California has been enjoying a revolution in its winemaking over the past decade, and nowhere has this been felt more than with the state’s number one varietal, Chardonnay. Since 2011 there has been an explosion of boutique label producers pushing the category to its limits. In an extraordinary masterclass, Elaine Chukan Brown chose to tell the entire history of Californian Chardonnay using just six wines.
As the trade gathers today in London for a Wines of South of Africa tasting celebrating the country’s Old Vine Project which looks to discover, protect and nurture vines going back 35 years or more, we re-visit an article we published last September when Su Birch talked to Andre Morgenthal and Jaco Engelbrecht, who are running the Old Vine project about how the initiative works.
Travel to some parts of the world, like South Africa and Argentina, and it seems you can’t bump in to a winemaker that has not worked with Michel Rolland at some stage in their history. As a wine consultant he really does rule the world, currently working in over 20 countries. But he could not do so without his team of winemakers and viticulturists – like Julien Viaud, who happens to be both. We caught up with him at Vinexpo
When it comes to craft beer we still have a lot to learn never mind catch up with the US where the craft beer scene is slowly re-inventing itself to cope with the major brewers all trying to get in on the act. But as Katie Canfield and Matthew Gaughan report from San Francisco by staying local then the true craft brewers will always have the edge on the big corporate brewers.
The Buyer has been set up to help drinks producers and leading on-trade buyers better understand their needs and where possible work closer together. This is best demonstrated by The Buyer’s Case initiative where we link up with a wine producer or importer and ask leading buyers to taste, assess and offer professional feedback on their wines. Here we turn to the Languedoc-Roussillon and present wines from leading producer, Cave de Vignerons de Saint-Chinian to leading on-trade decision makers.
France might be the best selling country in the UK on-trade, but that does not mean it could not sell. To help better understand the opportunities and challenges facing French wine in the premium on-trade, The Buyer linked up with Les Vignobles Foncalieu and leading buyers from the different types of operator, including high end restaurants, independent wine merchants and national wholesalers all working the French category in the north west of the country.
New Zealand’s enormous success in the UK off-trade, where its Sauvignon Blanc has created a category of its own, has not always been reflected in how many of its wines are on premium on-trade wine lists. The Buyer teamed up with Villa Maria, and its UK partners, Hatch Mansfield, to ask a panel of leading UK buyers to set out the challenges and opportunities for New Zealand in the premium on-trade
The Buyer’s Case is a new initiative that gives producers the chance to show specific drinks to key buyers in target channels of the on-trade. For our first Buyer’s Case we teamed up with Les Vignerons Foncalieu and selected key buyers in its main distribution areas in the UK on-trade to show their wines. Here are the results.
The Buyer teamed up with Virginia Wine and some of its key producers to help them better understand the needs of the UK premium on-trade and how buyers might relate to their wines with both a business roundtable debate with key players and a study tour of leading London restaurants, wine bars and merchants to see the kind of offers they have and where their wines might fit in.