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    L.M. Archer
    Insight
    james poulter vixen

    One Step Beyond: James Poulter on the rise & rise of voice search

    In our second deep dive into the highlights of the recent One Step Beyond webinar, organised by The Buyer and Sophie Jump, we turn the focus on voice search and the power of our own voices in how we live our lives – and run our businesses. James Poulter, co-founder of specialist voice and conversational AI agency, Vixen Labs, explains how Covid-19, lockdowns, switch to online and desire for touch free retailing has seen the demand for voice search fast forward the equivalent of years in roll out.

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    Tasting: Wine
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    ‘Best SA red wine’ 2018 Orchestra hits all right notes in The Mentors tasting

    Hot on the heels of her Bordeaux red blend, The Mentors Orchestra 2018, winning the Veritas Vertex award for best South African wine, winemaker Izele van Blerk takes Victor Smart through the entire The Mentors range, with a selection of cheeses to match. The KWV winemaker is allowed a free rein on how she makes the company’s prestige wines and which she picks as the varietal that takes the top premium spot – with this vintage the accolade going to a Petite Sirah of which only 1000 bottles have been made.

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    People Retailer
    mark wrigglesworth good wine shop Long Read

    How The Good Wine Shop more than lives up to its name

    There is something delightfully English about calling your retail business The Good Wine Shop. It expresses a certain level of confidence that you know what you are doing, without being over the top and brash about it. But it also encapsulates the friendly, easy going, but also highly professional nature and personality of its founder, Mark Wrigglesworth. Over the last 15 years he has quietly built his business up into a small chain of four much loved, neighbourhood wine merchants in leafy areas of south London all built around the premise of selling “good wine, from real people with great stories”. Richard Siddle paid him a visit at his store in Richmond Hill to find out just how good his wine shops really are.

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    People
    Bubbly Bubble Long Read

    How ‘Bubbly Bubble’ helps keep CSWWC Covid secure

    The drinks industry has come up with some ingenious ways of coping with Covid. As far as awards judging goes, however, none was more extreme than the Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships which rented a country estate, complete with its own pub and on-site coronavirus testing team. Our man at the event, editor-at-large Roger Jones, sent back this behind-the-scenes report of how this Bubbly Bubble worked, (a presumably watered-down version of) what went on in the ‘Big Bubble House’, as well talking to CSWWC’s creator Tom Stevenson about the philosophy of the competition and the logistics of making it work.

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    People
    women & vine good

    How Women of the Vine & Spirits is acting on diversity & inclusion

    The issues of diversity, equality and inclusion have never been more front of mind in the drinks and hospitality industry. This week’s online wine2wine event dedicated a number of sessions to allow a wide range of debates and conversations to take place. The key now is how does the fragmented world of drinks and hospitality come together to keep the momentum behind these issues going. This is very much where the Women of the Vine & Spirits organisation comes in as it has been offering a platform for women all over the world to come together and share and use its now wide range of resources and support tools for women. Here founder Deborah Brenner explains why she set the organisation up and how she is so pleased these issues are now getting the profile and publicity they need.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Tasmanian Pinot Noir

    Why Tasmanian Pinot Noirs are wines with a real latitude

    As climate change takes its toll on many traditional winemaking areas, so the fresh, natural acidity to be found in the wines of cool climate regions such as Tasmania will become greater prized. Speaking direct from Australia’s island state, Rebecca Duffy from Holm Oak, Jeremy Dineen from Josef Chromy and Peter Caldwell from Dalrymple attempt to define what makes Tasmanian Pinot Noir so unique and demonstrate it through six wines from the 2017 and 2018 harvests.

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    Awards
    women drinking wine

    How London Wine Competition is promoting itself to consumers

    The London Wine Competition goes into its 4th year stronger than ever on the back of record entries for the 2020 awards and a new dedicated website, The London Drinks Guide, that has been launched to help promote and tell the stories of the wineries, producers and wines that end up coming out top in the competition. For winning a medal is one thing, getting the chance to promote it directly to consumers is a real point of difference.

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    Insight
    wosa good screenshot Long Read

    What South Africa needs to do to future proof its wine industry

    Even if Tom Cruise and his Mission Impossible team had been available I’m not sure even they could have solved the challenge of “How To Future Proof the South African Wine Industry” in the hour debate that was held online earlier this month as part of Wines of South Africa’s Insider Sessions designed to throw the spotlight on different challenges and opportunities facing its industry. Here Richard Siddle, who helped chair the session, summaries the key solutions of the panel of leading South African winemakers and producers.

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    Insight
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    Building vineyard biodiversity to combat climate emergency

    While human intervention can correct all manner of issues in a vineyard, the one that is increasingly having the greatest impact is climate change. That cannot be combatted… or can it? Wine expert Michelle Williams spoke to growers in Australia, Spain, Austria, and the USA to learn about their efforts to do just that, through vineyard biodiversity. From grape variety selection, cover crop practices, biodynamic farming and encouraging Mycorrhizal fungi, winemakers are finding that when you are faced with a complex problem – using complexity does help.

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    Insight
    Bruno at Ch Carsin

    Jessica Broadbent on Bordeaux’s more sustainable future

    The percentage of sustainable wineries in Bordeaux has nearly doubled in the last six years as more producers see both the environmental, but also commercial advantages in switching their production. The region is now on course to have 100% of its wineries running some sort of certified sustainable scheme by 2030. For a region that is so often celebrated more for how well its different appellations are performing this is a case of individual steps for collective gain, as Jessica Broadbent finds out in this analysis of what other steps Bordeaux is taking to safeguard and grow its future.

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