The chairman of wine merchant Raphaël Michel is arrested for allegedly bottling cheap wine as Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and Vranken-Pommery ends its joint venture to make rosé. Scientists examine the damage to wineries caused by global warming, and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board may increase prices for some 450 products. This is the news we’re thinking about here at SevenFifty Daily.

August 1, 2017
1. Wine Spectator

French wine executive arrested for allegedly turning cheap wine into Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Police claim that Guillaume Ryckwaert, the chairman of the giant bulk-wine merchant Raphaël Michel, illegally labeled bulk wine as coming from premium appellations for three years. He is said to have sourced the equivalent of nearly 4 million cases of table wine and resold it as product from Rhône appellations, including Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape.


By 2050, land suitable for growing grapes could shrink by 23%

Climate change is already impacting vineyards all over the world, including regions producing names Bordeaux, Alsace and Chianti, according to scientists. Increased heat and CO2 levels can affect the flavor and ripening times of the fruit. Higher temperatures also cause pests and pathogens to thrive. At the local level, unpredictable weather can bring damaging downpours and hailstorms can decimate yields in hours.

At Vineexpo in Bordeaux in June 2017, Professor John Holdren, who was director of the White House Office of Science & Technology under President Barack Obama, reported to the conference that by the year 2050 the land suitable for growing grapes could shrink by 23 percent. In that light, growers and researchers will have to keep combining resilience and resistance-focused research coupled with robust and effective land management techniques.


Higher liquor prices threatened in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board told some of its suppliers in a July 20 letter that they had until Monday to cut the prices they charge the agency that runs the state’s more than 600 wine and liquor outlets. If the alcoholic beverage companies do not give in and reduce prices, the PLCB plans to increase prices to consumers on as many as 450 products by the end of August, according to the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association.

4. Just-Drinks

Vranken-Pommery Monopole ends rosé wine joint venture with partner Castel

Champagne house Vranken-Pommery Monopole has withdrawn from a rosé wine joint venture, offloading its share to joint-venture partner Castel. The companies established the JV in 2013, under the name Listel. The value of the transaction, which took place earlier this month, has not been disclosed.