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    Opinion
    Picture: Wine2Wine

    Paul Mabray on the search for the wine industry’s holy grail in 2019

    Paul Mabray is one of the most important and influential voices we have in the wine and drinks industry. Primarily because he stands with one foot firmly outside the sector as a technology and consumer trends expert looking to offer services and solutions as an observer and analyst of what is going in the wine industry rather than be involved in producing or directly selling any wine himself. Here is his take on what the big challenges and opportunities facing all those in the wine and drinks sectors are in 2019 and why being able to sell directly to consumers at home is going to be the real game changer.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Burgundy 2017

    David Kermode on how Burgundy 2017 got ‘back to business’ at BBR

    Last week, London has been awash with Burgundy, as the trade had its first comprehensive sampling of the new 2017 vintage. Berry Brothers and Rudd, and its on trade division Fields Morris and Verdin, chose One Great George Street for its tasting, attracting an impressive number of its vignerons to talk about their latest releases. David Kermode, aka Mr Vinosaurus, was there to find out how the wines were showing.

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    Insight
    bibendum-training-amanda-4 Long Read

    How customer and staff training is an intrinsic part of Bibendum’s DNA

    Let’s face it we all have a cupboard, or a drawer in our office, that is full of old training manuals from some management course we have been on in our time. But how often have you ever opened it since coming back from that course? It’s a challenge that faces the training team at Bibendum PLB every week, but as they explain designing and delivering an effective training programme requires as much thought and planning as might go into creating a wine list and then selling it to your customers.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Burgundy

    Best value Burgundy 2017 from the Corney & Barrow tasting

    2017 is not the vintage to be buying top-rung reds argues Peter Dean, who points out the lower-tier wines where the real value for money is to be found. This is the year to be checking out lesser known appellations, going for the entry level wines and picking up some Volnay and Pommard which have both been in short supply of late and never tasted so good so young. Oh, and the whites are spectacular.

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    Insight
    new-zealand-otago

    How New Zealand is looking to 2019 to help cement its future

    After a week where the wine trade’s focus has been just over the other side of the Channel in Burgundy, this week it’s time to turn our attentions a little further afield. To New Zealand and the first of the major New World generic tastings of the year. To help mark your card for what you can expect and what sort of year New Zealand had in 2018, here’s Chris Stroud, New Zealand Winegrowers’ marketing manager for Europe, to take you though next week’s tasting at a time when the county is taking a long hard look at how it is preparing itself for the future.

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    Opinion
    Nicolas Feuillatte

    Vive la Révolution: new-look Nicolas Feuillatte hits the UK

    A new winemaking style, new cuvees, new brand marketing, a new look, new HQ, new faces – there is hardly anything about Nicolas Feuillatte that has stayed the same in recent months. Number one Champagne brand in France, number three in the world and unbelievably a company that is still only 40 years old, Peter Dean was granted a rare audience with the key movers and shakers who are set to make a significant impact on the UK on-trade

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    People People: Producer
    zsirai-sisters

    Carrying on family dreams at the Zsirai Winery in Hungary

    The Zsirai Winery covers three of the most important wine regions in Hungary: Tokaj, Somló and Villány. Each region has its own winemaking teams producing authentic wines from that area. Founded in 2005 by the late Csaba Zsirai it is now run by his daughters Petra and Kata and a small team who want to carry on and bring to life his dream of producing wines from indigenous Hungarian wine varieties. Here Mate Csanaky, export director, how they are going about it.

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    Opinion
    2017

    Why the charm of Burgundy 2017 will please the on-trade

    After the big structure of the reds in 2015 and 2016, Burgundy 2017 will be noted for the round, silky tannins of the Pinots, the fact that producers didn’t over-crop and that, after a couple of warmer vintages, 2017 was a return to a more classic style of red Burgundy. The whites – from Chablis to the Côte d’Or – have a nice balance between ripeness and tension. Here’s Bibendum’s wine buyer Robert Mathias’ take on the 2017 vintage.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Hemel en Aarde

    Putting Hemel-en-Aarde Chardonnay to the taste test

    The Chardonnay produced in South Africa’s Hemel en Aarde has long been considered world class – but just good is it really? Wanting to put this to the test our roving contributing editor and world class chef, Roger Jones, decided to blind-taste the best Hemel en Aarde can offer, alongside the rest of the New World – wines from California, New Zealand, Australia and Chile, amongst others.

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    People
    Miren de Lorgeril, newly appointed president of the CIVL, the first woman in France to hold such a position

    How CIVL’s Miren de Lorgeril is set to transform the Languedoc

    Miren de Lorgeril is blazing a trail as the first female president of the CIVL, the Languedoc wine region’s generic body. As chief executive and co-owner of the family estate, Maison Lorgeril, she is well placed to oversee the ongoing development of the Languedoc, France’s largest wine producing region, as well as the world’s biggest centre of organic wine production. Passionate about sustainability and the further development of organic production, she tells Helen Arnold about her plans for the region.

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    Opinion
    Burgundy

    Guy Seddon: Why Burgundy 2017 is back to the ‘old normal’

    Finally Burgundy gets a bit of good fortune with a new vintage that is good in both quality and quantity. Corney & Barrow’s Burgundy buyer Guy Seddon talks through how the 2017 vintage developed over the year for all the producers whose wines they are offering in this new release. He also highlights two trends – how a lightness of touch is the watchword for tannin extraction in red wines, and also the greater proliferation of whole bunch, or whole-cluster vinification for reds in 2017.

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    Insight
    mount-majura

    If Canberra is not on your Aussie wine map – then it should be…

    Now if you were given the choice of only being able to visit one winemaking region in Australia how many of you would opt for Canberra? It’s hard enough to get people to go and see what is after all the capital city of the country, never mind its wine producers. But those that do will be in for a very welcome surprise. Not only is Canberra producing some of the country’s most exciting wines, but winemakers are queuing up to go and make wine there. Richard Siddle reports back on his recent visit there.

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    Opinion
    Burgundy

    How Burgundy 2017 en primeur is a feast after the famine

    Although Chablis was hit by frost again and Beaujolais suffered bad weather in a number of appelations, Burgundy in 2017 got away pretty much scot-free weather-wise. To make matters even better volumes ranged from normal to generous and the quality is looking promising particularly with the whites. But it could all have been so different. For some producers another weather-ravaged harvest could have meant curtains. Thankfully 2017 has been followed by a bumper harvest in 2018 so finally we can all start getting our hands on Burgundy again – and there is no sign of any price increases… just yet!

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    People People: Producer
    The band: Wolf Alice. Picture by Jono White

    Seven Bro7thers’ Keith Webb on making beer with Wolf Alice

    As a former managing director of Bargain Booze Keith Webb knows how to promote and sell beer. He also knows a good business opportunity when he sees one. So when he had the chance to ask a question at a Q&A session with his favourite band, Wolf Alice, he asked if they would like to come on a tour of the local Manchester craft brewery, Seven Bro7hers that he is helping to advise. When they said they “yes” it was the start of a relationship that has seen the launch of Wolf Alice’s very own craft lager – Yuk Brew. Here Keith explains how it all came together…

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    Opinion
    Burgundy 2017

    How to buy Burgundy 2017: Jasper reveals his buying strategy

    When it comes to knowledge about Burgundy, especially in a commercial context, there are few if any higher authorities than Jasper Morris MW. His annual report which you can find on Inside Burgundy.com is the bible for many wine buyers. In an exclusive extract Morris gives wine buyers the lowdown on Burgundy 2017, a vintage that has seen volumes come back to near normal at no expense of quality. With both red and whites, Morris lays out his buying strategy, looks at the sweet spots with both and when he feels the wines will be drinking best.

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    Insight
    ibwss-london-general

    IBWSS looks to help buyers “take back control” of supply chain

    We have all probably heard enough of our politicians talking about “taking back control” of our decision making power and factors that determine our economic futures. But when it comes to business, having complete control of all aspects of your supply chain and cost base is vitally important. As we sleepwalk towards Brexit, that need is going to be even more paramount. This March’s International Bulk Wine & Spirits Show hopes to provide the platform for the industry to come together and address both the challenges and opportunities ahead.

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    People People: Producer
    After some difficult harvests there are high hopes for the new Bourgogne wines on the market

    BIVB’s François Labet on what to expect from Bourgogne Week

    For the UK wine trade, January marks not only the start of a new year, but when all our attention turns to Bourgogne Week and the chance for buyers, merchants, sommeliers and retailers to discover and taste the latest vintage available on the market. After a disappointing 2016 harvest in volume, the double good news for all buyers is that production levels for 2017 were much better and, just as importantly, quality levels are good, says the Bourgogne Wine Board’s (BIVB) François Labet.

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    Tasting: Wine
    2018

    Geoffrey Dean’s Top 10 wines: New World won the day in 2018

    In picking his Top 10 wines of 2018, Geoffrey Dean concluded that the New World was where his favourite wines came from – mainly South Africa and Australia, two countries he visited during the year; Geoffrey has also slipped in a crafty Bordeaux sticky as well as a cracking old vine Malbec from Chile.

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    People People: Supplier
    john wood duvel

    Duvel’s John Wood: Belgium beer has a long way to go in UK

    Premium Belgium beer has long been a go to category for beer aficionados, in fact, they have arguably played an important role in creating demand for the boom in craft beers that we have seen from so many different countries. But for Duvel Moortgat the challenge is to keep pushing the boundaries on what Belgium beer can offer, and in particular for its two flagship brands, Duvel and Vedett. Here John Wood, UK managing director, assesses the premium beer opportunity.

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    Tasting: Wine
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    Justin Keay takes a ‘taste on the wild side’ with his top 2018 wines

    Pet Nat Retsina, a must-try Armenian wine made from Areni Noir and Yaras grapes, a 50-year-old aged white port and a Romanian blend that depends upon Muscat Ottonel for its distinctive taste are just some of the ‘wild and wonderful’ highlights of 2018 for Justin Keay as he picks his top 10 wines of the year. A big fan of Grape Unknown-style wines, unique cuvées and emerging regions, Keay is expert at picking out lesser known grape varieties and interesting producers that demand greater recognition.

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