Most wine businesses came out of lockdown looking and acting very differently to when they went into the pandemic. But not many can look back on such a transformative performance as Armit Wines. In the year to September 30 2021, and in the height of the pandemic, it saw turnover increase 7% increase to £22 million, a swing in net profit of £2m taking the business into the black to just over £1.3m and gross profits up 25.4% from 22.7%. But what were the key decisions made by managing director, Brett Fleming, and his management team that made the difference? To help us unravel the numbers and take us behind the scenes at Armit Wines we talk to head of sales Fraser Currie.
In an extensive trip through Germany, predominantly dedicated to Riesling and Pinot Noir, Christina Rasmussen uncovers soils, clones and the people fiercely dedicated to their soils’ expressions of wine (while all the while expanding her own rock collection). In the first of her 3-part series on Germany, Rasmussen explores German Pinot Noir/ Spätburgunder through site, clones and the winemaker’s hand and asks ‘what is the true identity of German Pinot Noir’? This article was first posted in August 2018 and is part of our continuing series to ‘rewind’ to great articles we’ve posted in the past.
Leona De Pasquale grew up in Taiwan at a time when drinking wine was very much frowned up and not something a “good girl” should be getting up to. Fast forward to 2022 and she is now making her name as one of the most respected wine educators and writers to come out of not only Taiwan, but across Asia. Here she explains what it was that finally got her into wine, and how she is now smitten with all the wine world can offer as part of our Onwards & Upwards series that shines the light on people moving on in their careers.
Santorini may be a small Greek island but its reputation for producing world class wines is immense. Its unique soil supports some of the oldest vines on the planet and gives the wines of PDO Santorini naturally high acidity and a strong sense of minerality. Ancient and ingenious viticulture mixed with modern winemaking techniques helps winemakers on Santorini produce wines that are fresh, elegant, complex and intense. Sarah McCleery talks with some key advocates of Santorini’s wines and looks at how the island is pushing boundaries and exploring greater potential of its unique and diverse wines.
In June this year the Venetian wine estate, Villa Bogdano 1880, hit the wine headlines by becoming a major sponsor of the Old Vine Conference, a UK non-profit company for the support of historic vineyards. The inclusion of their Lison Classico 2019 in the Old Vine Masterclass line-up at the London Wine Fair, also held this summer, sealed their place amongst global producers that endeavour to enhance and give recognition to heritage vineyards as a new commercial category, sharing vineyard best practices, management and marketing strategies. Earlier this year, at VinItaly, The Buyer’s Mike Turner sat down with Villa Bogdano 1880 owner Domenico Veronese to try the wines for himself and discover more about the ethos behind the estate.
In the first of our articles taken from the special Stellenbosch Business Report, produced by The Buyer for Stellenbosch Wine Routes, Richard Siddle gives a personal perspective on the main themes, issues and trends that are influencing and having the biggest long term impact on the region. He also examines the role of the Stellenbosch Wine Routes in capturing all the changes and innovations taking place in this still hugely influential wine region not just in South Africa but around the world.
In the US the growth of mead as a category is starting to resemble the craft beer market, with one of the world’s simplest and oldest alcoholic drinks diversifying into a wide range of styles. In the UK, mead is also undergoing a revolution with a new bar opening in London that aims to show the breadth and complexity of this honey-based drink by serving seven meads on draught and 20 different in can. We take a look at how mead is transforming itself with one foot in its legendary past and the other striving towards a thoroughly modern reinvention.
The Only a Pavement Away charity does extraordinary work, largely behind the scenes, looking to help the homeless and those in need get back on their feet and where possible offer them the practical and financial support to get themselves back into work. It is also working very closely with the drinks and hospitality sectors to see what they can do to give people a second chance. Here Chris Seale, managing director of Speciality Brands, and Greg Mangham, chief executive of Only A Pavement Away, explain how they are working together to help people find suitable future employment.
If there is one wine region that captures the majesty, the beauty, the innovation and the fast pace of change that is taking place in the quality of winemaking in South Africa then it is Stellenbosch. The country’s oldest and most famous wine region has, by the admission of one of its most senior producers, been given a “big kick up the arse” by what has been happening elsewhere in the Cape in recent years and had to more than respond in kind. To mark just what has been going on in Stellenbosch in recent years The Buyer has teamed up with Stellenbosch Wine Routes to produce this comprehensive Stellenbosch Business Report that is available in a downloadable PDF. A report based on personal interviews, tastings, seminars and masterclasses conducted by The Buyer’s Richard Siddle during a recent visit to the region.
Ruinart used the launch of its new hotly-anticipated Ruinart 2010 Blanc de Blancs to re-emphasise its commitment to sustainability and biodiversity from its far-reaching vitiforestry project at its historic Tassy vineyards to its position on prestige packaging. Sarah McCleery travelled to Reims to meet the team, see first-hand many of its projects and to taste the new prestige cuvée.