New plantings in Barolo to be halted for 3 years starting in 2020

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R. Frankel
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Re: New plantings in Barolo to be halted for 3 years starting in 2020

#2 Post by R. Frankel » November 20th, 2019, 9:14 am

Does this only apply to new vineyards, I.e. places where there was no Nebbiolo before? Or also to replacement of old Nebbiolo vines (which it seems most grape growers do periodically)?
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Re: New plantings in Barolo to be halted for 3 years starting in 2020

#3 Post by Jeff Vaughan » November 20th, 2019, 9:22 am

Rich, good question. You would think they would be able replace dead/sick vines. Makes more sense if it relates to expansions of existing vineyards.
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Re: New plantings in Barolo to be halted for 3 years starting in 2020

#4 Post by Chuck Miller » November 20th, 2019, 9:02 pm

Seems kind of inconsequential (maybe). You plant, but can’t label the wine Barolo. It’s a 3 year ban. Most vines aren’t producing much in the first few years. Unless they mean forever, then maybe. More details needed.
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Re: New plantings in Barolo to be halted for 3 years starting in 2020

#5 Post by John Morris » November 22nd, 2019, 7:15 am

Interesting. Since the aim it to limit production, or at least limit the expansion of production, you'd think they'd allow replacement plantings.

I can see why they might be worried about an oversupply. Production has nearly doubled over the past 20 years. The registered Barolo vineyard area was just 1,250 hectares in 1998. The story reports that it's 2,100 now. And production has risen from 7.6 million bottles in 1998 to 14 million now. To some extent that reflects the replacement of barbera and dolcetto with nebbiolo on Barolo DOCG land, and some of those plots may not be suited for high quality nebbiolo.

With the quality of 2013, 2015 and 2016, demand is probably good at the moment, but I can see how producers may be worried that they might end up with a surplus at some point. The Giacosas and Conternos may be selling, but around NYC there's still a fair deal of '12, '13 and '14 Barolo on the shelves as the '15s arrive.
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Re: New plantings in Barolo to be halted for 3 years starting in 2020

#6 Post by GregT » November 22nd, 2019, 3:20 pm

The entrenched are trying to protect themselves.

They may end up with surplus. But it's a dumb move anyway. If a producer feels that "Barolo" is generic enough that some schmuck can come in and compete that easily, then maybe that producer shouldn't be in business himself. And if they're worried about too many quality producers showing up, how is that a bad thing?

The way to move that Barolo off the shelves is through pricing. Just like any other inventory.

They need to remember that there are lots of alternatives to Barolo.
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Re: New plantings in Barolo to be halted for 3 years starting in 2020

#7 Post by James Billy » November 22nd, 2019, 4:55 pm

Maybe regrafting to nebbiolo from other varieties could be stopped, but replacing old nebbiolo with new should be allowed.

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Re: New plantings in Barolo to be halted for 3 years starting in 2020

#8 Post by John Morris » November 22nd, 2019, 5:01 pm

GregT wrote:
November 22nd, 2019, 3:20 pm
The entrenched are trying to protect themselves.

They may end up with surplus. But it's a dumb move anyway. If a producer feels that "Barolo" is generic enough that some schmuck can come in and compete that easily, then maybe that producer shouldn't be in business himself. And if they're worried about too many quality producers showing up, how is that a bad thing?

The way to move that Barolo off the shelves is through pricing. Just like any other inventory.

They need to remember that there are lots of alternatives to Barolo.
I disagree. You can pretty much assume that any new plantings at this stage are not on the best sites. So it is a protection of quality. It's fair enough if they don't want to undermine the brand. They don't want to be the Calvin Klein of wine.
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Re: New plantings in Barolo to be halted for 3 years starting in 2020

#9 Post by GregT » November 23rd, 2019, 11:22 am

But they won't be Calvin Klein who put his name on everything. They would still be making Barolo in the Barolo region. Moreover, by that logic, they should be weeding out the producers who aren't top flight right now. They don't have surplus inventory because all of the unsold wines are superb and wisely priced. When has anybody made a business move out of some altruistic or noble motive? Restraining or prohibiting new producers is always to benefit the existing producers.
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Re: New plantings in Barolo to be halted for 3 years starting in 2020

#10 Post by Eric Lundblad » November 23rd, 2019, 1:06 pm

John Morris wrote:
November 22nd, 2019, 5:01 pm

I disagree. You can pretty much assume that any new plantings at this stage are not on the best sites. So it is a protection of quality.
Doesn't climate change change that equation? My assumption (and to a lesser extent, experience) is it will.
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Re: New plantings in Barolo to be halted for 3 years starting in 2020

#11 Post by Jeff Vaughan » November 23rd, 2019, 3:57 pm

I agree with Eric. Who knows where the best sites may be 50 years from now. The best sites 50 years ago were in warm spots, where the snow melted first. Now some of those sites are challenging in the hot years. Hard to say 50 or 100 years from now.
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Re: New plantings in Barolo to be halted for 3 years starting in 2020

#12 Post by R. Smith » November 23rd, 2019, 4:57 pm

Eric Lundblad wrote:
November 23rd, 2019, 1:06 pm
John Morris wrote:
November 22nd, 2019, 5:01 pm

I disagree. You can pretty much assume that any new plantings at this stage are not on the best sites. So it is a protection of quality.
Doesn't climate change change that equation? My assumption (and to a lesser extent, experience) is it will.
Aldo Vacca from Produttori says climate change is absolutely changing the equation
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Re: New plantings in Barolo to be halted for 3 years starting in 2020

#13 Post by brigcampbell » November 23rd, 2019, 5:11 pm

Actually, I'm shocked there's any place left to plant new vines.

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Re: New plantings in Barolo to be halted for 3 years starting in 2020

#14 Post by Mel Knox » November 23rd, 2019, 5:40 pm

Maybe if they made a smoother wine they could plant even more!!
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Re: New plantings in Barolo to be halted for 3 years starting in 2020

#15 Post by Jeff Vaughan » November 23rd, 2019, 8:11 pm

brigcampbell wrote:
November 23rd, 2019, 5:11 pm
Actually, I'm shocked there's any place left to plant new vines.
Brig, good point! There’s not much unplanted land. Maybe they are replacing hazelnuts with vines.
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Re: New plantings in Barolo to be halted for 3 years starting in 2020

#16 Post by James Billy » November 23rd, 2019, 11:45 pm

John Morris wrote:
November 22nd, 2019, 5:01 pm
GregT wrote:
November 22nd, 2019, 3:20 pm
The entrenched are trying to protect themselves.

They may end up with surplus. But it's a dumb move anyway. If a producer feels that "Barolo" is generic enough that some schmuck can come in and compete that easily, then maybe that producer shouldn't be in business himself. And if they're worried about too many quality producers showing up, how is that a bad thing?

The way to move that Barolo off the shelves is through pricing. Just like any other inventory.

They need to remember that there are lots of alternatives to Barolo.
I disagree. You can pretty much assume that any new plantings at this stage are not on the best sites. So it is a protection of quality. It's fair enough if they don't want to undermine the brand. They don't want to be the Calvin Klein of wine.

GregT wrote:
November 23rd, 2019, 11:22 am
But they won't be Calvin Klein who put his name on everything. They would still be making Barolo in the Barolo region. Moreover, by that logic, they should be weeding out the producers who aren't top flight right now. They don't have surplus inventory because all of the unsold wines are superb and wisely priced. When has anybody made a business move out of some altruistic or noble motive? Restraining or prohibiting new producers is always to benefit the existing producers.
Agree with both! But the former is a piece of cake. The latter is more subjective/sensitive! Maybe it just hasn't sold out because the pricing is too aspirational or it hasn't been hyped up by some Instagram influencer pileon
Last edited by James Billy on November 24th, 2019, 1:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: New plantings in Barolo to be halted for 3 years starting in 2020

#17 Post by James Billy » November 23rd, 2019, 11:45 pm

Jeff Vaughan wrote:
November 23rd, 2019, 3:57 pm
I agree with Eric. Who knows where the best sites may be 50 years from now. The best sites 50 years ago were in warm spots, where the snow melted first. Now some of those sites are challenging in the hot years. Hard to say 50 or 100 years from now.
This, too!

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Re: New plantings in Barolo to be halted for 3 years starting in 2020

#18 Post by GregT » November 24th, 2019, 12:16 am

Yes!

It's the influencers!

Get out there man and post some hot selfies and stuff on Instagram!

More seriously, and sadly, a lot of people in mountainous and cold regions are noting that they're having warmer vintages more frequently. I've heard it from Spain and Austria as well.
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Re: New plantings in Barolo to be halted for 3 years starting in 2020

#19 Post by James Billy » November 24th, 2019, 1:51 am

GregT wrote:
November 24th, 2019, 12:16 am
Yes!

It's the influencers!

Get out there man and post some hot selfies and stuff on Instagram!
You know who I'm talking about [wink.gif]

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