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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Decanter Magazine predictions for 2058 (commentary by Larry Paterson)


is fascinating, and says
little I haven't been saying for years... this may just mean I'll be as
foolish as the authors of this report. I have not predicted floating
vineyards, though I'm really seriously considering hydroponics in my
basement this winter, and growing something to make wine would be near the
top of that list. {Also my wife has threatened to divorce me once my
cold-hardy vines at the north end of the house reach the roof and I try to
trellis them across the peak of my roof!}

For those who don't believe the prediction that China will rival Bordeaux in
50 years please see the results of the series of tastings of Canadian vs
Bordeaux reds I've been doing for 15 years in conjunction with our own
silent Growwine lurker Hugh Johnstone (no, not the Englishman, our HJ was
head of LCBO's wine experts from approximately prohibition until about 1990
or so - I may be out a little on his beginnings).


look at Jan 23 2007 which was
experts-only in the room. My article from that tasting lists who the
experts were.


Michael Pinkus
is now WWCC and Lloyd Evans was the top buyer for LCBO Classics for many

And remember that the first cab sauv in Canada wasn't commercially planted
until John Marynissen did so in the very late 70's... just 30 years ago.

Things aren't moving in 30 year periods any more, change is accelerating.
Experts now have trouble identifying which continent a wine came from. Tony
Aspler discussed "Continental Drift" at one Ontario - Bordeaux tasting to
describe the way that it was increasingly difficult to tell them apart.

I especially agree with the statement that where it comes from won't matter.
I hate the idea of it all being big brands like cigarettes, but it isn't
that much different right now in Ontario, unfortunately, at least at the
Government store. What an environmental footprint, to use current
politically correct terminology.

We need to work NOW to protect a future where it WILL matter where things
are grown, and where locally produced will have importance, as will distinct
products. Wine should not be oil. And does anybody doubt that wine prices
in the hands of a small number of huge factories that prices will become


Larry Paterson, lfw, rd, adcc
(Little Fat Wino, Roving Drunk, Alcohol Distribution Channels Critic)



Oliver Styles

Chinese wine will conquer the world in terms of volume and fine wine, a
recent study suggests.

According to the Future of Wine report, drawn up by London-based wine
merchants Berry Bros & Rudd (BBR), China, which is already the world's sixth
largest producer, will lead the world by the year 2058.

The report, which predicts the state of world of wine in 50 years, also says
China will 'rival the best of Bordeaux'.

'I absolutely think China will be a fine wine player rivalling the best
wines from France,' said Jasper Morris MW. 'It is entirely conceivable that,
in such a vast country, there will be pockets of land with a terroir and
micro-climate well suited to the production of top quality wines.'

Based on the opinions of its four Masters of Wine, the report also spelled
out some encouraging predictions for lesser-known wine countries and stark
warnings for other, bigger producers.

Climate change, it said, would favour eastern European countries such as
Ukraine, Moldova, Croatia, Slovenia and Poland, as well as Canada, which,
BBR said, 'could rival its American neighbour' the US.

The UK also stands to gain on its cross-channel neighbour, with the amount
of English land devoted to wine production 'may rival that of France'.

Australia would be the big loser, it said, with the country too hot and arid
to support large areas of vine.

'It will become a niche producer, concentrating on hand-crafted,
terroir-driven, fine wine,' said the report.

Tasmania, it added, would be one of the beneficiaries.

By 2058, 'big brand booze' would dominate the market, with wine resembling
cigarettes. It will be commonplace, said the report, to ask for 'Lindemans
Light' or 'Waitrose White'.

'In 50 years, consumers will ask for wine by the brand name of flavour and
won't know, or care, where it has come from,' said Morris. 'Grapes will be
genetically modified to change a wine's taste and producers will add
artificial flavourings to create a style wanted by consumers.'

Further predicted changes included off-shore floating vineyards, low-calorie
wines, bulk wine shipping and environmentally-friendly packaging replacing
glass bottles.

Others in the industry were more sceptical of the findings. Decanter editor
Guy Woodward was unconvinced.

'While there's no doubt that climate change and increased ambition in
certain regions will lead to a greater variety of wines on the shelves, the
idea that China is going to be able to go from churning out large volumes of
mediocre plonk to challenging the great names of Bordeaux and Burgundy in a
mere 50 years requires a leap of faith,' he said. 'Half a century is a very
short time in the overall evolution of the wine world, and I'd like to see
how many Chinese and Ukrainian wine Berry Bros has on its shelves in 2058

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