Wine Culture and Information - Volume 17
Home Page About Us:Write Us:Back Issues:Advertising:Index 
Events Polls Serving Wine EnoForum EnoGames Wine Places Aquavitae Wine Guide


   Share this article     Summary of Editorial column ABC Wine 
  Editorial Issue 51, April 2007   
A National Appellation Also in Italy?A National Appellation Also in Italy? MailBoxMailBox  Contents 
Issue 50, March 2007 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 52, May 2007

A National Appellation Also in Italy?


 The decision of Spain and France about creating national appellations - Vignobles de France and Viñedos de España respectively - has been cause of many debates, not only in the countries where they are in force. In fact, there are many detractors against these decisions, as they believe such a “wide” appellation will not give benefits to the enological quality of the country and will be detrimental for current appellations as well. Many support the fact this way it will be possible - for example - to commercialize mediocre wines by taking advantage of an appellation which benefits of the name and prestige of a whole country. Others believe this decision will be useful for the competition against the enological productions from other emerging countries and that are getting more and more market shares everywhere in the world, in particular in Asian countries, in which the interest about the consumption of wine is continuously increasing. Supporters of national appellations also believe the “advantage” of making wines capable of expressing the quality of the same grape by the union of the characteristics of different areas, such as a wine with typical aromas of an area and the body of another.


 

 Italian producers, who in the last recent months have been successful in exporting their wines all over the world, by even surpassing countries like France, are considering the idea about creating a national appellation in order to contrast any possible “attack' from the countries which already issued them. Being in a strong position conquered by worldwide success for the export of Italian wine, producers of the boot are asking themselves how to keep this position, possibly conquering new market shares. The problem of how contrasting the competition of emerging wine countries, seems to be one of the most recurring subjects in Europe in recent times. The fear wines produced in the countries of the so called “New World” will get the upper hand over the consumption in the Old Continent, seems to be real and concrete. Countries having no significative history or tradition about wine making are in fact successful in producing quality wines and to even sell them to convenient prices. Of course, the consumer, in case he or she has to choose to buy between a good wine sold at a reasonable price and a wine sold as much as twice the same price, it is obvious what he or she will choose, at least in general terms.

 The recent decision of allowing also in Europe the use of wood chips in the production of wine is an example on how they are trying to find alternative and cheaper ways in order to limit costs and - maybe - prices. Now, besides wood chips, could also be issued national appellations, already issued in France and in Spain: two methods with the declared purpose of taking a commercial advantage. The idea of the French and the Spanish seems to arise some debates among Italian producers who are asking themselves about the chance of creating an Italian national appellation. Needless to say, there are both supporters and detractors. Some support the idea an “Italy” appellation could be useful to strengthen the position of Italian wine in the world, whereas others support the opinion a national appellation would be detrimental for the identity and quality of local appellations. There also are others who support a purely commercial point of view, as national appellations are already in force in France and in Spain - that is in the two main competitors of Italy in the international market - then it should be advisable to create a similar appellation in Italy in order to give a prompt “reply”.

 If we take a closer look at the wine and viticultural situation of Italy, a possible national appellation would be cause of pretty complicated and practical problems. If we consider, for example, French national appellation - Vignobles de France - it allows the production of a wine with grapes - the same grape - coming from many wine areas. This model could work with French autochthonous varieties, such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc which are considered “international” in other countries of the world, but what would happen with autochthonous Italian varieties? How could it be possible to make, for example, an Italy IGT wine with Nebbiolo or with Corvina? Corvina is virtually found in Valpolicella only, whereas Nebbiolo is mainly found in Piedmont and in some areas in Lombardy, Vallée d'Aoste and - even more marginally - in Sardinia. The same could happen for other autochthonous grapes which are more common in the country, such as Sangiovese, mainly cultivated in Central Italy.

 By considering these facts, the only feasible alternative would be making Italy IGT wines with “international” grapes only, the only varieties present in every region. And this would be an incredible paradox: a wine triumphantly emphasizing in the label the Italy brand and made with grapes which are not Italian. What kind of image this would give to Italian wine in the world? A country, with an important and ancient wine making history, that in order to give an image of itself in the world use international varieties instead of autochthonous varieties of which Italy is rich and which indisputably represents Italian wine. Does this make any sense? Alternatively, they could start the cultivation of Italian varieties in every region of Italy as to begin the production, for example, of Italy IGT wines made of Nebbiolo, Corvina, Primitivo, Cannonau, Nero d'Avola, Aglianico and so on. Who knows whether this idea would be appreciated by producers of the regions in which these grapes are present since many centuries, represent those territories and identify them in a strong and unequivocal way. And who knows what consumers would think about this.

 Whoever makes wine and makes it for commercial purposes - no doubts about this - must make a profit as well. Whoever makes wine and from this business makes a profit, must necessarily compare the products with competition, both with producers of the same country, as well as with producers of other countries. How can it be possible, in order to contrast the effects of competition, must be used methods which would have the evident result of creating a preoccupying confusion? How can it be possible no one has ever thought about the negative effects which could be caused by a national appellation with a bad quality? In case a national appellation shows - with facts - to make mediocre or bad results, the whole credibility of the country would be affected as well. Whoever makes wine must necessarily consider profit and competition. There is no doubt about this. But, at what price? At the price of depriving each wine area of their identity, an identity which took years in order to get to present results? All that for the sake of competition? Maybe the problem must be sought somewhere else, also in the eternal problem of quality sold at the right price. Quality is not a factor depending on tradition, history or the name of a country: quality is a factor depending on the precise choices of producers. No one will pay a lot of money for something that, in the facts, has a lesser value than the price at which it is sold at. Not even in case in the label is written “Italy”, “France” or “Spain”.

 



   Share this article     Summary of Editorial column ABC Wine 
  Editorial Issue 51, April 2007   
A National Appellation Also in Italy?A National Appellation Also in Italy? MailBoxMailBox  Contents 
Issue 50, March 2007 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 52, May 2007

MailBox


 In this column are published our reader's mail. If you have any comment or any question or just want to express your opinion about wine, send your letters to our editorial or fill in the form available at our site.

 

A dear friend of mine told me using a decanter for the oxygenation of a wine is not a good idea, as it introduces a high quantity of oxygen while compromising the organoleptic qualities of the wine. Is she right?
Yvette Annaud -- Paris (France)
The “dilemma” of decanting is pretty frequent and many wine lovers believe it is essential for aged wines only, whereas others use this operation in every wine, including white wines. The process of decanting indisputably favors the oxygenation of the wine, which, because of its flowing along the side, exposes a wide surface of contact with the air. A wine which has spent many years in the bottle - that is in a “reduced” environment offering few possibilities of contact with oxygen - develops aromas which are the result of their evolution. An excessive and sudden oxygenation could in fact “destroy” part of this slow and patient job of time. By considering the good availability of glasses in the market, which have now reached very high “technical” levels, it is better to directly serve the wine in the glass and to favor a lesser “violent” oxygenation by swirling it for few seconds. The decanter is however indispensable in case the bottle shows some sediment, in this case the operation of decanting allows the separation of the limpid part of wine by leaving in the bottle the deposit produced in the course of time.



I frequently read in wine reviews about aromas which, according to my opinion, are more the result of taster's fantasy instead of reality, such as aromas of tobacco, leather, hay or animal hints. Concerning this matter, I would like to know your opinion. Is it possible in a wine are found such aromas or it is the fantasy a taster uses in his or her description?
Aldo Cavanna -- Milan (Italy)
Sensorial and analytical tasting of a wine certainly is a complex task - although not impossible - requiring practice, experience and commitment. Concerning this aspect, it should be noticed a complete and precise description of a wine is however difficult, as the subjectivity of the taster plays a role. Everyone has sensorial capabilities for the tasting of a wine, saved the case of particular and however rare pathologies limiting their functionality. Without giving any opinion about descriptions, or suggestions, tasters use for wines, it should be noticed the perception of aromas in a wine is done by “analogy”, that is by associating a specific olfactory sensation perceived in the glass with the analogous aromas characterizing certain essences, such as the ones of flowers and fruits. It is undeniable the aging of a wine in the bottle - that is in a “reduced” environment - will develop with time aromatic qualities which are totally absent in the same young wine. This aging will tend to develop very complex aromas that, for analogy, are associated to the aromatic sensations not found in the world of fruit and flowers, such as leather or animal hints. Laboratory analysis, which cannot certainly be defined as the result of “fantasy”, confirms the presence in the wine of the same aromatic molecules found in the aromas described by “analogy” by tasters. It is however indisputable in the task of tasting, in particular group tasting, suggestion plays a “critical” role. It has been widely proven that, for example, in case one of the tasters in a group declares the perception in a wine of a specific aroma, it is very likely also other tasters, because of the suggestion, will perceive the same aroma in that wine. For this reason, in tasting done by a group, it is required silence, both for the respect of the job done by others, as well as not negatively influencing their reliability.



   Share this article     Summary of Editorial column ABC Wine 
  Editorial Issue 51, April 2007   
A National Appellation Also in Italy?A National Appellation Also in Italy? MailBoxMailBox  Contents 
DiWineTaste Polls
What kind of wine do you like having in July?


Result   Other Polls

 Share this poll   
When you buy a wine, you are mainly interested in:


Result   Other Polls

 Share this poll   
In choosing a wine, what is the most important factor?


Result   Other Polls

 Share this poll   


Events Polls Serving Wine EnoForum EnoGames Wine Places Aquavitae Wine Guide
Home Page About Us:Write Us:Back Issues:Advertising:Index 

Privacy Policy

Download your free DiWineTaste Card  :  Test your Blood Alcohol Content  :  Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on Twitter

Download DiWineTaste
Copyright © 2002-2019 Antonello Biancalana, DiWineTaste - All rights reserved
All rights reserved under international copyright conventions. No part of this publication and of this WEB site may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without permission in writing from DiWineTaste.