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Gastronomy and Wine Portal

Introducing groundbreaking research on innovations and trends in wine tourism, presented for the first time at ProWein 2024

The event of the Wine Travel Awards Team as a part of ProWein 2024 in Düsseldorf “Tasting Around the Sustainable World” garnered a significant audience due to its intriguing theme of exploring.


The event was graced by the presence of an esteemed speaker, Prof. Dr. Prof. h.c. Gergely Szolnoki from Geisenheim University, who also happens to be a member of the WTA jury. Mr Szolnoki shared his invaluable insights and practical recommendations based on a comprehensive study of over 1,500 wineries across 42 countries, making the event a truly exclusive experience.

Gergely

The event was a resounding success and sold-out. The anticipation was not only due to the informative presentation but also the wine tasting session that followed. The WTA award team had curated an impressive line-up of participants, each representing some of the finest gems from the world of wine. But now, let’s delve into the theoretical aperitif that was served at the event and to all of these unique data which the professor provided us as a part of its huge research for the publication.

So according to Prof. Dr. Prof. h.c. Gergely Szolnoki Wine tourism is a significant contributor to the global economy, generating an annual revenue of €5 billion and providing employment for approximately 71,000 people.

Gergely Szolnoki

The first and main part is Adaptation strategies & initiatives after the Covid, so the part of the survey was conducted to gain a deeper understanding of the industry. The survey consisted of in-depth interviews with 70 wineries from around the world, including both well-established and emerging wine regions. The wineries were selected from the United States and Australia, representing the New World, and from Germany, Hungary, and Romania, representing the Old World.

Gergely Szolnoki

The survey aimed to gather insights into the current trends, challenges, and opportunities in the wine tourism industry, as well as to identify best practices and areas for improvement. By analyzing the data collected from the interviews, valuable conclusions were drawn, which can help shape the future of wine tourism and support its sustainable growth.

Emerging wine tourism trends shaping its future.

And the wine tourism industry is evolving, with several emerging trends shaping its future: Firstly, there is a growing trend towards individualized experiences, moving away from mass tourism. Travelers are seeking unique and personalized experiences that cater to their specific interests and preferences. Secondly, there is an increasing focus on exploring the local region and its culture. Wine tourism is no longer just about tasting wine but also about discovering the local cuisine, history, and traditions. Thirdly, digitalization is playing an increasingly important role in wine tourism. Travelers are using technology to plan their trips, connect with wineries, and share their experiences on social media.

Gergely Szolnoki

Finally, sustainability is becoming a key consideration in wine tourism. Travelers are looking for environmentally friendly and socially responsible experiences that support the local economy and community. Wineries are also adopting sustainable practices in response to growing consumer demand and to ensure the long-term viability of their businesses.

The key findings regarding the role of sustainability in wine tourism.

The survey revealed several key findings regarding the role of sustainability in wine tourism.

  • Sustainability is of critical importance to wineries, with many incorporating sustainable practices into their operations.
  • Wineries have varying perspectives on the overlap between sustainable wine production and sustainable wine tourism. However, the overall overlap appears to be relatively small.
  • The survey found that wineries place slightly more importance on the environmental dimension of sustainability compared to the economic and social aspects.
  • The most important measures that wineries plan to implement include careful energy use, developing a long-term company strategy, and collaborating with regional companies and actors.

The survey revealed that 62% of wineries believe that sustainable practices in wine tourism are currently essential for visitors. However, this number is expected to rise significantly in the next five years, with 87% of wineries predicting that sustainable practices will become much more important to visitors.

Gergely Szolnoki

93% of surveyed wineries emphasized the importance of sustainability in wine tourism, with Chile rating it the highest at 4.8 out of 5, surpassing Germany and Hungary by a significant margin.

Respondents highlighted the environment as the foremost pillar of sustainable wine tourism, with 40% of responses. The social and economic pillars were rated similarly, each receiving 29% and 31% of responses, respectively.

Drivers and barriers to sustainable wine tourism. As well as important pillars.

According to the survey, the primary drivers for sustainable wine tourism include building trust and reputation (57%), enhancing visitor satisfaction (55%), and contributing to a better world (55%).

Meanwhile, the main barriers to sustainable wine tourism are cited as a lack of financial resources (48%), insufficient human resources (35%), and inadequate infrastructure (35%).

In sustainable wine tourism, the three pillars hold varying degrees of importance: the environmental aspect ranks highest at 40%, followed by the economic pillar at 31%, and the social dimension at 29%.

Gergely Szolnoki

Visitors & wine tourism.

Visitor perception of sustainable wine tourism practices is a crucial factor in the success of sustainable initiatives in the wine tourism industry. According the survey, visitors’ attitudes towards sustainable wine tourism have been shifting towards greater importance.

Currently, 62% of visitors perceive sustainable wine tourism practices as important, while 38% do not consider them important. However, looking ahead to the next five years, there is a significant increase in the perceived importance of sustainable wine tourism practices, with 82% of visitors considering them important and only 13% not considering them important.

Gergely Szolnoki

This shift in perception reflects a growing awareness and understanding among visitors of the importance of sustainability in the wine tourism industry. Visitors are increasingly seeking sustainable experiences that align with their values and contribute to the preservation of the environment and local communities.

Gergely Szolnoki

Wineries can capitalize on this trend by adopting sustainable practices and communicating them effectively to visitors. By doing so, wineries can not only meet visitors’ expectations but also enhance their reputation and competitiveness in the global market. However, it is essential to ensure that sustainability initiatives are genuine and meaningful, rather than simply a marketing tool, to avoid greenwashing and maintain visitors’ trust and loyalty.

The Conclusions.

In conclusion, sustainability and sustainable wine tourism are of paramount importance, although defining and implementing measures for sustainable wine tourism can be complex due to a lack of experience. To address this challenge, a supported measure catalogue with concrete ideas could facilitate easier adoption. Lack of information and guidelines emerges as one of the main barriers hindering progress in sustainable wine tourism, highlighting the need for accessible resources and clear guidance in this field.

Gergely Szolnoki

We extend our gratitude to Prof. Dr. Prof. h.c. Gergely Szolnoki for his insightful speech and for generously sharing valuable information with us, which will undoubtedly contribute to the advancement of wine tourism in the future. For further details about the study, please refer to the link provided https://www.winetourism.com/sustainable-wine-tourism/

Gergely Szolnoki

 

The event of the Wine Travel Awards Team as a part of ProWein 2024 in Düsseldorf “Tasting Around the Sustainable World” garnered a significant audience due to its intriguing theme of exploring. The event was graced by the presence of an esteemed speaker, Prof. Dr. Prof. h.c. Gergely Szolnoki from Geisenheim University, who also happens […]

The winner of the Ambassador of the Year nomination will receive a book by Gerard Basset

Tasting Victory: The Life and Wines of the World’s Favorite Sommelier is an impressive story of Gerard Basset’s life and career. It is a reflection of the victory over the challenges that stand in the way of a person and clearly proves that everyone is able to reach the top in any, even the most difficult, circumstances. The main thing is desire and perseverance.


This year, the winner of the Wine Travel Awards in the Ambassador of the Year category, who will be traditionally awarded the Gerard Basset Prize with the support of the Gérard Basset Foundation, will receive a book of memoirs by this incredible man. This copy will be signed by the wife of the famous sommelier — Mrs. Nina Basset, who is a member of the Wine Travel Awards jury, Vice President of the Academy of Sommeliers of Great Britain, ASI General Secretary and co-founder and chairman of the Gérard Basset Foundation. She commented on this joint decision with the award’s organizing committee: This is a great read that I hope will inspire others to believe that everyone can achieve anything they set their mind to. I am very impressed by the idea that the book Gerard finished in the last days of his life will be awarded to the Ambassador of the Year winner as a symbol of continuing his work. I am sure that Gerard’s memoirs will become a source of inspiration for a person who is in love with the world of wine and is ready to devote his life to this topic.

Nina Basset

Nina Basset told the story of writing the book, in which Gerard Basset generously shares the wealth of his knowledge and talks about the extraordinary efforts he made to achieve his phenomenal success. This invaluable work of education and inspiration was written in the last months of the master’s life. And perhaps at the cost of his last days.

When Gerard was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, all his travels had to be canceled, and he tried to fill his time in other ways. I suggested that he write a book about his life because I thought it would help inspire others, says Nina Basset, Gerard left school as a child without a diploma, but through self-training, further education, mentoring, hard work, determination and passion for wine, he became one of the most famous sommeliers in the world. The book is his story of a life well-lived, describing his training methods, preparation for numerous exams, and ultimately the ASI World Champion Sommelier competition in 2010, where Gerard won the title of World Champion. This is not only a book about life in the wine and hospitality industry, it is an inspiring story about a man who never gave up his belief that you can achieve anything you want with hard work, dedication, and a little bit of luck. Gerard is a great storyteller, and many people tell me they read the book in one sitting because they found it hard to put it down. Gerard wrote the book chapter by chapter, on days when he was feeling more or less well during a terrible period of grueling surgeries and chemotherapy. He even left the hospital to be able to write the last chapter. Even though he knew that leaving the hospital would mean hastening the end… But he was desperate to be home to complete this final part. He died 10 days after leaving the hospital. But then he finished the last lines. And later I wrote the last words to the book, which was very difficult for me. But I had to do it for our dear Gerard.

Gerard

David Williams, author of World Of Fine Wine, who personally knew Gerard Basset, wrote enthusiastically about Tasting Victory and the author of the book: Reading Tasting Victory was an extremely emotional experience. It is a memoir of the best professional of his generation in winemaking. Gerard was the first and only person to receive several of the highest qualifications at once — World Champion Sommelier, OBE, MW and MS. But it is his persistent pursuit of the highest degree of professionalism that is the essence of this book — for it was only on his seventh attempt that Gerard Basset, who was already 53 at the time, was finally recognized as the best sommelier in the world and the best sommelier of his generation.

Tasting Victory: The Life and Wines of the World’s Favorite Sommelier is a story that will impress anyone interested in wine, the restaurant industry, and success stories.

Gerard Basset tells about a difficult childhood and his first disappointing attempts to find his place in the world. But determination and hard work led him to success. He describes his unrivaled career, which includes founding innovative hotels, a successful wine business, and obtaining unique qualifications that have made him a legend in the world of wine.

Gérard Basset’s memoir is not only a story about one man’s journey to victory, but also an example and inspiration for everyone who dreams of reaching the top in their industry.

The Wine Travel Awards Ambassador of the Year prize, supported by the Gérard Basset Foundation, will be awarded at the Awards Ceremony to be held at the London Wine Fair on May 21, 2024 from 10.30 to 12.30.

Tasting Victory: The Life and Wines of the World’s Favorite Sommelier is an impressive story of Gerard Basset’s life and career. It is a reflection of the victory over the challenges that stand in the way of a person and clearly proves that everyone is able to reach the top in any, even the most difficult, […]

The Wine Travel Awards 2023-2024 announced the Winners of public voting

On April 1st, an essential phase of Wine Travel Award 2023–2024 the public voting stage concluded. We are thrilled to announce the winners and extend our congratulations to all participants! The next phase of our journey is the selection of the winners by our esteemed panel of judges, distinguished professionals in the wine and wine tourism industry. However, it is important to reiterate that in our community, prizes and diplomas are not the primary focus. What truly matters is participation and building connections.


As you peruse our community gathered this year, you will notice several exciting developments. The geographic diversity has expanded, with nominees hailing from countries like Australia, New Zealand, China, and Taiwan, alongside a notable increase in participants from the USA. Additionally, we have successfully brought together some of the world’s most prominent wine museums. Notably, both small, independent wineries and renowned Grand Châteaux have expressed interest in our project, highlighting the inclusive and welcoming nature of our community, which shares a passion for exploring wine routes.

Cloudy Bay

This is precisely the vision we had for the WTA community a diverse assembly of individuals and brands capable of making a positive impact on the world. Take the opportunity to acquaint yourself with the nominees, chosen by their supporters:

Ambassador

Persons representing wines, regions, enogastronomic routes, brands; associations, consortia, national wine bureaus, tourist offices, and tour operators.

Creative Strategy

Ambassador of the Year

Wine & Food Influencer

Journalists, professional media, bloggers, photographers and videographers.

Author of the Year

Expert Opinion

The Brightest Journey

Education in Enotourism

Wine museums, wine institutes, tasting rooms, including those located on the premises of the wineries, academies of enogastronomy, wine schools participating in tourist projects, organizers of tours to exhibitions, etc.

Cultural Mission

Unique Program

Wine Guide

Guides, guides-representatives of wine regions, tour operators, etc.

Top Guide

Travel Operator of the Year

Enogastronomic Events

Festivals, wine days and local products days, exhibitions, promotion programs.

Magnet of the Region

Event of the Year

The Visiting Card of the Country

Destinations, wineries, national brands, establishments with a wine program: hotels, local food restaurants, bars, museums of wines and specialties, tasting rooms.

Region of the year

Art & History Object

Progressive Approach

Brand – the Visiting Card of the Country

Must Visit

The nominees enlisted the big support of their friends, loyal audience and caught wine lovers’ eye, so that it yielded the results. Being charismatic and active on social media plays a crucial role in public voting. And we can see these features among our winners – famous chateaux, renowned experts and wine schools, attractive wine events and interesting wine authors and ambassadors.

The top five nominees from each category move on to the professional jury round. Their businesses will be reviewed by twelve industry-leading experts from the fields of winemaking, gastronomic tourism, marketing, and journalism. The selection takes place within a 10-point system according to the unified Wine Travel Awards protocols.

The WTA winners will be announced at the main WTA event – the WTA Ceremony scheduled to take place at the London Wine Fair on May 21 st , 2024 from 10.30–12.30.

The Wine Travel Awards Ceremony will highlight the results of the 2023—2024 campaign, where the winners of both public voting and professional jury selection will be appraised to that moment and new and prosperous names in the wine tourism business will be revealed.

The 2-hour program agenda includes:

  • a speech “Wine Tourism: Benefits and Challenges” by Robert Joseph, the WTA jury member, a prominent author in the world of wine and wine tourism, pioneering wine expert, wine creator and industry innovator;
  • a presentation of the WTA Sponsors and Partners;
  • an announcement of the winners and WTA discoveries;
  • a walk-around tasting of wines of the WTA community members.

On April 1st, an essential phase of Wine Travel Award 2023–2024 – the public voting stage – concluded. We are thrilled to announce the winners and extend our congratulations to all participants! The next phase of our journey is the selection of the winners by our esteemed panel of judges, distinguished professionals in the wine […]

The 2024 Golden Vines® is an incredible wine world event

Wine Travel Awards is honored to announce the incredible event of the wine world – The 2024 Golden Vines®. Nina Basset – Chair of the Gerard Basset Foundation, Director of Liquid Icons and Wine Travel Awards judge – announced the traditional event – The 2024 Golden Vines® – Madrid, Spain (October 25-27) – on her Facebook page in an incredibly expressive video, which we bring to your attention below.


A Golden Vines® ticket is now on sale and offers admission to the 2024 Golden Vines® Gala and the 2024 Golden Vines® Awards Gala, as well as access to a selection of workshops, sponsored dinners and other events at the “ whoever came first got it.”

Of course, no Golden Vines® dinner would be complete without an exceptional wine pairing, and our Gala Dinner is no exception. It will feature incredible vintages to enjoy with dinner, including Barca-Velha 1999, Camus, Chateau d’Yquem 1983, Dom Pérignon P2, Dom Pérignon Rose 2008, Equipo Navazos, Krug Grande Cuvee 162, Krug Vintage 2003, Marques de Murrieta Ygay 1980, Ornellaia 2006, Petit Cheval Blanc 2020, Taylors Port 50 year Tawny, Vega Sicilia Unico 2004.

We also remind you that the Taylors brand is part of The Fladgate Partnership group, from which the impressive complex in Portugal with the WOW Wine Museum is nominated for this year’s Wine Travel Awards. You can learn more about it from the interview with the founder, Mr Adrian Bridge.

Wine Travel Awards is honored to announce the incredible event of the wine world – The 2024 Golden Vines®. Nina Basset – Chair of the Gerard Basset Foundation, Director of Liquid Icons and Wine Travel Awards judge – announced the traditional event – The 2024 Golden Vines® – Madrid, Spain (October 25-27) – on her […]

VinItaly 2024. All the stars are here

Less than two weeks are left before the start of one of the largest professional exhibitions in the world of wine. For fifteen years, the Drinks+ International Communication Media Group has been an information partner of this annual grand event, which each time gathers at its place more than 3 000 wines from several dozen countries. This year, the Drinks+ International Communication Media Group & Wine Travel Awards team is going to present Tenuta Manoylo, a true gem of the Italian Marche region, at its own booth in Hall D, Stand A3.


The first VinItaly took place in 1967. Since that time, for wine professionals, the words “April” and “Verona” have become almost synonymous, because it is here – in the “City of Love” – that every April leading producers, traders, buyers, importers, exporters and distributors from different countries gather. This year, VinItaly will take place from April 14 to 17.

vinitaly

The 56th Vinitaly will be attended by at least 4 000 exhibiting companies presenting their products on an area of more than 100 000 square meters. Also, thanks to the efforts of the Veronafiere press center, involved have been influential international wine traders from 65 countries.

The Drinks+ Communication Media Group + & Wine Travel Awards team is also preparing for the exhibition. At our own stand – Hall D, Stand A3, we will present a young winery from the ancient Marche region – Tenuta Manoylo, which this year has won the public vote of the international Wine Travel Awards project in the Progressive Approach category. The official list of the winners of the public vote will be announced by April 5.

Tenuta Manoylo

Drinks+ & WTA invite distributors and everyone who is interested in learning more about the still little-known Marche region and its real gem – the winemaker Tenuta Manoylo, to visit our stand and get to know the winery, whose vineyards are spread out in the heart of the Marche region – on the picturesque hills surrounding the medieval village of Moresco and the river Aso. Despite its relatively young age, Tenuta Manoylo has already earned honorable mentions at the MUNDUS VINI 2024 competition.

We would like to remind you that at ProWein 2024, the Drinks+ & WTA team, as part of Tasting Around the Sustainable World, among six other participants, presented Tenuta Manoylo with the white monovarietal wine Passo del Borgo Falerio DOC Pecorino 2021. Passerina has a beautiful golden glistening straw-yellow color.  This wine was exhibited for the first time on the international stage during the spring session of the MUNDUS VINI 2024 competition and won a silver medal. Tenuta Manoylo also won Grand Gold for Marche IGT Sangiovese 2021.

Tenuta Manoylo

Passo del Borgo Falerio DOC Pecorino 2021 received positive reviews from all experts who were present at the Tasting Around the Sustainable World. Thus, Constantin Drăgan, the head sommelier of the Jidvei winery (which, by the way, also won the WTA public vote in the Must Visit category), noted that this wine was “a real highlight of this tasting.”

All Tenuta Manoylo wines are made by one of Italy’s most authoritative oenologists – Luigi Costantini. Recently, Mr. Costantini  has found an opportunity in his busy schedule to answer questions  from the Director of the Drinks+ International Communication Media Group.

We invite you to visit our stand Hall D, Stand A3 in Verona and get to know this outstanding winery and discover the unique Marche region.

Less than two weeks are left before the start of one of the largest professional exhibitions in the world of wine. For fifteen years, the Drinks+ International Communication Media Group has been an information partner of this annual grand event, which each time gathers at its place more than 3 000 wines from several dozen […]

Oenorama. No ambitions – only wine!

Greece’s largest exhibition, Oenorama, celebrated its 30th anniversary by gathering the most distinctive wines of the bright terroirs of Hellas at the beginning of March 2024 at the “Zappeion Megaron” in the center of Athens.


Among the numerous exhibitors of Oenorama there were nominees of the Wine Travel Awards – we would like to remind you that the voting for the candidates goes on until March 31, it is the time to support the representatives of Greece in this wine tourism community – the well-known wineries from Nemea Semeli Estate and Α. & G. PAPAIOANNOU. And it is also a chance to join the international community that unites winemakers, wine journalists, guides, schools, associations and associations with the aim of promoting regions.

Oenorama

The Athens exhibition was first held in 1994. It was organized by Vinetum, a company specializing in event management, content creation and consulting. Other events organized by Vinetum include: Fine Red Wines, Afros & Nectar (Sparkling & Sweet Wines), Drink Pink (Rosé Wines) Greek Spirits and the Athens Craft Beer Festival. At that period of time it gained the highest ratings and this year it made a grand appearance with more than 250 exhibitors and more than 2,500 wines and spirits. In fact, today it is the only expo in the world that offers the most complete overview of the Greek wine industry. Such a proposition gathered more than 10,000 local and foreign visitors, specialists and oenophiles. Drinks+ correspondents were among them.

Oenorama

What caught the attention of our reviewers?

First of all, the complete absence of usual stand constructions was striking. No ambitions – only wine! As befits the homeland of the world democracy, all exhibitors – from small family wineries to powerful global enterprises – had equal opportunities to showcase their wines at standard tables lined up along the walls. What is remarkable, there were practically no stand workers – behind them were the owners, members of their families or top managers. And you know, as for me, it looks, perhaps, somewhat unusual to the eye of someone who every year attends the world’s leading exhibitions, which in some places turn into vanity fairs, but it is definitely a fair.

And it was an economical solution as well. Thus, the organizers were able to provide the maximum number of exhibition spaces to Greek winemakers with lower costs. And winemakers had equal opportunities to draw attention to their brands. And partners and fans made their choice based solely on the quality and style of the presented wines. Konstantinos Lazarakis MW, director of the WSPC Wine School (Greece), commented on the incredibly soulful atmosphere we experienced: “Oenorama is a gathering of the wine family, so everyone matters. After all, you have to go to family gatherings, even if one of your relatives can get on your nerves. Or if we may think we’ve seen it all before. A sense of belonging is important in any society! Only with this sense of belonging can we move forward, and Oenorama provides that to the wine community.”

Oenorama

And what is interesting, despite such a family-like, somewhat informal atmosphere, thanks to the well-organized navigation system at the exhibition, it was quite easy to move around the area, searching for this or that company.

So, here there was something to think about! By the way, we have long been drawing the attention of the international community to the star of winemaking that rose over the terroirs of Greece. Today, this country has begun to produce bright, diverse wines, both powerful, subtle and refined. In fact, the wines of Greece are a cosmos that can take a lifetime to explore, which is what the nominee of the Author of the Year category, Professor Marianna Sigala, really does – please support her work by voting for her.

Oenorama

New brands and names are added to the wide range of well-known and even great Greek wines every year. At this year’s show, 200+ newly released wines (from January 2021) were presented separately and could be tasted in formats ideal for each visitor: in areas exclusively for traders, during their own impromptu tasting rounds, as well as in areas for self-examination pouring

Oenorama

We also noted an interesting organizers` feature as the wine bar “Wine Revelations”. 60+ wines from rare autochthonous varieties, as well as organic, biodynamic and natural wines were presented here, poured and commented by a team of sommeliers.

The traditional exhibition Oenotechnica presented state-of-the-art oenological equipment and consumables.

Oenorama

 The date of the next exhibition has not been announced yet. Stay tuned for Drinks+ posts!

Greece’s largest exhibition, Oenorama, celebrated its 30th anniversary by gathering the most distinctive wines of the bright terroirs of Hellas at the beginning of March 2024 at the “Zappeion Megaron” in the center of Athens. Among the numerous exhibitors of Oenorama there were nominees of the Wine Travel Awards – we would like to remind […]

Luigi Costantini On the Grande Vino of Tenuta Manoylo

One of the most authoritative winemakers in Italy, the President of Assoenology Marche, Luigi Costantini, found the opportunity in his busy schedule to answer the questions of the director of Drinks+ International Communication Media Group. Luigi Costantini was born in the Marche region and has been working exclusively with local wines for 45 years. By joining forces with the owners of Tenuta Manoylo and the unique data of the terroir, Luigi Costantini managed to create a pool of brilliant wines at this winery. And from the first steps on the international stage, these wines won the highest awards of the prestigious international competition. How success was achieved, what direction the winemakers of Marche are moving in — we asked about all this in this interview.


D+: We know that your whole life is dedicated to the development of winemaking in Marche, the revival of local grape varieties and the international recognition of wines from this historical region. Five years ago, in particular, you, as an enologist, began collaborating with Tenuta Manoylo on the idea of ​​producing “grande vino rosso”. We ask you to explain what meaning you put into this phrase. What should such wines be like?

(Editor’s note: the winery is a nominee for the international Wine Travel Awards, you can vote for Tenuta Manoylo here until March 31 inclusive).

Tenuta Manoylo

Luigi Costantini: The meaning is quite simple and expresses the idea of ​​the project to obtain red wines with specific characteristics that are the optimal expression of a particular grape variety and climatic environment, with differences, even minimal, related to the climatic trend. These red wines should have niche characteristics to satisfy clients who are able to appreciate and understand the nuances highlighted by the terroir, with differences related to the vintage, but with the same common theme. Therefore, these are long-lived, complex, elegant, deep and powerful red wines that evoke sharp emotions in the taster.

D+: This year we are already seeing the fruits of this collaboration. In 2024, Tenuta Manoylo received the highest awards from the Mundus Vini competition: Grand Gold — 2021 Marche IGT Sangiovese; Silver — 2021 Falerio DOC Pecorino and Best of Show Marche for the excellent wine 2021 Marche IGT Sangiovese. Can you comment on the specific outstanding characteristics and features of each wine, noted by the esteemed judging panel?

Luigi Costantini: Indeed, this year we are finally beginning to see the results of the work started in 2020: all this became possible thanks to the owners of the winery, who believed in us — I say “in us”, because I work with colleagues: Lucciarini Vincenzo, who heads the analytical laboratory, and Lucciarini Matteo. I will try to briefly describe each of these wines.

Marche IGT Sangiovese 2021 — is the embodiment of the history of Sangiovese, one of the most important Italian grape varieties, which has an ancient origin and has been known since Etruscan times. The first documented reports date back to 1500 and refer to the central Apennines, the region between Umbria, Marche, Romagna and Tuscany. Sangiovese is able to best convey the features of climatic microzones. If we describe the appearance of this wine, then I note the ruby-red color with weak purple reflections. The aroma is intense, complex, refined, enveloping and ethereal, with notes of underbrush, with hints of ripe red fruits, plums, raspberries and cherries, with spicy and balsamic tones. These features complement each other and give the wine balance, elegance and harmony. There is a noticeable presence of tertiary aromas, such as toasted, vanilla or spicy notes. Light balsamic notes complete the complex aromatic picture. Taste: dry, sharp, warm and fruity, gives elegance to the wine and demonstrates evolution. Thanks to elegant and balanced tannins and low sugar content, it acquires a piquant and persistent taste with balsamic final notes and a spicy tertiary aroma.

Falerio DOC Pecorino 2021 

The local vine of this ancient variety was rediscovered in the Arcquatano del Piceno area by Guido Cocci Grifoni in the 80s. The 90s were marked by the revival of Pecorino, an excellent wine with a striking appearance and powerful acidity, but only in the 2000s, after experiments in the field and on the vineyard, DOC was created. And since 2011, it can be produced on the territories of Moresco, Falerio DOC Pecorino. Pecorino today is a symbolic wine and ambassador of the Piceni Fermani region: it is defined as “red in white clothes”. It has a beautiful straw-yellow color, tending towards golden, with soft greenish reflections. The aroma is deep, a complex bouquet, with an elegant structure with intense notes of white flowers and ripe fruits and with light notes of vanilla and balsam. Pecorino demonstrates a good range with very noticeable and clear aromas, with a predominance of herbal and sage tones. This wine has a wonderful structure, good acidity, full, piquant and pleasantly mineral, with a persistent taste.

Marche IGT Passerina 2021

The “Passerina” wine is one of the most famous wines of Marche and Abruzzo, produced from grapes of the same vine. The reason why this wine is called “Passerina” is that sparrows particularly like to peck at the grapes on the vine, from which the name of the wine comes. This vine was highly valued by winemakers and was called by such synonyms as Cacciadebiti, Scacciabebito, Pagadebito and Uva d’Oro, clearly indicating the variety’s ability to guarantee a good harvest every year and reliable profitability. Passerina has a nice straw-yellow color with golden reflections. The intense aroma of medium complexity has strong floral notes of lime and hawthorn, with broad fruity notes, mainly pear; cedar and ripe grapefruit notes and elegant mineral hints complete the aromatic trail. The proximity of the vineyards to the sea adds a characteristic taste — fresh, pleasant and soft, with a good structure. It is clear and persistent, with light citrus and aromatic herb notes.

Tenuta Manoylo

D+: We and, of course, our readers would like to learn more about the unique wine Peconero, a white wine with red properties, created by macerating Pecorino grapes on the skin of Petit Verdot using amphorae made of local volcanic clay. Please comment on this idea — how do these two varieties work together, how does the wine material develop in the amphora? What characteristics does such wine acquire?

Luigi Costantini: The project to create Peconero was born from the fact — already mentioned by me — that Pecorino has always been defined as “red in white clothing”. Varieties: Pecorino no less than 90%, Petit Verdot up to 10%. The yield is ensured by agronomy and is about 70 quintals per hectare. The harvest, which begins in early September for both vines, when the grapes reach the optimal and necessary level of ripeness, is carried out manually in boxes. The cleaned and slightly pressed grapes are macerated and fermented at 15-20 °C in steel tanks with flooding to promote the extraction of the anthocyanin component from the red skin and the aromatic component from Pecorino; maceration is stopped as soon as the optimal color is achieved. After the end of fermentation, the wine remains on the fine lees for at least 20 days. Here I note that malolactic fermentation should not be carried out in order not to lose the typical freshness of Pecorino. Then the wine moves on to the aging phase in wooden barrels and amphorae for 2-4 months. After bottling, Peconero does not require further processing. Pecorino matures early; gives wine with a wonderful structure, with very noticeable and clear aromas, with a predominance of herbal notes, sage. The wine has a wonderful structure, good acidity, full, piquant and pleasantly mineral, with a persistent taste. Petit Verdot, on the other hand, matures late, but we harvest it early to have a ruby-red color, fresh and slightly sour, with fruit and floral aromas that make it similar to Pecorino. These two grape varieties complement each other, and we still have a ruby-red color with complexity in the nose, waiting to be opened. This wine is very balanced in taste, even if Pecorino has a slight advantage. It must be consumed fresh. This is, so to speak, a “summer, fish red”.

D+: By the way, about amphorae — is this traditional vessel for aging wines in your region?

Luigi Costantini: Amphorae are very ancient vessels, dating back to 6000 BC, used primarily by the Greeks and Romans for transporting wine and other agricultural products. It is no coincidence that the history of amphorae, produced in the Adriatic region, from Pedaso to the hilly area, begins with the Greeks, continues with the inhabitants of Piceni and the Romans, as evidenced by some archaeological finds, around the mouth and along the banks of the river Aso, Roman ruins, which testify to the production of amphorae for transporting wine. According to these artifacts, our amphorae are made of volcanic clay in the area of Monteleone Fermano, a few kilometers from Moresco. That is why they are unique and have a volume from 100 to 500 liters. In fact, this is a unique material — since the clay is porous, the amphorae allow moderately oxygenating the crushed grapes or must, and later the wine itself, which gives the aromatic and organoleptic components of the wine noticeable typicity and territorial characteristics.

Tenuta Manoylo

D+: As we know, you are a professor of viticulture and winemaking, and such deep and comprehensive education allows you to conduct very productive experiments both with grape varieties and with different vessels for fermentation and aging of wines: steel tanks and oak barrels, concrete eggs and clay amphorae, in order to create wines with the best reflection of the terroir of Marche. Our readers are mostly professionals, so could you please dwell on this topic and tell us how exactly the vessels affect the organoleptic properties of wine? Perhaps on the example of the above-mentioned award-winning wines?

Luigi Costantini: I would like to note that our company is very sensitive to environmental issues, with rational management from the vineyard to the cellar. We have succeeded in obtaining the EQUALITAS certification, which is a standard that defines the requirements according to the three pillars of environmental and socio-economic sustainability in the wine supply chain. We also use biotechnology in the cellar for aging, maximally avoiding the use of chemicals. In the company, we use different types of containers: stainless steel tanks, concrete tanks, oak barrels, tonneaux, barriques and amphorae. Obviously, the use of these different containers depends on the final goal — the product you want to obtain. Our grapes, washed and dried, are vinified separately, except for DOC ROSSO PICENO, using stainless steel tanks, the Ganimede vinificator and roto vinificator; all the vessels are equipped with temperature control devices. We also use wooden vats. Maceration and fermentation vary in time, depending on the type of grape and the product you want to obtain, and since there are many variables — from harvesting to the end of fermentation, it is necessary to know how to understand and plan all the stages of winemaking. Red wines, which are always kept separate, after a certain period of time on the fine lees are moved to cement or wooden vessels and/or amphorae, always and in any case depending on the product itself and the desired result. The duration of stay varies from a minimum of 2 months to 12-14 months. Careful and periodic analytical and organoleptic checks allow us to determine the optimal time for any planned blending and bottling. In fact, the final organoleptic properties are not always the same, they depend on all the variables, starting from the harvest to maturation and aging.

D+: So, you not only revive and apply in practice the old traditional winemaking technologies involving the grape varieties of the Marche region, but you also, as we see, experiment with international grape varieties and innovative winemaking methods. Can you share your plans – what is happening today behind the scenes of Tenuta Manoylo, which innovative wines should we expect in the near future from this potential winery?

Luigi Costantini: Undoubtedly, the varieties of our grapes are traditional for our territory: Sangiovese, Montepulciano and Alicante, as well as international grape varieties for red wines, exclusively local for whites Pecorino and Passerina. It is true that we implement modern winemaking technologies in practice, such as the use of the Ganimede vinificator or rotary vinificator, but we also rediscover old winemaking technologies, first of all vinification under water and of whole grapes. The results of these winemaking methods can be predicted, but to draw final conclusions, we need to wait a few months. At the same time, we began research and selection of wild yeasts: this work will be quite long, but we hope to obtain proprietary yeasts that will further characterize our product. For the next few years, we have several projects for red wine, and we have already talked about Peconero. Another project that we have been conducting since 2023 is dedicated to Alicante. This grape variety has been present on our territory since 1800, we will vinify the grapes according to an ancient technology, which I do not want to reveal yet. In addition, we are already working on a wine in an international style using traditional grapes from our territory, Montepulciano. Both of the last projects will be implemented, I assume, in 2025.

Tenuta Manoylo

D+: You started your professional career in the same region of Marche, in Ascoli Piceno. And you remain faithful to this region. But Marche, unfortunately, is not such a widely known region in the wine world, as a whole list of other Italian winemaking territories. But you prove with your work — and the success of Tenuta Manoylo is the best fresh confirmation of this! — that the wines of Marche deserve more attention from wine lovers and professionals. Tell us about its features. And why did it happen that at some point it undeservedly found itself on the sidelines of fame?

Luigi Costantini: I entered this profession back in 1973, as soon as I received a diploma in “Winemaking and Viticulture” from the Ulpiani Institute in Ascoli Piceno. I have always worked exclusively in this region until 2005. But since then I started working abroad, mainly in Albania. Unfortunately, it is true that the Marche region is not very well known, although its winemaking potential is high. It is undeniable that the average wine production does not exceed one million hectoliters, as can be seen in 2022, when this figure was 93,000 hl. However, the wine palette is diverse and interesting, in fact we have 5 DOCG (Conero 10,000, Castelli di Jesi Verdicchio Riserva 8,700, Offida 35,200, Verdicchio di Matelica Riserva 2,100, Vernaccia di Serrapetrona 900), IGT Marche and 15 DOC: Bianchello al Metauro 11,700, Colli Maceratesi 8,000, Colli Pesaresi 7,200, Esino 1,400, Falerio 33,000, Lacrima di Morro d’Alba 13,800, Terre di Offida 1,200, Rosso Conero 8,700, Rosso Piceno 72,000, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi 148,000, Verdicchio di Matelica 26,800, Serrapetrona 1,000, I Terreni di Sanseverino 97, Pergola 460, San Ginesio 370, La I.G.T. Marche 268,600. Undoubtedly, the flagship product of our territory is Verdicchio for whites and Rosso Piceno for reds.

D+: How much importance do you attach to terroir in general and what potential do the vineyards of Tenuta Manoylo have? After all, not for nothing did a specialist of your level take up this project!

Tenuta Manoylo

Luigi Costantini: I would like to note that in managing the vineyard I work with my colleague Giuseppe Camilli, one of the most knowledgeable agronomists in Marche. As for the terroir, it is a very important concept, really basic. The company’s vineyard is diverse, it consists of different plots, distant from each other. This diversity means that there is an opportunity to obtain wine from one and the same grape, but which will express the differences of the terroir: in each glass you will feel different soils, etc. Now we are testing different varieties to optimize stylistics, product quality. To better understand the vineyard of the estate, I will give a table.

Grape variety Area (m2) Year of planting
Alicante 33925 22
Cabernet Sauv. 33514 20-21-22
Merlot 18430 20
Montepulciano 60238 21-22-23
Sangiovese 6831 18-20
Syrah 25161 18-20
Petit verdot 26921 20
Passerina 16267 20
Pecorino 14314 22

Total: 23,5646 ha

Manoylo

D+: From the height of your positions — ex-president of Assoenologi regione Marche and current president of Harvest Group Centro Ricerche Enologiche – you probably have a good view of what winemakers in Marche should do today to win the battle for recognition of their wines in the world, which today has been launched by such wineries as Tenuta Manoylo. What role can Harvest Group play in this? Can you briefly outline the roadmap: in what style to move, with which grape varieties, how to promote, etc.?

Luigi Costantini: A complex question… Undoubtedly, the wine sector of the region needs to create its own system, abandon limitations, focus on specific projects to create the opportunity to develop a synergistic strategy between all components of the supply chain and the territory. In order to finally overcome critical problems and improve the situation on the market. One of the main problems that determine the weakness of the regional wine and agri-food sector is the extraordinary fragmentation of the production and, above all, commercial system. In the provinces of Ascoli and Fermo, the agri-food sector, in particular the wine sector, has invested more than 130 million euros in improving the quality of production over the past 10 years, distributing the budget between modernization of processing structures, renewal of vineyards, diversification of agricultural activity, etc. But there is still no adaptation of these efforts to advertising and commercial policy, which remains the weak link in our production system.

D+: Dear Mr. Luigi! Thank you very much for your time answering our questions, success to you and your wines and well-deserved fame — to the Marche region!

One of the most authoritative winemakers in Italy, the President of Assoenology Marche, Luigi Costantini, found the opportunity in his busy schedule to answer the questions of the director of Drinks+ International Communication Media Group. Luigi Costantini was born in the Marche region and has been working exclusively with local wines for 45 years. By […]

MUNDUS VINI: Highlights from the Spring Tasting 2024

Over six days, the Saalbau in Neustadt, Germany, hosted a remarkable tasting event that attracted over 250 wine experts from 55 countries. Set in the heart of the Pfalz, the second largest wine-growing region in Germany, this gathering showcased wines from 45 nations. Among them were entries from lesser-known winelands like Uzbekistan (earning one Silver medal), Poland (marking the second Gold medal for a Polish wine), as well as Kazakhstan, Colombia, and Morocco.


Eastern European wines captivate with their distinctive flavors and remarkable quality, leaving a lasting impression at the Spring Tasting of MUNDUS VINI. From the rolling hills of Romania to the picturesque vineyards of Moldova and Ukraine, these wines showcase the region’s rich winemaking heritage and innovative techniques. Meanwhile, top producers from across the globe also dazzle with their exceptional creations, demonstrating the diversity and excellence of the global wine industry. 

MUNDUS VINI

So, the results are out for the 34th Grand International Wine Award MUNDUS VINI: standout wineries this year include R&A Pfaffl (Best Producer Austria), DGB (South Africa), Vinaria Purcari (Moldova), Anecoop (Spain), and Fantini Group (Italy). Together, their wines earned a total of 163 awards in Silver, Gold, and Grand Gold categories.

MUNDUS VINI

Italian wines have achieved remarkable success, earning a total of 639 awards (12 Grand Gold, 370 Gold, 257 Silver) from the discerning jury, showcasing their consistent quality. Spain follows closely in second place with 535 awards (7 Grand Gold, 302 Gold, 226 Silver), trailed by Portugal (352 awards), France (296 awards), Germany (193 awards), and Austria (105 awards). The continued success of “New World” countries is evident once more, with South Africa receiving 95 awards, Chile securing 55 awards, and Australia earning 50 awards, bringing the total to 288 accolades.

In recent years, MUNDUS VINI has observed a remarkable enhancement in the quality of wines originating from Eastern European countries. This year, Moldovan wines particularly stood out, garnering 3 Grand Gold, 56 Gold, and 37 Silver awards, while Georgia, Romania, and North Macedonia followed closely with 83, 71, and 42 awards, respectively.

christian_wolf_

Christian Wolf, Director Degustation comments: “As the Director of Degustation, I believe that the Spring Tasting serves as an excellent gauge for the quality of wines from the latest vintage entering the market. During the world’s premier trade fair for wines and spirits, ProWein in Düsseldorf, visitors will have the opportunity to taste approximately 350 award-winning wines from March 10 to 12, 2024. On the first day of the fair, the Board of MUNDUS VINI will host an awards ceremony to honor wine producers whose wines have received prestigious accolades such as “Best of Show” or “Best Producer.” This moment holds great significance for both the board and myself, because during the tasting only the intrinsic quality of the wines matters. With limited information provided to the jury, such as vintage and grape variety, their focus remains solely on evaluating the quality”.

MUNDUS VINI

In this year’s competition four Ukrainian women participated as a jury, with three of them representing Drinks+ and Wine Travel Awards.

MUNDUS VINI

Olga Pinevich-Todoriuk, Editor-in-chief of Drinks+ magazine: “In my commission with the colleagues from Portugal, Greece and Germany we had an unforgettable experience tasting unique wines made from Gouveio and Viosinho grapes. These lesser-known grape varieties showcased their distinct flavors and characteristics, offering a delightful journey for the palate. Another Tasting wines from Greece, particularly Mavrodaphne and Xinomavro, at MUNDUS VINI was a delightful adventure! These Greek varietals truly stood out with their rich flavors and unique profiles, offering a glimpse into the diverse terroir and winemaking traditions of Greece. Mavrodaphne’s luscious sweetness and Xinomavro’s bold character left a lasting impression, showcasing the remarkable potential of Greek wines on the international stage. It was a true pleasure to explore the depth and complexity of these exceptional wines! And of course most of them were awarded by gold medals. Thanks Mundus Vini Family for this wonderful experience and your perfect organization of tastings and the events.”

MUNDUS VINI

Iryna Diachenkova, co-founder of Drinks+ Media Group: MUNDUS VINI is a benchmark for excellent organization and professionalism. But the most important thing about it is a particularly warm human relationship, respect and attention to all its participants on the part of the organizers, who highly value the work of each winemaker, the international panel of judges and their own team. MUNDUS VINI has a wonderful tradition of presenting all team members to the judges and greeting these amazing people on stage. And at the 34th MUNDUS VINI Spring Tasting, a new ceremony was born, rewarding the judges who have been collaborating with the competition for more than 15 years. 

MUNDUS VINI

Universal human values, culture and humanism are inseparable from wine. In his welcoming speech Christoph Meininger, the founder of Meininger, addressed the words of support to Ukraine and Israel. These words are especially valuable in these turbulent times when the world is torn apart by military conflicts.

MUNDUS VINI

250 wine experts from all over the world took part in the spring session of Mundus Vini 2024. My commission included representatives from different countries: Germany, Switzerland, France, Taiwan and Ukraine. Our flights mainly consisted of very high-quality European wines from Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain. All eight Chenin Blancs from South Africa were also predictably good. But the real favorites among the white still wines for me were the 2023 Austrian wines with elegant filigree made from Muscat varieties with residual sugars up to 4 g/l and from 4 to 12 g/l. And we can say that the set of magnificent Tempranillos of different vintages from 2019 to 2023 from Ribera del Duero, where eight of the nine wines received scores of over 90 points and a well-deserved Mundus Vini gold, became a source of pride for Spanish winemakers. 

MUNDUS VINI

The last day of the competition was a special judging mission: several commissions tasted only non-alcoholic wines that day. Non-Alcoholic is an important growing segment, represented at the tasting by two categories: De-alcoholized still wine and sparkling beverages from de-alcoholized wine. Wine types: White, Rose, Red. Based on residual sugar, non-ferrous wines are divided into less and more than 40 g/l. 

MUNDUS VINI

The organoleptic parameters by which non-alcoholic wines are evaluated are somewhat different from traditional ones. For example, the degree of masking of green-of flavors in aroma and taste, the level of vinousness in taste are assessed, and the aroma of cooked grape juice is not welcomed.

According to the statistics of my commission, Germany is definitely the European leader in the non-alcoholic segment; Spain, Italy and France were represented by several samples, while Switzerland and Luxembourg each showed us one wine. These wines demonstrated that a lot of attention is paid to the overall quality of the product. Therefore, among the 39 samples of Non-Alcoholic tasted by our commission, many wines received the scores corresponding to the Silver medal and several received Gold medal ratings.”

MUNDUS VINI

Victoria Makarova, contributing editor for Wine Travel Awards: “MUNDUS VINI does feel like a family. When you are there, you are dealing with top-notch professionals from, literally, all over the globe — scientists, professors, oenologists, sommeliers, winemakers, buyers and importers, journalists and influencers. It’s an amazing cross-cultural experience where you can basically reach anyone, exchange opinions and ideas, and make new friends in the wine community. I would also like to compliment the wonderful MUNDUS VINI team and their leader, Christian Wolf. Everything they did was perfectly organized, smooth and stress-free (or so it seemed). 

My commission was blessed by several very good flights of Italian whites (Pinot Grigio, Garganega, Fiano, Cataratta, Insolia), fresh, fruity and sophisticated rose sparklings from DO Cava, wonderful Albariños and very elegant Tempranillos from Rioja, as well amazingly diverse and-high quality wines from Portugal, my absolute favorites being blends with Alicante Bouschet, which is the “father” of an important Ukrainian red variety Odesa Black.

SHABO

Speaking of Ukrainian wines, I am very happy to greet our medalists: SHABO Winery, one of the leaders of Ukrainian winemaking, has won several awards: Limited Edition Muscat Ottonel nat. semisweet 2021 — gold medal; Cabernet Reserve 2022 — gold medal; Grande Reserve Cabernet-Merlot — 2022 gold medal and Best of Show Ukraine; Limited Edition Cabernet-Merlot (Kakheti technology / aged in qvevri) 2022 — silver medal.

Château Chizay, the treasure of Zakarpattia (Transcarpathia), has won gold for their signature dessert wine Troyanda Karpat 2021 (aged for 24 months) and silver for the new release, Troyanda Karpat Red. A young and talented Odesos Winery from Odesa has won gold for Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2021.

MARCHE IGT SANGIOVESE

I would also like to mention an Italian winery from Marche, Tenuta Manoylo (Societa Agricola Morescо), the winner of grand gold and best of show Marche title for their Marche IGT Sangiovese 2021, and silver for Falerio DOC Pecorino 2021. We are especially happy to celebrate the success of this winery because it is a Wine Travel Awards nominee, and because the current owners of this estate are the Manoylo family from Ukraine. 

I do hope that more and more Ukrainian wineries will be participating in the MUNDUS VINI competitions in the future, bringing more grand gold, gold and silver to Ukraine. It was a great pleasure for me to welcome my dear colleagues from the MUNDUS VINI team at the Wines of Ukraine stand at ProWein and organize express-tastings for them. Their opinions, advice and appreciation were extremely important for Ukrainian winemakers. That‘s what the Family is for, after all!“

MUNDUS VINI

Photo Credit: AD LUMINA

 

Over six days, the Saalbau in Neustadt, Germany, hosted a remarkable tasting event that attracted over 250 wine experts from 55 countries. Set in the heart of the Pfalz, the second largest wine-growing region in Germany, this gathering showcased wines from 45 nations. Among them were entries from lesser-known winelands like Uzbekistan (earning one Silver […]

Leading UK agents & South Africa return to London Wine Fair

Several of the UK’s leading agents, importers and logistics companies will make a return to the London Wine Fair in 2024.  They include: Mentzendorff, which will take a stand for the first time in 12 years; Buckingham Schenk, celebrating their 50th anniversary; Freixenet Copestick; Hillebrand Gori UK; Lanchester Wines; and Origin Wine. Two and a half months out from the show, 90% of the floor space is already either confirmed or reserved and the organisers fully expect to be at capacity well before the doors open in May.


This year’s London Wine Fair will host an area dedicated to Asia for the first time, with the largest ever selection of Asian producers, covering wine, spirits, sake and more.  Within this, Japan will exhibit with its first generic pavilion, featuring more than a dozen producers and four drinks producers from China have already signed up, with more expected.

After a six-year absence, Wines of South Africa has also committed to the 2024 show and will return with a large Pop-Up Tasting on Wednesday, 21st May.  The tasting will bring together some of South Africa’s best producers and highlight a wide spectrum of wines on offer, from well-known names such as Spier, DGB, Waterkloof and Springfield to less well-known producers and those seeking representation. Groupings for Cap Classique (South Africa’s traditional method sparkling wines) and the Stellenbosch Cabernet Collective highlight how important these two categories are for South Africa in the UK market. 

Jo Wehring, market manager UK & Europe, Wines of South Africa said: “Wines of South Africa is thrilled to be hosting a pop-up tasting at the London Wine Fair this year. Many of the producers showcasing their wines have impressive sustainability credentials and inspiring stories to tell. There will be something for every portfolio and wine list, from our Cap Classique to our Chenin, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinotage.”

Head of London Wine Fair, Hannah Tovey, said: “After the success of last year’s show, which saw exhibitors up 30% on 2022 and visitors increase by 14%, we are hugely optimistic for the 2024 edition, which sees us on target to reach capacity.  To see so many of the U.K.’s leading companies return, joining the likes of long-term exhibitors, Hatch Mansfield, Awin Barratt Siegel, Richmond Wine Agencies, Ellis Wines, EWGA, Felix Solis, H2Vin, Marcato Direct, Beyond Wine and Friarwood Fine Wines is a very positive sign for the UK market and we are delighted to welcome them back, alongside New and Old World country pavilions, new producers, established brands and more.

“We will be announcing our plans for new and exciting features and content for the London Wine Fair over the coming weeks, to ensure the 2024 edition is the most relevant and unmissable to date, covering everything from industry challenges, future trends, emerging categories and fine wine.”

The London Wine Fair will take place at Olympia from 20th to 22nd May. Visitor registration is now open via: www.londonwinefair.com 

Several of the UK’s leading agents, importers and logistics companies will make a return to the London Wine Fair in 2024.  They include: Mentzendorff, which will take a stand for the first time in 12 years; Buckingham Schenk, celebrating their 50th anniversary; Freixenet Copestick; Hillebrand Gori UK; Lanchester Wines; and Origin Wine. Two and a half […]

Tasting native grape varieties of Cyprus with wine experts in Burgundy

Xynisteri, Maratheftiko, Agiorgitiko and Lefkada are impossible to find on the shelves of Burgundian wine shops and supermarkets. Many wine enthusiasts and experts are not familiar with those varieties what makes the first tasting even more intimate and special. Oleksandra Hryhorieva, Drinks+ correspondent in Burgundy, shared her experience with our readers. 


Burgundians pride themselves on their high-quality wine (which, admittedly, has its merits), but it’s quite difficult to find a good selection of wines from neighboring counties such as Italy or Spain or sometimes even from other French wine regions, not to mention more distant lands. If one wants to discover the wines of the world and hone their tasting skills while living in Burgundy, perhaps the opportunities brought or highlighted by Covid can come in handy – e-tastings, online seminars or workshops, online research and wine delivery. At least, this is what I resort to, as it is not always possible to travel.

During my recent online market research, I got captivated by Cyprus, its boutique wineries and native grape varieties which constitute about 90% of the Cypriot vineyard. Cyprus, situated closer to Asia than its European counterparts, is situated in the Levant region. Historically, the Levant was a focal point of civilization for thousands of years, but with the arrival of the Ottomans, Cyprus saw a decline in its connection with wine, almost fading away. However, in recent times, the narrative of the region has taken a positive turn. The presence of ancient native grape varieties, viticulture at high altitudes, and innovative winemaking practices now play a role in producing wines with distinct personalities, telling a remarkable story.

Tasting native grape varieties of Cyprus

In his article “The Rise of Cypriot Wine”, Demetri Walters MW gives a nice appellation overview. The Cypriot Wine Products Council follows European Union regulations in establishing the country’s wine appellation system. There are seven Protected Designations of Origin (PDOs) and four Protected Geographical Indications (PGIs). The PGIs represent the major wine-producing regions of Cyprus: Lefkosia (Nicosia), Lemesos (Limassol), Larnaka (Larnaca), and Pafos (Paphos). To qualify for the PGI, wines must contain at least 85% grapes from the specified geographical indication. The vines must be a minimum of four years old, and yields are restricted to 55 to 70 hectoliters per hectare, depending on the grape variety. Red wines must have a minimum alcohol content of 11% ABV, while whites must have 10% ABV.

The seven PDOs include Commandaria, Krasochoria Lemesou, Krasochoria Lemesou-Afames, Krasochoria Lemesou-Laona, Laona-Akama, Vouni Panayia-Ampelitis, and Pitsilia. Each PDO has stringent elevation criteria ranging from 400 to 1,400 meters (1,300 to 4,600 feet). Vines must be at least five years old, and yields are capped at 36 to 45 hectoliters per hectare, depending on the variety. The minimum alcohol content for reds is 12% ABV, and for whites, it is 11% ABV.

Tasting native grape varieties of Cyprus

I came across The ‘Anama Concept, a boutique winery located in the middle of a dense pine forest in Lythrodontas, a 30-minute drive from Nicosia or Larnaca. I had the opportunity to speak via video with Lefteris Mohianakis, Oenologist, Managing Director, and Kristina Apostolou, Creative Director, who kindly showed me around the place and talked about their approach to wine production. This was probably my first virtual visit to a winery.

Cyprus boasts a distinctive geological feature with an extensive range of soils, even within the same plot of land. Another unique aspect is the absence of valleys on the island, replaced by numerous slopes with varied orientations. In light of this, rather than confining their vineyards to a single terroir near the winery, The ‘Anama Concept have undertaken the initiative to rent and acquire older vineyards spread across the island. The cultivation, maintenance, and harvesting of these vineyards are meticulously carried out by hand, emphasizing quality control from the outset and providing personalized attention to each vineyard. The owners’ commitment extends to minimizing the use of chemicals and to following the nature-driven and sustainable approach. All products are strictly limited in quantity (approx. 1,000 bottles per label), allowing them to retain a high & fine quality as well as authenticity in each and every wine & spirit, as well as vintage, they produce.

Tasting native grape varieties of Cyprus

Once I got my wines delivered, I decided to hold a small tasting to discover the indigenous grape varieties together with Richard Fussner, former international sommelier and now director of the Château du Clos de Vougeot, and Jeff Burrows, who holds the WSET Diploma and writes an award-winning wine blog, Food Wine Click!

The first thing we noticed is the fact that the wines have a marked extract and texture for rather low alcohol by volume (ABV). White and reds are interesting and can decently represent Cyprus and find its wine consumers abroad.

‘Anama Head In The Skies 2021, Xynisteri White Dry, Vegan, 11% vol

OH: Pale yellow color with golden sheen. The first nose is fruity and zesty; the second nose evolves to white peaches, ripe green apples, lemons, fresh pears, and apricots, followed by charming floral notes. Fresh, good intensity, appealing body with medium plus finish. Wine of very good quality.

‘Anama Head In The Skies 2021, Xynisteri-Maratheftiko Rosé Dry, Vegan, 11% vol

JB: Medium pink-orange color. Medium intensity nose with strawberry and watermelon aromas. Medium acidity, soft mouth with low intensity and complexity; soft but short finish. Good quality. Anonymous rosé.

‘Anama Oak Fermented 2021, Maratheftiko-Agiorgitiko Rosé Dry, fermented in French and American old barriques, Vegan, 12% vol

RF: Deep pink color reminiscent of Bordeaux Clairet. Fruity nose with an oak influence. Soft texture. It lacks freshness and maturation. Slightly bitter finish. It may be difficult to find an occasion for this wine and to pair it. Unusual for a Western European consumer.

‘Anama Maratheftiko – Oak Matured 2021 (Red dry)

Aged in used French and American barriques for 16 months, Vegan, 13% vol

JB: Deep ruby. Pronounced intensity. Oaky pine, dill, blueberry; wild, animal hints. Medium acidity, high tannins, medium body. Medium-to-long finish. Fruit still hiding under the oak. Good today but with age will develop better.

RF: Nice color extract. Nose: wild red fruit, animal, spice. Intense mouth with black fruit and smoky notes. Pleasant aroma persistence. Good potential for aging.

‘Anama Lefkada – Oak Matured 2021 (Red dry)

24 months in French and American used oak barriques, Vegan, 13,5% vol

OH: Deep purple. Intense ripe red fruit (plump, cherry) aromas, berries and spices (pepper, cloves), coconut. Intensive tannins, well-structured medium body, fresh with medium acidity and quite long finish. Suitable for aging. This wine has a character, ambitious.

‘Anama Vintage 2013

A ripe, sweet wine produced from sun-raisined grapes, following a natural vinification protocol. The 100+ year-old vines of the indigenous varieties Mavro & Xinisteri, situated along the slopes of Zoopigi (1,100+m altitude), are cultivated solely by hands & tools.

Release date: March 2019
Total Production: 1,678 numbered bottles
Oak Barrel Aging Period: 5 years
Further Aging Potential in bottle: 40 years+
Alcohol: 14% vol

Photos: Lefteris Mohianakis, Kristina Apostolou, The ‘Anama Concept‘s Visual Journals

Xynisteri, Maratheftiko, Agiorgitiko and Lefkada are impossible to find on the shelves of Burgundian wine shops and supermarkets. Many wine enthusiasts and experts are not familiar with those varieties what makes the first tasting even more intimate and special. Oleksandra Hryhorieva, Drinks+ correspondent in Burgundy, shared her experience with our readers.  Burgundians pride themselves on […]

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