The clock is ticking for those producers, importers and brand owners that want to put their wines to the test in the 2022 London Wine Competition – the only global wine awards to judge on quality, value for money and packaging and design. Entires are open for all three London Competitions for wines, beers and spirits with the chance to get a discounted fee for anyone entering by December 10. Here’s how to enter and the Top Gold Medal wines from the 2021 London Wine Competition.
“We need to break out the defibrillator on our digital skills,” is how Simon Huntington describes the need for the drinks industry, across all channels, to really take digital marketing seriously and understand it is now a vital part of how any company should now be operating. But what exactly is digital marketing and what do you need to concentrate on to get it right? Here Huntington sets out his vision for effective drinks digital marketing.
“If you think Ribera is all about power and extraction, then think again, because it absolutely is not.” So said Tim Atkin MW at the launch of his Top 100 Ribera Del Duero wines which went some way to prove why this is a region on the move and one that wine buyers would be wise to keep an eye on. Village and vineyard specific wines are becoming more common, and there is a new breed of winemaker keen on making contemporary wines that express the high altitude terroir of the region. David Kermode was our man at the Top 100 tasting and the lunch to launch the event – picking 10 of Atkin’s wines to reflect the quality and variety on show.
Regulars at The Birley Group, The Ivy Collection, Chiltern Firehouse, Park Chinois and Aqua Shard are amongst the growing number of premium on-trade customers turning to CBDs and other wellbeing products that offer just a little something more than an average glass of Sauvignon Blanc or gin and tonic. Adam Feldheim is one of a number of new players in the drinks market that are bringing business and finance skills, as well as the ability to create new health and wellness products, to a fast growing community of consumers, as he explains to Richard Siddle.
When Ramón Bilbao devised its premium Lalomba wines it concluded that the best material for vinification and ageing in was concrete. The material is like steel in that it does not impart any aromas into the wine and it is like oak in that it has a high porosity – the end result is wines with finer tannins, better balance and an approachability at a younger age. But concrete also has a terroir story, just as much as where the grapes are sourced from, as Sarah McCleery explains.
“We aim to have the largest and most ambitious environmental conference ever for wine, unifying the entire trade around the most pressing issue that our society and our sector are facing.” That’s the ambition and goal that Pancho Campo has set for next year’s Green Wine Future event that will take place in different continents over a four day period in May. The opportunity for each part of the world to take a serious look at the local challenges they face and what they are going to do to tackle it.. Here he explains how Green Future is going to work and what you can do to get involved.
Eighteen months since the devastating blast in Beirut harbour, Lebanon is still reeling from crisis after crisis. That hasn’t dampened enthusiasm within the country’s wine industry, however, argues Etienne Debbane, head of IXSIR, the company whose winery was named as one of the greenest buildings in the world – in fact wine is one of the few industries that is helping people make ends meet. In a revealing interview with Justin Keay, Debbane explains why he has halved the price of his wines to the domestic market and has focussed his energies on planting more hectares of vines including Pinot Noir and Assyrtiko. Keay also picks out three IXSIR wines that he recommends for quality and value.
The role of a wine buyer may never have been as challenging as it is right now. With the on-going problems with Covid-19 and Brexit and continued shipping crisis, the poor harvests in the Northern Hemisphere could not have come at a worse time. Not least as the industry was already feeling the effects of the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc shortage after the low-volume harvest there earlier this year. The problems in Europe have seen a stampede to the Southern Hemisphere, where demand is driving a rise in prices.
A wine producer is nothing without great quality wines. That’s a given. But having great wines is not going to make you a successful wine producer. For that you need brands. But what comes first? Here Tim Ford, co-owner of Domaine Gayda, the independent winery in the heart of the Languedoc Roussillon, talks to Richard Siddle about how having a carefully thought-through brand strategy has allowed it to make wines that reflect and tell stories of the land it makes wine from – spread across four distinct terroirs in this diverse, wine-producing region.
At a tasting to highlight top end Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon, Christo Le Riche, chair of the Cabernet Collective explains how the historical wine producers of the Cape are trying to focus worldwide media attention on South African Cabernet Sauvignon in order to underline the region’s ability to make premium and ultra-premium red wine. Le Riche and his fellow members of the Cabernet Collective believe that Cabernet is the grape for South Africa to hang its hat on – that the message from the industry should be specialisation rather than diversification, and that big brands should carry this message to the outside world to allow South Africa to ride bumps in the road more smoothly.