The global wine industry has witnessed somewhat of a renaissance over the last decade. With the resurgence of wine festival popularity and new grapes dominating the global vineyard market, times are indeed changing — and interest is piquing. Data shows that the public’s taste in grape popularity is transitioning, which means that preference for new assemblages — and the embracing of older heretofore underappreciated vintages — is on the rise.
A research team from the University of Adelaide in South Australia recently put together what it’s calling the first-ever catalogue of the world’s wine grape regions and varieties. Funded by the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation, this incredible database provides a comprehensive deconstruction of the industry, and covers approximately 99 percent of global wine production. The study incorporates a jaw-dropping 1,271 different grape varietals from 521 wine regions in 44 wine-producing countries.
The detail-oriented database tells us which grapes are most prevalent per region around the globe and also reveals changing trends in consumer behavior. The study tells us, for instance, that twenty years ago the most widely grown grape on Earth was a white wine variety from Spain called Airen. In 2017, it’s Cabernet Sauvignon.
In fact, red grapes now shore up the majority of the wine grapes grown on the entire planet, with gold, silver, and bronze going to Cabernet Sauvignon (6.3 percent of the market), Merlot (5.81 percent) and Tempranillo (5.05 percent) respectively.
It’s easy to follow these trends if you happen to frequent popular wine festivals. Around the world, wine growers and wine experts are celebrating new vintages and doubling down on older favorites, and there is no better way to sample the most popular assemblages than by attending wine festivals. Here you can get a feel for changing or developing trends before they hit your local vendors.
If you’re looking for a large sampling of emerging wines, you may consider the Boston Wine Expo, the largest wine expo in America. Boasting 1,800 different wine tastings from more than 300 international wineries, you can’t go wrong at this New England favourite.
Not to be outdone, Oregon's wine country gains more prestige each year, particularly for its pinot noirs. It should come as no small surprise that the International Pinot Noir Celebration in the famed Willamette Valley (a 160-mile-long stretch of vineyards that’s home to some of the world's best pinots) is a midsummer favourite, featuring wines from famed pinot-producers in California, New Zealand, Australia, France, and Italy.
If you can’t get away to a festival, don’t fret; there are plenty of ways to brush up on new wine trends and do some tasting of your own through the right wine distributor. With the prevalence of the recent online retail explosion, online wine retailers like those at www.wineonline.ca have made it easier than ever to sample new offerings, and to acquire hard-to-find vintages you might have missed.
Their curators have a number of great assemblages from around the world, and can have them delivered within days. Consider the elegant, darkly rich 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon by Graceland Vineyards. This South African blend offers soft tannin structure, and comes replete with layered notes of cassis and blackberry.Perhaps you’re looking for a more complex blend, in which case you might consider a bottle of 2011 Vintage Port by Senhora Do Convento from Portugal’s Douro region. With a very herbaceous nose, this bottle brings a huge but superbly ripe tannin composition, offering an incredibly complex explosion of fruity notes.
Whatever your preference, online wine distributors like WineOnline can bring terrific new blends to your door with no hassle, allowing you to enjoy the fruits of the world, without ever leaving your back terrace. Cheers to a summer of delicious drinking.