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    Helen Arnold
    People People: Producer
    aluna

    Spirits entrepreneurs hope to shake up rum category with Aluna Coconut

    No matter how crowded the spirits market is there is always room for true innovation to find its place on the back bar. Which is what the founders of Aluna Coconut rum hope they have achieved with what they claim is one of the first authentic, all-natural toasted coconut blended rums, in this case sourced from Guatemala and the Caribbean. The Buyer catches up with one of the brains behind the new rum, Guy Ritchie, who explains why he thinks this can be a new breakthrough brand.

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    Tasting: Wine
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    Buyer Rewind: Keeping Malbec World Day fresh with a virtual tasting

    Three bottles of Malbec were shipped from Argentina to the middle of rural France where I tasted the wines simultaneously with Graffigna winemaker Nacho Lopez 11,000km away. A fun stunt for Malbec World Day, perhaps, but a giant leap forwards for us digital wine journalists the world over. I have seen the future of modern wine journalism and it is virtual wine tasting. This is an article that was first posted on April 14, 2017 and is re-posted to coincide with this year’s Malbec World Day.

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    People: Producer
    Rollo

    Rollo Gabb: using innovation to stay ahead of the game in South Africa

    For the past 12 years Rollo Gabb has been running the 100 hectare Stellenbosch winery Journey’s End with innovation as one of the key drivers. As Rollo sets about rethinking his three tiers of wines – to make them reflect better the quirkiness of the brand – he talks to Peter Dean about how the 2019 vintage is shaping up after years of drought, how the weather in South Africa is challenging the winemaker in unexpected ways, how South African wine can take its place alongside other international premium wines, and why Journey’s End is still, in his mind, one of the most experimental wineries in South Africa today.

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    Insight
    gallo edouard baijot

    Gallo’s acquisition strategy is gift that keeps on giving for premium wine

    It is a mark of the impact E&J Gallo has had on the global wine market in recent years that its recent $1.7 billion deal to buy a large chunk of wines and spirits from Constellation Brands was seen as just the latest in a series of acquisitions by the Californian wine giant that has seen it spend $1 billion on fine wine deals in the last five years alone. But this is not a big corporate waving its cash, but still a 100% owned family wine business, however big it has become. Richard Siddle reports back from California on the impact Gallo’s strategy to grow by investing in largely premium to fine wine is having on the global branded wine market.

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    Insight
    #SauvBlancDay

    French and Kiwis combine forces for #SauvBlancDay

    Everything but everything it seems has its own Awareness Day. #SauvBlancDay on May 3, for example, comes just after National Richter Scale Day and just before Donkey Awareness Week. Seriously. This year’s international celebration of the Sauvignon Blanc grape, however, has been given a new spin by having one foot in the Old World and one foot in the New – in a bid to show it off as a grape that has a sense of place and range of styles. #SauvBlancDay is different from previous years because, for the first time, New Zealand Winegrowers and two Loire Valley wine bodies are joining forces to broaden the message and the appeal. Peter Dean joined Jancis Robinson MW, Steven Spurrier and many more to hear Rebecca Gibb MW and Jamie Goode at last week’s official launch.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Alto Piemonte

    Why Alto Piemonte’s days as a forgotten gem could well be over

    When Roberto Conterno parted with many millions to buy Nervi in Alto Piemonte a year ago, it confirmed what many in the trade had known for some time – that this ‘lesser’ Italian region was producing outstanding wines and a great region to explore ‘off the radar’ wines and winemakers. Its days as a forgotten gem are indeed over, as more and more people wise up to the region, says Geoffrey Dean, who travels to Alto Piemonte and picks out the best regions and winemakers that should indeed be on your radar, if they are not already.

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    People People: On-Trade
    zsofi kiss

    Zsofi Kiss: able to show the best of Hungary at 67 Pall Mall

    When it comes to really understanding and being able to explain the differences and nuances in an emerging country’s wine styles, then it helps if you happen to have been born and bred there. Which is why Zsofi Kiss is so enjoying being able to share her experience and love of Hungarian wines, the country where she grew up, to the adventurous and inquisitive customers at 67 Pall Mall. Here she looks back on her career to date and her first year at London’s most prestigious private club for wine.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Storm

    Chanin & Storm: Santa Barbara’s hottest new double act

    Ernst Storm and Gavin Chanin don’t actually make wine together – but you wouldn’t know it – at a recent London masterclass this hot duo from California’s Santa Barbara county seemed joined at the hip rather than come from rival wineries. What these friends share is a passion for old school Californian winemaking with minimal use of oak and sourcing prime fruit from some fantastic blocks in the Santa Maria and Santa Rita Hills. David Kermode tasted through their Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah and was knocked ‘sideways’ by the wines as well as learning a thing or two about their shared winemaking philosophy.

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    Insight
    Take your partners by the hand...Tayo Lee Nelson Photography

    Behind the scenes on The Buyer’s Vouvray Restaurant Tour

    It’s one thing tasting wine professionally it is quite another to go on an eating and tasting tour of top London restaurants to experience food and wine in the same way your customers do. Which is what The Buyer’s most recent restaurant tour was all about as we were able to introduce different styles of Vouvray wine to a tour of buyers covering wine merchants, sommeliers, importers, consultants and journalists. As we publish our full report from the event, Richard Siddle picks out the highlights.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Torres

    Tasting with Torres: new vintages of Antología & Iconic wines

    As Familia Torres approaches its 150th anniversary next year it remains one of the world’s most enduring and admired wine dynasties – noted as much for the work it does in furthering responsible viticulture and protecting grape species as it is for the quality of its wine portfolio. Peter Dean met with CEO Miguel Torres Maczassek who was in London to show off the new vintages of its Antología and Iconic wines, to taste through the wines and get the back story on what makes each wine so unique.

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