For those on the buying side of a tasting table, how often do you stop and think why it is that particular producer has given up half their week to fly to the UK to show you their wines? Yes, you might think you’re worth it, but for the winemakers and wineries they too need to be sure they are going to be able to show their wines to key buyers. Here we ask Astrum Cellars and two of its producers, Serafini & Vidotto and Francesco Rinaldi, why it is they are so keen to support next month’s Il Collettivo specialist Italian wine tasting event.
When it comes to making quality Grenache there is a common thread of process and practice that connects winemakers wherever they are in the world. Chris Wilson hears from three winemakers from Swartland, Catalonia and the Rhône about how they are faced with similar challenges when working with this grape and overcome them in varying ways to produce fruit and wine that showcases the quality, potential and adaptability of Grenache.
You can have drinks buyers with the finest palates and the best negotiation skills to drive the right deal with producers around the world, but all of that can stand for nothing if your consignment of wine, beer or spirits is stuck on the wrong side of the world whilst your customers desperately need it on their back bars or retail shelves. Getting your supply chain partner right is becoming increasingly vital in running a successful drinks distribution or import business, says JF Hillebrand’s Marc Graham.
When the organic wine fair Millésime Bio started 25 years ago there were 10 exhibitors and a dog. In 2018 the fair had over 1000 exhibitors, filling three giant hangar-like halls of Montpellier’s Expo Park. Mike Turner talked to the fair’s creator Jacques Frelin about why he started Millésime Bio in the first place, and talked to a number of exhibitors about what made them take the plunge and started turning their winery into an organic one.
Wines From Chile is currently engaged in a charm offensive on the UK on-trade, turning the spotlight on minority interest grape varieties such as Semillón and Carignan to show that their country (the world’s fourth largest exporter of wine) is more than just a bulk producer of international varietals. After the successful Semillón Sessions seminar, Carignan was given a star turn by Tim Atkin MW and Julio Bouchon of Chile’s Bouchon Family Wines, by looking at VIGNO a project dedicated to re-appraising Carignan and to demonstrate what classy wines it is capable of producing. Yes, classy.
The problem of mental health is finally on the national agenda, providing a much needed platform to raise awareness and funding to help tackle this growing people. To help play its part the drinks industry charity, The Benevolent has launched its own campaign, #NotAlone, to encourage a more frank and open conversation about mental health within the drinks industry, offering practical and emotional support to those who are struggling.
Yesterday’s annual portfolio tasting held by Gonzalez Byass at RIBA was an opportunity to sample their much-anticipated Croft Twist – a new, contemporary take on the ‘Spritz’ category. The past was revived too in a cracking Vermouth that harps back to the Nineteenth Century for its blend, plus there were plenty of old faces and new in a tasting attended by Mr Vinosaurus himself, David Kermode.
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.
Unless you are a real Top Gear fanatic what people most value in their car is not how fast it can go from 0 to 60, or how it handles corners in the rain, but the fact it is reliable, comfortable, and you don’t have to think twice about it. Much the same could be said about a trusted, dependable drinks distributor that knows your business inside out and makes your life as a buyer so much easier. That’s the challenge, motivation and inspiration for James Franklin, head of merchant and on-trade sales at Corney & Barrow, and his team when building up long-term partnerships with its growing number of customers.