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    What on-trade buyers, producers and suppliers have to say

    People People: Producer
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    “Grüner for the world” by Lenz Moser & Markus Huber

    For his latest wine project the award-winning winemaker, Lenz Moser has returned to Austria to team up with one of the country’s fastest rising stars, Markus Huber, to create a new wine they believe will help re-invent Grüner Veltliner, one of Austria’s most important grape varieties, and potentially introduce it to new drinkers all over the world. Richard Siddle caught up with Moser to understand just why he is so excited about New Chapter Grüner Veltliner and what makes it so different.

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    wtaf tasting

    Suppliers mark Cop26 with alternative packaging tasting

    It has taken long for wine tastings to be back up and running post lockdown – accompanied by the familiar grumblings of they all look and feel the same and why can’t we come up with new ideas for tastings? Well, here is news of something completely different. A wine tasting with no wine bottles. No glass allowed. Yes, a new concept that only allows wines in alternative packaging to show what they can offer. It is the joint idea of a number of wine suppliers championing different packaging formats who have come together under the banner of ‘Wine Traders for Alternative Formats’. It all takes place in London on November 11 and here’s Oliver Lea, managing director of The BIB Wine Company, and one of the founders of the new group, to explain what you can expect.

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    People People: Producer
    vilafonte three founders

    South Africa’s Vilafonté: IWSC’s Outstanding Producer of 2021

    To be named Outstanding Wine Producer in the world is an achievement any producer must aspire to, but for the team behind premium South African wine brand, Vilafonté, it is the culmination of 25 years work that has seen some of the finest talent from two countries – the United States and South Africa – come together with one dream: to make a wine that could stand shoulder to shoulder with the best in the world. Today’s IWSC accolade shows it has gone one step further. Richard Siddle talks to Vilafonté co-founder, Mike Ratcliffe, about why this is an award that is also testimony to the huge advances there have been in South Africa as a whole that have made it an equal to any other world class wine producing country.

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    People People: Producer
    bordeaux Chateau-Millerose3

    David Faure & Château Mille Roses on the new Bordeaux

    We continue our series looking at the next generation of winemakers that are taking Bordeaux forward with their own visions and innovations with an interview with David Faure of Château Mille Roses in the Medoc by breakthrough wine writer Sophia Longhi. Here he explains how the decision to go organic has helped him bring his own ideas to the vines and wines and break away from the text book winemaking he was taught at university and how he hopes farming sustainably will leave a healthy winery for his children.

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    Jones & Sugrue help cancer charity transatlantic rowing bid

    Leading wine industry figures Roger Jones and sparkling producer Dermot Sugrue joined forces last week to give a proper send-off to a four-man rowing team that will attempt to row the Atlantic in aid of cancer charity Victoria’s Promise. The crew of Anna Victorious, named after the 38 year-old wife of one member who died of cancer, are attempting to raise £100,000 for the cancer support charity and speak of how they have been helped in their quest by Jones and his contacts. David Kermode went along to the launch.

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    People People: Producer
    wakefield wines Clinton Taylor inspecting new plant growth on the Wakefield Clare Valley property

    How Wakefield Wines is leading climate change challenge

    If you want to know how to really tackle your carbon impact then spend some time analysing the efforts that Australia’s Wakefield Wines has taken over the last 15 or so years. It claims to have been the first producer back in 2009 to introduce a carbon neutral wine range and is now on course to be what it says will be the first independent Australian winery to commit to the terms laid down in 2015’s Paris Agreement to reduce its emissions by 50% by 2030, and a target to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Here Clinton Taylor, general manager, explains why it is so committed to leading the way on climate action and the immediate steps other wineries can take.

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    Katie Jackson

    Katie Jackson on Jackson Family Wines’ 10-year climate plan

    “We believe the next 10 years are critical to address and make an impact.” That is the challenge, but also the opportunity that Jackson Family Wines sees as being essential for producers of its scale and influence to make every effort possible to tackle climate change, explains Katie Jackson, senior vice president for Corporate Social Responsibility at Jackson Family Wines. Here she sets out the steps the family producer is taking and why it so proud to be one of the founding members of the International Wineries for Climate Action.

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    People People: Supplier
    james simpson pol roger new

    Pol Roger’s James Simpson MW: why customer relations are key

    James Simpson MW has the sort of bright, upbeat, friendly personality that makes him an ideal person to lead a business through what has arguably – even by the wine industry’s standards – been as big a rollercoaster period of trading that we can remember. After spending 90 minutes or so in his company you feel like jumping up and taking on the world. Which is very much what the UK’s Pol Roger Portfolio team has been doing over the last 18 months, looking to help its customers across all channels either make the most of, or simply get through, this tumultuous time. Richard Siddle reports back from the Pol Roger Portfolio front line.

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    Photo by: www.evabradley.co.nz

    Angela Scott on diversity & her Golden Vines MW Scholarship

    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.

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    People: Producer
    harvest

    Why ‘Hold your nerve’ is mantra for GB’s November harvest

    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.

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    People: Producer
    Hubert de Boüard

    The New Normal with Château Angélus’ Hubert de Boüard

    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.

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    People People: Producer
    philip cox from trip

    Romania’s Cramele Recas on struggles with global demand

    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.

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    golden vines erna vineyard

    Dr Erna Blancquaert on winning Golden Vines MW Scholarship

    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.

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    Vintner on making buying wine online as easy as possible

    On the face of it there is not a massive difference between the new Vintner and old The Vintner business. Other than losing a ‘the’ along the way. But scratch below the surface and it is actually an entirely different company that has been transformed from a traditional on and off-trade wine supplier, to a full blown business to consumer e-commerce operator. Richard Siddle sits down with Julia Beran and Hamish Kirwan, who have made the move possible, about their plans to make wine easy for consumers to buy online.

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    Spicy aubergine is a great partner for Pinot Gris

    Raul Diaz’s Food & Wine Recipes: Pinot Gris and spiced aubergines

    If your mind is turning to Friday night and the weekend ahead well here’s some food and wine inspiration for you from Raul Diaz and his monthly wine and food recipe on The Buyer. This month he is turning his attention to Pinot Gris, this increasingly popular planted grape variety that Diaz believes is ideal for food pairing thanks to its “amazing honeyed personality with lush fruits and spicy accents”. HIs perfect choice to pair with Pinot Gris is a plate of spiced aubergine. Here’s how to pull it together.

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    People People: Producer
    brixton gin couple

    Andrew Murray-Watson on what makes Brixton Gin different

    “Brixton is a million things to a million people. That’s what makes it special.” So says Andrew Murray-Watson and Calandra Smith, the partners and team behind Brixton’s very own gin brand. Appropriately named Brixton Gin. It is also a brave call to be the ones to try and encapsulate all that Brixton stands for in your own gin brand. But Murray-Watson is as well placed as anyone to give it a go having lived in Brixton since 2004 and started his own deli and drinks shop, Guzzl, in 2017. Here he talks to Richard Siddle about what why he thinks Brixton Gin truly captures the spirit of this unique part of London.

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    People People: Supplier
    maria proshuta screen

    C&B’s Maria Proshuta on how to sell wine to the on-trade

    You can have the highest scoring, most awarded wine list in the country, but if you don’t have the sales team with the skills to build relationships and understand which wines are best suited to which restaurants and bars then it’s going to gather dust in your warehouse. Here we talk to Maria Proshuta, part of the London on-trade sales team for Corney & Barrow, about the skills she thinks you need to sell wine to the on-trade.

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    Otilia Romero de Condés head of World Bulk Wine Exhibition

    Otilia Romero de Condés on pivotal WBWE 2021

    There are no tyre kickers and time wasters at the World Bulk Wine Exhibition. This is not a trade show where you can merrily wander around and expect a producer to give you a taste of their full range. No, the WBWE is all about doing business. Samples are offered for buyers to taste that might result in orders of hundreds of thousands of litres of wine. As the show’s chief executive, Otilia Romero de Condés, says the WBWE has three main objectives for its delegates: business, networking and results. Here she explains what we can expect from this November’s show.

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    Strategic thinker and sceptic. The two go hand in hand for Nick Morgan

    Nick Morgan: Everything You Need to Know About Whisky

    If you had a spare few hundred pounds and wanted to invest in some bottles of whisky then Nick Morgan is the man to call. With over 30 years experience of working in the whisky industry – the last 20 plus years at Diageo – he has now branched out on his own to offer his whisky, brand and strategic insights in a new consultancy role. He has also looked to capture his whisky know-how in a new book – simply called Everything You Need to Know About Whisky. Here he explains how it came together.

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