News and notes from the world of wine.
Christie’s International, an auction house specializing in fine and rare wines, has appointed Per Holmberg as vice president, head of department, for the company’s New York Wine Department. From 2000–2004, Holmberg worked for Christie’s in auctions. Most recently, he served as vice president of East Coast operations for Benchmark Wine Group, a Napa Valley, California-based wine supplier for collectors, restaurants and wine retailers.
A plot of 200-year-old grape vines in France’s Appelletion d’Origine Protégé (AOP) Saint-Mont was awarded the status Monument Historique—a national heritage site of France. The vines are ungrafted, bearing a mix of 20 red and white varieties, including Tannat, Muscadelle and Servadou. This marks the first time the distinction has been conferred on a vineyard.
Terlato Wine Group plans to invest more than $3 million to convert its California wineries into solar-powered facilities. In the process of receiving certification from the California Sustainable Winegrowers Program, Terlato is also concentrating on sustainable farming methods, such as the utilization of an environmentally safe sulfur substitute in its vineyards.
According to the New Zealand Winegrowers trade group, New Zealand’s 2012 grape harvest was down 18% from 2011, with a total of 268,000 tons—a byproduct of the cool spring and summer weather. It’s presumed that the diminished grape tonnage will help offset the country’s current surplus of wine.
The 2010 decree that expanded Barolo’s celebrated Cannubi vineyard to 84 acres from 37 acres has been annulled by a tribunal in Rome. The decision was inspired by an appeal from 11 out of 19 Cannubi producers who were concerned that the expansion had weakened the prestige of the Cannubi designation.
Christie’s auction house has announced the launch of Signature Cellars, a series of online-only wine auctions taking place August 6–20. Beginning July 9, collectors will be able to view the auction's e-catalogue, which features information on the 301 lots of fine and rare wines on offer. The total sale of the lots is estimated to exceed $750,000.