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
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.
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.