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新冠疫情之下,傳統紅酒廠如何突出重圍

新冠疫情之下,傳統紅酒廠如何突出重圍

Eric J. Lyman 2021年04月05日
和大多數的葡萄酒生產國一樣,意大利的葡萄酒行業也遭到了新冠肺炎疫情的重創。

碧安帝山迪莊園(Biondi Santi)是意大利的頂級酒莊之一,它生產了一款2012年的塔爾奇諾布魯奈羅特釀紅葡萄酒(Brunello di Montalcino Riserva),其歷史地位可能將不亞于“82年的拉菲”。但這款酒的誕生也是幾經波折。它是一款頂級的意大利紅酒,《葡萄酒觀察家》雜志(Wine Spectator)給予了它96分的極高評價,另外,它也是碧安帝山迪莊園的族長佛朗哥·比昂迪·山迪釀造的最后一款酒。

弗朗哥·山迪是費魯喬·山迪的孫子,后者在1988年發明了布魯奈羅紅葡萄酒。1944年,納粹德軍向北撤退,途經意大利的著名紅酒產區托斯卡納時,弗朗哥幫他父親把不少珍貴陳酒藏在了一面假墻后面,這才讓這些寶貴的陳酒躲過一劫。弗朗哥在1970年接管了莊園,一直經營至2013年去世時為止,享年91歲。而這款紅酒,也是他去世幾個月前釀造的最后一批產品。

碧安帝山迪莊一直計劃將這款酒打造成一款向弗朗哥致敬的產品,所以它決定,要把這批酒在家族的酒窖里陳放數年,直到它們進入最佳的飲用年限。

為什么說它的面世幾經波折呢?因為酒剛剛陳放好,新冠疫情就來了。

紅酒制造商佛朗哥·比昂迪·山迪(卒于2013年)在意大利托斯卡納的碧安帝山迪莊園。圖片來源:Barbara Alper—Getty Images

被迫改革的古老行業

和大多數的葡萄酒生產國一樣,意大利的葡萄酒行業也遭到了新冠肺炎疫情的重創。

酒莊雇傭的工人很多是季節性的短工,其中很多居住在東歐地區。自疫情爆發以來,由于各國紛紛出臺旅行限制,導致大量工人難以在2020年的葡萄成熟季回到意大利。目前,各大酒莊正在加緊讓工人接種新冠疫苗,好讓他們盡快返回工作崗位。

另外,由于意大利和多數歐洲國家的餐飲企業大都處于關閉狀態,各大酒莊只得將注意力投向那些疫情已經得到控制的非傳統市場——尤其是亞洲國家。

好在葡萄酒的網購市場也在蓬勃發展。今年2月,意大利咨詢公司Nomisma表示,2020年,網購市場新增用戶賬戶超過800萬個。在意大利,“紅酒在線”的關鍵詞搜索量在一年內翻了一番。

吉亞尼·加利亞爾多是意大利皮埃蒙特地區著名的巴羅洛酒莊的負責人。他表示,葡萄酒行業正在經歷一些變化,而這些變化將成為未來很長時間里的“新常態”。他指出,用工情況會逐步恢復正常,但整個行業對亞洲市場的重視必然會持續下去。

加利亞爾多開發中國市場已經20多年了,他告訴《財富》雜志:“其他的主要市場已經成熟了,但亞洲仍然有數億人的葡萄酒消費潛力。疫情只是進一步加速了這個進程?!?/font>

小規模,大回報

加利亞爾多認為,線上市場將繼續占據葡萄酒行業的主導地位。不過目前的情形有可能會模糊向餐飲企業銷售與向消費者直接銷售之間的界限。

“線上銷售要比常規的餐飲渠道快得多。以前,餐飲企業會監測葡萄酒的消費情況,如果哪種葡萄酒庫存少了,就會一次訂購60到80瓶,這些酒會在一周或10天內送到?,F在餐飲渠道的銷量下降了,而且如果一家餐廳的某種葡萄酒的庫存不足了,他們就可以在網上下單,當天下午就能夠收到五六瓶?!?/font>

他說:“在疫情之后,葡萄酒的銷量會上去,但我認為,葡萄酒的銷售渠道已經不會回到過去的樣子?!?/font>

在“后疫情時代”,專業品酒的形式也會和以前有所不同。在疫情之前,葡萄酒行業經常邀請品酒大師、分銷商和高端收藏家舉辦品酒會,這種品酒會要么在酒莊舉辦——里面當然離不開各種派對,要么就是在紐約、倫敦、香港、迪拜等國際大都市的某家豪華酒店里舉辦。

但對碧安帝山迪莊園的這款2012年的布魯奈羅特釀紅酒來說,這兩種選擇都不具有可行性,所以碧安帝山迪莊園選擇了舉辦虛擬品酒會。

虛擬品酒會貌似簡單,舉辦起來卻復雜得多。每位參加者都會收到一瓶郵寄的紅酒,并附有適當飲用溫度的詳細說明。說明要求,紅酒必須在飲用前四個小時打開,它甚至對酒杯的大小和形狀都做了詳細規定。這些都是為了確保每個人都可以品嘗到同樣的紅酒特質。對頂級紅酒來說,溫度差了一兩度,或者酒杯差了一號,就會給口感帶來明顯的區別。

我的這瓶紅酒是在品酒會前兩天收到的,我認真遵守了這些規矩,馬上把它放進了EuroCave紅酒冷卻柜里,并且把我所有的酒杯都測量了一遍,以找到正確的杯型。我甚至用疫情期間用來自測體溫的溫度計反復檢查了酒瓶的溫度。

主持這次活動的,是弗朗哥的孫子唐克雷迪·碧安帝·山迪。一群意大利的紅酒寫手也參加了活動,他們自然不會吝惜溢美之辭?;顒舆^程中,我多次聽到了 “極品”和“最佳”這兩個詞。一位參加者甚至宣稱,他“永遠不會忘記”第一口的口感。

就我個人而言,我承認這款酒口感的復雜感和平衡感,雖然這款酒已經醒了幾個小時,但它的味道還是有些閉塞。我比較喜歡成熟的葡萄酒,所以我還是希望它能夠再在酒窯里陳放幾年。

唐克雷迪則暗示,我的想法已經過時了。他表示,碧安帝山迪莊園的紅酒發布戰略也在與時俱進,包括建議大家在葡萄酒比較“年輕”的時候飲用。

“布魯奈羅特釀紅酒是一款可以陳放很長時間的酒,這是千真萬確的?!彼f:“但是,我認為人們可能會夸大紅酒需要陳放的時間。這一點是我們需要改變的?!?/font>

在“后疫情時代”,品酒會的形式跟過去也不一樣了。圖為本文作者正在參加布魯奈羅特釀紅酒的線上品酒會。圖片來源:Eric J. Lyman

在品酒會結束后,我和碧安帝山迪莊園的公關主管萊內·布切利聊了聊。他認為,唐克雷迪談到的很多改革措施,將越來越多地通過線上平臺推出,就像這場線上品酒會。雖然它的體驗感可能不如線下品酒會,但它確實有其獨特的優勢,比如在成本方面。即便把送給每個人的紅酒都算上——將近500歐元一瓶的價格確實不便宜,但至少省去了參會者的機票錢。同時這也擴大了活動的范圍。

告訴我:“這確實不是我們想象的大型發布會的場面,但它進展得很順利。我認為,即便在疫情結束后,這種方法可能仍然會在我們的戰略中扮演一定角色?!保ㄘ敻恢形木W)

譯者:樸成奎

碧安帝山迪莊園(Biondi Santi)是意大利的頂級酒莊之一,它生產了一款2012年的塔爾奇諾布魯奈羅特釀紅葡萄酒(Brunello di Montalcino Riserva),其歷史地位可能將不亞于“82年的拉菲”。但這款酒的誕生也是幾經波折。它是一款頂級的意大利紅酒,《葡萄酒觀察家》雜志(Wine Spectator)給予了它96分的極高評價,另外,它也是碧安帝山迪莊園的族長佛朗哥·比昂迪·山迪釀造的最后一款酒。

弗朗哥·山迪是費魯喬·山迪的孫子,后者在1988年發明了布魯奈羅紅葡萄酒。1944年,納粹德軍向北撤退,途經意大利的著名紅酒產區托斯卡納時,弗朗哥幫他父親把不少珍貴陳酒藏在了一面假墻后面,這才讓這些寶貴的陳酒躲過一劫。弗朗哥在1970年接管了莊園,一直經營至2013年去世時為止,享年91歲。而這款紅酒,也是他去世幾個月前釀造的最后一批產品。

碧安帝山迪莊一直計劃將這款酒打造成一款向弗朗哥致敬的產品,所以它決定,要把這批酒在家族的酒窖里陳放數年,直到它們進入最佳的飲用年限。

為什么說它的面世幾經波折呢?因為酒剛剛陳放好,新冠疫情就來了。

被迫改革的古老行業

和大多數的葡萄酒生產國一樣,意大利的葡萄酒行業也遭到了新冠肺炎疫情的重創。

酒莊雇傭的工人很多是季節性的短工,其中很多居住在東歐地區。自疫情爆發以來,由于各國紛紛出臺旅行限制,導致大量工人難以在2020年的葡萄成熟季回到意大利。目前,各大酒莊正在加緊讓工人接種新冠疫苗,好讓他們盡快返回工作崗位。

另外,由于意大利和多數歐洲國家的餐飲企業大都處于關閉狀態,各大酒莊只得將注意力投向那些疫情已經得到控制的非傳統市場——尤其是亞洲國家。

好在葡萄酒的網購市場也在蓬勃發展。今年2月,意大利咨詢公司Nomisma表示,2020年,網購市場新增用戶賬戶超過800萬個。在意大利,“紅酒在線”的關鍵詞搜索量在一年內翻了一番。

吉亞尼·加利亞爾多是意大利皮埃蒙特地區著名的巴羅洛酒莊的負責人。他表示,葡萄酒行業正在經歷一些變化,而這些變化將成為未來很長時間里的“新常態”。他指出,用工情況會逐步恢復正常,但整個行業對亞洲市場的重視必然會持續下去。

加利亞爾多開發中國市場已經20多年了,他告訴《財富》雜志:“其他的主要市場已經成熟了,但亞洲仍然有數億人的葡萄酒消費潛力。疫情只是進一步加速了這個進程?!?/font>

小規模,大回報

加利亞爾多認為,線上市場將繼續占據葡萄酒行業的主導地位。不過目前的情形有可能會模糊向餐飲企業銷售與向消費者直接銷售之間的界限。

“線上銷售要比常規的餐飲渠道快得多。以前,餐飲企業會監測葡萄酒的消費情況,如果哪種葡萄酒庫存少了,就會一次訂購60到80瓶,這些酒會在一周或10天內送到?,F在餐飲渠道的銷量下降了,而且如果一家餐廳的某種葡萄酒的庫存不足了,他們就可以在網上下單,當天下午就能夠收到五六瓶?!?/font>

他說:“在疫情之后,葡萄酒的銷量會上去,但我認為,葡萄酒的銷售渠道已經不會回到過去的樣子?!?/font>

在“后疫情時代”,專業品酒的形式也會和以前有所不同。在疫情之前,葡萄酒行業經常邀請品酒大師、分銷商和高端收藏家舉辦品酒會,這種品酒會要么在酒莊舉辦——里面當然離不開各種派對,要么就是在紐約、倫敦、香港、迪拜等國際大都市的某家豪華酒店里舉辦。

但對碧安帝山迪莊園的這款2012年的布魯奈羅特釀紅酒來說,這兩種選擇都不具有可行性,所以碧安帝山迪莊園選擇了舉辦虛擬品酒會。

虛擬品酒會貌似簡單,舉辦起來卻復雜得多。每位參加者都會收到一瓶郵寄的紅酒,并附有適當飲用溫度的詳細說明。說明要求,紅酒必須在飲用前四個小時打開,它甚至對酒杯的大小和形狀都做了詳細規定。這些都是為了確保每個人都可以品嘗到同樣的紅酒特質。對頂級紅酒來說,溫度差了一兩度,或者酒杯差了一號,就會給口感帶來明顯的區別。

我的這瓶紅酒是在品酒會前兩天收到的,我認真遵守了這些規矩,馬上把它放進了EuroCave紅酒冷卻柜里,并且把我所有的酒杯都測量了一遍,以找到正確的杯型。我甚至用疫情期間用來自測體溫的溫度計反復檢查了酒瓶的溫度。

主持這次活動的,是弗朗哥的孫子唐克雷迪·碧安帝·山迪。一群意大利的紅酒寫手也參加了活動,他們自然不會吝惜溢美之辭?;顒舆^程中,我多次聽到了 “極品”和“最佳”這兩個詞。一位參加者甚至宣稱,他“永遠不會忘記”第一口的口感。

就我個人而言,我承認這款酒口感的復雜感和平衡感,雖然這款酒已經醒了幾個小時,但它的味道還是有些閉塞。我比較喜歡成熟的葡萄酒,所以我還是希望它能夠再在酒窯里陳放幾年。

唐克雷迪則暗示,我的想法已經過時了。他表示,碧安帝山迪莊園的紅酒發布戰略也在與時俱進,包括建議大家在葡萄酒比較“年輕”的時候飲用。

“布魯奈羅特釀紅酒是一款可以陳放很長時間的酒,這是千真萬確的?!彼f:“但是,我認為人們可能會夸大紅酒需要陳放的時間。這一點是我們需要改變的?!?/p>

在品酒會結束后,我和碧安帝山迪莊園的公關主管萊內·布切利聊了聊。他認為,唐克雷迪談到的很多改革措施,將越來越多地通過線上平臺推出,就像這場線上品酒會。雖然它的體驗感可能不如線下品酒會,但它確實有其獨特的優勢,比如在成本方面。即便把送給每個人的紅酒都算上——將近500歐元一瓶的價格確實不便宜,但至少省去了參會者的機票錢。同時這也擴大了活動的范圍。

她告訴我:“這確實不是我們想象的大型發布會的場面,但它進展得很順利。我認為,即便在疫情結束后,這種方法可能仍然會在我們的戰略中扮演一定角色?!保ㄘ敻恢形木W)

譯者:樸成奎

The historic 2012 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva from Biondi Santi represented a challenge for one of Italy’s most storied wine producers. Not only was 2012 an excellent vintage in Tuscany—Wine Spectator rated the vintage 96 points out of 100—but it was also the last wine made by family patriarch Franco Biondi Santi.

Franco, the grandson of Ferruccio, the man who “invented” the Brunello appellation in 1888, famously helped his father hide old reserves behind a fake wall when the Nazis retreated north through Tuscany in 1944. He took over the estate in 1970, and guided it until 2013 when he died at the age of 91, a few months into the vinification process for the 2012 Riserva.

Biondi Santi long planned to release the wine as a special homage to Franco, vowing to let the bottles age in the family cellars until they were at the start of what is likely to be a long peak for drinking.

The challenge? By the time the bottles were ready, the world was in the middle of a pandemic.

An ancient trade forced to adapt

As in most wine-producing countries, Italy’s wine industry has been turned on its head by the global coronavirus outbreak.

Travel restrictions made it difficult for seasonal workers—many of whom live in Eastern Europe—to return to Italy for the 2020 grape harvest, for example. Now, winemakers are pushing to have workers vaccinated quicker so they can work closer together in the cellar.

With restaurants and bars mostly closed across Italy and in most of the rest of Europe, attention turned to non-traditional export markets where the virus has been under control—most notably in Asia.

Online wine sales have also boomed. Nomisma, an Italian consultancy, reported in February that more than 8 million new customer accounts had been created with online sellers in the previous year. Internet searches in Italy for the term “vino online” doubled in a year, Nomisma said.

According to Gianni Gagliardo, owner of the well-regarded and eponymous Barolo-producing wine estate in Piedmont, some of the changes the industry is experiencing will be long-lasting. The labor situation, he said, will return to normal. But the emphasis on Asian export markets is here to stay.

“Other major markets are mature, but in Asia, there is the potential for hundreds of millions of new wine drinkers,” Gagliardo, who has been selling wine in China for more than 20 years, told Fortune. “The pandemic has only accelerated a process.”

Small batch, big return

Gagliardo also believes that online wine sales will continue to dominate. However, he noted, the current situation may blur the lines between sales to restaurants and sales direct to consumers.

“Online sales are much faster than regular restaurant distribution,” he said. “Before, a restaurant would monitor where it was running low in its cellar and order, say, 60 or 80 bottles that would arrive in a week or ten days. Now sales are lower, and if a restaurant starts to run low on a particular wine, they can place an online order and get five or six replacement bottles that afternoon.

“After the pandemic, the volumes will go up,” he said. “But I don’t see wine distribution going back to the way it used to be.”

Nor will professional wine tastings. Before the pandemic, a tasting conducted for wine critics, distributors, and high-end collectors would either be hosted by the producer—with parties flying in for the event—or with representatives of the winery setting up shop at a posh hotel in New York, London, Hong Kong, Dubai, or some other metropolis.

Neither was an option for the release of Biondi Santi’s 2012 Brunello Riserva—so the company went virtual.

It was more complicated than it sounds: each participant was mailed a bottle of the wine that came with specific instructions for achieving the proper serving-temperature. The same instructions called for the bottle to be opened four hours prior to the tasting, and it even insisted on the size and shape of the wine goblet to be used—all designed to assure that everyone was tasting wine with the same characteristics. A degree or two difference or the wrong-sized wine glass can make a noticeable difference with top wines.

My box containing the ’12 Riserva showed up two days before the tasting, and I took the rules seriously—immediately placing it in my EuroCave wine cooler, and measuring all my mismatched wine glasses to find the right sized one. I even used the digital thermometer I bought for the coronavirus to double-check the temperature of the bottle.

Tancredi Biondi Santi, Franco’s grandson, hosted the event. A group of Italian wine writers joined us. They were effusive in their praise. I heard the words “superb” and “optimal” more than a few times. One participant even declared he would "never forget" his first sip.

Personally, I recognized the wine's austere complexity and balance, but it still seemed closed even after being uncorked for several hours. I’m a fan of mature wines, and I thought to myself I would have preferred to open it after it’d been in my cellar for a few more years.

Tancredi later implied that my thinking was out of date; he spoke about Biondi Santi’s evolving release strategy, which includes advocating for wines to be drunk on the younger end.

“The Brunello Riserva is seen as a wine that can be aged for a very long time, and that’s true,” he said. “But I also think people can exaggerate how long a wine needs to age. This is something we’re trying to change.”

After the tasting, I spoke to Lene Bucelli, Biondi Santi’s head of communications, who predicted that much of the efforts Tancredi spoke about would increasingly take place via online hookup, like our tasting. It’s not the same as an in-person tasting, she said, but it did offer some advantages, including cost, even after figuring in the not-insignificant cost of the bottles of wine—nearly €500 each in the case of the Biondi Santi Riserva—sent to each participant. But that is balanced out by eliminating travel costs, Bucelli said, while also expanding the reach of an event.

“This isn’t the way we imagined doing this big release,” she told me. “But it went well, and I think that doing things this way will remain part of how we do things even after the crisis is over.”

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