A few days ago I was reading a great article in the journal La revue de vin de France. Recommended to anyone who wants to understand how they formed the great world wine regions such as Bordeaux, Burgundy, Tuscany, etc … Wines that today are recognized worldwide and whose market prices sometimes reach thousands of euros.
Interestingly, the prestige and recognition of these large regions have been achieved for historical, economic, social … and political reasons. Yes, the political influences in creating great wine regions. It is a clear demonstration that even if the terroir is still a key element, it may not be the biggest influencer when it comes to create a prestigious wine region. And this is a clear demonstration of the opportunity for small regions, which can too take that step forward and achieve in the future a great acknowledgment (as Priorat reached in a few years).
The long report shows how the feudal, church (yes, yes, it also influenced), and social powers slowly created the recognition of these regions, becoming a relevant sector and actor in trade and upper class consuming. It was precisely these large sections of society which ?promoted? these regions, a promotion that has been done to the detriment of many others small ones which disappeared over the years. And not because they were not able to create great wines, but because they did not receive the key support the deserved.
There is so many people who influenced the history of wine, from the Romans in France who developed the wine culture in the Rhone Valley or along the Seine, or the Greeks in Italy, or the Corton Charlemagne (yielding their vines to the Church), or the emperors of the Austrian -Hungarian kingdom, etc … A curious history, and yet much more contemporary is the story of the Petrus. Petrus has been considered as the best wine of the twentieth century.
And its success (the only grand cru Bordeaux not named Châteaux or Domaine, by the way), is due to a great marketing coup. Before World War II, it was a small and relatively unknown producer of the appellation of Pomerol (unknown it too) but it appears that Marie -Louise Loubat started buying vineyards in the area. And she purchased the Petrus to the Arnaud family, because she considered it as a wine of great future but still unknown to almost everyone. While trying to promote it, she can?t manage to exceeds the prestige of her neighbors? wines of Saint – Émilion. Until she decided to send a box of his wine Petrus to the young Princess Elizabeth of England (and later Queen), symbolizing modernity at that time. Luckily, the princess chose the Petrus for her wedding on November the 20th, 1947 and since that time, the Petrus is considered as the great politicians wine, like the Kennedy family who considered it as its favorite wine, or the movie stars Marilyn Monroe who worshiped it. This is how the Petrus legend was made.
This shows that in addition to the terroir, in wine there are other elements that influence, and a lot, in recognition. Because wine are stories, traditions, chances … That?s the beauty of the wine world, don?t you think?
Today we suggest you 2 special wines
Sol de Málaga, a great sweet wine from Malaga
Luis Cañas Crianza 2009, 92 Parker points at a great price