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    Insight
    margaret river

    Why Margaret River dominates premium winemaking in Australia

    If Australia could only pick one wine region to showcase the very best wines it can produce it would be wise to single out Margaret River. For it might only be responsible for 2% to 3% of the country’s overall wine production, the wines being made there are amongst the best in the country. Richard Siddle continues his journey around the main wine regions of Australia with the first of a two part review that looks back on the history of Margaret River and how it is now as famous for its winemakers as it once for its surfers and hippies. Although there’s no reason why you can’t be all three.

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    People: Producer
    HYKE

    Why Foxhole Spirits is launching new HYKE gin on Global Recycling Day

    The equivalent of 1.4 million punnets of fresh table grapes are discarded in the global supply chain each year – a significant waste that is being addressed by the launch of HYKE a new premium English gin. HYKE is produced by Foxhole Spirits, which three years ago launched a gin made from by-products from the English wine harvest, and is being launched on March 18 – Global Recycling Day. Emma Diggory went to the launch at Spring in Somerset House and reports back on what makes HYKE so unique.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Bordeaux 2018

    Right Bank and whites shine in first taste of Bordeaux 2018

    Before the en primeur tastings have begun in Bordeaux, the first taste of the new vintage takes place in London every year through the 134-member Grand Cercle des Vins de Bordeaux. Geoffrey Dean tastes a wide variety of Bordeaux 2018 and gets a vintage overview from the president of Grand Cercle. 2018 was a challenging year, with powdery mildew and a blistering hot summer being two key factors, but there are some good wines and some very good wines produced, particularly from the Right Bank.

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    Insight
    adrian bridge conference

    How wine can lead world in driving “transformational” climate change

    It did not need the tub thumbing, gravitas of former US Vice President Al Gore to drive the sustainability message home at last week’s Climate Change Leadership event in Porto, but it certainly helped. His rip roaring address was, though, only a reflection of the hard yards, and pioneering steps being taken by many companies right across the global wine industry to do what they can to tackle climate change. It was an inspiring two days of talks and debates with the underlying message that we must all collectively do more than we currently are if we are to make any real impact.

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    People People: Supplier
    lanchester team new bottling

    Lanchester Group: our sustainability plans put us 10 years ahead

    The Lanchester Group has long been at the forefront of running its bottling, packing and wine development businesses on a strict sustainability agenda – like the wind turbines and solar panels that produce enough energy to power its site as well as supply electricity for thousands of home through the National Grid. It is now unveiling pioneering, heat pump technology, that will allow it to generate more energy by pumping flood water out of disused coal mines on its sites in the north east to power its new bottling site facilities that will double its capacity and, it believes, puts it at least 10 years ahead of its competition.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Nebbiolo

    Why Valtellina and Alto Piemonte were star regions of Nebbiolo Day

    Brilliant organisation and wines that were firing on all cylinders made this year’s Nebbiolo Day the best and most educational one yet, argues Justin Keay. Fearing the worst from over 500 young, highly tannic wines, Keay came away enthusing about the potential of Nebbiolo’s lesser known regions of Valtellina, Alto Piemonte and Carema where higher altitudes mean crisper, lower alcoholic reds. Keay picks his favourites as well as shares his tips on what to buy from Barolo and Barbaresco.

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    Opinion People: Supplier
    Tim Atkin on success of Rioja's wines

    Tim Atkin MW: Prowein Tokaj talk like being “with an old friend”

    If you are heading to Prowein next week then you might want to get yourself there on time on the last day in order to hear leading wine critic and commentator, Tim Atkin MW, revisit for the first time the subject that helped him become a Master of Wine, and his dissertation on the intricacies of Hungary’s iconic wine region, Tokaj. Here Atkin shares just what it was – and is – that has enchanted him so much over the years.

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    Opinion
    Marlborough

    Jamie Goode dissects new Marlborough Sauv Blanc study

    Although we in the trade know of four distinct styles of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, customers are less aware, even though they definitely know what they like and what they don’t like. A recent study supported by the Institute of Masters of Wine that is a collaboration between Saint Clair Family Estate and yeast producer Lallemand makes for fascinating reading. Wine expert Jamie Goode, who took part in the research, argues that the report is far from conclusive but does give winemakers and everyone in the trade a revealing look at what styles of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc customers prefer and why.

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    Opinion
    Syrah 1

    How Hawke’s Bay Syrah gives value for money at premium end

    The New Zealand wine industry has been dominated by the global phenomenon of their zingy, tropical fruit-heavy Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs for decades. On a recent trip around New Zealand’s wine regions, The Buyer’s Mike Turner discovered why it’s time that other grapes and regions in this beautiful country take centre stage, and none more so than the wonderful Syrahs coming out of Hawke’s Bay.

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    People People: On-Trade
    kate-hawkings

    Kate Hawkings: why I am committed to smaller producers

    “We like to offer things that go beyond the usual suspects. We’re led more by what tastes lovely in the glass than ticking the grape variety boxes.” Welcome to the wine buying strategy – and philosophy – of bar owner and wine buyer, Kate Hawkings, who has helped pioneer and drive the wine scene in Bristol with first, Bell’s Diner where she helped shape the wine list and then Bellita, which only champions female winemakers. Hawkings has a fresh, straight forward approach to wine buying which is 100% focused on putting wines she knows her customers will want to have in their glasses.

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    People People: Supplier
    aaa

    Andrew Shaw: what it takes to assemble Bibendum’s new range

    Bibendum and its independents division, Walker & Wodehouse, might be about to unveil its latest wine ranges to customers and buyers at a series of regional tastings this week, but the real work for what we are about to see actually started way back last summer when buying director, Andrew Shaw and his team first started going through where it needed to strengthen, adapt and extend its range in order to keep up with the latest drinking trends and demands from customers and buyers about which wines they would like to see them carry. Richard Siddle talks to Shaw about the series of steps he and his buyers go through.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Lynch-Bages

    How the wines of Lynch-Bages truly stand the test of time

    The wines of Pauillac’s fifth growth estate, Lynch-Bages, have long been a favourite with British claret drinkers, so it didn’t need Geoffrey Dean to think twice when he was invited to the deepest Tyrol where a remarkable tasting was to take place. In a cellar stuffed full of blue chip wines Geoffrey was treated to a vertical tasting of Lynch-Bages 1945-90, not every vintage of course but near as dammit. With stained teeth and a beatific smile here he picks out the wines that really did stand the test of time.

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    People: Producer
    kombucha

    So why is everyone talking about kombucha all of a sudden?

    Although kombucha has been around for centuries, the fermented tea drink is on trend having managed to break out from its health food origins and into the mainstream. A welcome addition into the non-alcoholic category, kombucha ticks a number of boxes: it is naturally sparkling, healthy, soft, made from tea, has a variety of serves and is steeped in the mysticism of the Orient – which is why sales predictions are stratospheric aided by PepsiCo’s acquisition of kombucha producer KeVita. One of the new British producers is Wild Fizz whose founder, Gina Geoghegan, started small and now has a brewing facility in North London. Peter Dean sits down with her to get the lowdown on this new ‘booch.

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    People People: Supplier
    jackson-seddon-3

    Rob Seddon: from BBC reality TV to wine with Jackson & Seddon

    The first thing that strikes you about Jackson & Seddon is what a great name it is. Like a forgotten 1970’s TV detective partnership. If it was then it would bound to win the hearts of millions of viewers as it would be all about how Rob Seddon and his dog Jackson go about catching criminals. Only in real life it is how they travel to the deepest parts of Italy in search of independent, artisan winemakers they can work with for their slowly growing UK importers business. Richard Siddle wanted to find out more.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Yalumba

    Roger Jones highlights Yalumba as a star of the Fells tasting

    Last Spring Fells took over the distribution of Yalumba and a few key wineries from the Negociants portfolio. What are the key changes and how are the new vintages tasting? On one of those beautiful summery days in February we sent Roger Jones along to the Fells annual tasting at the Riverside Rooms, Savoy Place to find out and, not only did he catch up with Yalumba’s Robert Hill-Smith but also many other top winemakers, keen no doubt to see how the Fells portfolio was changing with the new additions.

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    People People: Producer
    california classic

    Best sub-£50 Californian wines revealed at Essential California

    Let’s face it with so many major wine tastings taking place every week it can be had to find and justify the time to go to even the most worthy. So how do you stand out from the crowd, even if you are much sought after wine region such as California? Well the answer is to put yourself into the minds of your target buyers and customers, says California Wine Institute UK and Ireland’s Damien Jackman and Justine McGovern, and that means having an event that really is Essential to attend. Which is why its March 12 tasting is focused entirely on wines that cost up to £50.

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