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    Opinion

    Key influencers from inside and outside the trade

    Opinion
    Portugal, Douro valley, Pinhao: Grape harvest

    Harry Crowther gets his hands and feet dirty in the Douro Valley

    It’s one thing studying about wine and taking part in an exhaustive tasting sessions, but nothing actually beats working a harvest and seeing first hand the sweat, toil, love, passion, emotion and craft that goes in to making wine. Wine consultant Harry Crowther, and former M Wine store manger, was prepared to get his hands dirty working his second vintage in the Douro valley. It makes for a fascinating insight in to the true art of winemaking.

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    Opinion
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    Bruce Jack on why markets like Denmark are big alternatives to UK

    In the first of a new series, subtly titled ‘The Bruce Juice’, showing what life is like on the road for winemakers looking to distribute their wines around the world, leading South African producer, Bruce Jack from The Drift Farm, looks back on the lessons learnt from a recent trip to Denmark and why with such demand for premium wine it has become a real alternative to the UK and such an important growing market for premium South African producers.

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    Opinion
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    Joe Fattorini: 6 secrets you need to be a good wine communicator

    From morning until night we are constantly being bombarded with messages, emails, tweets, promotions, anything and everything to grab our attention. Which ones you take notice of all comes down to the skill of the person who created that message in the first place. But what makes good communications in wine? Joe Fattorini reveals the six secrets you need to know if you are going to be successful in getting your own “communications” heard.

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    Opinion
    Chad Stock is one of the leading winemakers looking to shake up Oregon's wine scene

    Doug Wregg on Oregon’s alternative and natural wine scene

    There are not many wine importers that travel the globe more to seek out the new and different than Les Caves de Pyrene. So when Doug Wregg describes Oregon as having the “most united front of any wine country or region in the world” it is worth taking notice. Having recently attended the region’s Pinot Camp and first natural wine fair, Oregon Now, he picks out producers that he believes are standing out even in the high standards of the Oregon wine community.

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    Opinion
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    Have a winning hand with new CGA Global Origins report

    Running a business in the on-trade is like a protracted version of a game of poker. You might know what cards you have in your hands, but to be successful you are going to have to find out what your competitors have got – and that is going to cost you money. The latest CGA on-trade report, produced in association with The Buyer, can help you get a winning hand by analysing the styles, the countries and regions to have on your list. 

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    Opinion
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    Californian wine fair shows how far the state’s wines have changed

    The theme of this year’s California Wine Fair was Dream Big, but it could easily have been called Think Different. The vast number of sommeliers and buyers at the fair could see and taste what has been happening over the past decade – that there is huge diversity in regional and winemaker styles at work in the Golden State and many of the old stereotypes no longer apply.

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    Opinion
    Back in their days when Ansley Coale and Hubert Germain-Robin created the first hand-distilled Alambic brandy at their distillery on a sheep ranch in Ukiah, California.

    Matthew Gaughan: craft brands selling out leaves a sour taste…

    Week after week comes a story of another craft brewer or distiller being bought up by a larger multi-national drinks operator. Whilst many of the once startup businesses continue to work with their new owners, Matthew Gaughan believes the essence of their company, its brands, and their drinks, have gone once they team up with a bigger player and feels particularly sad to see California’s first brandy distiller, Germain-Robin, become part of the Gallo empire.

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    Opinion
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    10 things Roger Jones learned on ‘study leave’ in the Napa Valley

    Michelin star chef Roger Jones is renowned for his knowledge of, love for and extensive wine list of New World wines. And yet, until August, Jones had never been to Napa Valley. Hosted by the Napa Valley Vintners, Jones attended a ‘study leave’ in which he learned many things. Here he decides to share with us his top 10 learnings.

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    Opinion
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    Simon Woolf on waving the flag for orange wines

    For the discerning wine drinker and ambitious professional wine buyer then there has only really one story in town over the last two to three years: orange wines. This is not just a fad, but with close to 50% of top on-trend restaurants now listing orange wines they need to be taken seriously. Which is why wine writer, Simon J Woolf, has written a book about the rise of orange wines, The Amber Revolution, and launched a Kickstarter campaign to get it published. Here’s how…

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    Opinion
    Lebanese

    Peter McCombie: Why Lebanese wine deserves more attention

    Talk about Lebanese wine to UK wine buyers and you can get a very different reaction from those who have had the chance to visit and those who have not. It really is a country you have to see and experience for yourself to really appreciate the unique circumstances in which Lebanese winemakers work, but also their passion to create quality wines. Peter McCombie MW looks at the wines he will be helping to present at this week’s SITT tastings.

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