There has been much debate in the wine industry in recent times about how it can become more diverse and inclusive. But what steps are really being taken to make sure every wine business, big or small, is doing what it can? As we get ready to come together as a sector after so long at next week’s London Wine Fair we go back to this article written in March 2021 by wine writer and commentator, Sophia Longhi, who looks to champion women through her Skin & Pulp brand, and her work across social media and in the trade. Here she sets out why having a more diverse and inclusive workplace would actually make for a stronger, more secure industry as a whole.
The vagaries of the climate are what makes a vintage unique and 2021 certainly brought a host of unpredictable weather events that left their mark on last year’s Pays d’Oc rosés. The frosts of April were just one of the challenges that vignerons faced here but they have risen to the challenge to produce an incredible range of creative rosés that are more delicate and pink than usual. Elizabeth Gabay MW reports on Pays d’Oc Rosé 2021.
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.
Set within a natural amphitheatre created by mountain ranges, the ancient Southern French wine region of Roussillon is a land of diverse wines made by a rising tide of pioneering winemakers keen on making their mark organically and sustainably. In this first part of a 2-part series Sarah McCleery travels to the region to discover first hand how the region is changing. In Part 2 she picks the wine estates that need to be on your radar. Here she gives an overview of what makes the Roussillon such an unique and special region.
“The secret of great e-commerce is not technology. It’s not the best platform or even the most complex algorithms. The secret is ‘digitizing the human experience’.” At least that’s what the team at Pix, the new online wine discovery and search platform, is striving to achieve with its new platform that uses machine learning algorithms to give its customers an increasingly tailored and personalised experience. But it also uses humans too as there are just some things that computers – at least up to now – can’t do.
Clos des Mouches is one of the mythical walled vineyards in Burgundy with the influential Maison Joseph Drouhin owning half of it. Restored back from ill health, the vineyards are now at the peak of their powers as chef and wine expert Roger Jones discovered when he was invited by Frédérick Drouhin to join him for an exclusive lunch to celebrate the centenary of their ownership.
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.
To launch the new Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle Itération No 25, the Champagne house’s Lucie Pereyre de Nonancourt chose London’s Elystan Street restaurant where Michelin-starred chef Philip Howard and David Hesketh MW presented the new multi-vintage cuvée alongside a paired tasting menu and earlier iterations of Grand Siècle. Victor Smart took one for the team to find out how this stunning new cuvée was born and the guiding winemaking principles behind it.
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.
The challenge during the pandemic was to have a website capable of keeping up with the surge in demand from people looking to buy what they might usually do in person online. Most websites did not have to work too hard to see a huge rise in sales. Now things are back to normal, all online players are seeing a dip in sales – including Amazon. So how do you keep the consumers who suddenly came to you during Covid? Online consultant and former wine merchant, Simon Huntington shares his advice and says it all comes down to understanding what it is they want and need.
Borsa Vini Italiani 2022 was another major tasting in London that was back with a bang after Covid cancelled the past two years’ events. Run by the Italian Trade Agency it is an excellent showcase for lesser known producers and regions, as Justin Keay discovered. This year there was a masterclass focused on Italian pinks run by Sarah Abbott MW. Keay also took to the room and highlights seven producers from seven different regions that caught his eye.
Two and a half years after taking the job of CEO at the Austrian Wine Marketing Board, Chris Yorke finally cut the ribbon on VieVinum 2022 last Saturday, the first of the influential wine fairs he has helmed. The three day wine fair, that first started in 1998, has been a key part of the internationalisation and premiumisation of Austrian wine and so it proved again with Yorke and his team riding the crest of a wave which has seen them successfully cope during the pandemic by boosting exports and keeping the domestic fires burning.
The countdown for arguably the most ambitious event to help the wine industry tackle climate change is into its final days with the event due to start on May 23. Green Wine Future by Wineally 2022 is set to take place across the world throughout next week, starting on Monday and running through to May 26, with a series of webinars, online debates, filmed reports and a whole lot more being hosted in different cities and countries across the four days. The Buyer is a media partner for the event and here we pick out some of the highlights of what to expect.
We’ve seen wines matured underwater, in deserts, old mines and now, with Pino 3000, there is a wine that is matured in barriques at 3048 metres up an Austrian mountain. Sounding like an 80s pop band, Pino 3000 is a wacky Pinot Noir blend of wines made in Germany, Italy and Austria which are then blended and left to mature in their lofty perch. EU legislation forbids it being called Pinot Noir (naturally) but the effect of making the wine has had quite an impact on the winemakers as Geoffrey ‘Broadsword’ Dean discovered when he took the cable car up the mountain to Das Central.
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.
The three-strong winemaking team at Larrivet Haut-Brion are not from Bordeaux which makes it easier for them to make wines for today’s market – not stymied by tradition and preconceptions. A key change is the dialling up of Cabernet Franc in the blend of the grand vin, with this style reaching its apotheosis in the new 2021 vintage where Merlot has been ditched altogether. Peter Dean met managing director Bruno Lemoine and the rest of the winemaking team for lunch and a tasting of back vintages which showed how they are revolutionising the style of this historic Left Bank property.
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.