, but the method was expensive and insufficient to deal with a very severe frost.

Delagrange said he would have needed 4,500 paraffin heaters to cover his entire 15 hectares at a cost of almost € 50,000 for the two worst nights, and that the wine growers could not afford to protect only the vines for their best wines.

“In many regions, from north to south and east to west, the damage is significant for winegrowers and fruit growers,” the National Federation of Farmers’ Unions said in a statement. “There is also great distress for arable farms. The impact on rapeseed, just like its flowering, is dramatic, as with sugar beet seedlings: many producers will have to replant more than half of their crops.

The late frosts are not without precedent, but many French farmers attribute to global warming some of the erratic weather conditions they have endured in recent years, including droughts and floods.

Shorter winters, higher summer temperatures and faster ripening are changing the character of French vintages, and grapes are now harvested up to three weeks earlier than just a few decades ago.

Temperatures have also fallen below freezing in northern Italy, after weeks of sunshine and hot weather. Winemakers from Nebbiolo, Moscato and Barbera in Piedmont said that between 50 and 80% of their annual production was destroyed by frost.

In Piedmont and further south, in Tuscany and Lazio (the region that contains Rome), crops of apricots, peaches and kiwis have also been lost, according to local media.

Additional reports from Silvia Sciorilli Borrelli in Milan

This article was modified after publication to include the winegrowers of Barbera in Piedmont

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Popular wines

The 19 most popular wines you should have in your store in 2021

It’s tempting to drink your comforting wine, but with spring coming like a storm, we recommend that you tickle your taste buds with new varieties of wine to start from scratch. Or maybe, try your hand at making wine in an instant pot. Your call.

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But for this story, we’re focused on selecting well-made, uplifting wines that simply won’t disappoint. No matter what 2021 brings, we know it will pair with good wine. Here’s a list of the best wines you should keep in your stock, ranging from white and pink to orange and red, along with a few outliers, just for good measure.

Best Champagne: Krug Grand Cuvée 168th Edition

It’s not cheap but the best, authentic champagne is not. This option always manages to over-deliver, offering great complexity and neat notes of biscuit and dried fruit.

Read more: The best champagne under $ 100

Best Pinot Gris: Acrobat 2019 Pinot Gris

Pinot Gris Acrobate bottle

A reliable Oregon Pinot Gris workhorse that’s extremely user-friendly, the Acrobat tends to outperform at its modest price.

Best Chardonnay: Gary Farrell 2017 Olivet Lane Vineyard Chardonnay

Gary Farrell Olivet Lane Vineyard Chardonnay Bottle

This Russian River Valley Chardonnay is elegant of all kinds, showing off bright peach, wild honey and firm acidity.

Best Riesling: Empire Estate 2017 Finger Lakes Dry Riesling

Bottle of Empire Estate Finger Lakes Dry Riesling 2017

It’s hard not to trust a wine crafted by a sommelier, like this dry, toned and lasting offering from New York’s Finger Lakes appellation.

Best Albariño: Palacio de Fefinanes 2018 Albariño

Fefinanes Palace 2018 Albariño

A Spanish white, Albariño deserves your attention, especially this take from his home country. Bright, playful and full of energy, this is a downright invigorating wine.

Read more: The best Albariño wines available

Best Sauvignon Blanc: Maori Moana 2019 Sauvignon Blanc

Maori Moana 2019 Sauvignon Blanc

Of course, there are excellent French and American Sauv Blancs. But New Zealand may be the grape’s new master, especially when it comes to cheap wines like this.

Read more: The best Sauvignon Blancs to try right now

Best Rosé: Tenuta di Fessina 2018 Erse Etna Rosato

Tenuta di Fessina 2018 Erse Etna RosatoMade from grapes grown in the foothills of Mount Etna, this volcano wine has a lot more depth than your typical rose wine, with a kiss of sea salt and pomegranate.

From Wine Finder

Read more: The best rosé wines to try right now

Best orange wine: Kakheti pheasant tears

Kakheti pheasant tears

You can’t go wrong with anything coming out of this esteemed producer from the Republic of Georgia. Expect wonderful, slightly oxidized texture, tannins and flavors.

Read more: The best orange wines to try right now

Best Traditional Pinot Noir: McCollum Heritage ’91 2018 Pinot Noir

Heritage 91 Pinot Noir bottle

Most celebrity-backed brands lack heart, but this effort by pro hoop star CJ McCollum is both a bona fide side project and one hell of a good Pinot. Expect an increase in production of this wine in small batches in the vintages to come.

Read more: The best Pinot Noir wines to try right now

Best Alternative Pinot Noir: Root & Rubble 2018 Pinot Noir

Root & Rubble Pinot Noir Bottle Shot

This wine is made by carbonic maceration and should be fresh and resonant in the glass, showing lots of fruit and lots of sparkling sparkle.

Best Syrah: Delmas SJR Vineyard 2018 Syrah

Syrah from Delmas

You haven’t tasted Syrah wine until you’ve tried Delmas’ vibrant offering, which draws exquisite fruit from the famous SJR vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley.

Best GSM mix: Jean-Luc Colombo Les Abeilles 2017 Rogue

Jean-Luc Colombo The Bees 2017 Red

This wine behaves like something three to four times its price, with deceptive complexity, inviting accessibility, and a clear balance of fruit flavors.

Read more: The best GSM mixes to try right now

Best Merlot: Nickel & Nickel Merlot 2016 Harris Vineyard Merlot

Nickel & Nickel Merlot 2016 Harris Vineyard Merlot

Merlot is back and better than ever. This designated wine from a single vineyard shows that a bigger red can also have a lot of finesse and detail.

Read more: The best Merlot wines to try right now

Best Cabernet Sauvignon: Escudo Rojo 2018 Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon

Escudo Rojo Reserva Cabernet Bottle Shot

This Chilean wine backed by the famous Rothschild family of winemakers is a bit sweeter than your traditional Cab, showing herbal and green pepper qualities in addition to earth and good acid support.

Best Chianti: Castello de Brolio 2015 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione

Castle of Brolio Chianti Classico

There is no shortage of great Chianti, but this expression is one of a kind. Decant it and enjoy the magical places it takes you, preferably with a side of bolognese.

Read more: The best Chianti wines to try right now

Best Dark Red: Ashbourne 2018 Pinotage-Cinsault

Ashbourne 2018 Pinotage-Cinsault

This South African find is flavorful and full of earth, with detectable savagery that is reminiscent of a trek through a rainforest.

Best red blend: Macari Vineyards 2015 Bergen Road

Macari Bergen Road Blend Red Bottle

There are some fantastic and relatively unknown wines from the North Fork region of New York, like this homogeneous red made from several Bordeaux grape varieties.

Best Sparkling Rosé: Alma Negra Brut Nature

This Argentinian sparkling wine is made from Pinot Noir and Malbec grown at high altitudes, giving a lively and extremely pleasant wine.

Best Sherry: Nectar Gonzalez Byass Pedro Ximénez Sherry

Gonzalez Byass Pedro Ximenez Bottle of Shot Sherry

A decadent offering perfect for the winter to come, this sherry is a sweet and layered creature, with notes of raisin, malt and toasted nuts.

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Editor’s recommendations

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