Below you will find brief snippets of gossip, news, random thoughts, and stray opinions. Hopefully, it will be as exciting and engaging for you as it is thrilling for José-Maria Vicente to peruse a well-stocked and comprehensive wine list. We can only hope so!
When we get around to it, we will convert this page into a more fully functional newsfeed but for the moment the newest updates will be at the top. Just bookmark this page and check back for updates.
We recently received an email from Davy Dosnon in the Côte des Bar reporting that he is projecting an 80% reduction in yields this year due to the devastating frosts last month. Despite this setback, he has started the conversion to organic farming and he is close to a deal to purchase the last 3 hectares of his leased vineyards. This would allow him to change from one of the smallest NM to just a small RM. All of Dosnon’s Champagnes are currently available except Récolte Blanche which will be available in August. We will have more information about Champagne and all things bubbly in our not-a-newsletter next month.
–5/12/21 by JDH & S.S.
April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
So begins T.S. Elliot’s Wasteland, a poem written in the aftermath of the Spanish Flu pandemic of the last century. This last month was indeed quite cruel not only because of the renewed lockdowns in Europe but the continued near freeze of transatlantic shipping and a week-long series of actual freezes across France. Rather than give in to despair like Elliot, European Cellars is dedicated to ensuring that our tiny corner of the world works as it should – that wines make it to our shores, our growers feel supported, and that the 2021 vintage, while small in many cases, is one that we look back to as a time of rebirth and renewal.
So just what does this all mean?
Firstly, our diligent operations staff, Tena Davis and Amber Johnson, have been closely managing every container order making sure that bookings move as quickly as possible. While the normal turnaround in shipments cannot be guaranteed, Tena and Amber have been working some crazy magic. We have also made a tremendous investment in moving significant inventory to our warehouse in California to ensure some of our most popular wines make it into your warehouse, onto your shelf, and into your glass. These containers will begin to be received in May.
Secondly, we are working with our growers to secure enough wine for our market. Wines for consumers to discover and enjoy, for our distributors to sell, but most importantly, so our growers have an income while assessing the damage caused by the frosts in April. While last year’s rounds of tariffs combined with the slowdown in the economy were challenging at the time, it did prove to be a silver lining of sorts with plenty of wine available to sell now. If anything, the multitude of challenges over the last year has brought us closer to our producers, who now feel like family more than ever before.
What about the 2021 vintage?
It is still too early to say what will become of the 2021 vintage. Parts of the Southern Rhône were severely impacted, with some growers projecting close to 100% losses. Conditions were a little more spotty in the Loire. A fuller picture will emerge over the coming months as flowering begins and a sense of what can be salvaged from this vintage as it goes through veraison and harvest. As we find out more, we will add this information to this feed to keep you updated.
– 4/28/2021 by S.S.
We will be making some changes to our website in May. The primary change will include a better delineation of our three portfolios: European Cellars, Indigo Wine & Jon-David Headrick Selections. We are also adding a more formalized method of how we list farming practices, so at a glance, you can see who is certified, who is practicing organics or biodynamics, etc. We’ve also been asking those pesky questions about vegan-friendly practices and hope to roll that into this update as well. You should start to notice these changes in June 2021, if not earlier.
– 4/27/2021 by S.S.