Global wine market is constantly changing. In addition to the usual grapes, there seems to be a tendency to consume rather unknown grapes, which therefore produce exotic wines. These are more authentic grapes and have not been heavily manipulated in the production process.
Why exotic wines are fashionable
Apparently, millennials are strong consumers of wine. This generation, always hyperconnected, shows the wines they drink on the social media, and what they want, in part, is to differentiate themselves from their parents, who opt for more classic grapes: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Another reason is because “different” is a trend. And for this reason, they prefer rather rare and indigenous grapes, and also historical varieties that at some point were almost forgotten, but that have resurfaced again.
Experimentation of the wineries
As “different” is fashionable, more and more wineries dare to experiment with new varieties, many of them brought from different countries. Then some producers are responsible for the exotic wines being increasingly on the rise.
Some exotic varieties that we can find on the market are Petit Verdot, which comes from Bordeaux, cradle of wine. It is a variety that gives an aromatic profile and offers colour and spicy notes. We are also hearing a lot about Bonarda, an autochthonous grape from Savoy, France, which brings a very dark colour to the wines. It also offers aromas of red fruits, with soft tannins.
It should be noted that Italy is a country where several hundred indigenous varieties are grown. Abruzzo is the most frequent region, with varieties such as Montepulciano, Trebbiano, Pecorino, Passerina and Cococciola increasingly sought after. In many areas they focus on the organic production of grapes, so the flavours of dry lemon and mineral are the most prominent.
There is also California, where Mourvédre stands out, and here the customers are not so much millennials but middle-aged (47 years average). Georgia is another rising market in this type of exotic wines, followed by Greece, Sicily, Austria and there are also increasingly “rare” varieties in Spain. The good thing is that all kinds of grapes can coexist, from the classic ones to the ones that maybe one day will become more known.