WineCreator: A Roundup on Ronda

I finally found a minute to check back for reports on WineCreator, the ambitiously-named meeting of wine pundits and renowned winemakers that was held in Ronda, in Andalusia, a couple of weeks ago.

Last weekend, Jancis Robinson published, as promised, an overview of the conference, where she revealed an intriguing side of the whole operation. Apparently, this was more (less?) than just an enlightened discussion about winemaking around the world:

In retrospect I must assume that the grandly titled First International Wine Creator Meeting was devised as a particularly lateral way of publicising an ambitious development in the bucolic hills just outside Ronda. In La Melonera, a group of Anglo-Spanish investors are aiming to sell plots of Mediterranean forest, each with its own small vineyard and access to the estate’s winery overseen by José Luis Pérez Verdú of Mas Martinet in Priorat – the ultimate in vanity winemaking perhaps?

An interesting aspect of the proceedings, as reported by honorary president Robinson, is the insistence of producers such as Alvaro Palacios, Ales Kristancic, Paul Draper and Dirk Niepoort about history and sense of place. Historical methods of winemaking, especially.

Biodynamic practices were fervently promoted, and apparently dismissed by a Bordeaux contingent as “airy fairy nonsense”. I imagine that’s all the more reason why I heard so many artisan producers talk about Bordeaux as “une usine” (an industrial plant, in other words). Irreconcilable differences, it seems…

Another very interesting report comes from David Bolomey’s Bordoreview Blog. He traveled to Ronda to take part in the conference, and seems to have been quite touched by the words of the “extreme” winemakers he heard there (i.e. Kristancic, Palacios et al.). But his nicest quote comes from Dirk Niepoort, and is a great expression of the difficulties faced by people trying to showcase delicate nuances from particular soils and grapes, in the face of big wines that go out firing from all barrels: “Everyone wants the number one, best, biggest. It is not easy to say a wine is less, and then expect people to pay the same for it.”

Both posts are very interesting reads, with some infuriating tidbits here and there (not from the authors, but rather the persons quoted). I’d be looking forward to further meetings of this kind – if they are not promotional schemes for real estate developers…

Well, that’s all for now on this topic. Time to get back to my Wine Blogging Wednesday bit on Old World Riesling…

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thanks for mantioning our blog. Please note that the posting about the Ronda Conference is written by Sophie Kevany. I haven’t been there, but she has.

  2. Oops typo, I meant “mentioning”


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