Bonneau du Martray purchase: Stan Kroenke, the American billionaire who owns Screaming Eagle and several sports teams, has purchased the majority of shares of Domaine Bonneau du Martray. The historic Burgundy estate has been owned for 200 years by the le Bault de la Morinière family. Kroenke says he will remain faithful to their work. [Decanter]
Clos Rougeard sold...or not: Confusing reports about another possible sale emerged this week. La Revue du Vin de France announced on Wednesday that Clos Rougeard had been purchased by the owner of Château Montrose, followed by conflicting reports the next day that called the acquisition into question. [The Drinks Business]
Responding to climate change: Jackson Family Wines is responding to climate change with both old-school techniques, like cover crops and composting, and high-tech methods, including devices that measure the sap in vines and drones with sensors that detect moisture levels. They’ve been leaders on an issue that now applies to growers worldwide. [NYT]
British sparkling wine on the rise: UK sparkling wine was exported to 27 countries last year, up from 19 in 2015. The wines are also receiving increased attention at home. Vineyard land in the UK has doubled in the past decade, and producers hope to increase exports to 2.5 million bottles by 2020. [Decanter]
Sommelier training in prison: An innovative prison program in Italy’s southern Apulia region is training inmates to be sommeliers. The classes aim to give inmates a skill they can put to use after release, and one that ties them to their local winemaking culture. [NYT]
Remembering Livio Felluga: Livio Felluga was the founder of one of the largest wineries in Friuli and a beloved patriarch of the region. He died on December 21 at the age of 102. Wine Spectator also published a memoriam of other great food and wine figures lost in 2016. [Wine Spectator]
What do you think?
What are your thoughts on the ongoing conversation about estate sales in Burgundy and elsewhere? What are the pros and cons of these large purchases by outside investors?
What do you make of the conflicting news about Clos Rougeard?
Which of JFW's techniques are most intriguing or promising, in your mind? What other innovative things have you seen vineyard owners doing in response to a changing climate?
Have you seen more British sparkling wine in your market this year?
What else have you been reading this week?