Wine News: Mid-June 2019

Welcome back to the Ultra Wine Racks blog! Every three weeks, we bring you the latest wine and wine business news from around the globe. If you want to know the wine industry news from Napa, France, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and all the winegrowing regions of the world, here’s the place.

We have four exciting headlines for you today. High temperatures in California point to a record-breaking harvest. An Israeli company infuses water with wine. A Portland winery introduces reusable wine bottles. And Wine-Searcher has made a list of the most expensive fortified wines in the world. Grab a glass of wine and check this out!

Heavy Rains, High Temperatures Could Yield Record-Breaking Grape Harvest

Napa State Hospital registered a temperature of 102 degrees on Tuesday, June 11. According to the National Weather Service, this breaks a record that had stood for 115 years. The previous highest temperature recorded on that date was 97 degrees, in 1904.

The combination of heavy spring rains and heat may be ideal, according to KSBY. High temperatures in California could yield the biggest grape harvests in almost ten years. With plentiful moisture in the soil left over from the heavy spring rains, and the heat jump-starting the grapevines’ delayed growth, Central Coast vignerons are confident.

“We are going to have a lot more vigor with wines throwing a lot more fruit,” said Josh Beckett, owner of Peachy Canyon Winery in Paso Robles. “They are already big and we are just getting going. I was out in a vineyard today where the growth is twice the size it’s been in about eight years.”

And now comes the best news possible: the high temps will die away into milder temperatures. This will keep the grapevines from being stressed while still permitting growth. Oenophiles will continue to watch the weather to see how the 2019 winegrape harvest develops.

Thirsty? Try Wine-Infused Water

Enterprising Israeli company Wine Water Ltd. is capitalizing on the “infused water” trend. They’ve created O.Vine, a wine-infused bottled water that comes in two flavors: Chardonnay and Cabernet. Calling O.Vine “infused varietal wine-essence,” Wine Water Ltd. intends to market it mainly to Millennials.

Wine Water Ltd. founder and CEO Anat Levi spent two decades in the wine industry prior to launching the company. She worked at Galil Mountain Winery and Golan Heights Winery. At the Galil facility, she first developed her infusion technique. The Galil Mountain Winery now produces O.Vine.

O.Vine is sold in 350-ml glass bottles. They are $5.00 apiece in the United States. The beverage, according to Levi, is not sweet, and smells just like wine. The Cabernet is fruity, with notes of chocolate, while the chardonnay has notes of apple and lime, with a hint of caramel.

Portland Winery Pioneers Use of Reusable Wine Bottles

Reusable beer bottles have already hit shelves, but the trend is migrating to wine as well. Coopers Hall Winery and Taproom in Portland, Oregon is the first winery in the United States to make use of reusable wine bottles.

Coopers Hall previously rose to prominence in 2014, when it opened. At the time, they were the first keg-only winery in the state of Oregon. By offering their wine in kegs, representatives of Coopers Hall claim to have saved over 315,000 wine bottles from needing to be recycled.

The bottles are nothing fancy. They are simply reusable beer bottles. These were left over from Oregon’s refillable beer bottle program which commenced in 2018. Coopers Hall Winery saw an opportunity to use the bottles for wine as well. Each bottle costs $12 and can be washed and reused up to 25 times. At that point, it is crushed and recycled.

The recycling process for glass bottles uses a tremendous amount of energy. Coopers Hall hopes that its reusable bottle program will save energy and prevent unnecessary recycling of conventional wine and beer bottles.

The World’s Most Expensive Fortified Wines, Revealed

Fortified wines are wines to which an alcoholic spirit (such as brandy) has been added post-fermentation. These wines include port, Madeira, and sherry.

Wine-Searcher recently compiled a list of the most expensive fortified wines in the world. Thanks to declining interest in fortified wines, many of these wines are expensive and novel. Some of the most expensive fortified wines in the world include:

  • Taylor Fladgate Limited Editions 1863 Single Harvest Port. It’s unclear what the vintage on this one is, but we know it was made from grapes harvested before the Great French Wine Blight. A pre-phylloxera vintage is hard to find, understandably, so that’s why the price tag is $3457.
  • HM Borges Terrantez T Vintage Madeira. The most recent vintage for this Madeira is 1877, which explains the hefty $5399 price tag. (At one point, the price shot as high as $13,608.)
  • Companhia Vinicola da Madeira CVM Malmsey Vintage Madeira. The four available vintages range between 1795 and 1933. The average price is $4972.
  • Coimbra de Mattos Valriz Very Old Tawny Port. The de Mattos family has been in business since the 1700s. They produce wines ranging from $5 a bottle to $2864, which is what a bottle of this tawny port will cost you on average.

This concludes the wine business news for mid-June 2019. We’ll have more exciting headlines for you in three weeks’ time. Don’t forget to check out our previous posts for more cool wine lifestyle info and stories. Also, stop by our website for the latest wine racking solutions. Thanks for being an Ultra customer.

Happy sipping!


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