“We wanted to create a competition which would be true to the two principles we had defined: ambition and sustainability.” That’s how Rodolphe Lameyse, chief executive of Vinexposium, the world leading events business behind shows such as Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris and World Bulk Wine Exhibition, introduces its new business awards – the V d’Or – to highlight and reward drinks companies that are excelling in the way they are driving their businesses forward. Here he explains how the V d’Ors are going to work.
It’s not only the sheer beauty of the island of Santorini that lures the cruise ships and the Instagrammers in. Its wines are now very much in demand the world over as awareness of their quality increases, and negative stereotypes about Greek wine are turned on their head. In fact, PDO Santorini’s growing number of producers can proudly claim to be at the forefront of what has been something of a revolution in winemaking across Greece in the past few years. So much so that its wines are highly coveted by leading sommeliers with Santorini, in particularly high demand. To assess its potential and to look at how the island can make the most of this demand, The Buyer teamed up with the Wines of Santorini campaign to host a panel debate and tasting with leading wine buyers across the UK wine market.
Following the announcement by Chateau Ste Michelle that it is cutting its grape supply by 40%, many growers in Washington State are facing a dilemma – start winemaking themselves or turn to another crop. Given that Chateau Ste Michelle accounts for over half of Washington State’s production, the news has thrown into sharp relief some of the fundamental issues facing North America’s second largest wine region. In her first feature for The Buyer Heather Dougherty reports from a recent visit to the Evergreen State.
The Buyer continues its series talking to some of the keynote speakers taking part in this November’s Wine Future conference taking place in Coimbra, Portugal that hopes to tackle some of the biggest issues facing the global wine industry, by giving the floor to Don St Pierre, co-founder of ASC Fine Wines, one of the most important and influential wine importers, distributors in China. He explains why he thinks there are still so many untapped opportunities in the wine industry, particularly at the fine wine and luxury end of the market.
Ribera del Duero is now established as producing some of Spain’s highest quality wines. Since the DO was announced in 1982, the number of wineries has boomed from just eight at inception to a healthy 311 by 2023. Initial pacesetters have been joined by locals, large brands and high-quality merchants from the likes of Rioja, Catalunya and even France to join the critical acclaim attached to some of the finest red wines being produced anywhere in the world. But why this region? The Buyer’s Mike Turner looks at what makes Ribera del Duero so special and highlights one trait in particular that stands tall above the rest.
Zuccardi is quite simply one of the finest wineries in the world. Every year the winery wins major awards with its premium wines also picking up major gongs and 100-point rosettes with an almost embarrassing consistency. The main reason for this is the vision of its third-generation winemaker, Sebastián Zuccardi, who places vineyard above winery, and makes wines that are inextricably linked to where they come from. In a revealing and lengthy tasting session from the Uco Valley he explains to Peter Dean his ‘mountain wine’ philosophy, why he avoids ‘old school’ Argentine Malbecs, how the sheer diversity of the region shapes the wines, and tastes through a selection of his top wines including Finca Canal Uco 2020, which is due for release via La Place de Bordeaux in September.
Journey’s End is now operating under full solar power. This estate on South Africa’s Western Cape made the decision and investment based on the increasing problem of ‘power outages’ and is one step towards becoming fully ‘off grid’. Geoffrey Dean talks to Mike Dawson about how this affects a winemaker, along with the other initiatives Journey’s End is undertaking in its drive to become fully sustainable – then runs through the estate’s latest wines.
South African wine producers are renown for doing things differently which is very much the spirit that Museum Wines wants to capture with its new so-called South African En Primeur Campaign which is its way of shouting out loud about all the new releases it is bringing into the UK wine market from not just the producers it works with directly but other landmark South African wines. Managing director, Daniel Grigg explains how it is all going to work.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.