Wine journalist – and regular Buyer writer – Chris Wilson has added another string to his bow as he launches his own urban winery Gutter & Stars in the heart of Cambridge. Before Christmas he was updating us on the wines he is making, including a foot-stomped field blend Rosé. In this latest instalment of his column for The Buyer, as the wines are literally chilling out, Chris is taking inspiration from his love of music and design to give him a steer on the winery’s brand image and what he is going to call his wines. Oh, and home-schooling his two daughters in the winery at the same time.
Wine entrepreneur Jackie Fast gives this on the ground report from one of Canada’s most respected and premium wine regions – the Okanagan Valley – examining how its producers have not just responded to Covid-19, but are actually coming out of the pandemic stronger than before. She talks to a number of its key producers about the steps they have taken and the innovations they have made which she believes could act as an inspiration for other wineries and wine regions around the world.
Vite Colte, the upmarket Piedmontese co-operative winery, is hoping to make major inroads into the British on-trade, when it bounces back into action, with its competitively-priced Barbera d’Asti and impressive range of Nebbiolos. Ahead of the latest release of the new Barbera d’Asti in the New Year, The Buyer was given a sneak tasting along with some of Vite Colte’s Barolo and Barbaresco labels. They made a good impression not just on Geoffrey Dean but also on noted Italian wine experts, Stephen Brook and Andrew Jefford.
“The aftermath of Brexit will, for sure, produce a significant shift in the UK wine trade and make a big dent in consumer choice, raise price levels and make life very difficult, perhaps impossible, for all but the strongest companies.” So says Philip Cox, commercial director of Romania’s largest wine exporter, Cramele Recas. In this illuminating and practical guide Cox explains exactly what has changed for EU wine producers exporting to the UK, and what the effects are of post-Brexit trading on EU wineries like himself.
The Ribera del Duero has long been turning the heads of wine buyers across the UK wine trade for the sheer depth, diversity, quality and value for money wines its high altitude vineyards make, which seem to get better every year. But there are still huge opportunities for the region to grow its rightful market share of the overall Spanish wine category. It’s why Ribera del Duero is launching a new sampling initiative to give over 60 wineries the platform and the opportunity to showcase their wines to key UK buyers. Here’s how the campaign is going to work in the coming weeks.
Running a trade association is very much about dealing with whatever that particular industry’s most pressing issues are there and then, but it should also, says the WSTA’s chief executive, Miles Beale, be about looking ahead to the big defining factors that will determine your industry’s future for the years and decades ahead. Which is why he is keen to put the drinks industry’s role in driving the environmental and green debate, alongside promoting diversity and inclusion in the sector, high on the agenda in 2021 and the coming years.
Wines of Germany has worked closely with the UK on-trade over the last few years to help sommeliers and restaurateurs better understand the styles of wine and regions that can work so well with different types of cuisine. It’s why it is so keen to be part of the new UK Wine List of the Year awards, co-hosted by The Buyer and Star Wine List, and play its part in helping to shine the light on restaurants and their wine offer when they finally get the chance to re-open in the coming months, explains Nicky Forrest, who heads up Wines of Germany in the UK.
When you search Google for images of a ‘whisky drinker’ you still see only men above the fold. That old archetype is still many whisky brands’ go-to market, but brands and advertisers are waking up to the fact they can no longer market so narrowly. Women make up 36% of whisky drinkers*, which makes them a hugely important and profitable consumer segment. It’s why Distill Ventures recently organised a panel discussion, led by whisky expert and journalist Becky Paskin who has done so much to raise the issue of diversity and inclusion in whisky, with five women leading the way in various fields of the whisky industry, to discuss how we can make positive change. Full analysis by Jessica Broadbent.
Being a biodynamic winemaker in a cold climate is hard enough. Then to be certified as such is another big hurdle. But for the 25 members of respekt-BIODYN, however, they add another level of certification in order to enjoy the benefits of this exclusive association. Peter Dean joined them for a tasting of four wines, including a Sauvignon Blanc Trockenbeerenauslese, to mark the arrival of two new members to the group, Sattlerhof and Leiner.
The doors of restaurants and bars up and down the UK might be closed due to Covid-19, but there is still much work going on behind the scenes to make sure they are ready to burst back into life as soon as they are allowed. That’s what the new ‘UK Wine List of the Year’ awards – co-hosted by The Buyer and Star Wine List – are all about. The chance to to celebrate the best sommelier and wine buying talent in the UK and the work they continue to do with their suppliers to create and manage some of the best wine lists in the world. Here’s how you can enter the 2021 awards – including a special Lockdown Wine List of the Year category.