UK, annunciata la riforma per il settore vino

Il governo del Regno Unito ha annunciato che a partire dal 2024 saranno messe in atto una serie di riforme nel settore vino, allo scopo di stimolare gli investimenti e alleggerire gli oneri sull’industria di settore.

L’annuncio è stato dato a seguito della collezione dei risultati della consultazione pubblica Wine: reforms to retained EU law, aperta a maggio e chiusasi lo scorso 16 ottobre.

Rispondendo alla consultazione infatti, gli attori dell’industria del vino Uk hanno suggerito che alcune delle norme contenute nell’attuale regolamento del settore hanno soffocato l’innovazione, impedendo al contempo l’introduzione di pratiche più efficienti e sostenibili.

Tra le novità in arrivo dunque vi sarà la modifica di alcune norme ritenute obsolete relative al confezionamento. Sarà data maggior libertà alla scelta delle forme delle bottiglie e verrà cancellato l’obbligo per i vini spumanti del ricorso al tappo a fungo e alla copertura dello stesso con un pellicola in alluminio, allo scopo di ridurre sprechi e costi d’imballaggio.

Cambieranno inoltre alcune disposizioni sull’etichettatura dei vini importati, eliminando l’obbligo dell’indicazione in etichetta del nome dell’importatore, così da snellire le procedure di commercio riducendo anche gli oneri amministrativi; dovrà quindi essere nominato in etichetta solamente il Food Business Operator (FBO), responsabile delle informazioni sugli alimenti.

Apertura anche al ricorso a varietà ibride nella produzione del vino a denominazione di origine e indicazione geografica, nel contesto delle difficoltà arrecate al settore delle malattie della vite e dal cambiamento climatico.

Ci saranno novità anche in merito a pratiche enologiche, in particolare relative al taglio dei vini e la possibilità di produrre e commercializzare “vinello” (piquette) a basso contenuto alcolico.

L’annuncio delle riforme è stato accolto con favore dalla Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) in particolare per quanto concerne le novità sull’etichettatura.


Dai Mercati, bottiglie, Defra, etichettatura, normativa vino, piquette, tappatura, varietà ibride, vinello, wsta


Bentley x The Macallan

Since 2021, Bentley Motors has partnered with The Macallan on a whole slew of projects, for instance, their ongoing partnership at Pebble Beach Car Week, as well as joint collaborations like the forthcoming ‘Horizon’ with its stunning bottle jointly developed between design teams from Bentley and The Macallan and filled with a single malt that I am sure smells like the leather interior of the new Flying Spur Speed Edition and tastes like desire.

Images Courtesy of The Macallan

The brand’s partnership makes sense when you think about it, and think about it I did, when I had a chance to sample everything from their entry-level Sherry Oak 12 Year (perfect in a Whisky Sour), the Double Cask 15 year and 18 Year and the highlight, a rare vintage 17 year Fine Oak, at a recent tasting at The Cigar and Whiskey Bar at the Maybourne Hotel in Beverly Hills with The Macallan’s Brand Ambassador, Stephanie Forbes. A side note, the Maybourne Hotel has quietly built one of the best cocktail programs in Los Angeles under their affable Head Mixologist, Chris Amirault, a subject for a future column.

Photo of Stephanie Forbes & David Carson – Images Courtesy of The Macallan

I also recently had a chance to sample the brand’s new global travel exclusive Colour Collection, which is crafted predominantly from sherry American oak casks with a subtle touch of European oak to add flavor and color and comes in 12, 15, 18, 21, and 30-year-old expressions. The highlight though is the bottle’s packaging and the new label designed by the seminal David Carson, who first found fame via his way-out work for Ray Gun magazine in the 90s, who described to me in detail the intricacies of the design work and told me he wished his dad was still around to see his work with The Macallan, which made for a tender moment as we quietly sipped our Drams of the 18 year.

Images Courtesy of The Macallan

After the tough assignment of immersing myself in the Bentley and The Macallan brands, I had a chance to ask Jaume Ferras, Global Creative Director for The Macallan, a few questions on what makes the partnership between these two powerhouse heritage companies so special and what to expect in the future.

Jon Alain Guzik: My feature is on taste and how some objects seem more tasteful than others. With Bentley, it’s about the tastefulness of their cars, in relation to the partnership, how did two classic heritage brands with a long history of exuding good taste join in a partnership and what does the partnership mean?

Jaume Ferras: Our global partnership with Bentley Motors was founded on the similarities in our rich histories as well as our shared principles of mastery, craftsmanship, creativity, and innovation. While this partnership acknowledges the origins and rich heritage of both brands, our primary focus is on jointly embracing innovation, creating immersive experiences, and crafting compelling narratives for the future. Collectively, our aim is to share knowledge and expertise from our distinct industries, all the while maintaining an unwavering dedication to excellence that permeates every aspect of our work. Through the fusion of Bentley Motors’ proficiency in crafting luxury automobiles and The Macallan’s mastery of whisky production, this partnership will result in innovative products and immersive experiences that epitomize enduring luxury, harmonized with a dedication to a more forward-thinking world.

Images Courtesy of The Macallan

JAG: When I interviewed Christophe Georges from Bentley about why their vehicles seemed so tasteful, he said, “When asked about taste, the first I think about are emotions, because everything is related to emotions. It is touching all your senses and the feeling it creates within you. It starts with the design and the beauty of the object. It is about touching all your senses.” From the bottle design to what is inside the bottle, how does this relate to The Macallan and the brand’s thoughts on the taste of their products?

JF: Beauty is intrinsic to The Macallan. It is at the core of our brand, rooted in the exquisite landscape of The Macallan Estate. For me, one of the greatest attractions of working with Bentley Motors is its very different approach to beauty, and how that will encourage The Macallan to be creative in new ways. At The Macallan, we pride ourselves on the outstanding quality of our products and on curating a sensory and emotional journey for our consumers. Since the inception of the brand’s rich spirit, we’ve established a robust set of guiding principles known as the Six Pillars (Spiritual Home, Curiously Small Stills, Finest Cut, Exceptional Oak Casks, Natural Color, and Peerless Spirit) that have illuminated the path to create our unique and exceptional whiskies.

Among these pillars, our exceptional oak casks stand as the single most significant contributor to the remarkable quality, natural hues, and distinct aromas and flavors that define The Macallan. These oak casks, responsible for up to 80% of the final sensory experience, are the cornerstone of our craftsmanship. The signature taste of The Macallan is a testament to our unwavering dedication to excellence. It is a harmonious symphony of flavors, carefully crafted over years of meticulous aging in exceptional oak casks. The resulting full-bodied notes of dried fruits, oak, and spices offer a captivating journey for your senses. Each sip is a profound exploration, revealing the intricate layers that shape the character of our whisky. Despite our very different industries, The Macallan and Bentley Motors are both makers. Our focus is on crafting beautiful, high-quality products that our customers will enjoy and appreciate. By bringing our masters together to share their expertise, we have an extraordinary opportunity to be more inventive and create something truly unique.

Images Courtesy of The Macallan

JAG: What makes “The Horizon” so important for the two brands?

JF: At The Macallan, we are experienced whisky-makers whose time and dedication are focused on crafting an exceptional single malt that can be enjoyed by consumers all around the world. The team at Bentley Motors, on the other hand, are first and foremost designers, they operate in a material world where engineering meets art to create something beautiful. This was a truly collaborative process, where masters from each side became fully immersed in each other’s worlds. This experience inspired a unique concept that challenges the traditional vertical design of a whisky bottle and instead mirrors the horizontal trajectory of the automotive industry: The Macallan Horizon. A beautifully designed product with innovation at its heart, The Macallan Horizon pushes the boundaries and the art of the possible. From the recycled copper from the disused curiously small spirit stills which were located in The Macallan’s former Distillery to the aluminum recovered from the Bentley Motors’ manufacturing process. The materials were carefully selected to bring together this sense of past and future, with each representing a central piece of The Macallan and Bentley Motors’ story. 

The final product stands as a testament to the legacies of both The Macallan and Bentley Motors, symbolizing our unwavering pursuit of excellence and heralding the dawn of an exciting new era of innovation.


Bentley Cars

Taste, good taste, bad taste, and everything in between imbues different meanings and, when it comes to wine, an obsession with Chenin Blanc is another’s stem full of folly. I think a lot about taste in my everyday life – the constant tasting when I’m cooking, the somewhat absurd lengths I go to taste a wine I am sampling, the mouthfeel, and taste of the olive oil I’m dipping my bread into, it goes on and on.  But, the ineffable taste – good taste or bad taste is always subjective – that’s a more difficult and subjective item to cover. 

Images Courtesy of Bentley Motors

As a longtime lifestyle and automotive journalist, I’ve been lucky to have the opportunity to drive almost everything and the one car company I keep coming back to when I think of good taste is Bentley Motors

Looking back, perhaps it was a core memory of taking a ride in a childhood family friend’s 1961 Bentley S2 Drophead Coupe, or maybe it was reading about the 1994 Bentley Turbo R in Car and Driver when I was a younger and drooling over the $170K price tag – about $422K in today’s money – and the sharp, classic British design.

As I got older and had the opportunity to spend time in a lot of vintage and modern Bentleys, the idea of good taste stuck with me. I always think that things don’t need to be expensive to be lovely, but with cars like Bentley, they tend to go hand in hand. While Bentley has a longstanding partnership with The Macallan, it’s always a flute of champagne I think of when I see a Bentley rolling down the street.

Images Courtesy of Bentley Motors

Recently, I was able to drive the full lineup of Bentleys and spend time with their ‘Speed Edition 12’ available across the Bentayga, Flying Spur and Continental models and celebrate the final versions of Bentley’s iconic W12 engined cars.

At lunch, I had a conversation with Christophe Georges, president and CEO of Bentley Motors America, a gregarious Frenchman with a passion for Joie De Vivre. Georges, who has a small olive farm in the south of France, can wax poetic on what makes Bentley so tasteful.

But to note, Bentley is about more than just twelve-cylinder cars that look wonderful and go very fast. Bentley’s “Beyond 100” strategy, announced in 2020, involves everything from switching the entire model range to battery electric only by 2030 and its corporate mission to reach carbon neutrality by 2030.

I had a chance to spend a few days behind the wheel of a Bentley Bentayga Azure Hybrid. The Bentayga, which is Bentley’s SUV, was painted a deep Tungsten Grey over an interior done in Newmarket Tan and Cumbrian Green featuring Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus veneers and, fully loaded with options, had a price tag of $273,095.

Images Courtesy of Bentley Motors

While the Bentayga Azure hit on all the sporty ultra-luxury notes you’d expect from the brand, the real kicker though was its hybrid power plant – a 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 mated to an 18-kWh battery pack and, housed between the gearbox and the engine, an ‘E Motor’ that combine to produce 456 hp, 516 lb-ft of torque and, on a full battery charge, can cover about 30 miles in pure electric driving mode and at speeds up to 84 mph before the gasoline engine kicks in.

The Azure models are, as Bentley likes to say, curated for well-being behind the wheel with everything from “‘wellness quilting” – the fractal patterns of precisely crafted diamond quilted upholstery create an eye-pleasing interplay of light and shade and provide an irresistible invitation to explore them with one’s fingertips to a driver’s seat equipped with Front Seat Comfort Specification featuring built-in massage functions and 22-way adjustable seats.

Was it beautiful and quiet and fast? Yes to all three all with the added surprise of driving through Los Angeles rush hour traffic on nothing but electric power in one of the most luxurious cars to ever grace my driveway.

Images Courtesy of Bentley Motors

Below is an edited conversation with Christophe Georges, who explains how the brand crafts such wonderful objects of delight, how he views the world through a lens of taste, and just how much better wine tastes when drinking it at a winery.

Jon Alain Guzik: When I knew I was going to drive these cars today, it got me to think a lot about taste and how tasteful your vehicles are. As both a car lover and a person who thinks they have good taste, I always felt that money aside, Bentley was much more tasteful than a lot of the other brands in the space. Bentley is understated in a different way for a luxury brand. One of the questions I have for you since you’ve been with Bentley for almost twenty years now, is what do you think makes Bentley so tasteful?

Christophe Georges: So when you speak about taste, the first I think about are emotions because everything is related to the emotions. A product, or a wine, or an olive oil and the feeling it creates within you. It starts with the design and the beauty of the object. When you relate it to wine or to food or whatever else, you think about the design and the beauty first. Look at the color of the wine, which gives you a lot of background about what it is, and where it’s coming from. 

So firstly, it’s about the design. We speak about our cars being a Grand Tourer and the combination of supercar performance, together with exquisite interior beauty and complementary attention to detail, the beauty of an interior that comforts the way you feel matched with the practicality of our products as well. 

It is touching all your senses – you have an emotion when you drive the car – if you decide to accelerate or to drive a little bit sporty. You immediately feel these forces and this performance and it creates a lot of emotion. When you look inside the cars and see the beauty of every little detail, this creates emotion.  So it’s all about the emotion of any given product and whether will it be able to generate this emotion for you. So if you taste a wine or a whiskey and you taste it, it acts in the same way, it is awakening your senses.

Images Courtesy of Bentley Motors

JAG: When you’re thinking about the brand in and of itself, there’s a lot of heritage and when I’ve spoken with Bentley designers in the past, they always talk about certain key elements that are key and what makes Bentley a Bentley. For you, as the CEO of the company, when you’re thinking about what makes a Bentley, what feelings are evoked for you and what do you think gives Bentley its savoir-faire?

CG: I don’t want to repeat myself but this combination of supercar performance with all luxury is totally unique in the luxury space. Then you think about our design, which finds its DNA from a long time ago but is always done in a contemporary way. 

You can always have a contemporary adaptation of the design, making sure that the car looks strong and charismatic in a way but extremely elegant and refined as well. It’s about generating admiration and not being only a statement of your wealth, where it creates much more admiration than envy. This is why you attract a lot of people who are passionate about cars and aficionados. If you look at the details of the car – the crystal glasses, the insides of the headlamps, or the knurling on the back of the door handle, the way these details are dealt with is refined and creates a connection with the car. All these details create a connection because you always discover something new about your car. You have a relationship with your car and this is what we try to create and what we do quite well.

Images Courtesy of Bentley Motors

JAG: Being French and still having a house in France, tell me about your love of wine and food and, especially olive oil, and how that dovetails with Bentley.

CG: Laughing. When you are connected for a long time to the origins of products and traditions you start to have a better understanding of where these are coming from and the way it is made and this is particularly important for Bentley as well as, knowing the way it is made and the material we are using, this creates the stepstones of luxury.

I have a house in the south of France in Provence, where you have great wine and olive oil and you develop a taste for it and you understand the way it is done. You don’t only buy wine or olive oil or these products in a shop, you go to the producer and you understand the way it is done. When you start to understand it, you appreciate the quality much more and your taste becomes different.

If you go to a winery and you have a tasting, the wine tastes better there than if you buy the same wine from somewhere else. If you taste the wine where it is made, suddenly it tastes different and this is because you are much more connected to the product and your understanding is different. You have someone explaining the wine and you begin to detect different qualities and flavors in the wine and you are opening your mind to explore more of the products. 

I have to say, with our customers and creating the link again with Bentley, our products are so detailed. When you want to understand more and you go to the factory and you see where they are made, you are on the same journey of exploration.

Images Courtesy of Bentley Motors

JAG: To me, that’s a tasteful journey and it seems a lot more tasteful than a lot of today’s hypercars and even when you make a luxury hypercar, like the Speed 12s or the limited-edition Batur, they seem they are a lot more tastefully done because they are so well thought out. To me, what makes something tasteful or not is the intentionality of the product. You said earlier, it’s about generating admiration and not envy and you’ve said that to me a few times in the past when we’ve gotten together. Do you think that’s part and parcel of the brand, that idea of admiration?

CG: It is part of the brand. It has always been the same. The brand was created out of passion, going into racing, and the racing heritage. It was founded by W.O. Bentley and followed by people who were always passionate about cars and it wasn’t always just about business but about much more about what they can do. We have always tried to respect this. It’s our motto and you can see it when you go to the factory, W.O. Bentley said “The policy was simple, to build a fast car, a good car, the best in its class.”

We have a culture at Bentley that is different from a lot of other companies, there is no arrogance, and you have genuine people being totally attached to the brand and to their colleagues, it’s a continuation of skills that are being preserved and passed down from one generation to another. Our brand really is about the people who are making the cars come alive and respecting what the brand is about. Who will continue to be a custodian of the brand and to continue to enhance what the brand is about and this is what Bentley is.


Etichettatura nutrizionale, si avvicina l’avvento dei nuovi obblighi

Il prossimo 8 dicembre entreranno in vigore i nuovi obblighi in materia di etichettatura. Questi prevedono l’indicazione della tabella nutrizionale e l’elenco degli ingredienti per i prodotti vitivinicoli e i prodotti vitivinicoli aromatizzati.

Su Il Corriere Vinicolo 33 del 16 ottobre 2023, nella consueta pagina a cura del Servizio giuridico di Unione Italiana Vini (Chiara Menchini, Martina Fusaro, Aurora Martinozzo e Antonio Rossi), un prontuario su ciò che c’è da sapere in vista di questa ormai imminente scadenza, in attesa della pubblicazione da parte della Commissione europea del documento Q&A, cioè quelle Line Guida che porteranno risposta agli interrogativi ancora aperti sull’etichettatura nutrizionale.

Vino, Antonio Rossi, Aurora Martinozzo, Chiara Menchini, commissione europea, etichettatura nutrizionale, Martina Fusaro, servizio giuridico


Cantina Italia – situazione giacenze al 30 settembre 2023

L’Ispettorato Repressione Frodi ha pubblicato il report n. 9/2023 di Cantina Italia.

Il Report è redatto dall’ICQRF sulla base dei dati contenuti nei registri telematici del vino, che al 30 settembre 2023 risultano pari a 22.490. ICQRF stima che la banca dati contenga almeno il 95% del vino e dei mosti detenuti in Italia.

Al 30 settembre 2023 negli stabilimenti enologici italiani sono presenti 42,8 milioni di ettolitri in giacenza, in diminuzione (-6,1%) rispetto allo scorso 31 luglio 2023 (-2.756.712 hl) e superiori del 9,1% rispetto al 30 settembre 2022 (+3.582.261 hl).

Al seguente link, è possibile scaricare il report; ICQRF Cantina Italia 30.09.2023

Ricordiamo che le serie storiche dei dati di giacenza e gli imbottigliamenti di tutte le Dop e Igp italiane, oltre alle rilevazioni settimanali dei prezzi dello sfuso, sono consultabili sulla piattaforma Osservatorio del Vino, accessibile all’indirizzo, dove è possibile registrarsi ed effettuare una prova gratuita di 48 ore.


Osservatorio del vino, UIV, Vino