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    Top writers pick nine rosés that show off the best of Provence 

    We continue our series talking to leading trade figures about why they think Vins de Provence rosé has become the success it has, and what challenges and opportunities might lie ahead. We ask key wine writers and broadcasters, Helena Nicklin, David Kermode and Libby Brodie, to recommend a Vins de Provence rosé from each of the three appellations in the region – Côtes de Provence, Coteaux Varois en Provence and Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence – and explain what it is about those wines that makes them a great example of Vins de Provence rosé.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Geoffrey Dean

    Best of 2022: Geoffrey Dean picks his top 10 wines of the year

    With two months of the year spent in Australia and South Africa it is no surprise that Geoffrey Dean has picked almost all of his top wines of 2022 from these two countries, with only the Tommasi, Deburis Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva DOCG 2010 being the ‘odd one out’. With so much time spent in the field Dean has a knack of discovering wines that are not the usual suspects and which other wine experts seem to have missed.

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    Insight
    pays doc main

    IGP Pays d’Oc: Behind the scenes of a 35 year French success story 

    Created in 1987, IGP Pays d’Oc is now France’s leading export designation by volume and it is hard to imagine the Languedoc-Roussillon without it. But when it was introduced there was uncertainty and caution about how well the wines would be received. Fast forward 35 years and the IGP Pays d’Oc has become a success story that other wine regions would love to emulate. Here we look at the big steps it has taken along the way.  

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    Tasting: Wine
    David Kermode

    Best of 2022: David Kermode picks his top 10 wines of the year

    With the big day behind us and New Year’s Eve approaching, we are at that time of year again where we pull truly great bottles from our reserves and share with friends – or have that sneaky secret bottle on the go in the kitchen. For the wine writers behind The Buyer who tirelessly taste thousands of new and aged wines throughout the year it is also a time to reflect on the wines that made their mark during 2022. David ‘Vinosaurus’ Kermode wears many hats as a writer, broadcaster, judge and compere but, at the end of the day, central to all these roles is the love of a truly great glass of wine – be that one drawn from cask in Sanlucar de Barrameda or from a bottle squirrelled away for over half a century by those good folks at Penfolds.

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    People People: Producer
    asseily chateau

    How Château Biac has become a rising star of Côtes de Bordeaux

    The Asseily family may come from Lebanon, but since they took over Château Biac in 2006, in the heart of Côtes de Bordeaux, they have become very much part of the winemaking community not just in their area, but across Bordeaux. Bringing their own philosophy and ideas to a region that is still very much open to new ideas – and families. Here Gabriel Asseily explains the painstaking steps they have taken to build Château Biac up from scratch to become one of the new rising stars of Bordeaux.

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    People People: Supplier
    lesley cook lanchester wines good

    Lanchester Wines’ Lesley Cook on facing up to 2023 challenges

    After the trials of Covid 19 and the continuing fallout from Brexit, wine buyers might have hoped for a calmer, quieter 2022. But Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine soon dashed those hopes, combining with post-pandemic inflationary pressures and global shortages to deliver another challenging year. So how did Lanchester Wines’ buying director, Lesley Cook, navigate the storm? And, what does she see heading her way in 2023? She tells David Kermode how she managed to steer a course through it all. 

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    Insight
    The Old Vine

    Old Vines field trip shows way forward for modern viticulture

    It’s ironic considering its name and subject matter that the Old Vine Conference has made such an impact in such a short period of time and done so much to shine the light on the work being done the world over to not just preserve old vines but celebrate them. That was very much the theme of the first Old Vine Conference field trip for a group of leading wine professionals who travelled to Veneto to see and hear the influence that old vines can still have on modern viticulture, as Mattia Scarpazza reports.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Ribera del Duero

    How Ribera Del Duero continues to prove its world class status

    Ribera Del Duero is touted as one of the most exciting wine regions in Europe, let alone Spain. Capable of producing some of the finest wines on the continent, the sumptuous fine wines have long been enjoyed by residents of Madrid, with the rest of the world slowly cottoning on since the 1980s. November saw the release of Tim Atkin MW’s updated Ribera Del Duero Report along with his Top 100 Wines. We sent The Buyer’s Mike Turner along to discover more.

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    People People: Producer
    Ekogea BioGas Brochure Pictures - Les Domaines Fabre's move to Bee Friendly has seen their biodiversity explode

    Medoc producers on protecting Bordeaux’s vineyards’ future

    With over 108,000 hectares of vines to manage and an estimated 60,000 wine industry workers across Aquitaine, you can appreciate why Bordeaux takes the idea of sustainability very seriously indeed. Early adopters of France’s HVE sustainability programme, over 75% of the vineyards now have at least one recognised environmental certification, with many others in conversion. Mike Turner interviewed a selection of Médoc producers involved to ask about their own strategies and motivations behind the various initiatives being trialled across the region.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Pasqua

    Riccardo Pasqua: the man shaking up the Italian wine trade

    Riccardo Pasqua, the third generation head of Veronese estate Pasqua Vigneti e Cantine, chose his latest vintages to be tasted at an upmarket London arts destination accompanied by a poetry recital from Arch Hades. But then Pasqua has already got a reputation for boundary-pushing, unconventional winemaking. His multi-varietal and multi-vintage white wine is called Hey French, You Could Have Made This But You Didn’t, his rosés are an Italian take on Provence pink and his Amarone is dry and tannic when the trend is to be fruit-driven. Victor Smart met Pasqua and tasted through the new wines.

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    People
    provence rose consumers

    Wine buyers on Provence rosé and why it’s so special

    Last week we asked consumer wine journalists to address just what it is about Vins de Provence rosé that has caught the imagination of the great British public. Here we talk to a number of leading wine buyers, importers, wine merchants and distributors to assess just what it is the trade thinks make Provence rosé stand out and what potential opportunities and challenges the region faces in the future.

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    Insight
    CAVE

    Why Argentina’s CAVE sommelier school is also ‘best in the world’

    World Cup beating players are one thing, world class sommeliers quite another and Argentina is producing both. CAVE in Buenos Aires is a school for sommeliers like no other, run by two resourceful women, the school delivers an Eton level education on a Grange Hill budget. Lisse Garnett asks co-founders, Flavia Rizzuto and Maria Barrutia, to divulge the secret of their success..

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    People: Producer
    Hundred Hills

    How Chilterns’ Hundred Hills has got wine critics purring

    Hundred Hills is a relative newcomer to the English sparkling wine revolution and yet its six wines are already making serious waves. The winery itself, nestled as it is in the Chilterns, has been rated by Jancis Robinson MW as one of the top English wineries, with its Blanc de Noirs 2019 rated as best English fizz and the new vintage of its Blanc de Blancs, as best English BdB. Geoffrey Dean went to see what all the fuss is about and to discover from owner/ winemaker Stephen Duckett, what he’s done differently to stand out from the crowd.

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    People People: Producer
    days founders

    How Days wants to bring personality to alcohol free beers

    “With lunch, after a run, before the gym, during work… there are so many occasions that beer is relevant but alcohol is not and that’s what excites me about this category.” So says Duncan Keith, co-founder, along with Mike Gammell, of Days a new alcohol free brand that wants to offer an alternative to those who like a beer as part of their daily routine, but not with all the side effects that come with it.

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    Opinion
    women in wine

    Lisse Garnett: What does it mean to be a ‘woman in wine’?

    When wine writer Lisse Garnett was invited to address an audience of sommeliers in Argentina about what it means to be a woman in wine, she reflected on her own journey and the battles she has had to overcome and still has to face – not only from the opposite sex but from women too. In a deeply personal, and often shocking, piece Garnett asks if female solidarity moves mountains… why are we so rubbish at it?

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    Insight
    pauline vicard speaking

    ARENI Global’s Pauline Vicard on driving fine wine forward

    “Part of our mission is to help fine wine wineries, distributors, and retailers to understand how the world is changing, and how that creates opportunities to be seized and risks to be managed.” But that only tells part of the story of the ambition that drives the team at ARENI Global to help shape, influence and drive fine wine around the world. Here its co-founder and executive director, Pauline Vicard, explains what those ambitions are and sets out its plans for 2023 starting with its latest breakthrough fine wine research to be released in January.

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    People
    Most weeks you can find Helen McGinn offering her wine tips to the nation on BBC's Saturday Morning Kitchen

    Top consumer wine journalists on the Provence rosé phenomenon  

    Where would our wine sales be without the phenomenon of Provence rosé that has captured the hearts and palates of men and women across all age groups. No other region can compete with its image or the fact that Provence is the rosé specialist, producing 91% of this colour. One reason for this continued popularity and consistent high quality is that for growers and producers, premium rosé is the goal from the start and grapes are grown specifically to make rosé. With sales of Provence rosé experiencing a second peak over the Christmas period, what is it about Provence rosé that reaches the parts that other wine styles and regions simply can’t? Here we talk to those really in the know. The top national newspaper consumer journalists and TV wine critics that do so much to influence what we all put in our wine shopping baskets.

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    People People: Producer
    cramele recas PET bottles lots

    Cramele Recas’ Philip Cox: PET bottles are now a must for wine

    In April Cramele Recas’ Philip Cox warned us all about the “apocalyptic” packaging crisis that was coming the wine industry’s way due to the knock on effects of the Ukraine war on glass furnaces and the availability of glass for the world wine market. Eight months later and virtually all of Cox’s warnings have been played out before us as the industry has been rocked by a series of glass bottle shortages and price increases. Here he explains why he is now trailing an alternative to glass – a wine bottle made from recycled PET and why he thinks it could be the packaging answer for the global wine industry in the coming years.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Sparkling Vouvray

    Anne Krebiehl MW: sparkling Vouvray can fill the fizz gap

    Anne Krebiehl MW discovers eight sparkling Vouvray that can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Champagne, while at the same time offering considerable value for money. The Chenin Blanc grape’s high acidity means a variety of styles from zero to demi-sec, vintage and NV, as well as those with considerable time on its lees.

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