Mobilise the masses against the Mosel massacre
Monday 12 July
If you’re a Mosel Riesling lover, here’s another chance to do your bit to save the region’s best vineyards from obliteration.
If you’ve not already heard, a 160-metre-high bridge is under construction connecting the Mosel from the village of Urzig to a new four-lane motorway above some of the best Riesling vineyards in the world.
The road will run on a ridge above the famous vineyards of Zeltingen, Wehlen and Graach, mowing down the forest land. The deep trenches needed to build the road will cut off vital water to the surrounding vineyards, add to pollution and ruin a popular tourist area.
We’ve had a petition, a protest, and wine magazine readers are surely aware of this heinous crime but the wider public have been largely oblivious. Until now… Ernie Loosen, one of the major producers that will be affected by this ludicrous bridge has been a vociferous opponent of the bridge but now he is bringing the fight to the attention of the consumer.
The “Bridge Too Far” neck hanger campaign has been launched in the UK with major retailers including Sainsbury’s and Asda agreeing to carry the neck hangers on Loosen’s wines. I think this is great but why not extend it to fellow Mosel producers and taking the campaign to more people?
Nevertheless it’s worth buying a bottle, taking it round to your friends’, and spreading the word.
Lower alcohol survey provides few surprises
Thursday 27 May
I’ve been researching lower alcohol wines lately and it just so happens, Wine Intelligence has too.
The UK wine trade is really trying to look responsible at the moment and a raft of new ‘lower alcohol’ wines were launched at the recent London International Wine Fair.
But it’s not clear whether the consumer actually wants lower alcohol wines. So, we might have some more white elephant wines gathering dust on the shelves. Alternatively, if the products are available, it may create demand. Let’s face it, before iphones were launched, we didn’t have a burning need for them either.
Happily for those wineries launching a lower alcohol wine this month, it seems that consumer acceptance of wines under 11% is on the rise, according to Wine Intelligence research in partnership with the WSTA.
The percentage of consumers who say they ‘may buy’ wine below 9% (on a scale of 1 to 5,‘may buy’ was 3) has increased from 47% to 54% since the survey was last conducted in April 2007. No massive change there then,
Younger drinkers also increased their acceptance of lower alcohol wines with 66% claiming they may buy wine below 9%, compared with just 51% in 2007.
‘May buy’ and ‘Would definitely buy’ are quite different, however.
Surprise, surprise, wines between 11 and 14% abv remain the preferred wines with regular UK wine drinkers. Well, strike me down. I’m worried that we are blowing this low alcohol thing out of proportion.
I’ll very happily drink a 9% Mosel wine or 5.5% Moscato d’Asti (particularly Vigna Vecchia’s Ca’ da Gal Moscato at Terroir in London) any day of the week but I’m struggling to find a decent wine that has had its alcohol level reduced by human intervention ( i.e. reverse osmosis/spinning cone). Thus far, the early harvest attempts aren’t much better either. There’s a reason why people don’t pick early and we should remember that.
Last chance to join Mosel protest
Tuesday 3 November
As regular readers of my blog will know, I’ve been to the Mosel to protest against this stupid road bridge and motorway that will plough through some of the world’s best Riesling vineyards. While the international press and bloggers like me have been getting their knickers in a twist about this, Germany’s media has given it little coverage: See my article on decanter.com
The latest from the region is that building work has moved ahead in several places but at last the issue has received some deserved attention from Germany’s equivalent of Panorama: Frontal 21.
The German gourmet magazine Der Feinschmecker has an online petition to help save the valley and vines from the politician’s bulldozers and concrete. The petition closes at the end of the month so sign up. It only takes 30 seconds and how often do you get the opportunity to save a wine region from desecration?