What does the future of wine hold? To find out, Robert Joseph created a fairly length survey covering everything from the impact of technology to climate change, which he sent to members of the wine trade around the world. When looking at the results, it’s quite striking how few people are thinking about the potentially disruptive impact of technology on the wine trade.
Take blockchain, a type of distributed ledger system, which automatically records and updates significant information. Because the records aren’t kept on a single database, they can’t be corrupted. The implications for wine are profound, because once a wine is recorded in the system, its provenance will be made clear to everyone who handles it or comes into contact with it. Blockchain holds the potential to do away with a lot of the counterfeiting currently plaguing the wine trade.
Anyway, the results of Robert’s survey are available beginning on page 16, and they’re a fascinating glimpse into the collective mind of wine. If the team at Wine Mosaic are right, the future of wine will be found in the past. They’re committed to rediscovering not just old and forgotten grape varieties, but also old ways of vinification. They suggest that the next wave of innovation is already here – but it’s locked up in the heads of the older generation, who too often are not asked to pass on their knowledge. I’ll go out on a limb here and make a prediction of my own: the future of wine won’t be coloured blue. For the past month or so, I have been immersed in the wonderful world of coloured wines, trying to understand where all the blue wines have suddenly sprung from and also whether consumers are really drinking them (spoiler: yes they are). As is often the case, it turns out that what appears to be a wine-only trend is a reflection of a wider phenomenon that’s going on. To find out more, turn to page 44.
Our cover interview this issue features Stephanie Gallo, vice president of marketing at E&J Gallo, who took the time to discuss how major brands are built. Gallo, of course, are the company behind some of the world’s biggest wine brands-think Barefoot and Apothic – and it’s interesting to hear how they are created and their position maintained.
Sophie Kevany has tracked down members of the French Foreign Legion, who are spending their post-conflict life in the vineyards, and has written a compelling story. Finally, you will find a plethora of trend stories, market insights and regional analyses in this issue, as always.
Until next time,