Such has been the surge in quality, innovation and all round drive to make better wines across South Africa over the last 10 to 15 years that it is the appropriately named New Generation Wines that has been so instrumental in bringing many of those wines to the UK and providing a platform and route to market for producers and winemakers alike to shine in this vital export market. Richard Siddle talks to New Generation about why South Africa has always been a key part of its success.
Last Tuesday’s tasting of Bordeaux 2022 in London, organised by the Grand Cercle des Vins de Bordeaux was, like every other year, the first opportunity to taste the latest vintage and get a feel for what it has to offer – even before the en primeurs are held in Spring. And what a vintage it is – not a green note in sight, writes Sarah McCleery “a vintage that, sensibly priced, will leave buyers spoilt for choice.”
Napa has never lost its pioneering spirit nor its influence on the world wine map – despite its relatively insignificant size. And nowhere is that more true than at Rutherford-based Quintessa where a virgin estate was created by the Chilean Huneeus family, planting 135 acres out of a possible 280 without felling a single tree. Winemakers in Napa are thinking more carefully about the long-term repurcussions of decisions made today, from an increasing focus on terroir through to making the business landscape more of a level playing field for female leaders. Lisse Garnett places Quintessa within the viticultural history of Napa, tastes the wines and talks to winemaker Rebekah Wineburg about how she, and other women in Napa have benefitted from the first generation of women winemakers.
For the major New World producing countries Prowein 2023 was the chance to come back to the fair all guns blazing since Covid sent us all into lockdown. South Africa and Australia both had their biggest delegation of producers eager to get into the market en masse with Argentina and Chile not too far behind. In the second of his reports from the show Richard Siddle talks to southern hemisphere wineries about what ProWein means to them and what they were hoping to achieve.
Though the rebirth of winemaking in Washington State only came about around fifty years ago, it is now the second-largest wine producing state in the USA, with more than a thousand wineries making over 17 million cases of wine each year from 80 different varieties. Kate Hawkings reports from the annual UK trade tasting for The Buyer, selecting her top picks from the 20-plus producers showing their wines, as she hears how the pandemic has changed the profile of wine drinkers back home courtesy of a boom in domestic tourism.
Whether it is through the wide range of wines from Susana Balbo, where he is viticulturist and general manager, or through his personal PerSe project, Edy Del Popolo is at the forefront of viticultural change in Argentina. In town to host a lunch with wine writers Del Popolo showed Victor Smart the Signature range, Nosotros and BenMarco wines and explained his hands-off approach of viticulture.
Le Grand Chais de France says it offers a ‘one stop shop’ for France, and increasingly other parts of the world, for its many buyers across the premium on and off-trades and listens carefully to what its customers needs are and then sets out to meet them. But is that how independent retailers and specialist regional wholesalers see it? Shirley Kumar went to its recent trade tasting in Leeds to find out.
As Albariño from Rías Baixas becomes increasingly scarce with the rising demand in the UK, Amanda Barnes explores why Uruguay is poised to help fill at least part of the gap in availability. Ahead of a major trade tasting of Uruguayan wines in London on March 24, featuring 16 wineries from across the country, Barnes also highlights some key producers to keep an eye on.
The success of the annual Australian Pinot Noir tasting, held by Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula in the UK, has led to an impressive global celebration of a wider range Australian Pinot Noir from Fleurie Peninsula, Adelaide Hills, Tasmania, Macedon Ranges, Gippsland, Yarra Valley, Geelong and, of course, Mornington Peninsula. Australian wine expert and retired Michelin star chef Roger Jones was there for The Buyer to taste the 17 wines and hear from Matthew Jukes who hosted the event.
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