We continue our series, in partnership with the Bourgogne Wine Board, exploring the ‘Hidden Gems’ of the region by taking a close at the Bourgogne Côte d’Or which stretches across 40 villages offering a diverse range of quality red and white wines. Here Libby Zietsman-Brodie talks to Frédéric Barnier, head winemaker at Louis Jadot, one of the most influential producers for all the region, about what he thinks it is about the Bourgogne Côte d’Or that makes such special wines.
Wines of Germany is offering the UK wine trade a deep dive into German wines on June 22 when its live event, The Big G Trade Sessions, returns. Through a series of panel discussions, masterclasses and tutored tastings, members of the trade will be able discover the quality of German wine and learn all about the current trends. Here we talk to Jonathan Kleeman head sommelier at London’s two Michelin-starred Restaurant Story who is hosting one of the sessions about what he thinks of German wine.
Having worked for Corney & Barrow for 24 years it’s fair to say Chris Hodgson knows everything there is to know about selling wines into the premium on and off-trades. But as sales director of Corney & Barrow’s separate Scottish and north of England division, he, and his team, also need to be on top of what their restaurant, bar and private customers will be looking for next. Here he talks to Richard Siddle about the changes he has seen in the Scottish and north of England’s on-trade and private client scene over the last two plus decades and how having a dedicated Scottish and northern team has been crucial in how Corney & Barrow has been able to serve and build such long standing relationships across its thriving restaurant, bar and private customer sectors.
Just when you thought the football season was over….it’s not. Tomorrow night Wembley stadium is hosting a match between Argentina and Italy, respective winners of the Copa América and the European Championship, as they compete for the Conmebol-UEFA Champions Cup. To mark the occasion members of Argentina’s 1986 World Cup winning football team have come together with Mendoza Vineyards to produce a range of exclusive wines, one of which will be served at the Wembley final, and then made available to the trade to be sold.
The Wines from Spain tasting is back and is heading to Glasgow and London in June – June 20 and June 28 respectively. In all there will be 48 producers from 60 different Spanish DOs travelling to show their wines and give buyers the chance to see the diversity of quality wines that are now coming out of the country. Ahead of the show we talk to Fernando Muñoz, UK director for Foods and Wines from Spain, about what buyers can expect whilst he also picks out the key highlights of Spanish’s wines performance in export in recent years.
It’s ironic that it took a global lockdown for the wine industry to work out what it is about wine tastings and talking about wine in a meaningful and memorable way that works..and does not. The California Wine Institute is looking to capture all that in a new in-person, interactive wine event that hopes to share its unique wine story in a way that involves all our five senses. Its new ambitious, breakthrough Eureka! event is being launched in London between June 8-9 and here Honore Comfort, vice president of international marketing at the California Wine Institute, explains what we can expect.
The demand for Crémant de Bourgogne is rising all the time which is good news for Domaine Bouhélier which can claim to be one of the first producers to really get behind it when it took on land in the Chaumont-le-Bois in the Châtillonnais north west of Dijon on the the border to Champagne. Here Helen Arnold talks to Paul Bouhélier, son of the winery’s founder Sylvain, about its plans and what future the producer sees for Crémant de Bourgogne in key markets around the world.
The first ever Hungarian Wine Summit held in March was a good opportunity to feel the pulse of one of Europe’s most dynamic wine industries as it increasingly makes inroads into the international marketplace. The drop in demand for sweet wines, a slowing domestic market and increased competition internationally means that winemakers here have had to adapt to survive. In addition, Linda Galloway found an industry coping with changing climate, and also the shifting geo-political landscape.
Tim Wildman MW is on a mission that pretty much lives up to his name. He is on the search for lost vineyards across the UK that he hopes to be able to bring back to life and replant with new, heritage grape varieties and create a whole new category of English wine. He has even set up his own cause to help promote and publicise his work – the Lost Vineyard Preservation Society, which he hopes can attract and build up its own community of like-minded souls who are truly interested in first saving vineyards and then making exciting, cutting edge English wines. He talks to Richard Siddle about his English vineyard adventures.
It’s a mark of the new found confidence spreading through the Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris trade show team, that it’s owners, Vinexposium, should announce new plans to switch its annual trade fair from Hong Kong to create a new Vinexpo Asia show in Singapore immediately on the back of the end of ProWein 2022 in Dusseldorf. Chief executive, Rodolphe Lameyse even talked about the end of a “cycle” in terms of what the future might mean for drinks trade shows and how he is increasingly confident about the international success of Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris and the impact Vinexpo Asia can have on this still vital part of the global wine industry.
As the clock ticks down for the start of the 31 Days of Riesling campaign for 2022 in July, The Buyer looks back on last year’s competition that attracted over independent wine merchants, bars and restaurants to take part, who brought German Riesling to life in their outlets and venues. Here Helen Arnold talks to the overall on-trade winner, Tessa and Elliott Lidstone of the Box-E restaurant in Bristol.
Start-up wine importer business, Vida Wines & Spirits, has a very clear mission. To showcase lesser-known wines, producers and winemakers from countries across Central and Eastern Europe. With interest in the new, unusual and different at an all time high it arguably could not have chosen a better year to launch. Here breakthrough wine writer Natalie Wilson talks to Olivier Freymuth, Vida’s wine buyer and head of UK sales, about how it has built up a portfolio of wines it believes can start to fill a big gap in the UK wine market. Vida’s Olivier Freymuth explains what it is about wines from Bulgaria and Slovenia that excite him over wines from the all too familiar Old and New Worlds.
As Prowein 2022 gets set to return after two years absence, Caroline Gilby profiles Château Purcari, the Moldovan estate that is exhibiting with the aim of bringing more of its wine to the UK. Purcari is at the forefront of reviving Moldova’s indigenous grape varieties, such as Rara Neagra which is a key part of the iconic Negru de Purcari cuvée, as well as producing Freedom Blend, the wine aimed at raising money for refugees that have flooded across the border since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
What started as a Louis Jadot employee brainwave has now grown into a major international event. Bike to Care en Bourgogne has just successfully wrapped with €230k raised for hospitality charities with Château Haut-Bailly agreeing to stage the event next year in Bordeaux. Our drinks editor Peter Dean went along for the (long) ride.
If you want to sell wine in the on-trade then here’s some new wine research you need to read, digest and take action on. KAM, the consumer research analysts that usually focus their attention on the pub, bar, and convenience store sectors, has produced its first dedicated study that looks to better understand exactly what it is the average consumer wants out of wine when they are going out for a drink. Produced in partnership with Hallgarten & Novum Wines it is based on interviews with 500 wine drinkers at the end of February and clearly identifies which wine styles and price points are most in demand, but also shows just how important good customer service is when selling wine and, in particular, the need for staff to make the whole wine buying experience more relaxed and not intimidating. As Colin Cameron, marketing director for Hallgarten & Novum Wines says: “The reward is too big for pubs, bars, and restaurants to let these customers slip away. Life maybe too short for bad wine, but, in the eye of the customer, it’s also too short for bad service and bad experiences. Good wine and good experiences, however, could be the key to a very long, and successful life, for our venues.” Get it right and there could be at least £500 a year per customer, per venue up for grabs. Read Richard Siddle’s analysis of the KAM study here.
There’s a great deal of excitement about the wines that are coming out of the Agulhas Wine Triangle – South Africa’s southernmost vineyards. This is a region with ancient soils, extreme winds and a raw landscape that are producing cool climate whites and reds of remarkable quality and elegance. On a recent trip to South Africa, Geoffrey Dean visited the region, tasted the wines from the 10 wineries and talked with some of the key players – Bruce Jack, Dirk Human and Pierre Rabie about what makes this new frontier of winemaking so special.
Throughout the pandemic so-called “key workers” were both allowed, and expected, to work by the government throughout all the national lockdowns. When it came to keeping the UK – and international – wine and spirits sectors going over the last two years then the team at Kingsland Drinks Group certainly fell into the “key” category as it kept all its operations going, buying, importing, bottling and then distributing millions of litres of wine and spirits to its customers in all channels of the market. Here Richard Siddle sits down with Kingsland’s managing director, Ed Baker, to talk through all the various services it now offers the trade, and its ambitious plans for the future to be regarded as the UK’s most forward thinking and innovative category solutions supplier for the global drinks industry.
Stephen Cronk and the Mirabeau team were in London last month to showcase wines from their 2021 harvest to the UK trade. It was also an opportunity for Cronk to sit and down and reflect on what has been another hectic year with both big successes in terms of sales, distribution and brand building, but also dealing with the impact of the devastating fire that ruined what would have been the second vintage of its estate wine. Cronk also shares why he is so committed to driving regenerative farming practices.
St-Rémy brandy is a true celebration of France, its famous wine regions and its vineyards, as it takes grapes from vines sourced across all the main regions, including Champagne, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Languedoc‐Roussillon and the Loire Valley. All of which combine to create the St-Rémy brandy that has a loyal following all over the world. Cécile Roudaut is the master blender tasked with bringing all those styles of grape together in the final St-Rémy blend. Here she explains how it is that diversity of the fruit she uses that helps make its fruity and harmonious style.
No-one in hospitality needs telling how hard the past two years have been. The impact of COVID and its aftermath has had a devastating effect on businesses across the world. And that impact is still being felt. In order to raise money for sector-specific charity Hospitality Action UK, The Buyer’s Peter Dean is joining Bike to Care en Bourgogne’s bid to raise money for those hardest hit in the hotel and restaurant industries – people who are struggling with physical, financial, mental health and addiction problems.