En Primeur 2019 update

April 30, 2020

Here is an update on the recently postponed En Primeur event

As we all can imagine, 2020 is probably going to be marked down in history books as the “year of coronavirus”, a pandemic which has already brought many changes into the world, at least as we have known it so far. Our relationships with friends and colleagues, our daily commute to work, even our periodic appointment to the hairdresser are all bound to change: at least for a while, things are not going to be the same as before, meaning that we should learn (once again) how to approach our lives and how to pursue the goals that we have planned for this year.

An En Primeur campaign remodelled by Coronavirus pandemic

Of course, covid-19 pandemic has not spared the wine business either. As we all know, the En Primeur tasting week for the 2019 vintage has been postponed, but to this day, nobody knows when, and most importantly, if, the event is going to take place, given the concerns about the spread of the virus.

However, talks about En Primeur have not stopped, if anything they have been growing louder, since everyone involved in the event (from growers, to wine experts and investors) is trying to come up with solutions which will allow to taste the 2019 vintages and boost the marketplace. Some proposals involve sending the wines directly to tasters’ houses, but this solution could become a little too impracticable and difficult to organise, especially if we consider the conditions of transportation nowadays, which could delay or compromise the wine final evaluations.

Recently a new proposal has been formulated by The Union des Grands Crus (UGCB) and Bordeaux Négoce (Association of Bordeaux Wine Merchants) - read here to know more-, suggesting to hold a modified and adapted version of the En Primeur event which will take place throughout the whole summer. According to this rough idea, only small groups of investors, critics and journalists would be allowed to gather during private sessions in order to guarantee every hygienic condition. More details will be released in the following days.

Interesting perspectives have been brought up by the Real Business of Wine, which has been organizing many online panels, in which wine experts share their opinion, expertise and experience. In particular, Saturnalia had the occasion to take part in one of these live discussions (click here to view the entire panel), which tried to predict the consequences of the En Primeur postponement. Here, Saturnalia project manager Daniele De Vecchi has put forward the service innovative idea, that is, to predict the 2019 vintage quality by combining the data coming from satellites images and weather stations on the ground. As a matter of fact, Saturnalia has been able to generate thanks to these data a score in hundreds for the main appellations and for several producers in the Bordeaux area (to learn more about Saturnalia scores, click here for a preview of the 2019 harvest report).


Saturnalia at work to extend its scores prediction to 50 Bordeaux Châteaux

However, Saturnalia has been still working actively to uncover new information about the En Primeur event, in spite of its temporary cancellation. As new data have been collected from satellites and new information has been provided by chateaux, Saturnalia team has been updating and revising its algorithms in order to make the wines scores even more accurate and detailed. Moreover, we are working to acquire fresh data for new vineyards, in order to extend our reports and publications also to around 50 producers.


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