ProWein 2015: Specialist Insight by Gregory Dal Piaz

15 January, 2015

And about that Öküzgözü, this may very well prove to be Turkey’s breakout variety. Among the indigenous Turkish varieties, of which there are many, Öküzgözü strikes a fine balance between character and drinkability, reminding me of Dolcetto with its fresh, fruity flavours and lovely bright character. I try them every chance I get, and while winemaking might not be where it needs to be yet there are some great examples out there.

CHINA

While Turkey has an impressive vinous history, and great vineyard to accompany that story, China is more of an upstart in the wine world, but as is this case with the Chinese, when they decided to do wine, they decided to do it on a large scale. So large in fact that Chinese grape production swelled from 300,000 hectares in 2000 to nearly 600,000 today, yielding over ten million metric tons of fruit, making China the world’s leading producer of grapes.

While production is exploding in China, wine production, while growing rapidly, is of course proceeding at a slower pace. Investments by international wine powerhouses such as Domaines Barons de Rothschild and LVMH are ensuring that the studies of terroir and production in early state trials are being undertaken with the highest international standards in mind.

While Turkey has a bevy of indigenous varieties to promote, China must rely on imported clonal material and due to their domestic market, the terroir, and international pressures over 60% of what has been planted in China has been Cabernet Sauvignon. It remains to be seen whether the world at large needs another source of Cabernet Sauvignon but, in the short term, if Chinese Cabernets can compete with the world’s best, these wines will be an easy way to benchmark the potential China’s wine regions have. There is no doubt that somewhere in that vast country, with the money and the wherewithal being applied, world-class wines will emerge. How exciting will it be to be there from the very start?

While Turkey and China are the biggest stories in the wine world, it’s worth noting what have been some of the biggest headlines of this past year.

NEW YORK’S FINGER LAKES

The region, long known for their Rieslings, is the site of some international investment that opened more than a few eyes. Paul Hobbs and Johannes Selbach formed a joint venture to develop a 67 acre site on the southeastern shore of Seneca Lake. While this is not the first outside investment in the region, it is the biggest, and most widely covered by the media, portending increasing media coverage for the great, and largely undiscovered, wines of the region.

THE REPUBLIC OF GEORGIA

After years of increasing interest in so-called orange wines and fermentations in amphorae, Georgia is finally getting the word out about their Qvevri wines. The traditional wines of Georgia, fermented in these clay Qvevri, are a historical link that connects the modern day interpretations of this style of wine their roots. While certainly not for every palate, Qvervi wines can be fascinating and have served to open the door to both the historical and modern day wines of regions previously unknown to the wine cognoscenti.

ProWein 2015

Not a story, yet, ProWein 2015 will be one of the great stories of 2015. Already the world’s top venue for wine professionals, it’s very possibly the only place on earth where you might be able to sample all of the greatest wines of these emerging regions alongside wines from every important “classic” wine producing region on earth.

Over the course of three days ProWein International Trade Fair for Wines and Spirits in Düsseldorf, Germany (March 15 - 17, 2015) will give the global wine professional access to the greatest wines and producers in the world while allowing them the freedom to discover all the new and exciting developments that have taken place this past year in the world of wine or will gain attention in the future.





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