The second edition of the annual national ranking of the best bars in the country takes one more step towards the finale with the announcement of the shortlist of the 50 top-ranked bars and 20 top-ranked microbreweries. These lists are based on the votes cast by a jury of 200 bar enthusiasts and industry experts spread across 10 cities in the country.
Besides the Best Bar, each jury member was asked to vote in the following six categories: Best Hotel Bar, Best Restaurant Bar, Best Independent Bar, Best Microbrewery or Taproom, Best Cocktail Menu, Best Bar Design. A special technical jury of 25 industry professionals also voted for two additional categories - Best Bar Team and Best Bartender.
The 50 top ranking bars and the 20 top ranking microbreweries are now eligible for the People Choice Awards for the Best Bar and Best Microbrewery or Taproom. These awards are based on an online public poll on social media. This poll will open on January 30 and end on February 15, 2022.
The Best Pandemic Response Award, which has been specially introduced for the year 2021 for a bar whose owners and managers used the best of their creativity and innovation to keep their business running during the dark days of the covid-forced shutdown. The top 100 Bars were asked to submit their entries to share the measures they implemented that saved jobs and helped the bar stay connected with the community.
The best bar ranking for 2021 will be unveiled at the 30 Best Bars 2021 Awards ceremony. The Gala night which was to be held on January 19, 2022, has now been rescheduled keeping in mind the ongoing pandemic. The new dates will be announced as soon as the government eases restrictions.
There are a total of 53 bars on the 30 Best Bars 2021 list, as three sets of bars polled the same number of votes leading to three positions in the ranking being occupied jointly by two bars each. Out of the 53 bars, as many as 32 are new entrants. Only 21 bars survive from 30Best Bars 2019 top 50 list.
An interesting mix of cities feature in the 50 best bars list. New Delhi & Bangalore lead the way with 9 and 8 bars respectively. Mumbai & Goa follow with 7 bars each, Kolkata with 6, Chennai & Hyderabad with 4, Gurgaon & Pune with 3. Interestingly Jaipur and Guwahati also feature on the list, with one bar each.
A total of 21 microbreweries make it to the top 20 ranking, with two outlets polling the same number of votes. Bangalore, expectedly leads the list of cities with the best microbreweries, with 8 outlets on the list, followed by Mumbai with 4, Pune with 3, and Gurgaon with 2. Goa, Kolkata, New Delhi, and Chandigarh contribute 1 each.
(Excerpt from a release)
The second edition of Barcelona Wine Week (BWW) will feature one of the largest programmes of talks, tastings and presentations in Spain, led by renowned personalities from the world of wine. 50 internationally-renowned experts and oenologists such as Frank Smulders, Sarah Jane Evans, François Chartier, Miquel and Mireia Torres, Ferran Centelles, Pilar Salillas, Giorgia Scaramella, José Peñín and Andrés Proensa, among others, will host the sessions organised by the leading Spanish wine trade show.
The key role of native grape varieties in sustainable production, and markets for these varieties, will be the guiding thread of many of the activities at BWW, which will take place from 4 to 6 April 2022 in Hall 8 of Fira de Barcelona's Montjuïc venue. Trends such as wine tourism 4.0, wine culture, digitalisation and innovation in the sector will also feature prominently at the event. Around thirty-five sessions will take place in different areas of the BWW Hub area, aimed at promoting educational and sensory experiences linked to wine. Some will also be focused on business.
Master of Wine Frank Smulders, expert in Spanish wine and product consultant at Russian luxury chain O'key Hypermarkets, will discuss the reputation of Spanish wines in the world and European markets’ interest in leading wines made from local varieties. Another Master of Wine, Sarah Jane Evans, writer and editor at Decanter, will participate in the session 'Garnacha versatility in the context of climate variability'.
Miquel and Mireia Torres, General Manager and Director of Innovation and Knowledge of Familia Torres, respectively, will hold a tasting to reveal why these varieties can adapt to high temperatures and drought, and become the solution for the viticulture of the future.
Mediterranean identity: Bárbara Mesquida, winemaker and creator of Mesquida Mora; Pilar Salillas, oenologist and director of Bodega Lagravera, and Pepe Mendoza, winemaker and creator of Casa Agrícola, will defend Mediterranean identity through their native varieties at a tasting. Meanwhile, François Chartier, one of the world's leading experts on blends and aromas and president of Chartier World LAB Barcelona, will preview the impact of the landscape's biodiversity on the flavour profile of wines.
To share positioning and trends in the consumption of wines made from local grape varieties in catering in recent years, three prestigious sommeliers from Spanish restaurants — Giorgia Scaramella, from Marc Fosh (Palma de Mallorca), Jon Andoni Rementeria, from Remenetxe (Gernika) and David Robledo, from Ambivium (Peñafiel) — will introduce and guide a tasting of six great wines in this category.
The two leading Spanish wine critics and authors of Spain's most influential wine guides, José Peñín and Andrés Proensa, will discuss the evolution of wine in Spain over the last 40 years, looking at changes in consumption and the market and emphasising the decreased use of foreign grape varieties in comparison to local ones.
Ferran Centelles, sommelier and contributor to elBullifoundation/Sapiens del Vino and Fernando Martínez de Toda, professor of viticulture at the University of La Rioja, will provide an academic perspective. Together, they will present a study on the return of native varieties.
All attendees at the trade show will be able to enjoy ‘Wine Tasting Journey/Hidden Grapes’, an activity led by Ricardo Herrera (WA), from Enoaula, with a wine bar featuring lesser-known native varieties. In this large space for self-guided tastings, you will be able to enjoy some 50 carefully selected wines from small-scale producers.
There will also be a round-table discussion and tasting of wines directly related to climate change as part of the presentation of the 6th edition of Green Wine Future, an international event scheduled to take place in May that advocates for awareness of the effects of climate change in viticulture and wineries. Carlos Moro, president of the Matarromera Group, Mauricio González Gordon, president of González Byass and Jaume Gramona, owner of Bodegas Gramona, will participate.
In the Speaker's Corner of the trade show, debates and round table discussions will focus on wine tourism and ways of attracting new audiences, the concept of wine as a culture, ecology and sustainability, and innovations in wineries and viticulture. Speakers will include Rafael del Rey, General Manager of the Spanish Observatory of the Wine Market, Núria Altés, owner of the Herència Altés winery and member of Wineries for Climate Action, Lluís Tolosa, sociologist and expert in wine tourism, and Ton Rimbau, creator of the Vins Rebels (Rebel Wines) On Road project, among others.
Cava’s Magnificent Seven: a luxury experience
Professionals interested in cava will be able to enjoy a series of exclusive events: journalist and sommelier Ramon Francàs will lead “Cava’s Magnificent Seven”, an exclusive tasting of select cavas that are still available on the market and have been aged for at least 10 years, representative of the Cava DO’s qualitative pyramid. Meanwhile, Roc Gramona, winemaker and oenologist at Bodegas Gramona and considered one of the leading representatives of high-quality cava production in Spain, will give a talk and lead a tasting of six great ancestral sparkling wines that are part of his personal project.
The BWW Hub area will also host the Barcelona Rosé International Bubbles Awards for the best rosé sparkling wines. With over 600 wineries and nearly all Designations of Origin and Regulatory Council expected to take part, BWW is currently the largest showcase for the promotion of Spanish wines. Some 20,000 professionals are expected to visit the trade show.
(Excerpt from a release)
Wagram becomes the 17th wine-growing region in Austria that can apply the protected DAC designation to wines with regional typicity. Sekt with a protected designation of origin (Sekt g.U. (PDO)) will be named Sekt Austria (PDO) from now on. And the Kremstal region is gaining nine legally defined Ortswein (villages wines) origins.
THREE LEVELS OF WAGRAM DAC: GEBIETSWEIN, ORTSWEIN & RIEDENWEIN
After intensive deliberation, the Wagram region submitted a draft DAC decree, which has now been signed by the Austrian Minister of Agriculture, Sustainability and Tourism, Elisabeth Köstinger. This makes the protected designation of origin “Wagram DAC” the seventeenth of its type in Austria.
Like other regions before it, Wagram decided to subdivide its DAC wines into the categories Gebietswein (regional wine), Ortswein (villages wine) and Riedenwein (single-vineyard wine). At the Gebietswein level, the traditional range of 13 permitted grape varieties is retained, including both white and red varieties. Gemischter Satz (field blend) and cuvée blends are also allowed. With regard to Ortswein, the DAC decree establishes 27 protected designations of origin. The number of permitted grape varieties is reduced down to just seven. These wines must be monovarietal. The pinnacle of the origins pyramid is represented by Riedenwein, namely wines from a single, legally defined vineyard. The flagship white varieties of the Wagram region, Grüner and Roter Veltliner, are permitted for these wines, as is Riesling.
All wines must correspond to the definition of a “dry” wine, and the whites must under no circumstances have a dominant woody note. The decree applies to wines from the 2021 vintage onwards.
SEKT G.U. (PDO) IS REPLACED BY SEKT AUSTRIA (PDO)The collective amendment also ushers in a significant change for Austria’s sparkling wines. From now on, Sekt with a protected designation of origin (Sekt g.U. (PDO)) can only be sold in conjunction with the terms “Sekt Austria (PDO)”, “Sekt Austria Reserve (PDO)” or “Sekt Austria Große Reserve (PDO)”. The aim of this move is to ensure that the 100% Austrian origins of these Sekts (grapes from Austria made into Sekt in Austria) is communicated more clearly. Austrian Sekt is easily identified by the red-white-red banderole on the top of the bottle.
“Our Sekts are of the highest quality and are becoming increasingly sought-after on the international stage,” Yorke explains. “By employing the designation “Sekt Austria” for sparkling wines with all-Austrian origins, we are creating a clear position and profile for these premium wines, which come in three classes.”
Strict regulations apply to Sekt Austria (PDO), based on those governing the best sparkling wines in the world. For example, Sekt Austria (PDO) must be aged on the lees for at least nine months, the Reserve for at least 18 months, and the Große Reserve, for at least 36 months (replacing the previous 30). Hand-picking is compulsory for Reserve and Große Reserve. While the grapes used for Sekt Austria (PDO) and Sekt Austria Reserve (PDO) must come from a single federal state, those for the Große Reserve must be harvested within a single municipality; single-vineyard Sekts are also possible in this class.
(excerpt from a release)
Australian wine exports decreased significantly by 30 per cent in value to $2.03 billion and 17 per cent in volume to 619 million litres in the year ended December 2021, according to Wine Australia’s latest Export Report released today.
The export figures are reflective of the unprecedentedly tough market conditions over the past 12 months as a result of deposit tariffs imposed on bottled Australian wine imported to mainland China, the continuing impact of the global freight crisis, and a counter-swing in some markets after COVID-19 related stockpiling in 2020.
The biggest driver of the decline in Australian wine exports in the 12 months to the end of December 2021 was the reduction in exports to mainland China. Exports to mainland China declined by 97 per cent in value to $29 million and by 93 per cent in volume to 6.4 million litres, a loss of nearly $1 billion in value and 90 million litres in volume, when compared to the 2020 calendar year where shipments were free from tariffs for most of the year.
Wine Australia General Manager Corporate Affairs and Regulation Rachel Triggs said the Australian wine export community was managing its way through exceptionally challenging times, which is evident in the Export Report.
“The 2021 calendar year represents the first full 12-month period since very high deposit tariffs on Australian wine imported to China were imposed, and the global impact of the challenging operating environment can now be observed in full. Because the export figures are compared to the prior 12-months, we’ll keep seeing significant differences in the year-to-date export figures as a result of the deposit tariffs until the end of 2022,” Ms Triggs said.
“Exports excluding mainland China increased by 7 per cent in value to $2 billion and decreased by 6 per cent in volume to 613 million litres. This is the first time that exports excluding mainland China have reached $2 billion for a calendar year since 2009,” Ms Triggs said.
The markets with the largest increase in value of Australian wine exports were Singapore (up 108 per cent to $166 million), Hong Kong (up 45 per cent to $191 million), South Korea (up 74 per cent to $47 million), Taiwan (up 65 per cent to $31 million) and Thailand (up 31 per cent to $28 million).
Exports valued at above $10 per litre FOB increased in value by 49 per cent when excluding mainland China, giving positive signs that demand for products which would previously have been exported to China is emerging in other markets and highlighting the importance of the Australian grape and wine sector investing in market diversification.
“The pandemic is still disrupting the on-trade, the global freight crisis is continuing to cause shipping delays and increased freight costs, and while there was export growth to many destinations, it will take time to offset the loss in trade to mainland China. This is not something that will happen overnight, nor within a year. But the Australian wine sector is resilient, and there are early signs that hard work in expanding and diversifying markets is paying off,” Ms Triggs said.
The top five markets by value were:
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