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Wine Mosaic will protect original wine grape varieties, say founders

A new project to preserve, protect and promote the original grape varieties of the Mediterranean will kick off in Porto later this year.

Wine Mosaic, founded by Jean-Luc Etievent and Arnaud Daphy, will be starting with a symposium held in Porto in July, to contribute thoughts and ideas to help facilitate the goal of highlighting original varieties, developing practical measures to ensure their preservation, increasing the quality of production as well as raise awareness and consumption of wines made from these original varieties, organisers say.

The campaign is looking to create a network of viticulture experts, wine producers, oenologists, researchers, journalists, distributors and sommeliers, and help them find the necessary tools and assistance to make, sell and promote wines made from endangered, indigenous and historic or traditional grape varieties.

Speaking to Decanter.com at this year’s Vinexpo fair in Bordeaux, co-founder Arnaud Daphy emphasised the cause of ‘fighting for vino-diversity’.

‘Today 80% of the wine drunk in the world comes from 20 grape varietals. We know from Jancis Robinson’s book [Wine Grapes] that there are over 1,400 grape varieties so we think that it’s a shame to have such a low number of varieties used to make wine’.

‘The idea really is to fight for vino-diversity. To preserve, protect and promote what we call the original grapes.

‘We think the best people to decide how to do this are the researchers, oenologists, winemakers and the trade and to talk to them to tell us what they need’.

Wine Mosaic has endorsement from the Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin (OIV) and has secured sponsorship from wine body Vinisud.

The symposium in July is the first of several any events planned for Wine Mosaic to gather information and drum up support. Other planned activity in 2013 will be at the European Wine Blogger’s Conference in Rioja, and promotion at Vinisud in Montpellier in February 2014.

Written by Georgina Hindle

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