Altia’s Wine Gallery – Suomi Finland 100 wine series, launched to celebrate the jubilee year of Finnish independence, intertwines Finnish history, art and the ageless Finnish Maiden. Even traditional wine houses make a toast to centenarian Finland!
The Wine Gallery Suomi Finland 100 wine series includes a red wine, white wine and champagne. Altia’s Brand Manager Laura Kuusela provides background on how the wine series for the jubilee year was created. “We thought that the centenarian, Finland, deserved worthy wines, and so we wanted to find wines which would have a link to Finnish history. In Alko’s archives, we found the pricelist published after the abolition of prohibition in 1932, and we saw that wines from Bordeaux and bubbly from Champagne in France were well represented. As a result, these formed obvious choices for areas of origin for the jubilee wines.
Wines that suit Finnish tastes
The theme of the Finnish jubilee year is Together, so the jubilee wines have also been born through cooperation. A team from Altia first crisscrossed France and made a pre-selection, on the basis of which 12 red and white wines as well as eight champagnes were chosen for a blind test by an expert panel. “The task of the expert panel was not to choose their own favorites, but to choose wines that meet Finnish taste preferences. These wines should also be available for all Finns based on their price range.”
Tove Jansson’s frescoes on the labels of the jubilee wines
The Together theme was not only left to the contents of wine bottles, since the labels of the wines are decorated with the frescos Party in the Country and Party in the City, painted by beloved artist Tove Jansson in 1947.
Kuusela thanks the Helsinki Art Museum, which mentioned Tove Jansson’s recently re-stored frescos. “The theme of Party in the Country and Party in the City stuck because this year Finns are celebrating together throughout Finland. Tove Jansson painted the frescos in 1947 to bring joy and ease to the war-torn country. We thought that the messages are still appropriate today. We were also glad that in this way we were able to present her as a versatile painting and visual artist.”
The freshness of the Finnish Maiden and Boutique style
The Wine Gallery wines stem from traditional wineries. While enjoying the wines, you can also find confluences with Finland in the nuances of the wines.
The Wine Gallery Suomi Finland 100 Bordeaux Rouge red wine comes from the Château Liversan vineyard estate in the Haut-Médoc area. The history of the estate stretches back to the 1850s. Bordeaux Rouge is a full-bodied red wine with balanced tannins. It was matured in oak barrels before vintner Philippe Marchal gave his bottling permission. “The red wine has good ageing potential, so it pays to buy an entire case and serve the wine on future Independence Days.”
The master minds behind the white wine are the von Neippergs, a noble family of German origin whose viticulture traditions stretch back 8oo years. Today, the vineyard estate is managed by Count Stephan von Neipperg, a valued wine grower in Bordeaux. “He is a funny gentleman, who has said that oak is a wonderful thing – but only in furniture!” The Wine Gallery Suomi Finland 100 Bordeaux Blanc has a fresh acidity and it goes perfectly with different fish dishes in the Christmas table, for instance.
The jubilee year wine series is rightfully rounded off with a champagne. Ayala is one of the Champagne area’s legendary champagne houses, supplying the British Royal Court in the 1920s. Responsible for the sparkling wines of this boutique champagne house is Caroline Latrive, one of the few female cellar masters in Champagne. The Wine Gallery Suomi Finland 100 Champagne Brut is elegant and sophisticated, just like the Finnish Maiden, according to the cellar master. The wine is fresh, fruity and well balanced.
Text: Mia Heiskanen