Press release WINE System AG

„Climate change has come to stay“: The results and insights of the International PIWI Wine Award 2019.

PAR®-Jury tasted 471 PIWI-wines from 14 countries.

Frasdorf, November 2019 – The resilience to fungal disease in times of extreme weather conditions is an essential strength brought by the PIWI grape varieties like Regent, Cabernet blanc or Solaris. The benefit in the context of climate protection is the raising issue worldwide. Less use of fungicides means a reduction of tractor runs and much healthier soil – a triad that significantly reduces the carbon footprint. Yet the question whether the „sturdy vines“ deliver high-quality wines was an issue to discover by Martin Darting – head of the tasting – and the entire PAR®-Jury on November 01. - 03. Four hundred seventy-one wines from 14 countries were submitted to the 09th edition of the International PIWI Wine Award, which is a sharp increase compared to 2018. Eighteen skilled PAR Certified masters grouped in threes tasted and qualitatively classified each wine awarding 28 nominees with Top Gold, 196 with Gold and 198 with Silver. The official prize-giving ceremony will take place on the 27th of November 2019 at the Winzer Service fair in Karlsruhe.
 
The Top Ratings 2019

The particular advantages of PIWIs in the close-to-nature viticulture are not least reflected by the impressive figure of 200 organic wines submitted to the International PIWI Wine Award 2019. The organic PIWIs represent the majority at the top: 17 products out of a total of 27 Top Gold winners. The best result of the tasting with 99 points was achieved by the 2018 Göcseji Zamatos – a reductively made white wine - produced by the Slovakian organic wine-growing estate Víno Hladký from the Little Carpathians region. Likewise in the category of white wines, this result was closely followed by the reductively matured in steel tank 2018 Souvignier Gris Kabinett dry from the organic vineyard Jürgen Walz coming from the Kaiserstuhl region, as well as masterfully oxidatively done 2018 Saphira Barrique produced by Bosshart + Grimm bio vineyard that is located in the German-speaking Switzerland. Each of them earned 98 points. In total, 15 whites were awarded Top Gold.
Ten products in the category red wine were decorated with Top Gold this year. The top ratings with 98 points each are the 2018 UTOPIA from Chateau Thivin located in the French Beaujolais – a traditionally barrique-made PIWI-Cuvée consisting of Prior, Chambourcin, Sauvignier gris und Pinotin; the 2016 Réserve produced by the biodynamic winery Schönhals from the Rhinehessen – a traditionally barrique-matured Cuvée of Cabertin und Satin Noir; the 2018 „Mundorff - Cabernet Cantor im Barriquefass gereift“ produced by the vineyard Wohlgemut-Schnürr in Rhinehessen; the oxidatively steel tank-done 2018 Regent Spätlese from the organic winery Vollmer on the Baden shore of the Lake Constance, as well as the 2018 NUGELORO Cabernet Jura , matured in steel tank and barrique, coming from wine-growing estate Schmid Stingelin in the northern part of Switzerland.
As is the case each year, dessert wines are among the frontrunners. Three nominees were decorated with Top Gold medals. The 2018 Solaris Auslese „Arzheimer Kalmit“ produced at wine-growing estate Werner Anselmann in the Palatinate region and the Regent Rotwein Auslese edelsüß from E. & A. Behringer OHG Rhinehessen were among the top winners, both matured in steel tank and decorated with 97 points each.

The complete Ranking list, as well as PAR assessment sheets, are available at https://www.piwi-international.de/en/results-2019.html. 
Country specific lists of the competition are available under the following link for free download: https://www.piwi-international.de/en/download-2019-en.html.

PIWI grape varieties and the climate change

This year’s contest was again of high and sustainable quality, delivering a slightly smaller number of premium wines compared to the previous years, however, mostly performing with the general high craft competence. Nearly all producers had to address the challenge of climate change last year, as this has come to stay in the vineyard during the hot year of 2018. Especially in the regions of colder climates with traditionally more fresh wine production, wine-growers had to cope with low acidity and reduced extract density as a result of the heatwave.
Whether the acceptance and adaption or the fight for the maintenance of the same usual wine style should be the right response to this shift, such decision should be made solely by the producers. Obviously, neither humans nor plants have enough time to prepare for this change. The decreasing steadiness of temperature and precipitation will subsequently influence the ripening time, entire harvest size and fungal infestation that traditionally means the increased application of fungicides. The good news is that this risk can be significantly minimised by planting PIWI grape varieties. Less fungicide means the reduced input of CO2 through machine application and more resilient soil. Martin Darting: „Hence my appeal to the wine lovers: Be open to the new grape varieties and support PIWI. Demands of the market increasingly force the wine-growers to plant the resistant grapes. Year after year, the International PIWI Wine Award illustrates that these varieties also deliver high-quality and appealing wines.“

The International PIWI Wine Award has been originated to provide sufficient guidelines to the consumers and retail for these versatile new varieties, and at the same time to support the pioneering role of producers as well as their commitment to sustainable agriculture. Initiated by PIWI International and organised by WINE System AG, this prestigious, high-quality contest applies the world-renowned PAR® tasting method. Due to the analytical and nuanced approach of the PAR® tasters, the assessment includes all aspects of winemaking and climatic conditions. The results are objective and transparent in detail. Learn more at https://www.par-system.de/en/.

Background information:

PIWI International e. V. Association promotes the information exchange between research organizations, growers, refiners of PIWI grape varieties and wine producers. Many fungus-resistant grape varieties have been put into practice during the last years, some of them on a trial base. There is a big information demand about this type of grape, namely detailed feature characterization, manual for the best possible winemaking, degustations, marketing exchange and how to better inform final consumers. Besides arranging of congresses and study groups, the initiation of the International PIWI Wine Award is an essential part of the PIWI activities.www.piwi-international.de
President: Josef Engelhart - Office: Susanne Sommer +49 6133 5099226 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Established 1999, WINE System AG, with its extensive and informative wine database, builds a solid footing for the PAR rating system developed by Martin Darting. Likewise, the company proved itself to be a high-performance partner for winegrowers, retail and expert audience in the fields of wine and sensors. As a joint developer of this innovative and transparent assessment system for the sensorially measurable products like wine, bread, olive oil, cheese and many others, WINE System AG, under the leadership of Martin Darting an Brigitte Wüstinger, organises highly prestigious contests. The portfolio includes events like, for instance, international organic wine award, PAR Wine Award International and International PIWI Wine Award. The database that contains more than 35.000 listed wines became a global information tool highly appreciated among experts. www.winesystem.de 

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