Reflecting on the year 2021, City Vino would like to thank you, the Fredericksburg community, for supporting small businesses again this year. Whether you have visited our shop once or a hundred times over the past couple of years, we appreciate the opportunity to get to know you, the wines you like, and the chance to introduce you to new-to-you wines.
As for the year in wine, 2021 continued where 2020 left off and provided quite a rollercoaster ride for all including fraud, climate challenges, winery sales, scandals, and so much more.
With the large increase in online wine sales, wine fraud is running amok. For the average wine buyer, fraudulent wine isn’t an issue. Those collectors who buy rarer, older, and expensive wines without proper vetting and checking of authenticity are at risk. It is estimated that wine fraud accounts for about $3 billion dollars in loss each year.
Space travel occurred for some in 2021, including some wine! Yes, wine. In January 2021, a case of Chateau Petrus 2000 wine returned to earth after a year in space.
Speaking of Chateau Petrus, someone has a lot of explaining to do. A 19-year-old made sangria for her friends and grabbed her father’s bottle of Chateau Petrus that he has been saving for 17 years. The wine is, I mean was, worth about $2700! Ouch!
In March of 2021, the world of wine suffered a loss of great magnitude with the passing of Steven Spurrier. City Vino posted a tribute to him in our blog, “Steven Spurrier: His Wine Legacy.” He will be remembered for arranging the 1976 Judgement of Paris, which pitted California wines against their French counterparts, and showed the world that US wines could compete on the world stage.
If there is any doubt that large wine producers mean big money, consider the sale of Chateau Ste. Michelle to Sycamore Partners. The private equity group purchased the largest winery in the Pacific Northwest for $1.3 billion in cash.
We can rejoice that the 25 percent tariffs on European wines got a reprieve for at least the next five years. The tariffs covered other goods too and we do know that Spanish Jamon (ham) tastes especially good with wine. Rejoice!
Mother Nature again showed her power as frosts after vines had started growing caused vineyard devastation in various parts of Europe. Between frost and disease, it is estimated that France lost one-third of its yearly production. Other losses around the world again came from wildfires that affected some vineyards on the west coast of the U.S. and Southern France last year.
As with most industries, supply chain issues are affecting the wine industry too. Barrels, bottles, and other winemaking supplies are affected, as well as shipments of wine. Fear not, City Vino conveniently has wine in stock.
The Court of Master Sommeliers (CMS) faced scandals over the past couple of years, including cheating, lack of diversity, and sexual harassment by instructors. The CMS, after a year-long review, permanently expelled six members in response to the harassment scandal.
One of City Vino’s favorite winemakers, Carol Shelton, won the Winemaker of the Year by Women’s International Wine Competition 2021. Congratulations to Carol.
While those young at heart have Disney World, how about something for the wine lover (who are also young at heart and of legal drinking age, of course)? China’s oldest and largest winery, Chanygu, is opening a wine themed park in Shanghai.
Wishing you all a wonderful 2022!