Photo by Mac Mullins
A very happy New Year! With the festivities behind us, it’s that time of the year when all self-respecting wine journalists sharpen their pencils and start compiling their lists of predictions for the trends and tendencies which they think are going to shape the wine world in 2024.
To save you time, we’ve trawled our way through all this crystal ball gazing and whittled the list down to a few of our favourites which we think are worth looking out for. So, without further ado, here’s our list of things to look out for over the next twelve months.
Let’s kick off in style with fizz. Whether it was Cava, Champagne or – dare we say it – that drink from Italy beginning with “P”, over the last few weeks we’ve probably all had a glass or two of our favourite espumoso. Now from a producer viewpoint, that consumer tendency to associate sparkling wine with special occasions has been a bit of a double-edged sword, making steady sales throughout the year a real challenge.
Well that’s set to change apparently, with those in the know predicting that 2024 will finally be the year that sparkling wine goes mainstream and people start drinking it all year round. By all accounts, that spike in consumption is going to have us all experimenting too, drinking sparklers in all sorts of styles and from all sorts of regions, whether it’s French Champagne or Crémant, Spanish Cava, Italian Franciacorta or even naturally sparkling - and increasingly fashionable - pét-nat wines.
While we’re on the subject of year-round drinking, commentators are also predicting this is the year rosé wines really come into their own. It’s true that as a category, rosé is breaking away from its very seasonal, “summer by the pool” image as producers, driven by the influx of big money into estates in places like Provence, are bottling ever more elaborate and gastronomic wines which make the perfect accompaniment to Mediterranean menus.
Zooming out a bit and looking at the bigger picture, climate change and the environment has been on winemakers minds a lot in 2023 and that’s set to continue in 2024. Rising temperatures and unpredictable weather patterns have a real and immediate impact on producers’ livelihoods and many, including here in Spain, are taking it upon themselves to make big changes to their business models to keep them sustainable. So keep an eye on those back labels on the bottle, and expect to see plenty more wineries talking about low water usage, organic farming or even low bottle weight to reduce their carbon footprint*.
In Spain, Bodegas Verum in Castilla - La Mancha are one of the wineries leading the charge. Our newsletter on “The greenest white wine in Spain” of 19 November 2023 takes a closer look at their innovative approach to reducing their carbon footprint.
Finally, while we’re on the environment, 2024 could be the year we all start learning more about regenerative viticulture, an increasingly global movement which takes organic and biodynamic farming practices a stage further. At the core of the regenerative philosophy is an emphasis on restoration – by increasing biodiversity, improving the water cycle, strengthening the ecosystem and supporting biosequestration (the capture and storage of CO2 emissions), the regenerative vineyard boosts soil health and also helps increase the earth’s resilience to climate change. In Spain, the Torres family in Catalunya are leading the process. In 2021, they set up the Regenerative Viticulture Association which now boasts more than 100 members across 9 countries.
There we have it, a quick look ahead to some of the possible wine trends in 2024. If you’ve got any thoughts of your own on what the next twelve months might bring, drop us a line at email@example.com – we’d love to hear from you!