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June 28, 2021 35 min

As the climate has changed, winegrowers have initiated the hunt for places where natural acidity and lightness can shine in the glass. Warmer years mean we can't always rely on our standbys -- Sancerre, Chablis, Chinon, and other wines from northern climes -- to have a balance of lighter alcohol and excellent acidity. People are seeking answers in many places -- some add artificial acidity or use technology for balance, some seek higher altitudes, and some higher latitudes. In this show we deal with the latter. 

 

Map: Mikael Bodlore-Penlaez, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons (notice the Pays Nantais, part of Loire Wine Region, in the lower right...)

 

Following a prologue from me about the wines of Scandinavia, which is, in fact, a thing, journalist Barnaby Eales of show 327 (EU Ingredient Labeling) joins again to discuss his latest article from Meininger's Wine Business International "Cool Breizh", about the new trend towards winegrowing in the northwestern area of Brittany, France.

 

Frankly, my introduction and our conversation are a bit surreal to think about, but this is the new reality and we need to be open to what is coming next as traditional regions warm and we seek to maintain food friendly, balanced wines in our fridges.

In my intro, I discuss wines mainly of Scania, Sweden and I mention the PDO of Dons, Denmark, the EU's northernmost protected wine region. I discuss the grapes that are popular in both places:

  • Reds: Rondo, Regent and Léon Millot (all three are hybrids) with Pinot Noir and others
  • Whites: Solaris (a hybrid developed from Riesling) for acidity and sweetness with Pinot Gris and Auxerrois Blanc for sparkling wines
  •  

    Barnaby and I discuss:

  • The background on his story, what is happening in Brittany, and why now
  •  

  • The terroir and which grapes are best suited to the area (hybrids for organics, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Chenin Blanc for vitis vinifera)
  • Some of the arcane laws that stopped Brittany from producing wine, even though it was capable of making great bottles 20 years ago. In addition, we discuss the very odd relationship Brittany has with the Loire (the Pays Nantais is really part of Brittany but was re-allocated under the Vichy fascist regime...it still stands today). 
  •  

  • The people who are trying to develop vineyards in Brittany -- they are from Provence, Bordeaux, and Champagne, among other places, and they are some big names. This is a serious place for wine in the future! 
  •  

    I really encourage you to take a look at Barnaby's article. It's a great read and will really get you thinking about what's next.

     

    If you want to read about Scandinavian wine, here are a few sources I used:

  • The Wine Gastronome
  • The New York Times: Scandinavian Wine? A Warming Climate Tempts Entrepreneurs
  • Wine Enthusiast: Sweden's Growing Wine Scene
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish_wine
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danish_wine
  • Visit Denmark 
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