Archive: International

Plant Patents in the Wine Industry

When most people think of patents, they think of new machines, new medicines, or improved manufacturing processes.  These inventions are protected by “utility patents.”  Some people may also be familiar with “design patents,” which protect a novel ornamental design, such as the front grill of a luxury car.  But, there is a third class of patents with which most people are unfamiliar, “plant patents.”  As the name suggests, plant patents protect new plant varieties, such as a new strain of wine grape vine. Not all plants are eligible for patent protection, however.  United States Code, Title 35, Section 161 provides that: “[w]hoever invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant, including cultivated sports, mutants, hybrids, […]

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Report Reveals New Taste Trends in Canada

Change may tend to move slowly in the wine world, but new research published this year on Canadian wine trends reveal some important shifts in consumer tastes and spending habits. According to the London, UK-based Wine Intelligence 2019 Canada Landscapes report, Cana-dians are drinking less but spending more and branching out to explore new tastes and varie-ties from a wider range of wine growing regions. There’s also increasing crossover between the wine and beer worlds. A growing number of wine drinkers now also report that they choose beer at least occasionally. Craft beer culture, specifically the sense of strongly identifying with locally produced brands, also seems to be influencing consumer attitudes towards wine, with more Canadians now seeking out high-quality […]

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Nan McCreary, Senior Writer for The Grapevine Magazine, Receives Top Honors

Nan McCreary with F.I.C.B. Alan Brydan Nan McCreary, Senior Writer for The Grapevine Magazine, received top honors at the first annual F.I.C.B. (Fédération Internationale des Confréries Bachiques) Wine Tasting and Ratings Challenge held recently in Porvoo, Finland. Nan placed first in the blind tasting competition, Professional Category, which included oenologists, sommeliers, winemakers, masters of wine and other wine experts. During the two-day competition, contestants tasted sparkling, white, rosé and red wines. Contestants were required to identify whether the wine was a single variety or a blend, the dominant grape, oaked or unoaked, secondary grape in the event of a blend, and country of origin. Nan is a Certified Specialist of Wine, a French Wine Scholar, a Level I Sommelier and has a […]

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Viticulture in Argentina & Chile from a Plant Pathologist Perspective

  This year I was invited to speak at different events organized by the Chilean Nursery Association (AGV) and Wines of Chile. While in Chile, I attended the 19th Congress of the International Council for the study of virus and virus-like diseases of the grapevine (ICVG). The ICVG meeting was held and hosted in Viña Santa Carolina Winery facilities near Santiago.  While I was traveling in South America, I had an opportunity to visit vineyards in Argentina and Chile.  Today I will share information I learned about winegrowing in Argentina and Chile.  As you know my interests are in grapevine diseases, how to prevent disease development and spread in the vineyard.   So, it will not be surprising that this article […]

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Canada Vows to Loosen Federal Barriers to Interprovincial Wine Trade

For almost a century, Canadian wineries have been prevented from shipping their wines direct-ly to customers living in other provinces. After the most recent federal budget announcement earlier this year, however, wine industry leaders say they are cautiously optimistic that Prohibi-tion-era rules restricting trade could soon be relaxed—a move which industry leaders say could be a game-changer for Canada’s many boutique wineries. In March, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government announced that the 2019 federal budget would remove a requirement that alcohol shipped across provincial borders must be sold or consigned to a provincial liquor authority. According to Canadian Vintners Association presi-dent Dan Paszkowski, if the proposed rule change passes in June, it would remove the last federal barrier to internal […]

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Welcome to Fizz Club

  Over the past 15 years, international sales of Champagne and sparkling wine have strengthened. The increased sales are due, in part, to the increase in exceptional sparkling wines being made in wine regions throughout the world, including Canada. Even though Champagne remains the gold standard, with the rise in quality sparkling wines at reasonable prices, consumers no longer have to wait for a special occasion to pop open a bottle, and sales have skyrocketed. Belinda Kemp, senior scientist in Oenology at Brock University, wanted to provide a technical foundation for the growth of Canada’s sparkling wine industry, so in 2013 she worked with Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) to create Fizz Club. According to the […]

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South African Wine Industry Overcoming and Adapting to Day Zero Declaration

The Western Cape of South Africa and its historic vineyards, nestled in the mountains to the east of Cape Town, are a major draw for tourists, with tens of thousands of overseas visitors enjoying tours and tastings every year. The worst drought in living memory hit vineyards in South Africa’s Western Cape hard, reducing grape harvests and adding to pressure on the region’s centuries-old wine industry. As the world’s seventh largest wine producer, a decrease in its wine production could heavily hit the country’s overall economic growth. In October 2017, the mayor of Cape Town and the South African government made a dramatic declaration that caught the attention of the world. Day Zero, the date on which the taps are […]

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A Step Inside the Wine Library

    The Wine Library and Vinotheque at the University of British Columbia (UBC) campus in Vancouver, Canada are probably unlike any library you’ve ever ventured. There isn’t a stern librarian asking you to “shhh” while glaring over her glasses at you – although, there are few glasses on hand. This is a Wine Library, where row after row of bottles of wine sit, quietly aging, all in the name of advancing wine science. Unlike the other University libraries on campus, it is not open to the public, and you won’t be able to check-out or borrow anything from it, but if you have some fine wine you’d like to lend, you can certainly check it in, and they will […]

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Viticulture & Enology Education? Consider Looking Northward

Viticulture is dynamic, scientific and, with innovation advancing and our environment continually evolving, it can be a challenge to keep on top of it all. Even the most seasoned winemakers and grape growers could benefit from updating or fine-tuning their knowledge. Ensuring the entire vineyard team possesses the most up-to-date skills and education to grow the finest grapes and produce premium wine is never a bad idea. People may seek out viticulture or enology education programs to optimize their knowledge and skills, improve those of their employees, or perhaps even satisfy a career shift into the wine industry. Many programs exist, varying in depth, length and content, and provide education on specific aspects of viticulture, including combining viticulture with business […]

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Do I Detect a Hint of Ash?

Knowing if You Have Smoke Taint Sooner   In many prominent grape growing regions around the globe, a new season, fire season, seems to be arriving on an increasingly regular basis. Drought conditions, high temperature, and wicked winds are turning small grassfires or a discarded cigarette into raging, devastating firestorms. The immediate concern for growers is for the safety of people and property, and then later surveying the damage to equipment, orchards and vineyards. The losses in recent years from wildfires have been catastrophic.   Long after the fire has passed, the potential of smoke taint ruining an entire vintage is a real concern. Undesirable contamination of grapes from smoke can result in less than desirable sensory expressions in the […]

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