As the pressure on sourcing good quality, but good value wine and spirits from around the world intensifies, the role of bulk and bottled in market wine and spirits is only going to get bigger for both the on and off-trades. A new landmark conference, The International Bulk Wine & Spirits Show, is coming to London in January to shine the light on this crucial sector and is already attracting big name industry figures to appear.
When Conviviality took the surprise and shock move last May to add Bibendum PLB to a business that was still gestating the purchase of Matthew Clark in the autumn of 2015 there were many in the trade who doubted it could bring all sides of the equation together without major problems. Ten months on and we can now assess quite how it has gone about it with two of the key architects for how its wine portfolio is put together, Andrew Shaw and Simon Jerrome.
In the last of their round the world wine adventures Katie Canfield and Matthew Gaughan report from New Zealand and in particular the dilemma facing producers about which varieties they plant in the future. Do they stick with what they know with Sauvignon Blanc or be brave and branch out more in to other varieties with growing demand for quality Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Riesling from New Zealand.
Alliance Wine has come a long way since it first started with the rather ambitious goal of “creating a better world of wine”. It is, though, doing its best to do just that as it now not only one of the UK’s most respected wine distributors it is also making wine in three continents and selling it all over the globe. What’s more, as Alliance’s Giles Cooke MW explains, it is doing so with a principle driven business strategy.
Guillaume Deglise knew he had a tough job on his hands trying to re-invent Vinexpo in the eyes of key international wine and spirit buyers when he took on the role of chief executive in 2014. But for him the strategy is quite simple. To make the show and Vinexpo all about providing a community for buyers and drinks producers to do business. Here he explains how he hopes to take that on to a new level at Vinexpo Bordeaux in June.
Andrew Bewes is quietly about to rack up his eighth year at the helm of Hallgarten Druitt & Novum Wines as he prepares the business for what could potentially be its the most disruptive period under his control. But he has already brought it a long way and cemented its position as one of the country’s Big Six wine distributors. Richard Siddle talks to him about the challenges and opportunities ahead and how it is set very much on its own course.
On the face of it the latest on-trade figures for January look pretty robust, particularly in light of the growing popularity of Dry January, but the new Coffer Peach BusinessTracker for the major restaurant and pub groups show the sector needs to make hay before it is faced with the fall out or rising wage and operating costs, and inflationary pressures on consumer spending.
There has been a lot of focus on how well premium Australian wines are doing in its key export markets recently, but that success simply reflects the big increase in demand for more food friendlier wines from Australian wine drinkers and a more vibrant and varied Australian restaurant scene. It is what is going on at home, that is helping fuel the fire for Australia’s drive abroad.
The on-trade often finds itself on the back foot when it comes to government relations. But with its contribution to the economy stronger than ever, there has never been a better time to make the case for a legitimate cut in alcohol duty, particularly in face of a perfect storm of rising wage and operating costs. Here’s how you can make your voice heard.
Considering the huge improvement in the quality of South African wines now available in the premium on-trade you would not think South Africa has too much to worry about. But the hugely competitive prices those wines are sold at, coupled with the cheap supermarket South African offer, are having a major knock-on effect on the viability and sustainability of producers and winegrowers across the country. Matthew Gaughan and Katie Canfield report from South Africa.