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    Jess Lamb
    People People: Supplier
    Screenshot 2020-08-10 at 11.15.36

    Brett Fleming on transforming the culture & performance of Armit Wines

    For a respected wine business with as much tradition as Armit Wines, it has been a surprise to see it have five managing directors in twice the number of years, and a revolving door of talent that has come and gone over the same period. But now under the leadership of Brett Fleming, with decades of experience of working with major international wine producers across the word, it appears to be not only in safe hands, but has a chief that is clearly here for the long term. So whilst we might all now be going through a massive period of risk, upheaval and uncertainty, Armit Wines is enjoying a time of both stability and growth with a turnaround in sales and profit. In this wide ranging video interview Fleming talks to Richard Siddle about the corporate vision he has for the business and the goals he has set, but most of all he talks passionately about the culture, the mindset and the attitude of the people he wants to work with.

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    Opinion
    Lebanon's hard climate means producers have to be careful which varieties they work with

    Michael Karam: Why Lebanon, its people & its wines deserve our help

    The devastating explosion that rocked through the port and streets of Lebanon this week also sent shockwaves around the world. But as the dust settles on this unique, vibrant and historic city, the sheer scale of the damage is only just starting to be assessed. It leaves a city, and a country, already on its knees from months of economic and political turmoil that has wiped out people’s savings as its currency has collapsed. Here leading Lebanese journalist and wine critic, Michael Karam, puts this week’s shocking events into context, with a wine industry already dependent on international sales for its future, now desperate for all the support the international wine community can spare it.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Merry Edwards

    How Heidi is working out at Merry Edwards with her first full vintages

    Although Heidi von der Mehden has been at California estate Merry Edwards for the past five years, 2018 was her first vintage fully in charge. Anne Krebiehl MW tastes the new 2018 Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc and AVA Pinots and hears first hand from Heidi where she is intending to take the wines. We learn too why the SB came out of Meredith Edwards’ distaste of the varietal, plus how pivotal the key UCD 37 clone of Pinot is, and how it came into being.

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    Insight
    octoberfest

    Q&A Debate: Is there a sense of place in beer as there is in wine?

    When a winemaker talks about their wine they will often do so by referring to the unique terroir, or specific location where the vines from which the grapes that go into the wine are grown. But should we be doing the same with beer in terms of where the barley, hops, yeast and water that goes into the brewing come from? To help us find out Richard Siddle explores the wine side of the debate, whilst Emma Inch, the current British Beer Writer of the Year, makes the case for beer. Let the debate begin…

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    People: Producer
    Offbeat Wines

    Offbeat Wines’ Daniel Ham and his rock n’ roll winemaking

    West Country based winemaker, Daniel Ham, has recently launched his new Off Beat Wines label onto the market – to critical acclaim. His 2018 is already sold out, and his 2019 all but spoken for already. With a new winery to open later this year in readiness for the 2020 vintage, it’s been a whirlwind few months for Dan that has turned doubters into believers. Himself included.

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    Opinion
    export is great

    Tarquin Gin’s Chris Briers: how to export drink brands

    No matter how well your sales are doing in your domestic market, you will never maximise the full potential of your brand unless you find a way to successfully export it into new markets around the world. But that’s a lot easier said than done, says Chris Briers head of export at Southwestern Distillery that has been able to build a strong export strategy for its brands, including Tarquin’s Gin. Here he sets out his do’s and dont’s of how to build an export business for your brand.

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    Tasting: Wine
    2010

    Joss Fowler on Mission Control: the cream of 2010 Bordeaux

    Always one to have an opinion about a Bordeaux vintage, Joss Fowler thinks that Bordeaux 2010 is the Lewis Hamilton vintage – all the bling, all the gear but a tad aggressive and overworked. But the best wines of 2010, fifteen or twenty or so of them, are breathtaking – wines that will knock the socks off anyone lucky enough to taste them, especially when they are mature. It is these wines that the reputation of 2010 will live off for years, he believes. Here he blind-tastes the very best of them, at speed and with the clock ticking.

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    People: Producer Tasting: Wine
    Lalomba Long Read

    Why new Lalomba wines are ‘one giant leap forward’ for Rioja 

    Three years since Rioja introduced its Single Vineyard category, Ramon Bilbao unveils its long-anticipated Lalomba project – a series of Vinedos Singulares wines that set out to capture the individual character of each very special vineyard. The entirely new Finca Valhonta andLadero reds are the producer’s most expensive ever wines and the Finca Lalinde 2019 Rosado is a re-launched premium rosado, which all share an unprecedented degree of background research and development. Quite apart from the individual merits of each wine, collectively Lalomba shows how producers in Rioja are starting to believe that terroir character can be a better predictor of quality than the length of time that a wine spends maturing in a barrel.

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    Opinion
    red hill farm

    Robert Mason: let’s understand and sell English wines better

    The explosion in English wine production over the last decade explosion is well documented, but do we really understand what it is actually happening amongst the vines and in the wineries of producers across the country? Robert Mason both celebrates the enormous strides taken within the English wine industry, but also makes the case for why it is everyone’s responsibility in the trade to get to know the sector better and identify the areas, the styles, and the wines that are right for their business and then do all they can to sell them. 

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    People People: Supplier
    me hammond mabray

    Paul Mabray & Polly Hammond: helping wine industry go digital

    Paul Mabray and Polly Hammond have been banging the drum for digital and e-commerce in the wine industry for years. For much of that time they have been left frustrated by the unwillingness of so many wine companies to take online seriously. Not any more. The Covid-19 lockdown has forced consumers and drinks businesses online like never before, opening the way for Mabray and Hammond, through their respective digital businesses, Emetry and 5Forests, to be able to offer their services and work with wine producers, to act fast to try and make the most of the Covid boom in online sales. In the latest The Buyer video interview, Richard Siddle talks to them about what they actually mean by making the most of digital and how they hope to work together and combine their data analysis and brand marketing skills to offer more wine and drinks companies the advice, support and action they need.

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