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    Analysis and data to help you buy and sell better

    Insight
    The decision for Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris to go ahead was big news in France as it was also the first major business event to take place during Covid times

    Brave move to hold Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris pays off

    Whisper it gently but face-to-face international trading is back if the reaction to last week’s Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris is anything to go by. After weeks of speculation the show went ahead as planned and attracted 25,739 visitors, of which 28% came from outside France, from 109 visiting countries. What’s more it was the key wine and spirits buyers who were willing to get back to business making up 77% of visitors who had the chance to visit the 2,864 exhibitors taking part. Richard Siddle reports back on the show and gives his assessment of the first major international wine and spirits fair in two years.

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    Businesses of all sizes need to be able to process and manage all the data points coming into their company says Wine Owners' Nick Martin

    Wine Owners’ 5 steps to running an e-commerce wine business

    “A website doesn’t sell itself, so don’t think that you can go live and just let it run.” Wise words from Nick Martin, chief executive of Wine Owners, that has created the Wine Hub, a dedicated, bespoke computer management system for the wine industry. Here he sets out Wine Owners’ five-step guide to what wine businesses need to get right and be on top off if they are going to run an effective and profitable e-commerce platform that delivers what your customers need.

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    Rebecca

    Finding alternative wines to meet 2022 shortages: Corney & Barrow

    No two years are the same for importers and their wine buyers and sales teams working with their on-trade customers. Every 12 months they are having to re-invent the wheel, to some extent or other, based on what wines are available to buy on the back of the peaks and troughs of global wine harvests. 2022 is going to be a particularly challenging year following major shortfalls in production in key areas and styles, most notably white Burgundy in the northern hemisphere and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc in the south. To help us navigate this year’s buying and selling challenges, Richard Siddle talks to Corney & Barrow’s head of commercial wine buying, and associate director, Rebecca Palmer, and Callum Robertson sales executive from the London on-trade sales team. 

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    Rob McMillan

    New Zealand Part 2: Making the most of the US opportunity

    The first part of our business strategy debate into the future of New Zealand wine, organised by New Zealand Winegrowers, focused on its immediate needs to come through its short 2021 harvest, the ins and outs of having an over reliance on Sauvignon Blanc and its premium image around the world. In part two we look at how it can maximise and build on its strong premium credentials in the ultra competitive US wine market with Rob McMillan, chief wine analyst with the Silicon Valley Bank.

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    New Zealand Business Debate: Meeting future opportunities

    New Zealand is at a crucial point in its relatively short wine history. A country that has emerged over the last 15 years to become a benchmark in producing, quality, high in demand wine that has been able to mostly maintain its premium price position, even as its popularity around the world has grown. But the bulk of its success has come on the back of one particular region and one grape variety. Marlborough and Sauvignon Blanc. Is that a good place to be to drive, and secure future growth? Does it need to have more strings to its bow to cope when things get tough, like they have with the near 20% drop in the 2021 wine harvest? To help address those questions and assess its position on the world stage the New Zealand Winegrowers hosted an online debate, as part of its New Zealand Wine Week, with leading producers and world wine figures to look at where its opportunities and challenges lie in the future. Richard Siddle, who hosted the debate, was well placed to sum up the debate’s key findings.

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    New Bordeaux initiative puts CSR at front of sustainability drive

    The wine industry in Bordeaux has a lot to live up to. Its status as arguably the most famous wine region in the world, and by far the biggest employer in the Gironde region of South-West France, brings great responsibility. The drive for a sustainable future includes loud calls for greater biodiversity and increasingly ecologically sound practices in vineyard and cellar. New initiatives coming out of Bordeaux, in particular Bordeaux Cultivons Demain, show an acute awareness that sustainability also needs to include the entire supply chain, with all stakeholders required to play their part in the social responsibility.

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    women winemakers

    French female winemakers are ‘stronger together’ with Vinifilles

    Women winemakers in the South of France are looking for greater balance in how they are treated in the wine business, just as much as how they seek balance in the wines they make. As the Languedoc and Roussillon’s women-only wine association, Vinifilles, celebrates 13 years, The Buyer talks to incoming president Francoise Ollier about how 21 women winemakers are having to work in an environment that has been shaped and directed by men – but starting to make a real difference. Vinifilles was started as a support group in 2009 for helping overcome the unique challenges confronted by women running vineyards alone. Since then it has had a string of successes, from the partnership it has formed with regional Sommelier Schools, to selling ‘Solidarity’ six-packs of wines in order to raise money to help one member overcome the financial impact of losing an entire vintage.

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    Flor Backgrounds

    WiV Technology: blockchains add value to wine industry

    You might have read a lot about blockchain technology and the role of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) in the way we all do business in the future, but how realistic is it as a practical solution for the way drinks and wine businesses operate? Here Flor Gomez, from WiV Technologies, a new blockchain company dedicated to finding digital solutions for the wine industry, says it is inevitable that new Web3 technology will be what we will all be using in the years to come and the ones that benefit the most will be the businesses that open their business strategies to what blockchain solutions can offer them.

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    rishi sunak

    How you can still fight “unfair” alcohol duty proposals

    The official government consultation over its planned overhaul of the current alcohol duty system may have finished on January 30, but the lobbying process is far from over. If anything, the ante needs to be raised even more in the coming weeks and months as the focus turns more to local MPs and the influence they can have on Treasury and government officials as the received consultations are processed, digested and assessed. The government has claimed the proposed changes are being made to make the whole alcohol duty system “simpler” and “fairer”. The response from the drinks industry, at least the wine and spirits sectors which are the most adversely affected, says the new rules would be the complete opposite. If they go ahead drinks producers, importers, retailers and restaurants could be faced with close to 30 different duty rates being applied to wine alone as the result of a new system based on applying different duty rates per percentage of alcohol strength. Here we set out what those proposed duty changes are and what steps are still available to the trade to oppose and protest against them by taking the argument to your local MP and the media.

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    Ribera del Duero Debate Part 2: Buyers assess the wines to list 

    The first part of our Ribera del Duero debate with a panel of influential buyers and wine consultants showed how much natural interest there is in the region, but also uncovered how fast its winemaking potential is growing and why it is a European wine region to watch and what opportunities there are for UK buyers to list more wines. In the second part of our report, we look at individual Ribera del Duero wines styles and ask our expert panel to give their assessment and pick out the wines best suited to the UK market.

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    Ribera del Duero Debate: Buyers analyse its premium potential

    On the face of it, Ribera del Duero is a largely straightforward wine region known for making high quality, full bodied red wines. But dig below the surface and you will discover a highly diverse landscape made up of multiple soil types, contrasting altitudes and a myriad of different wine styles, that make it a complex wine region to get to grips with. To help unpick some of its mysteries The Buyer teamed up with the Consejo Regulador de la Denominación de Origen Ribera del Duero to give a panel of leading buyers, wine merchants, importers and commentators the chance to discuss the region’s potential in the UK. It was also an opportunity to hear from Tim Atkin MW, who has fast become the UK’s leading independent critic on the region, and taste some of the wines from his recently unveiled Ribera Del Duero Top 100 2021/2022 Selection.

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    Trailblazers

    How Aussie’s trailblazers are shaping future drinking trends

    What do Snoop Dogg, Martha Stewart, ocean waste and flat bottle packaging have in common? They are all part of Australian innovation in the wine business that is helping guide the direction of future drinking trends. So argued Mike Bennie in Trailblazers, an online seminar that brought together John Wardley, US VP of marketing for Treasury’s 19 Crimes, Lucy Clements, operations director for Accolade’s Banrock Station and Richie Vandenberg, co-founder of The Hidden Sea.

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    Vinexposium's chief executive Rodolphe Laymeyse says it is vital for the trade that Wine Paris and Vinexpo Paris takes place in February

    Rodolphe Lameyse: Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris open for business

    It was in Paris that the international wine industry last had the chance to meet face to face to do business and it will be in Paris that it will have the opportunity to do so again. The fact there have been two long hard years in-between will hopefully be quickly forgotten when Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris opens their doors between February 14 to 16. Richard Siddle spoke to Rodolphe Lameyse, chief executive of Vinexposium – the overall events business that owns the combined show – to get his immediate reaction to the news the show will officially go ahead.

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    bloody big panel

    UK importers debate: How to get your wines listed in the UK

    There is nothing quite like the UK wine market in terms of the choice, range and diversity of wines on offer. Name a wine producing country anywhere in the world and there will be an importer, a retailer or a restaurant somewhere selling it. But with such an open market how easy is it for producers to get their wines taken on by first the distributors and suppliers and then the gatekeepers who guard the all important most coveted retail and restaurant wine lists? To find out The Buyer, in partnership with the inaugural Bloody Big Drinks Summit in Australia, brought together buyers from four key suppliers – Seckford Agencies, North South Wines, Beyond Wines and Propeller – to look at how they decide what producers to work with and their list of dos and don’ts for producers to follow. 

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    Burgundy 2020

    Guy Seddon: freshness is key to brilliance of Burgundy 2020

    Burgundy 2020 is a unique vintage with hot and dry weather producing wines of exceptional freshness and balance – not normally what you would expect to come out of those challenging conditions. How this was achieved is a fascinating story in itself and part of a detailed report from Guy Seddon, senior fine wine buyer for Corney & Barrow, who went first hand to Burgundy, tasted a wide range of wines, and got detailed insight from the many producers that they represent in the UK including Guillaume d’Angerville, Michel Lafarge, Jacques Prieur, Charles Lachaux, Leflaive and Aubert de Villaine amongst others.

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    The stunning town of Barile is home to caves full of wines from local producers

    Paul Caputo on the wines of Italy’s Basilicata region

    One of the key trends to emerge from 2021 was not just the interest in more esoteric wines, but customers, across all channels, be it online, in specialist retail or the premium on-trade, willing to trade up to buy them. Here Italian wine consultant and writer, Paul Caputo, shines the light on the wines made in the foothills of Monte Vulture, the extinct volcano in the Basilicata region of southern Italy and the Aglianico del Vulture DOC by profiling one of its key producers, the Mastrodomenico family.

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    happy new year 2022,Finger about to twist the start button 2022 with the text 2021,2022,2023 and start on twist button.Concept of planning,start,career path,business strategy,opportunity and change

    Paying attention in 2022 to climate change, D&I & more

    In our final analysis of what we can expect more of in 2022 we look at the bigger societal, cultural and world issues that we will all have to address – and not just in the coming year either. Richard Siddle examines how diversity and inclusion have become key issues for the drinks and hospitality sectors in 2021 and why in 2022 we all need to look at the personal actions we take. Similarly with the collective steps we can take to tackle climate change and the lessons we have learned from taking trading and education online during Covid-19.

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    Paying attention to in 2022: how we buy & sell wine & spirits

    In part two of The Buyer’s analysis into what we can expect to most influence the premium drinks, retail and hospitality sectors in 2022, we turn the spotlight on the actual sourcing, buying, selling of the wines and sprits that help keep the whole supply chain going. In particular, Richard Siddle analyses just how well equipped we all are to keep up with the change in demands of drinks producers and brand owners at one end of the market and the ever changing consumer at the other end. 

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    metaverse

    Paying attention to in 2022 – the rise of the metaverse

    As we turn our attention to the new year and what me might receive in 2022 The Buyer’s Richard Siddle looks outside the drinks industry for inspiration and what is going to influence the drinks, retail and hospitality sectors in the year ahead. Here he assesses the virtual digital world of the metaverse, a term you may not be that familiar with now, but one that will firmly be on our collective agenda in the 12 months and years to come.

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    Prices are expected to rise even more in Burgundy on the back of the poor 2021 harvest. Picture BIVB and photographer Aurélien Ibanez

    What does Burgundy really think of high prices & hard harvests?

    As the clock ticks down to the all important Burgundy campaign in January there is still much speculation about how the trade and fine wine customers are going to respond to the new vintage, but, crucially, what prices are buyers going to be expected to pay for what is set to be one of the most in demand campaigns in recent years. To get a first hand grip on what Burgundy producers themselves are saying about the 2020 wines, and their immediate reaction to the devastating 2021 harvest, Sophia Longhi travelled to the region to talk directly to a wide range of winemakers, across some of the smaller and emerging appellations, who are making a wide variety of wines to hear their hopes, fears, and concerns for the months and year ahead.

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