It’s been a while but Wines of South Africa is back next month with its first major UK generic tasting since the outbreak of Covid. Between the Bridges in Waterloo will become South Africa’s home on July 4 as winemakers, producers and importers alike come together to finally get the chance to show the UK trade the big steps the country continues to make in producing quality, premium wine at price points that are arguably the best value in the world. Here Jo Wehring, Wines of South Africa’s market manager for UK and Europe, sets out what to expect and why the country’s wine industry is so excited to be back – in person – in the UK market.
As the sweeter style of Georgian wine, so popular during Soviet occupation, begins to slowly disappear so the quality of Georgian whites, reds, sparkling and amber gets ever better. The challenge, however, is to maintain the high bar that mindful producers are setting. Justin Keay sees parallels between the flux that the wine industry and Georgian political scene are in, tastes through a range of 300 new wines and picks 10 that need to be on your buying radar.
They say you should not go back to previous roles where you have enjoyed great success before. The conditions that allowed you to thrive first time round can be very different when you return. Martin Williams, chief executive of the Gaucho group of premium Argentine-inspired restaurants, is proving to be an exception to that rule. Since he took over the failing chain as the head of a new private equity-funded hospitality group, Rare Restaurants, that also includes Williams’ own M Restaurants, it is going from strength to strength with new openings in Liverpool, Newcastle and from this month in Covent Garden, with Cardiff waiting in the wings. Richard Siddle catches up with Williams to find out what made him want to go back and to hear more about what he calls his vision for premium, event and occasion driven dining.
With hundreds of thousands of products available the entire wine, beer, spirits and RTDs categories can be extremely challenging to market and sell, particularly as brands come and go all the time. Hundreds of products might appeal to a specific customer at any given moment. But how can drinks businesses, retailers and online players present the right choice of products to the most relevant customer and consumer groups on every occasion – and how do you scale that choice as your business and target audience grows? Be it across web, mobile and intelligent chat. Here Pam Dillon, chief executive and co-founder of Preferabli, explains how it can answer all those questions.
Co-founder & CEO
Co-founder & CTO
Sheri Sauter Morano MW
Richard Bampfield MW
Jason Heller MS
France’s Pays d’Oc has long been the go-to region for those in search of ripe, comforting reds at keen prices. But in the last 20 years the gauge has shifted: total wine production has increased, but IGP Pays d’Oc rosé has gradually eaten away at red’s share, now representing 30% of total wines produced here – with giant leaps in both quality and innovation.
In 2021 Languedoc producer, Katie Jones, looked to give her customers and members of the wine trade a unique opportunity to “Adopt an Old Vine” that allowed them to go online and pick out a vine, each given a name and their own back story, and claim it as their own. Now two years later she is re-opening the scheme again and making further vines available on an ongoing basis. Here we re-publish the article with Jones we ran in 2021 where she explains how she came up with the idea and how she hopes it brings her loyal customers even closer not just to her wines, but the actual vines that produce the grapes that go in them.
Rioja was officially split into three zones in 1976 but since then a number of law changes have affected these Vinos de Zona and how they can be produced and marketed. In the second part of this 4-part series, Rioja wine educator Mike Turner explains how a real terroir-led revolution has sprung from the DOCa’s introduction of new geographical wine categories in 2017. Wines can now officially be labelled as being from a specific zone, municipality, or even from a registered single vineyard. Here Turner investigates the idea of wines coming from one of the three specific zones and how robust the ‘borders’ are.
Visit any major wine producer and as well as the chance to buy their flagship wines there is usually a hefty tome all about its history sitting proudly in reception. Some of which, it is fair to say, are better than others. So when, in late 2019, John Stimpfig left his role as the content director of Decanter, he looked to start a fledgling business producing bespoke books that potentially take the quality of producer books to a whole new level. First Press Editions was created the following year, in 2020, with his business partner Ian Mitchell. Here Richard Siddle catches up with Stimpfig to see how it all works and how things are going.
A limited edition 19 year-old English Harbour rum and boutique gin distiller are two major discoveries when Geoffrey Dean visits the Caribbean island of Antigua. The rum is to mark the 90th anniversary of Antigua Distillery, whose Calbert Francis gives the back story to this very special spirit. By contrast Dean also visits the much smaller distiller on the island, Antilles Stillhouse, where David Murphy is producing two gins using local, unique botanicals, a ‘fevergrass’ spirit as well as an Antiguan pastis.