Wine as a product resulting from man’s action and creation will be the focal point on which this conference is articulated
The lecture, included in FENAVIN 2007's Program of Activities -to take place between May 7th and the 10th at the Ciudad Real Trade Fair Pavilion- will be dealing with aspects related with the world of wine that are almost philosophical, considering its elaboration as a true form of art.
José Luis Pérez -one of the five pioneers that with talent and enthusiasm re-launched the 'Priorat' just barely ten years ago- is the owner of the winery 'Mas Martinet' and he is dedicated to enological consulting through the company 'Mas Martinent Assessoraments'. His extensive and in-depth knowledge of wine makes him the ideal person to lecture on a matter as delicate as the so-called 'Signature Wines', expression that in its origin is absolutely honorable, but which however is too easily used for unscrupulous commercial and market purposes.
José Luis Pérez is quite clear on the fact that wine is man's creation, the result of a project that someone proposed to execute. Nature is responsible for a good part: the vine, grapes, soil, sun, the rain,… however, it is man's action, man's choice that actually gives rise to wine.
Thus according to these choices and to these projects an important diversity of wines are to be found on the market -standard wines, biodynamic wines, signature wines… - destined to satisfy likewise different tastes and all equally honorable when their honesty and quality are worthy of our respect. Alas, this diversity also leads us to the dilemma of the consumer (Which wine should I buy? Which wine should I drink?), and the producer (Which wine should I produce?).
In the lecturer's opinion, wines that are currently elaborated can be grouped into two important categories: those from 'Old Europe' and those from the 'New World'. The first are wines with lot of character and with a great personality; wines that are subject to history and the soil, which attempt to explain that soil and climate are the main elements that the wine-grower has available to qualify the expression of their wines". In these wines the soil ('terroir') stands over and above the varietal genetics, and the castes reaffirm the history of a certain type of grape adapting to the soil.
This is clearly evident in the European regulations, which "establish time, immobilizing it". Everything has been described, defined, printed: the number of buds, the plantation frame… with only climate eluding the regulation.
On the other hand, wines in the New World are derived from the classic European wines. However, their concept is a modern one, given that in the New World the best-arrayed varieties are used, those with proven quality, and technology is applied to produce pleasant wines at reasonable costs. In addition, "the 'varietal' concept is much easier to transmit than the 'terroir' concept. The New World does not find itself restricted by regulations; objectives are practical and corporate: pleasant quality for the consumer and reasonable prices.
José Luis Pérez champions the third way, 'Wines with a distinct Signature accent'. José Luis does not admit the hackneyed topic that behind a good bottle of wine a man is to be found. In fact he wants the contrary to be acknowledged, "that man is before the wine, man is the creator of wine, given that it is man who is capable of harmonizing the whole of factors involved in the game".
Technique is basic, fundamental, essential… and yet limited. It only reaches elaboration of "basic wines", with a merely satisfactory quality. As of that point the Artist holds the starring role, as the artist with sensitivity is the one responsible for the combination, "in like manner to what a painter does with colors".