Ancient grapes: A new study published in the journal Nature Plants demonstrates strong connections between modern wine grapes and those growing as far back as the Roman period. The researchers sequenced the nuclear genome of 28 grape seeds found in France. Along with other findings, they discovered a perfect match between an ancient example of Savagnin Blanc and its modern manifestation. [Smithsonian]
RNDC-Young’s merger: RNDC and Young’s Market announced a merger this week. The move will result in an $11 billion distribution company extended across 33 markets, with a market share of nearly 19%. Southern Glazer’s is the only larger distributor, at 32% and with a presence in 45 markets. [Shanken News Daily]
Soave crus: The Italian Ministry of Agriculture has officially recognized 33 cru vineyards in Soave, which will be known as “geographical units.” These vineyards, covering nearly 40% of Soave, have been referred to and labeled as cru vineyards for years, but this is the first official recognition. The region’s consorzio started the process in 2000. [Harpers]
New Vino de Pago: There are now 15 vineyards classified as Vino de Pago in Spain with the recognition of Vallegarcía by the EU. Vallegarcía has 31 hectares in Castilla-La Mancha, just outside of DO La Mancha and DO Méntrida. Miquel Hudin relays the news as well as his reservations about the category’s potential impact. [Hudin.com]
New Zealand harvest report: New Zealand has declared a small but excellent harvest. A total of 413,000 tonnes were harvested, the third small yield in a row. While this might bring challenges of supply, it will keep the prices of New Zealand wine up and the value of the country’s exports rising. [The Drinks Business]
Wine & wellness: An essay in VinePair warns against equating natural wine with the concept or culture of wellness. It’s risky to suggest that an alcoholic beverage is healthy: it’s false, it encourages propaganda-style marketing, and it is just one more manifestation of an elitist mentality that has long plagued the industry. [VinePair]
Our favorite SevenFifty Daily article this week
Retail insights from Dustin Wilson: MS Dustin Wilson tastes blind and shares insights he has gained as co-founder of Verve Wine, now a bi-coastal business with retail shops in NYC and San Francisco and another store planned for Chicago. [SevenFifty Daily]
What do you think?
What are your thoughts on the RNDC and Young’s merger? What’s next for distribution as consolidation continues?
Do you have further information on the new Soave crus? Do you think the labeling option will help or hinder stateside?
What are your thoughts on the Vino de Pago designation?
Have you heard anything further about New Zealand’s harvest?
How are you seeing wine enter the “wellness” category?
What else have you been reading this week?