If a boxing referee was looking into the eyes of punch drunk Conviviality then this week’s Prowein could be seen as the round in which it started to find its legs again and fight off financial meltdown. At least in terms of getting back on the front foot and using the world’s leading trade fair to talk to suppliers and producers and try and reassure them it does have the answers to its woes and that the wine sourcing, buying and selling part of the business is where its future still lies. Richard Siddle talks to senior members of the Conviviality team about how it hopes to get itself off the ropes.
Plumpton College has been offering wine degree courses for over 20 years. But what are the benefits of having a degree in wine, and what advantage does it bestow on those with ambitions to forge ahead in the wine industry? Helen Arnold met Chris Foss, head of wine at the college, to find out more and to get his take on how the College is being affected by the uncertainties of Brexit.
They say you only get to really know who your friends are when the chips are down, which has been very much the case for those working within the Conviviality Group over the last couple of weeks, where a series of increasingly serious financial announcements have shocked the industry. On the face of it none of this is good news for its suppliers and customers but, rather than grumble, suppliers are coming together to galvanise support across the trade to help Conviviality get itself back on track.
The battleground by major supermarkets and the discounters is increasingly being played out on how good their respective private label ranges are. Which for wine opens the door for those suppliers that can help deliver bespoke wine solutions, and new product ideas that allow retailers to control the entire supply chain by using bulk wine from producer to their shelves. Clive Donaldson, wine sourcing manager at Morrisons, explains why
Being in Paris on February 14 you might imagine would involve lots of romantic walks down by the banks of the Seine, taking in the sights of the love capital of the world. Instead all the walking on this trip was up and down rows of producers that separated Loire, Burgundy, Champange and Beaujolais (and more) producers showing off their wines at the world’s only wine fair dedicated to cool climate wines. Richard Siddle brings back some different memories of a Valentine’s Day trip to Paris.
The clock is well and truly ticking for anyone looking to enter their wines into the inaugural London Wine Competition which closes its doors for entries on February 22. The London Wine Competition is a new competition where the focus is on the drinkability, and likeability of the wine by the end consumer and is based on what the wines tastes like, what it looks like and how quaffable it. The awards will be judged by some of the UK’s leading sommeliers and on-trade wine buyers.
Chances are when you are not swirling, spitting or sipping wine, you are putting the kettle on for a cup of tea. When you do it might be worth considering just how similar the two drinks actually are, at least in terms of the time, care and attention to detail needed to take the crop from the field to create award winning drinks. Harry Crowther finds far more than he expected on a trip to a tea plantation in Sri Lanka and what lessons and similarities there are for those working in the wine trade.
Re-Trunking is a way of replacing old or gnarly vine trunks without having to replace the vine; there are many benefits to this practice including not having to go two to three years without a crop, giving a better balance to the vine, improving its vascular system and, perhaps most importantly, keeping the old established root system. Anne Krebiehl MW visited Neudorf Vineyards in Nelson, New Zealand and found out why Re-Trunking could have special significance in a country with such large amounts of young vines.
The unique, delicate, almost demure-like qualities of Koshu wines from Japan are quietly, but surely, building up a fan base amongst discerning sommeliers and Michelin star chefs. What they appreciate most about this thick skinned, pink coloured grape, grown in the foothills of Mount Fuji, is how its subtle, nuanced, fresh flavours pair with a whole range of dishes, not just the Japanese food it is most suited to. Ahead of the Koshu of Japan annual tasting next week Richard Siddle talks to those sommeliers, chefs, consultants and importers who have all been smitten by Koshu.
Telling a room of UK trade media, importers and retailers that the US and China are your two most important target export markets might sound like a PR own goal, but for Andreas Clark, chief executive of Wine Australia, it made perfect sense to tell key influencers, in what is still its number one country by volume, where it now sits in the context of the rest of the world.