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    South African wine
    Insight
    licensed trade charity 1

    How Licensed Trade Charity supports the hospitality sector 

    Anyone working in or around the hospitality sector in the last five years will be only too aware of how hard it has been hit by the pandemic and now the cost of living crisis, with an estimated 250,000 people believed to be in need of financial support. Which is exactly what the Licensed Trade Charity (LTC) is there to provide. Yet despite its 230 year history there are many in the hospitality sector who are unaware of its existence, or its work. This is something that its new awareness-raising campaign aims to address. Helen Arnold met head of marketing Paula Smith to find out more.

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    Awards
    winelovers main

    Winelovers Wine Awards reveals best of Central & Eastern Europe

    The interest in and demand for wines from Central and Eastern Europe were given a boost this month with the results of the Winelovers Wine Awards in Budapest that looks to highlight and reward the best wines from across the two regions. A leading panel of international wine judges were given the task of assessing the 840 wines entered. Here we go behind the scenes to see which wines came out on top. 

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    Insight
    interbrand top brands report logo

    What to learn from Interbrand’s Breakthrough Brands

    Traditional grocery and drinks categories are dead. Instead we need to start thinking about connecting with an ever changing and demanding consumer by organising brands into ‘Arenas’ – products that connect with core human needs and desires. Get it right and brands can play in multiple ‘Arenas’ at once. This is all according to Interbrand’s new Breakthrough Brands report which identifies the products, retailers, services and brands that are shaking up and challenging category and cultural norms and pushing innovation to new and unexplored areas. Read on to find out which are the Breakthrough Brands to keep an eye on.

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    Tasting: Wine
    La Pèira Long Read

    Robert Dougan – making fine wines at Languedoc’s La Pèira

    What do you do when you’ve made a mint from the soundtrack of The Matrix and are unsure about what to do in the future? Why, buy a run-down winery in the Languedoc and bring it back to one of the hottest properties in the South of France. This is what ‘Clubbed to Death’ composer Robert Dougan did with La Pèira in the Terrasses du Larzac, as Victor Smart discovered when he met Dougan for lunch at Corney&Barrow HQ and tasted through a wide selection of his remarkable wines.

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    Awards
    Screenshot 2023-08-10 at 12.37.05 Long Read

    10 reasons to enter London Wine, Beer & Spirits Competitions

    With so many international drink competitions it can be hard to work out which ones are going to really make a difference to your brand, turn the head of all important trade buyers and the consumer wandering up and down the drinks aisle. So here’s the case for entering the three London Competitions for wine, beers and spirits which claim to judge and assess products in the same way that consumers do.

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    People People: Producer
    Ata Rangi 2020 Pinots closeup bottles & hands - BB Feb 23

    Why Ata Rangi’s single vineyard Pinot Noirs are so important

    If you are looking to benchmark wines around the world, then a country’s ability to make Pinot Noir on a consistent, quality basis is a good place to start. It’s certainly been how New Zealand has been able to capture and cement its position as a premium wine producing country. But when we think of New Zealand Pinot Noir all too often we think of the region first – Martinborough – rather than what producers are doing with their own single vineyard Pinot Noirs expressions. Which is why Oliver Styes was so pleased to taste and hear about the new range of single vineyard wines from Ata Rangi – whilst also raising a glass to #PinotNoirDay.

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    People
    Wiston Long Read

    Why Wiston Estate is champion of ageing English wine

    When the stewards of Wiston Estate make a plan, it’s for the next 50 years, not five. For 300 years, they’ve been planning for the next generation, and their mindfulness has served them well. Wiston land produces enough grain each year to keep 18,000 people in Weetabix. Beer and whisky are also beneficiaries. The estate restaurant ‘Chalk’, housed in an old flint barn and led by Michelin-starred Chef Tom Kemble, feeds a further fortunate few. Wilton Park, at Wiston Park, the Goring’s ancestral home, has long been a centre for conflict resolution. It was here that plans were made to democratise a broken Germany and to end the desperation of Apartheid. Wiston has quietly salved the world’s wounds and fed its people for decades. And Wiston Estate wine has quietly unlocked hearts, even in Champagne, as Lisse Garnett discovered.

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    Opinion
    cutting wine foil capsule

    Rupert Millar: the No 1 thing that must change in wine packaging

    Sorry about the clickbait title, but don’t worry you are in the safe hands of respected wine writer Rupert Millar who here shares why he thinks it’s time we all said goodbye to the wine foil, the piece of wine packaging that ends up in the bin before we even get to open the bottle. Yes, it might look nice and help with the overall theatre of bottle opening, but does it really have a place in a world where we are looking to cut back on packaging, be more sustainable and save costs at the same time? Millar makes his case…

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    Tasting: Wine
    Rías Baixas

    Making sense of Albariño with the 5 subzones of Rías Baixas

    Rías Baixas is the largest and most well-known DO in Spain’s North-West autonomous community of Galicia. Flanked by the ocean to the north and the west, this often cool and wet region is dominated by the Albariño grape. At a recent online masterclass, five winemakers from across the region showcased the various styles on offer whilst staying true to the coastal terroir. The Buyer’s Mike Turner was in attendance to find out more.

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    Insight
    Chablis

    Mattia Scarpazza on how Chablis is adapting & re-inventing itself

    How does Chablis keep evolving to be a source of interest to consumers? That was one of the many questions asked by sommelier and writer Mattia Scarpazza on a recent trip to Chablis – to discover whether the wine region was just a ‘one-trick’ pony or not and whether there was any evidence of innovation finding its way into the final wines. Fascinating insight and a selection of wines that he felt stood out from the crowd.

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    People
    robert joseph talking

    Robert Joseph on wine’s biggest challenges & opportunities 

    Advertising legend Sir John Hegarty told The Buyer recently that the most valuable people any industry can have are those that are super knowledgeable about that sector but have the ability to step outside and be objective about it. “That’s what makes their point of view so valuable,” he says. Which very much describes Robert Joseph, a wine critic turned wine producer and one of the most informed, influential and challenging writers and communicators the industry has. Here he shares what he sees as being the biggest issues facing the global wine supply chain, the untapped opportunities and why he is taking part in the Wine Future conference in Portugal in November.  

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    Insight
    chef in open kitchen

    How hospitality businesses can take part in bespoke ESG training

    Everywhere you look drinks, retail and hospitality businesses are devising and implementing ESG strategies to help make them sustainable companies doing what they can for the environment, supply chain and their people. But what does it take to have an Environmental, Social and Governance business model? The King’s Business School has linked up with the hospitality sector’s Energy and Environment Alliance (EEA) to produce a new executive education programme to help hospitality companies, in particular, be ESG compliant. An initiative that has been pulled together with the help of over 40 senior hospitality leaders. Here we talk to Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the EEA and Dr Marc Lepere of the King’s Business School ESG’s executive about what they hope the new education programme can achieve.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Castelnau

    Champagne Castelnau, Tom Aikens and the ‘Art of Delicacy’

    Champagne Castelnau is undergoing a rebranding exercise with the tagline ‘The Art of Delicacy’. To underline this point and to allow the press to taste the new wines along with chef de caves Carine Bailleul, the House organised a tasting lunch at Muse, Tom Aikens’ one-star restaurant in London where the wines met their perfect pairing. Victor Smart drew the short straw (what again?!) and spent the morning after feeling a little delicate himself.

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    People
    wine trade cricket club

    Help Wine Trade Sports Club celebrate its 50th anniversary

    We know the wine industry is full of extraordinary talents when it comes to tasting and knowing all there is to know about wine. But it also includes a number of sporting talents – some of whom have even represented their country – who regularly show their skills as part of the Wine Trade Sports Club. In September it is marking its 50th anniversary with a special dinner at Vintners Hall. Lucy Marcuson explains what the organisation is all about and how to join.

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    Insight
    Ferrari

    How Ferrari Trento earned its place on the sparkling podium

    Cyril Brun’s high profile appointment at Ferrari Trento is a fitting one for the ex-chef des caves of Charles Heidsieck. The North Italian sparkling wine has always had a close relationship with Champagne – as an inspiration, as a competitor and as a doppelgänger. But Ferrari’s quintessentially Italian take on high-end luxury sparkling has defiantly ploughed its own furrow from the regional authenticity of the wine to the brilliant marketing strategy behind getting the bubbles into the hands of royalty, superstars and now onto the podium of Formula 1 racing. Lisse Garnett visited Ferrari in Trento, met with Matteo and Camilla Lunelli and talks to Cyril Brun about the significance of his move from Reims to Ravina.

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    Tasting: Wine
    new South African wine

    The new “confidence” amongst South African winemakers

    Wine writer and winemaker Chris Wilson samples some stunning new South African wines at Encounter South Africa – the first all-industry WOSA event since Covid. Apart from picking 10 ‘bangers’ Wilson talks to producers and importers to find out where South African wines are at, after the over-excited buzz of ‘New Wave South Africa’ 10 years ago. What he found was a quiet confidence in traditional styles and a ‘less-is-more’ ethos with the bottom of the industry being raised up, improving the quality and landscape of new South African wine from entry level upwards.

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    Insight
    Young Vit Nat 2022 RBPHOTO22_6626

    How New Zealand takes the lead with career & fulfilment initiatives

    “All these initiatives are aimed at helping people working in our industry to follow their dreams and achieve their goals.” That’s how Nicky Grandorge explains the steps New Zealand Winegrowers’ has introduced to help workers achieve both career success and personal fulfilment. Helen Arnold speaks to her in her role as the organisation’s leadership and communities manager, to find out what these initiatives are, and the impact they are having on both individuals and business. 

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    Conference
    Laura Catena makes for fascinating and great company

    Wine Future: Laura Catena makes a case for alcohol moderation

    It is nearly 25 years since the first Wine Future looked to address the big issues facing the wine industry at its inaugural event in Rioja in 2009. In November the fourth Wine Future is set to take place in Coimbra in Portugal where many the issues discussed all those years ago are still as relevant today. To help set the scene for what to expect The Buyer over the coming weeks is interviewing many of the keynote speakers set to take part starting today with Dr Laura Catena, managing director at Catena Zapata, one of Argentina’s and the world’s most influential wine producers.  

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    Tasting: Wine
    MJ Wine Cellars

    MJ Wine Cellars: how a smart list and business strategy are key

    Striking a balance between stock, cashflow and long-term ambitions for the business is the key to rising to the challenges of the current marketplace, especially for a ‘new’ kid of the block like MJ Wines. So says founder Mags Janjo who has been sharing costs with other boutique importers and working on a two-pronged approach to the market, servicing the off-trade and on-trade with an eclectic range of wines. Justin Keay talks to Janjo and picks out six of the best wines that include a single vineyard organic Xynisteri from Cyprus, a top Bikaver from Hungary, a great value Zweigelt from Austria, Tavel Rosé, an Imvula Cap Classique and “the best non-Santorini Assyrtiko we have tried.”

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    Insight
    harriet kininmonth talking good Long Read

    Harriet Kininmonth on maxing C&C’s multi-channel strategy

     

    It’s been two years since Harriet Kininmonth took on the wine trading director role at the C&C Group – effectively heading up the wine strategy for Bibendum, Matthew Clark, Walker & Wodehouse and Bibendum Off-trade covering all channels of the wine market outside direct to consumer. In that time she has been able to put in place both a group strategy aimed at better serving its producers and customers whilst also giving the individual businesses greater clarity over their own performance targets and responsibilities. A trading model that looks to maximise the strength and buying power the C&C Group has, without compromising the individual personalities of the separate business units. A challenging and demanding role that Kininmonth describes as “one of the best in the industry” and one she is enjoying hugely and thriving in. She sits down with Richard Siddle to look at how far the new wine strategy has come and what opportunities and potential lies ahead.

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