French Wine Awards Honor American Invention

Jan 14, 2014

(Wine-Searcher) - The American-made device that lets you drink wine without opening the bottle has been named the Innovation of the Year at the annual awards of France’s leading wine publication La Revue du Vin de France (LRVF).

Coravin, invented by Californian Greg Lambrecht, allows you to pierce the cork (and foil) with a needle and extract wine. A Teflon-coated needle draws out wine without exposing the wine to oxygen while simultaneously injecting the inert gas argon into the bottle to protect the wine from any potential oxidation. When the needle is removed, it is claimed that the cork reseals itself, allowing the remaining wine to stay in pristine condition.  It has already been called “transformational” and a “killer device” by Robert Parker.

In other categories, Vosne-Romanée domaine Yves and Jean-Pierre Confuron has been named wine producer of the year. “They embody Burgundy,” said the magazine. “With an incomparable nose, complex aromas of flowers, spices, and a unique depth of vibrant fruit, the wines made by this duo are among some of the most exciting in Burgundy,” it added.

The “discovery of the year” award goes to Domaine des Pothiers. Run by Romain Paire, the estate has "reinvented the wines of the Côte-Roannaise, including gamay and pinot gris,” explained LRVF.

Last year's men of the year were familiar faces: Hubert de Boüard of Angélus and Pavie’s Gérard Perse. The pair shared the award following their promotion to St-Émilion's premier league. This year, the winners are less familiar figures: 33-year-old Audrey Bourolleau and 47-year-old Joel Forgeau are pro-wine lobbyists for Vin et Société. The association promotes moderate consumption of wine in France and has “given the defense of the wine industry a facelift, which has languished until now,” said the editor of LRVF, Denis Saverot.

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