Global wine production fell for the fourth consecutive year as the industry faced challenges from extreme weather events as well as global supply chain disruptions and economic concerns that led to increases in wine prices. A sharp increase in average export prices pushed the value of wine exports to a record high of €37.6-billion (about $56-billion) in 2022.
Those were the biggest takeaways from the International Organisation of Vine and Wine’s press conference on the status of the vine and wine sector around the world, which was held April 20 in Dijon, France. The intergovernmental organization focuses on scientific and technical aspects relating to vines, wine, wine-based beverages, table grapes, raisins and other vine-based products.
Beyond the major overview, the annual report is filled with stats and facts that wine geeks would love. For instance, 85 countries produced wine in 2022, with Italy, France and Spain accounting for more than half of the total production. Add in the United States, Australia, Chile, Argentina and South Africa and you’re looking at eight countries making 78 per cent of the world’s wine production.
Meanwhile, wine consumption around the world showed a 1-per-cent decline compared with 2021. The U.S. France, Italy, Germany and the U.K. are responsible for half of the world wine consumption, which is estimated at 232 mhl (million hectolitre). With our consumption of 4.2 mhl of wine, Canada ranks in the 13th position, between South Africa (4.6 mhl) and Romania (3.7 mhl).
A final figure that stood out: Roughly one out of every two bottles of wine consumed in 2022 crossed at least one border. This week’s recommendations include seven international wines that are new releases at liquor stores.
Aveleda Loureiro 2020 (Portugal), $13.95
Made with the loureiro grape, this estate-grown wine comes from the picturesque Aveleda estate located a half-hour drive from the city of Porto. It’s a refreshing white with apple, melon and lemon/lime notes. The slight sweetness is nicely balanced by citrusy aftertaste. Drink now. Available in Ontario at the above price, $15.99 in Manitoba.
Carpineto Riserva Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2017 (Italy), $34.95
Made from vineyards surrounding the village of Montepulciano, Vino Nobile doesn’t carry the same name recognition as other sangiovese-based wines made in Tuscany, such as Chianti Classico or Brunello. This is a powerful and expressive red wine that shows the savoury and fruity personality of the sangiovese grape to great effect. The mix of ripe cherry/berry fruit and herbal/earthy notes contributes to the complex character, which is enjoyable now or has the potential to develop over the next decade. Drink now to 2033. Available in Ontario at the above price, various prices in British Columbia and Alberta, $34 in Quebec (2018 vintage), $38.99 in New Brunswick.
CedarCreek Pinot Noir Rosé 2022 (Canada), $25.99
Bright and fresh, with plenty of mouth-watering character, this is an enjoyable rosé produced from CedarCreek’s organically farmed estate vineyards in Kelowna, B.C. It’s dry, with zesty grapefruit and red berry notes. Drink now to 2025. Available in British Columbia at the above price or direct, cedarcreek.bc.ca
Frescobaldi Nipozzano Vecchie Viti Chianti Rúfina Riserva 2015 (Italy), $29.95
This old vine chianti riserva offers serious structure and complex flavours suggesting savoury, leathery and herbal notes. It’s developing nicely with a core of sweet red fruit flavours that really appeals. Drink now to 2028. Available in Ontario at the above price, various prices in Alberta, $35.99 in Manitoba, $31.50 in Quebec.
Jaffelin Les Grands Crus Blancs Pouilly-Fuissé 2021 (France), $41.95
Pouilly-Fuissé is an appellation for white wines made from vineyards spread across four villages in the Mâconnais region of Burgundy. Chardonnay is the only permitted grape variety and this is a rich and refreshing style of wine that’s emblematic of the region. The mix of flavours includes nutty and honeyed notes with good acidity to balance. Drink now to 2025. Available in Ontario.
Kitsch 7 Barrel Chardonnay 2020 (Canada), $35
Located in northeast Kelowna, Kitsch produces a variety of stylish rieslings, chardonnays and pinot noirs. The rich and flavourful 7 Barrel Chardonnay is the top of the range and is consistently made in a complex style, with citrus, yellow apple and overt vanilla and popcorn oak-derived notes. (The number in the name refers to the seven barrels selected to make this flagship chardonnay.) Its generous, crowd-pleasing nature is easy to appreciate. Drink now to 2025. Available direct, kitschwines.ca
La Crema Pinot Noir Rosé 2022 (United States), $29.95
One of the Jackson Family Wines properties, La Crema is a premium producer of chardonnay and pinot noir in California. The pinot noir grapes used to produce this juicy and refreshing rosé come from five vineyards in Monterery. The style is fresh and vibrant with textbook watermelon and berry flavours that gain richness from some fleshly peach notes. Drink now to 2024. Available in Ontario at the above price, $28.98 in British Columbia, various prices in Alberta.
La Mascota Malbec 2020 (Argentina), $18.95
Mascota farms malbec grapes in Cruz de Piedra, a district located south of the city of Maipu in Mendoza that is the source of many popular brands from Argentina. This shows a fruity and peppery style of malbec, with refreshing character, supple texture and polished tannins. A great expression of the grape variety that represents terrific value for the price. Drink now to 2026. Available in Ontario at the above price, various prices in British Columbia and Alberta, $17.28 in Manitoba, $21.79 in New Brunswick, $21.31 in Nova Scotia, $21.99 in Prince Edward Island, $19.89 in Newfoundland.
Tenuta Perano Riserva Chianti Classico 2017 (Italy), $39.95
One of the Frescobaldi estates in Tuscany, Perano is in Gaiole and produces a range of sangiovese-based wines under the Chianti Classico designation. This reserve bottling is a blend of sangiovese and merlot that spends 24 months in barrel prior to bottling. The resulting wine is packed with concentrated cherry and berry fruit flavours that are balanced by bright acidity and chewy tannins. This is a serious red wine that will continue to develop nicely in the cellar. Drink now to 2030. Available in Ontario at the above price, $40 in Quebec (2018 vintage), $47.99 in New Brunswick, $44.30 in Nova Scotia (2019 vintage).