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Thinking in generations

How old-fashioned is modern wine?

27.04.2017

Just a moment ago, élevage in barrique was the latest thing – but now it’s old news. Although, some winemakers are introducing it once more, while others are returning to concrete, which everybody wanted to get rid of twenty years ago.

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What is a ‘classical’ wine?
‘Natural wine’ is a trend that has currently caught hold of the wine world. Some journalists and critics, however, believe that the trend has already peaked. For a while now they have been forecasting a return to classical practices.

But, what exactly is a ‘classical’ wine? For many this means élevage in wooden cask – some say fermentation in stainless steel – while others say that a ‘classical’ wine is one with a moderate level of alcohol. And there are those other connoisseurs who love ‘classical style’ wines, which require several years of cellaring in order to integrate acidity and tannins.

And what does the idea of ‘tradition’ mean in terms of wine? A style that has been produced for three hundred and fifty years, like Port? Or do we call that a more recent trend, in comparison to the unfortified wines that were vinified in the same region for hundreds of years before?

Thinking in generations

Anyone who works with wine must think in terms of generations. A vine planted today will first bear fruit in a few years, and will take decades to develop and reveal its full potential. For this reason it is extremely important that a winemaker not just sees beyond his nose to watch how the market evolves, but also actively participates in shaping trends and future developments.

Wine merchants and sommeliers are in the same boat, although on a different deck. It is no longer enough to simply be aware of current tastes and fashionable flavours, because tomorrow today is already yesterday. Industry professionals who don’t stay on their toes will miss that boat and lose significant market share.

Are we really certain that we will still be up to date when tomorrow dawns?

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At MUST – Fermenting Ideas, speakers from all over the world will be positing solutions regarding how the trade can meet the challenges of the present and create the concepts that will shape the wine industry of the future.

Along with addressing the changing demands of viticulture, exciting ideas for wine marketing and the communications sector will be presented, as will innovative possibilities and avenues for selling wine. Eighteen speakers with international perspectives and professional credentials are sure to provide an event that’s one step ahead of the rest of the wine world.

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