The Golden Vines initiative to help drive and make an effective change to diversity and inclusion in the wine industry could not have had a more dramatic start. Within months of being set up by Lewis Chester of Liquid Icons and Nina Basset, in tribute to her late husband Gerard Basset MW MS, the scheme has already raised £1.2m through a successful awards, auction and fund-raising night held earlier this month. Two of the standout prizes are the Golden Vines Scholarships – worth over £50,000 each – to help two people study for the Masters of Wine programme. Here in the second of our two profiles of the winners we talk to Angela Scott about her career in wine to date and what it means to her to have won one of the scholarships.
Bibendum’s first tasting in 18 months was called ‘This one’s on us’ and featured an embarrassment of riches, wines and spirits from both well-known estates and new acquisitions. David Kermode, aka Mr Vinosaurus was our man at the tasting, and highlights a fascinating Top 10 which includes controversial new English sparkler Harlot, a rare 100% Merseguera from Valencia producer Bodega Mustiguillo, a non-alcoholic range from Wild Life Botanicals and a terrific £11 Grüner from new-to-the-portfolio Weingut Huber.
It’s rare for one of the UK’s biggest national newspapers to go into the intricate details of how the British drinks industry is taxed outside of a debate about a potential duty hike in the annual Budget. So when the Sunday Times unleashed a full blown analysis into what could be fundamental changes to how our still and sparkling wines could be taxed in the future – with a big push for English wines in particular – it was received with some surprise by the drinks industry at large. Here Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine & Spirits Trade Association, responds and sets out what he thinks could – and could not – be in any proposed alcohol reform strategy.
Sugar levels are down and acidity levels are up in Britain’s 2021 grape harvest, which is fine if you’re making sparkling wine but not such good news if you are making still wine like Chris Wilson. Wine scribe turned winemaker, Wilson runs Gutter&Stars, Cambridge’s first urban winery and his nerves are jangling as the still wine harvest is running four weeks later than 2020. Will the grapes ripen in time? Will rot set in? And how will this change the style of wines he will be making in 2021? More news from the front in our continuing series on how one wine writer has put his money where his mouth is and started making wine… in a windmill.
The Bloody Big Drinks Summit is a new online business forum, that runs between October 25 to October 29, created by Australia’s leading publishing company, Food & Beverage Media that is designed to give drinks industry professionals all over the world the chance to hear from top industry experts on how to help grow your business. It includes over 50 talks, presentations and industry debates covering beers, wines, spirits, retailing, production, marketing and digital innovation. Delegates can either watch the sessions live, or watch them on catch up in their own time. Here’s what you can expect from this breakthrough event.
Hubert de Boüard is best known for being the co-owner of Château Angélus, where he was born and famously given a pair of secateurs on his seventh birthday. Always destined to be a winemaker, de Boüard also runs Château La Fleur de Boüard and Hubert de Boüard Consulting, his company consulting for 80 wineries, primarily in the Bordeaux region, making him a key player there. As part of The Buyer’s ongoing series on bouncing back from the pandemic, Peter Dean hears from him as to how life has changed post-COVID.
Such has been the pace of growth at Cramele Recas, now by far Romania’s largest exporter of wine, that co-founder Phillip Cox says it is struggling to keep up with demand and is having to turn back buyers and limit supply to some customers such has been the increase in demand for its wines. It is also a sign of just how tapped in Cox and the winemaking team at Cramele Recas are to the in demand styles of wine that are the most sought after amongst buyers, across all channels, around the world. Richard Siddle flew to Romania to see the Cramele Recas operation for himself.
This month has marked a breakthrough moment in the wine industry’s challenge to drive more inclusion and diversity in the sector with the first Golden Vines events, set up in memory of the late Gerard Basset MW MS. The first Golden Vines Awards ceremony and auction helped raise a vital £1.2m to invest in future diversity projects. One of which is the Taylor’s Port Golden Vines Diversity Scholarships to help fund two people to study for the Master of Wine and Master Sommelier programmes. Here in the first of two profiles of the winners, Dr Erna Blancquaert from South Africa and Angela Elizabeth Scott from the US, we talk to Dr Blancquaert about her background in wine and her studies and research at Stellenbosch University.
Sara Pérez is a winemaker that is at the vanguard of the quiet revolution that has been taking place in the Spanish region of Priorat over the past 20 years. Long lauded as ‘a talent to watch’, the wines she makes at Mas Martinet put a new perspective on Priorat – terroir-driven, elegant and wildly original. Every grape is foot-trodden and such is her low intervention approach that she has done away with the sorting table altogether – “I make the perfect harvest in the vineyard and then I put it in the tank” she tells Peter Dean, who confesses to being totally bowled over by the quality and style of the wines which include the first orange wine to be listed by Justerini & Brooks and a Ranci Dolc that has to be tasted to be believed.
The relationship between James Bond and Champagne Bollinger is a long-standing one that goes back to the original books by Ian Fleming. Although 007 drinks mainly spirits in new movie No Time To Die, Bollinger has appeared in 15 of the Bond films, a fact that Justin Keay could clearly not get out of his head when he attended the Mentzendorff autumn portfolio tasting. Apart from an overview of the sparkling and the fortified at the event, Keay recommends seven still wines that he thinks will cut the mustard in the on-trade this autumn. Spoiler alert: this feature includes MANY Bond references.