In the period between this issue of Sommelier India and the previous one, I visited two important regions of the wine world to attend landmark events. One was the annual En Primeur programme organised by the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux in early April. The second was Austriaâ€™s biggest and most important wine fair, VieVinum, held every alternate year in June at the splendid Hofburg palace in Vienna. I spent three wonderful days there discovering exciting new producers, whose wines â€“ which are among the best in the world â€“ I hope will soon become available for wine connoisseurs in India.
Bordeaux En Primeur week is when the new vintage is presented to accredited journalists and the global wine trade in tastings. This is an intense time for Bordeaux producers and wine merchants who buy wine â€˜futuresâ€™. Bordeaux is still the largest producer of high-quality wine in the world and the top vintages go up in price as the wine improves in the bottle. Last yearâ€™s harvest, severely affected by frost and hail was the worst since 1991. However, careful monitoring of the ripening grapes in the vineyard and rigorous sorting during harvest, followed by successful fermentation and early barrel maturing of the young wine meant that the winemakers were able to select their best lots in January for the final blend. On pages 32 to 39 our man in Bordeaux, Ronald Rens describes the wines tasted in detail along with his tasting notes.
Looking at the wine scene back home, I have immense pleasure in announcing Uma Chigurupati as the Sommelier India Person of the Year. Uma has not shied away from hard work to achieve extraordinary results in creating an exclusive range of wines, aided and abetted by her husband, Krishna. Read about Umaâ€™s journey in wine on pages 18 to 29.
In the rest of the issue, our several accomplished and knowledgeable writers describe international wine regions and the people who are producing the best wines possible. Find out who they are, the vineyards to visit, the wines to drink, and the restaurants to dine at, as well as the latest trends in gastronomy, in the pages that follow. With so much choice available, this is an extraordinary time in history to be a wine lover. Read more in the latest issue.