How do you market Languedoc wine to a global audience when the region is larger, more diverse and complex than many entire countries? This was the task set for Marion Oury whose solution was Languedoc Wine Camp, a series of immersive two-day experiences which allowed wine professionals to experience the region like it has never done before. Oury, the marketing digital and communications director for the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins du Languedoc (CIVL) also had to ensure the events delivered Languedoc’s newly-created brand positioning. Peter Dean got the story.
Cava has started to make some encouraging noises of late, ever since Prosecco stole its crown of ‘alternative fizz to Champagne’. But Codorníu has never dipped out of the spotlight. This winery is Spain’s oldest family-owned business and has been producing a range of cuvées such as the Ana Blanc de Blancs and the Codorníu Ars Collecta Blanc de Noirs which can stand toe-to-toe with the world’s best sparklers. Ex-Michelin star chef and fizz expert Roger Jones went to Hispanic to taste through the Codorníu range and came back positively beaming.
Here is an opportunity to join the dynamic team at Phipps – which claims to be the most awarded drinks communications agency in the UK. It is looking for a new drinks account manager to join its team and help work on existing clients as well as develop new opportunities for the agency. This is a job that gives you the freedom to take action, make decisions and also manage your own team. Full details of the job and how to apply are below.
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.
The Côtes de Bordeaux may be the youngest AOC in Bordeaux but, with over 950 producers, it is one of the largest and most diverse in the region – offering great value on a wide range of enjoyable, unfussy wines. The Buyer’s drinks editor, Peter Dean, tastes a selection of wines from this union of appellations, that includes Blaye, Cadillac, Castillon, Francs and Sainte-Foy and rates their potential in the UK on-trade.
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.
Bairrada is not a wine region to smack you between the eyes in the same way the Douro Valley might do. But this very much up and coming wine region has a great deal to say for itself as one of Portugal’s rising stars thanks to a combination of unique soil types and climate conditions that combine to make wines with real distinction. Here Jamie Goode shines the light on why he thinks Bairrada has such potential and picks out some wines that best illustrate what this fascinating wine region can produce.
When Loire winemaker Sylvain Pabion decided to join Château de Marsannay in 2015 as chief winemaker he could already see the potential of this 34 hectare estate. The appellation of Marsannay has for long been a constant source of great quality, reasonably priced Burgundy, and here was an estate with a large chunk of that appellation which was largely being run as a tourist attraction. Since then Pabion has been leading a quality revolution at the estate, breaking up the single Marsannay cuvée into single climat wines and converting the operation into organic viticulture. Peter Dean reports and tastes five of the wines from the classic 2017 vintage, to see the progress to date.
“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.
Already making a name for itself on the Irish and UK bar scene, Joe McGirr’s Boatyard Distillery has got expansion plans, new product lines and a commitment to be carbon neutral by 2023 which includes its own chocolate bars made with spent botanicals. Douglas Blyde met up with McGirr and the Boatyard team to hear the plans at a boozy brunch held at Homeboy Bar’s newest venue at London’s Embassy Gardens.
The wines of Cerasuolo di Vittoria are a delightful blend of Nero d’Avola and the lighter, more floral, Frappato and come from a DOCG that was only created 20 years ago. Just 25 producers make these wines in a contemporary style, writes Justin Keay, easy on the tannins, with moderate acidity, little or no oak and not too hefty in alcohol. The quality is high as is the quality to price ratio, making them excellent choices for today’s on-trade.
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.
The Lisboa wine region has been compared to that of Chile and California in that it is a long, thin coastal zone with fresh wines made close to the cool Atlantic while more heavily-textured, deeper wines are made in the drier more protected inland areas. Picking a dozen of the top, most representative Lisboa wines our drinks editor Peter Dean tastes and rates them according to quality and value and assesses their potential for the on-trade.
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.
The sniffing, spitting and sipping for the People’s Choice Spirits Awards judging sessions have all been done and we can now reveal the finalists for the 2022 event. Here Janet Harrison, founder of the People’s Choice Drinks Awards, explains how she is looking forward to holding the first standalone spirits awards in January, and the plans for the wine awards that are now open for entries.
Think of Ricasoli and you think of Chianti Classico. This Tuscan estate is almost synonymous with the region and the wine – being by far the largest estate in Chianti Classico and having an historical association that dates back through over 800 years of winemaking. Under the helm of the 32nd Barone Francesco Ricasoli, however, the estate has been progressing forwards in leaps and bounds with a major soil study, replanting programme and introduction of three Gran Selezione crus producing wines that are arguably the best Chiantis money can buy. Peter Dean tastes and rates the new 2018 vintage of these three wines – Roncicone, Colledilà and CeniPrimo – as well as the estate’s flagship wine, the 2018 Castello di Brolio which, for the first time ever, is being made with 100% pure Sangiovese.