In the last issue of the magazine, Robert Joseph and I attempted to forecast what the next ten years would hold for the world of wine. As I said in that piece, “The world has become an increasingly unpredictable place, where previously unthinkable scenarios – like nuclear tensions – are raising their ugly heads.”
Unpredictable, did I say? As I write, the world is still reeling from the results of the US election. So, what impact will President Donald Trump have on wine? Normally when a leader is a teetotaler, it depresses demand, because many people take their social cues from what happens at the top of society. I remember a French trade representative telling me privately that Nicolas Sarkozy, the then French president, was having a very bad impact on wine sales because he didn’t drink.
Trump is an interesting case, however, because while he personally swears off alcohol, he is also the proud owner of a very successful Virginian winery, whose wine sales have soared of late. Maybe those of his supporters who don’t yet drink wine will feel encouraged to try a bottle if it has his name on it.
Another trend that’s taking the world by storm is gourmet tourism. Tourism authorities are reporting that in the past three to five years, they’ve seen an upswing in people travelling specifically to immerse themselves in food and wine. This message was brought home forcefully at the Business of Wine and Food Tourism conference I attended in South Africa in early November, which you can read about on page 7.
The trend offers an historic opportunity for those in the wine trade who have developed a wine tourism offering. If you’re looking for ideas on how to do this, you’ll find it in this issue, where some innovative tourism ideas are showcased.
The feature starts on page 14.
One thing that this magazine has never featured is a typical ‘women in wine’ story, as we’ve taken the view that it is inappropriate to treat women as an exotic species when they’re so integral to the wine trade. This issue breaks that trend, however. I’m proud to announce that this issue is presenting the results of the first ever international women in wine survey, which features insights into working conditions in Australia, New Zealand, California, Germany and Italy. Hopefully it will generate plenty of discussion and will be the first survey of many.
Finally, a tip. After ten years of keeping the price of subscriptions steady, we’re finally raising the cover price by 10%. So if you know anybody who’s been thinking about subscribing to the magazine, tell them to do it before the end of the year, before the price goes up.
And now all that’s left to say is, have a great Christmas and New Year, and see you in 2017.