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    Jeremy Thomson
    Insight
    on the broom covid-19

    Covid-19 Hub May: Record off-trade data; Drinks Trust Wellness Services

    The situation surrounding the impact and spread of Covid-19 in the UK and around the world is changing so fast The Buyer has set up this rolling updates service to keep you abreast of the latest official guidelines and recommendations from the government, but also the individual steps that businesses are taking to keep trading and help their customers do the same. This is Part Three of our Covid-19 blog that starts on May 1 with latest insights, stats, and drinks trade reaction.

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    People People: Producer
    Bouchard Finlayson says it is not sustainable to carry on not being able to sell its wines domestically

    Bouchard Finlayson’s Judy Bakker on adapting to life in lockdown

    As we all come together today to celebrate South African wine and the #SpectacularSouthAfrica initiative organised by Wines of South Africa, it is also timely to reflect on the scale of the impact the country’s lockdown, to try and contain the spread of Covid-19, is having on its wine industry. Here Judy Bakker, general and financial manager at Bouchard Finlayson, one of the country’s most historic estates, assesses the steps it has taken to adapt to life during Covid-19.

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    People: Producer
    73CC1418-66A6-43CE-976A-EB8AC8DB9889

    Late May English frost: how Ambriel, Flint and Harrow & Hope coped

    May 13 was unlucky for some English winemakers. That was the stark reality of a late frost last week that saw 25 vineyards suffer frost damage across 90-100% of its vines. The effect of the frost was also seemingly arbitrary – Breaky Bottom which is close to the sea in Sussex had almost total damage, while Rathfinny which is also close had none. Our ‘retired’ Michelin Star restaurateur Roger Jones reports back from Harrow & Hope, Flint Vineyard and Ambriel to see how it affected them and also to see how they prepare themselves for the worst.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Bellevue Domaine de Valmoissine

    Latour’s Pinot-in-Provence vision reaches new heights with Bellevue

    A communal shrugging of shoulders and scratching of heads must have been the order of the day when 30 year ago Maison Latour bought delapidated vineyards half an hour’s drive from St Tropez to plant… Pinot Noir of all things. Surely this most fickle of grapes would never be able to stand the baking Provencal sun? But yesterday saw the apotheosis of Latour’s vision with the launch of Bellevue Domaine de Valmoissine 2017, the first vintage of a ‘Grand Vin’ after three decades of investment, trial and error. This new top cuvée was tasted alongside the fourth vintage of Les Pierres Dorées, Latour’s ‘entry level’ Pinot from Beaujolais that has also been undergoing some fine tuning.

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    People People: Supplier
    Helping merchants work with their customers to make the most of their fine wine collections is key to Wineowners strategy

    Nick Martin: how Wine Owners can support fine wine merchants

    You might not know Wine Owners, but you will be familiar with all the prestigious wine names, merchants and fine wine brokers that it works with, beavering away behind the scenes providing the type of software and the management systems that have quietly, but crucially had a near revolutionary impact on how fine wine can now be traded instantaneously between companies and customers anywhere in the world. Nick Martin, co-founder of Wine Owners, explains what it is actually doing behind those scenes and what potential businesses benefits, synergies and efficiencies it can bring any wine business.

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    Insight
    new york keith kirkpatrick

    Buyer Debate Pt 2: How will New York State wines stand out in UK?

    In the first part of our report on the debate we held – pre lockdown – with leading importers and buyers on the prospects of New York State wines in the UK, we took an overview of the region and what makes its wines potentially unique, before assessing what the UK panel’s initial impressions were of the state’s wines. In this second part we look at the recommendations they would give producers on how best to promote their wines here, as well as hear their thoughts on the styles of wines that they think are most likely to make it big in the UK as well as back home in New York and the US.

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    People: Producer
    Zeitgeist Union

    Zeitgeist Ünion: ‘the moment is now’ for Grüner Veltliner in a can

    Craft beer drinkers have had it their own way for too long. That’s the view of drinks industry veteran Karen Hardwick who believes that the moment in time for quality wine in a can has finally arrived. Zeitgeist Ünion – or ZÜ for short – is her company and its debut wine is Grüner Veltliner, a wine that is loved by Anne Krebiehl MW, who caught up with Hardwick to find out more about ZÜ and how the project came about and why we will all be drinking wine from a can in the not too distant future.

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    People: Producer
    Maltus

    Le Dôme’s Jonathan Maltus talks ‘uncut’ about his 2019 vintage

    Always outspoken, the maverick winemaker that is Jonathan Maltus gives his verdict on Bordeaux 2019 and much more besides. Since 2004 Maltus has championed single vineyard winemaking in Bordeaux, imitating the Napa direct-to-consumer wine club model, and pulling back from 200% oak as a winemaking style. With ambitions to get Le Dôme classified status in 2022 he was in top candid form, speaking direct from his chateau in St-Emilion.

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    People People: Supplier
    Miles MacInnes, right, and John Charnock says Jascots remains determined to keep on all its staff through the crisis

    Miles McInnes: Why Jascots has switched from on-trade to DTC

    The last two months has seen a whole range of businesses from across the drinks and hospitality sectors having to rip up what were successful business models to find new ways just to trade and stay in business. For some drinks suppliers that relied 100% on the on-trade for its sales it has meant transforming themselves into completely different companies overnight. Like Jascots Wine Merchants. But before we get into the ins and outs of how and why Jascots has become an online direct to consumer operator during Covid-19, its managing partner, Miles MacInnes, is keen to stress this is a move it had to take in order to return at full strength as a key London on-trade supplier once restaurants start to re-open. Its new e-commerce arm, he says, can only make it a stronger, better and more efficient on-trade supplier in the future.

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    Opinion
    nik darlington braai

    How Great British Braai Off can help South African wine

    As the lockdown continues in South Africa, that prohibits the sale of any wine domestically, the impact on the country’s wine industry worsens by the day to the extent that 10s of producers are said to be close to collapse. But now that exports are allowed we can all do our bit to support South Africa at this time by simply drinking and promoting its wine. Next weekend sees two interlinked campaigns. On March 22 Wines of South Africa is urging us to get involved with its Spectacular South Africa campaign and then over the weekend Nik Darlington explains why he has created the ‘Great British Braai Off’ to help celebrate all that South Africa means to us, by doing what they do best – coming together over a braai with beers and bottles of wine.

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