The world of wine is changing faster than we think.
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Three concurrent tornadoes are each colliding head-on with our ancestral rhythm and profoundly reshaping our borders, our hierarchies and sometimes our very nature. The first – and undoubtedly the most fundamental – is the climatic and ecological upheaval we are experiencing. Like all agricultural activities, wine is on the front line. This is changing both the nature of production and its geography. Water, in particular, is becoming an essential issue. This treasure is not shared equally everywhere. Irrigation is no longer seen as a guarantee of unrestricted vineyard development. The spectacular globalisation of wine is the second wind of change. By expanding everywhere, from China to Argentina, via California and old Europe, wine has established itself in the niche of luxury and high personality, far removed from the image of a basic product that it had for centuries in the consumer countries. The extraordinary transformation of the vineyards of Provence, which we explore and analyse in detail in the next two newsetters, is a wonderful example of this. Consumers also dictate their own agenda. Twenty years ago, there was talk of the younger generation abandoning wine. This has not been the case, but these new wine lovers are gradually imposing their tastes and a different vision. With fewer structured, long-keeping reds, more rosés, whites and bubbles, and a host of stylistic and ethical trends, the wine list is undergoing a profound and lasting change. Never before in the millennia of its existence has the civilisation of wine been subject to such strong currents. Observing and appreciating them, without getting carried away by the sometimes contradictory currents, is of great interest to us wine lovers.