As the UK wine industry settles back in to normal life after the buzz of the London Wine Fair it is also time to reflect on some of the lessons that could be learnt there, and, in particular, how both wine producers and importers are having to cope and adapt to such a fast moving marketplace. At the front of those changes is Hallgarten Druitt which is putting new professional people and management skills at the top of its own change agenda.
One of the highlights of the London Wine Fair is the Esoterica section that has 46 smaller distributors showing anything from English Chardonnay to Swiss Chasselas to Armenian Voskehat. Chris Wilson picks out five of his favourite wines as well as argues that this section could very easily become a show in its own right.
The success and credibility of any wine competition lies in the quality of the judges and how the wines are assessed. The Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships might only have three judges, but they are each at the very top of the game. We have heard previously from awards founder, Tom Stevenson and fellow judge Essi Avellan MW on judging Champagne and sparkling wines and now Dr Tony Jordan shares his insights on how the world of fizz has changed in his professional lifetime.
It has been two years since Justin Keay attended an annual Canadian wine tasting, but in that time he has found some impressive new producers and giant strides forwards in terms of quality and range. Here he picks out which producers and which Canadian wines he feels have made the most improvements.
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.