Go back 10 years ago and although hundreds of thousands of litres of wine were being shipped in bulk in huge containers all around the world, in an industry worth tens of millions of pounds a year, it was not a part of the sector that you would find discussed at major international conferences, or publicly at all. Now bulk wine is fundamental to the success of the global wine industry illustrated by the stellar line-up of speakers for next year’s inaugural International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show in London.
Whether you work with Diageo or not, it’s hard not to ignore them. In fact the sheer size and scale of the world’s biggest drinks player means it has a direct influence on what drinking trends are being driven around the world. Here Richard Siddle goes back over the last five years to assess the lessons we can all learn from the steps it has taken to address the challenges and maximise the opportunities it has faced in that time.
You can tell when a winemaker stands out in their market when fellow winemakers consistently pick them out as someone they respect, admire or look to advice from. South Africa’s Chris and Andrea Mullineux certainly fall into that category. They are also a winemaking team others want to collaborate with. You can see and taste their wines for yourself at next month’s New Wave South African wine tasting on October 11.
At a lunch tasting at London’s new eatery Oystermen, Victor Smart meets Pongrácz winemaker Elunda Basson and finds out how she is trying to improve people’s perceptions of South Africa’s Méthode Cap Classiques. Basson believes that, unlike proseccos and cavas, the Cap Classiques have the ability to stand toe-to-toe with Champagne.
Outside of the natural wine debate is there a more contentious issue than the one that surrounds the type of closure you have in your bottle of wine? To assess what leading on-trade buyers and sommeliers now think about closures we teamed up with Vinventions, one of the biggest suppliers of all types of closure from cork to screwcap, to make the issue of closures the latest topic in our Buyer Debate series.
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.