With so many digital, audio, video and social media platforms to share content on it can be hard to keep up. To help shine the light on what is happening in the Italian wine sector and how producers, brands and retailers can get closer to the trade and wine lovers Stevie Kim has set up Mambo Jumbo Shrimp as an all encompassing brand to both host and share her content about Italian wine.
Bordeaux winemakers could justifiably describe the 2021 vintage as their “annus horribilis”. Not only did they, along with their fellow producers around the world, have to deal with the significant challenges of operating during a global pandemic, they were also hit by severe frosts and heavy rain which wreaked havoc in the vineyards. Helen Arnold spoke to the CIVB’s communications manager Christophe Chateau to find out how winemakers have coped with these multiple challenges, the huge growth in organic winemaking and what he thinks the future holds for this classic French region.
Most of the tastings for Bourgogne Week 2022 may have happened last week in the UK but there are still events in the diary and many more opportunities to taste and buy wines from the excellent 2020 vintage. The Buyer and Bourgogne Wines are continuing their series of features highlighting how different UK specialist Bourgogne wine importers work with their partners in Bourgogne, particularly for emerging and lesser-known appellations. Today we turn the spotlight on Louis Latour Agencies, the UK arm of one of the oldest négoces in Bourgogne, and its relationship with Chablis-based producer Simonnet-Febvre which it acquired in 2003.
2021 will be remembered for a host of negative reasons, but the shining positive has been the way the drinks industry as a whole has risen to the challenge of addressing diversity and inclusion in a sector that had traditionally not even discussed the issue publicly. Even though there was clearly a major problem to address. But just as the country as a whole has started to open up and have a national debate on diversity and inclusion, the drinks industry has started to take steps of its own through a combination of official sector-wide responses and individual initiatives like Equal Measures. Here Richard Siddle talks to Equal Measures founder, Deano Moncrieffe, about what it is doing to provide a platform to help drive D&I through the sector and how he has linked up with Hannah Lanfear, founder of Mixing Class , the dedicated provider of WSET spirits education, and The Drinks Trust to give more people from different backgrounds the opportunity to start a career in the bar, hospitality and wider drinks industry through carefully structured and targeted education and mentorship programmes.
All week The Buyer and Bourgogne Wines have been highlighting how different UK specialist Bourgogne wine importers work with their Bourgogne partners, particularly for emerging and lesser-known appellations, as part of #BourgogneWeek 2022 that runs until January 16. Today we turn the spotlight on Flint Wines, one of the UK’s most influential Bourgogne suppliers, and its relationship with Domaine Lorenzon in the Côte Chalonnaise with Flint’s Bourgogne buyer and director, Jason Haynes, and the domaine’s founder Bruno Lorenzon.
To celebrate its 70th anniversary, Penfolds held a special dinner for the Grange with vintages dating back to 1979. Our man at the tasting, David Kermode, reports back on the event and talks to head winemaker Peter Gago about what makes the wine so special. Kermode also hears a rare recording of Grange creator Max Schubert talking about Grange and about how this most iconic of Australian wines could have been a stillborn project from the outset.
As we get into the heart of Bourgogne Week we continue our series talking to leading UK importers and wine merchants about how they are working with their Bourgogne producers to promote and bring their wines to their customers. Today we talk to Adam Bruntlett, senior buyer at Berry Bros & Rudd about its long-term partnership with Domaine Follin-Arbelet in Aloxe-Corton and what they hope and expect from the much awaited 2020 Bourgogne vintage. (Main picture features Franck Follin-Arbelet and his wife Christine).
A vintage that ended on December 30… welcome to winemaking in England and one of the most challenging vintages in history. For Chris Wilson, wine scribe turned winemaker and owner of Cambridge’s first urban winery Gutter&Stars, 2021 was a vintage which threw everything possible at winemakers; he did, however, get some decent juice out of the year along with plaudits for his inaugural wines, including from Roger Jones who made Gutter&Stars’ first Chardonnay his Christmas pour.
The Buyer has this month teamed up with Bourgogne Wines to help shine the light on how UK importers specialising in Bourgogne wines are working with local producers to promote wines from different and lesser-known appellations as part of Bourgogne Week that runs from January 10 to 14. We start with an interview between Louisa de Faye Perkins, managing director of Charles Taylor Wines, and its partnership with Florent Rouve, which is making quality wines from Mâcon-Lugny, including its much coveted ‘Les Crays vers Vaux’ plot.
“Hold the Front Page!” As The Buyer team looks to take a few festive days off we would like to thank you all, wherever you are, for all your support and time reading and sharing our articles over the last 12 months. It’s been another rollercoaster year for everyone in the drinks, hospitality and retail sectors around the world and the tireless producers and supply chain that supports them. We hope we have been able to help make some sense of it all and can only sit back and applaud how every sector in this amazing industry has once again responded with the ultimate professionalism to every hurdle thrown its way. We hope you now have some time to stop, relax and enjoy a festive time with your family and friends. We raise a glass to you all! Happy Christmas and here’s to a great 2022 for us all. All the best Richard and Peter.
The Hardy name is as synonymous with Australian wine as the Bradman family is with its cricket. So for Bec Hardy a career in wine was mapped out for her from birth. But when in 2020 she took over the Pertaringa wine brand business from her parents, Geoff and Fiona Hardy, she notched up a first even in her esteemed wine family by becoming the first female vineyard owner and wine producer in six generations. Here she is joined by her husband, and business partner, Richard Dolan, as they explain how they plan to bring new generation thinking to their Bec Hardy Wines and Pertaringa range of premium wines.
If you are an ambitious, adventurous wine buyer you would do well to concentrate your efforts on what some of the lesser known regions of Portugal are up to – a constant hive of new wines often made from native, indigenous grapes with unique styles. Which is very much what Bairrada, in the Beiras region of northern Portugal, nestled in just below Porto has to offer. As part of our link up with the region The Buyer today shines the light on seven producers that are already in the UK and makes the case for why they might be worth putting on your shopping list for the new year.
The quality of Romanian wine may have jumped leaps and bounds in recent years, but that has not been matched by its perception amongst premium wine buyers. Philip Cox, co-owner of Romania’s largest exporting wine producer, Cramele Recas, sits down with wine consultant and broadcaster, Joe Wadsack, to talk through what they see as the country’s biggest potential and what Cox is doing to help the country achieve its goal of being a primary source for premium wines.
Bourgogne may have just gone through one of its worst harvests in living memory, but the immediate more positive news is the quality of its 2020 vintage is said to be very good which should make for a successful and exciting Bourgogne campaign in January. To help set the scene for Bourgogne Week, The Buyer talks to Anne Moreau, president of the Commission Communication for the Bourgogne Wine Board, and business manager of Louis Moreau in the heart of Chablis, about how the region is keen to promote both its most well-known, classic wines as well as its “hidden gems” across all its appellations.
“I don’t see myself as a normal citizen in Lebanon,” says Faouzi Issa, winemaker and owner of the award-winning Domaine des Tourelles. “I see myself as more of a pioneer.” It’s certainly a philosophy and objective that helps Issa look outside of Lebanon for his inspiration and has helped him build a successful export business, first for his wines and now, he hopes, for a new focus on artisan spirits, starting with one of the country’s first premium gins – GinBey. He talks to Richard Siddle about the new lease of life distilling gin has given him.
This is potentially the first time you have had chance to read a comprehensive, behind the scenes, analysis of Speciality Brands. For up to now managing director, Chris Seale, has been very much of the opinion that he would much rather shine the light on the portfolio of premium spirits brands that have made the company one of the most respected and important drinks suppliers in the UK. Here, though, he is prepared to talk about what makes Speciality Brands, well, so special and what key strategic changes it is making to ensure it continues to provide some of the most innovative and in demand drinks brands in the premium on-trade and specialist retail sectors.
Over the last two years we have seen the drinks industry come together like never before in this generation to help support and protect as many of its own during these extraordinary and difficult times. The Licensed Trade Charity is one of the central bodies that has been able to provide both financial and emotional support to those in the hospitality sector most in need. Richard Siddle talks to head of marketing, Paula Smith, about the work it does and how members of the trade, as well as suppliers, producers and brand owners can make the most of its extensive range of services.
Jim Gore and Erica Dent do not normally enjoy the limelight. They are usually quietly working away behind the scenes working with their latest group of students taking various levels of WSET exams through their respective independent wine training companies – Gore’s Global Wine Academy and Erica Dent’s Enjoy Discovering Wine. Here they explain their individual approaches to teaching wine courses and why education has become their vocation in life.
Gonzague Lurton embodies the idea of a new generation of winemaker taking over the reins in Bordeaux. As part of the highly respected Lurton Bordeaux winemaking family he has been able to learn from his winemaker father, Lucien Lurton, and all those who went before them. But he has always had an ambition to put his own stamp on winemaking in Bordeaux, an opportunity his family’s legacy has allowed him to do at Château Durfort-Vivens, part of the 1855 classification. Here he talks to City AM’s wine columnist, Libby Zietsman-Brodie, about his own wine philosophy and goals.
Mentzendorff’s long term UK multi-channel sales and distribution approach has really come to the fore over the last 18 months as it has been able to work with its customers across the premium on and off-trade and specialist routes to market. Here Andrew Hawes, managing director of the UK business, looks back on what has been such a fast moving, turbulent time in its history, and reflects on the steps it has taken to keep one step ahead of the supply chain and sourcing issues to ensure it had the most relevant range available for its wide customer base.