Old World Or­der

It’s all hap­pen­ing in Europe this month—bio­di­ver­sity pacts in Italy, Bri­tish cham­pagne vine­yards and a grand cru pro­posal make James Suck­ling’s monthly round-up

Hong Kong Tatler - - Life -

Go­ing Green

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from 47 busi­nesses in Mon­tal­cino (a wine­pro­duc­ing re­gion of Tus­cany), in­clud­ing Italy’s renowned Brunello di Mon­tal­cino, have signed a pact to pro­mote bio­di­ver­sity and en­vi­ron­men­tal re­spon­si­bil­ity, ac­cord­ing to lo­cal press re­ports. The pact, known as the Comi­tato Pro­mo­tore Mon­tal­cino Bio, aims to pre­serve Mon­tal­cino’s bio­di­ver­sity while main­tain­ing eco­nomic sus­tain­abil­ity. Bruno Dal­mazio, the big­gest wine shop in Mon­tal­cino, and lo­cal farm­ers have also joined as sig­na­to­ries.

Cru- cial De­vel­op­ment

The wine­mak­ers’ as­so­ci­a­tion in Alsace is push­ing for a pro­posal that will al­low French ap­pel­la­tion body Inao to recog­nise some of the re­gion’s pinot noirs as achiev­ing grand cru sta­tus, re­ports De­spite a sim­i­lar pro­posal be­ing re­jected 15 years ago, wine­mak­ers are op­ti­mistic that the pro­posal will be passed in March or April, given qual­ity im­prove­ments and higher pro­duc­tion lev­els. If passed, pinot noirs pro­duced in Vor­bourg (in Rouf­fach), Hengst (Wintzen­heim) and Kirch­berg (Barr) will be des­ig­nated as grand crus. Re­cent vin­tages of top pinot noirs from Alsace rank with some of the best of Bur­gundy.

Bri­tan­nia Bub­bles

Cham­pagne house Tait­tinger an­nounced in De­cem­ber that it plans to buy 69 hectares of land in Kent, Eng­land, to pro­duce a pre­mium sparkling wine un­der the name Do­maine Evre­mond. As the first Cham­pagne-based house to in­vest in English vine­yards, the pur­chase is ex­pected to give a boost to the UK’S wine rep­u­ta­tion. The deal is de­scribed by Bri­tish trade body English Wine Pro­duc­ers as a po­ten­tial “new chap­ter” in wine­mak­ing. The wine will be a blend of pinot noir, chardon­nay and pinot me­u­nier—the three clas­sic grape va­ri­etals of Cham­pagne. A num­ber of English sparkling wine pro­duc­ers have won ac­co­lades in the last year.

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