Indigenous Grapes In Europe – Necessary Integration

On Thursdays I usually try to write a post on indigenous grape varieties. Last week, I wrote about Cabernet Franc as an indigenous variety in Italy which some may think is incorrect because it was first seen in France but I maintain that after 100 years, a grape can be called indigenous or something of that nature.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this issue and over the years have asked many winemakers what they think. Ideas are divergent but mostly people seem to think grapes are associated with a certain region or terroir. What do you think?

I can’t help thinking about the integration or lack thereof in Europe these days.That’s pretty much par for the course because European politics and economics was the subject of my Masters degree and the issue which I wrote about for many years in my previous iteration.

Watching what is happening in Italy now truly breaks my heart. Speaking with wine producers over the last few days, many seem distressed and are hoping like the rest of us for a miracle or at least for a clear path. Despite these negative thoughts, I did read this hopeful article about the place of culture in Italy’s future.

Like every one else, I was waiting for news from the European Central Bank this morning. Yes they cut rates but didn’t go as far as many expected by saying they were likely to intervene more heavily in the bond markets.

The merits of this economic argument aren’t the subject of this blog but suffice it to say that Draghi has been a hero of mine since 1995 when I used to cover him. His firm standing on principle I truly believe helped fell the Berlusconi government.

Whether he will act more forcefully if Eurozone countries agree to tighter controls is still an open questions although now it seems less likely than a few days ago.

Not only smart but pretty dashing as well, following him around was one of the highlights of my early career until I tripped and sprained my ankle and fell into the arms of a lovely well-known journalist in Milan. There ensued a nice friendship with the journalist but years of ankle sprains and no contact with Draghi :).

Draghi is a very serious fellow and I trust his reign at the ECB will bring big changes. Let’s see what France and Germany are able to pull off later this week. Without further fiscal and economic cooperation, it is hard to see a clear path into the future for the Eurozone.

The same cannot be said for grape varieties however but the melange of grapes across Europe will probably always remain somewhat integrated and somewhat distinct at the same time. In the wine industry, that’s a good thing, for the future of the economy of the Eurozone and the rest of us, I’m not so sure.

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