Virtual tasting, care for the environment and health, online sales, emphasis on local and top quality, have not bypassed the global wine industry
Last year, more than ever before, the wine industry felt the effects of the global crisis and it is unlikely that anything will change in the first months of 2021.
Strict epidemiological measures are still in force, so it is already quite certain that there will be nothing from wine tourism until the spring at least, which has extremely affected well-known Croatian wine destinations such as Istria.
Although the pandemic has shown that it is currently difficult to predict anything, there are still, according to experts who follow the wine scene, noticeable trends that will continue in 2021.
“We will continue, apparently, to avoid crowded bars and restaurants, so the consumption of wine at home will continue to grow. The emphasis will be on well-known, top brands. This is not something new for winemakers, considering that the motto less, but better!, has been a favourite among wine lovers in recent years and reflects not only the need for quality wines but also the concept of enjoying wine as part of a meal,” says one of the most famous Istrian winemakers, Marino Markežić , who is owner of the Kabola brand.
The trends of moderate consumption, cooking together and moderate enjoyment of food and wine were announced at the end of 2019, the pandemic has only accelerated this. The ways of socializing have changed, so virtual tastings have become a discovery. Distribution channels have also changed, it has never been easier to reach your favorite brand with the help of online ordering and home delivery, but the renowned Istrian winemaker points out that due to the economy it is extremely important to support local restaurants, wine shops, cafes and shops which have all been hit.
Bio-certified wines have never been more in demand
Sommeliers say wine lovers around the world have replaced rich and sweet wines with lighter, fresh ones, with less sugar and low sulfites, and that trend is sure to continue in the coming years.
“Vegan wines are also in fashion, the world’s best restaurants had them even before the pandemic, and in the new situation, local organic products with a bio certificate have never been in more demand,” says Marino, who was the first winemaker in Istria to switch to organic wine and olive oil production back in 2009, and all the products at his beautiful boutique winery near Momjan carry a bio certificate.
“Without pesticides, fertilizers and chemicals, this is how wine has been produced for centuries. Organic production in today’s conditions is complex and demanding, but it is actually simple and in harmony with nature. The locations where the vineyard is planted must be sunny, airy, without too much moisture, and the biodiversity must be as high as possible and preferably the neighboring vineyards should not use different chemical products. The real taste of the variety and terroir can be felt in the organic wine and we want to share that with wine lovers around the world who enjoy our wines,” concludes Markežić.