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Q&A: Paul Jenkins and Guillem Kerambrun

Published:  28 March, 2017

Harpers met Caprice Holdings & The Birley Group's purchasing director and its head sommelier/group wine buyer at Annabel's to discuss buying across such a diverse portfolio

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Interview: Warren Gibson, chief winemaker Trinity Hill

Published:  24 March, 2017

Trinity Hill winemaker Warren Gibson muses on the future of New Zealand's wine industry

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WSTA's Miles Beale on the Budget: Unsurprising surprises

Published:  13 March, 2017

What was surprising about the result of the Budget this year was that it that it did not contain any surprises.

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Jerry Lockspeiser: Marketing - saint or devil?

Published:  13 March, 2017

Two packets of Paracetamol, both 500mg and 16 in a box, with the same usage instructions. Both Boots brands. The pills in the red and white box are in tablet form. It costs 25p. The pills in the classier blue and white box are caplets - tablets in capsule shape with a groove in the middle. It costs 49p.

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The political threat to our wine life

Published:  10 March, 2017

"Stick to wine, Tim - you're wasting time." If you spend as many hours as I do on social media channels, you get used to - and even rather enjoy - the odd spat, but this was different.

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Why this isn't the time for the trade to seek a cut in duty

Published:  06 March, 2017

Being a passive observer, rather than an active member, of the wine trade can bring into focus how slow it is to change

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Harpers' Hot 100: Celebrating the most influential people in the on-trade

Published:  03 March, 2017

Welcome to the launch of Harpers' Hot 100, a new annual feature that looks to identify and celebrate the most influential people in the quality drinks-focused on-trade.

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SWA appoints its first female CEO

Published:  02 March, 2017

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has appointed a new CEO.

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WSET debate: Education and Training

Published:  02 March, 2017

On the eve of the Wine & Sprit Education Trust's (WSET) graduation ceremony in London's Guildhall in January (see over), Harpers brought together a cross trade group of those involved in education, training and recruitment to debate the needs of the modern trade.

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Q&A: Steven Spurrier, wine expert and ex-merchant

Published:  23 February, 2017

Six years into his collaboration with Furleigh Estate in Dorset, the veteran wine expert and Judgment of Paris author caught up with Harpers about whether now is really English wine's time to shine.

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A family affair: Carson & Carnevale

Published:  14 February, 2017

Christopher Carson is still well remembered by many in the trade for his former roles as CEO of BRL Hardy Europe and as CEO of Constellation Europe.

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Jerry Lockspeiser: That's your bloody GDP. Not ours.

Published:  10 February, 2017

Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, recently announced an increase in the annual growth forecast for the UK economy from 1.4% to 2%. But things may not be as good as they sound.

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Guy Woodward: Why is the wine trade still slow to deliver fulfilment?

Published:  09 February, 2017

As a middle-aged, middle-class man, my weekly highlight is Saturday morning, illuminated by a warm croissant (180ºC for eight minutes, served with passion fruit curd), a Nespresso coffee (medium froth, Ristretto pod) plus the weekend papers - and here's the most indulgent part - delivered to the door. 

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Tim Atkin MW: Can artificial intelligence replace human judgment in the world of wine?

Published:  08 February, 2017

What do you think of the following tasting note? "Inconspicuous boysenberries and cigar wrappers revel in unresolved rosehips, while dried wormwood and chemically tanned leather swim amongst illusive black liquorice." And this? "Like a sherry, wet wool, mead, musk and nail polish remover cocktail." 

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Q&A: Courtney Quattrini, Vivino

Published:  06 February, 2017

As scan-and-share wine app Vivino tops 21 million users globally and begins to evolve its sales and data potential, we asked its communications guru for a download on what to expect next.

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Tim Loughton MP, All Party Parliamentary Wine and Spirits Group chair, urges the trade to speak up

Published:  02 February, 2017

With the Budget just around the corner and Brexit going full steam ahead, there has never been a more important time for your voice to be heard in Parliament, writes Tim Loughton MP

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Profile: Henry Boyes, wine buyer, Mitchells & Butlers

Published:  30 January, 2017

Buying wine for Mitchells & Butlers is no small task.

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Inside London's super distillery

Published:  24 January, 2017

In case anyone was in doubt, the opening of new London hotspot, Portobello Road's The Distillery, is proof that the gin renaissance is alive and well in London. 

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Jerry Lockspeiser on 2017: Something or nothing?

Published:  20 January, 2017

January. The beginning of a better year. That's what we hope. However good or bad 2016 was personally, for our families, our businesses, and people in other places, we are hardwired to aim for better.

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Profile: Campari UK's Pietro Mattioni

Published:  18 January, 2017

After an ear-popping ride to the 27th floor of the Shard to meet the head of Campari UK, an obvious question springs to mind. 

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Guy Woodward: Why are we so down on English fizz?

Published:  16 January, 2017

There was a degree of sniping when environment secretary Andrea Leadsom claimed recently that England was taking its place "among the world's most renowned wine producers".

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Tim Atkin MW: Burgundy 2015 - a year for the little guys?

Published:  11 January, 2017

Burgundy and Bordeaux may share a common language, but they are very different places.

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Troy Christensen of Enotria&Coe looks at facing the challenge of 2017

Published:  06 January, 2017

The UK has experienced a long-term period of prosperous on trade growth.

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Let's Talk Uruguay

Published:  03 January, 2017

As Uruguay's leading producer of premium wines, Bodega Garzón is approaching the promotion of both its portfolio and Uruguay in a fascinating way.

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Q&A: Trevor Gulliver, chief executive, St John

Published:  23 December, 2016

Trevor Gulliver and celebrated chef Fergus Henderson revolutionised modern British dining with St John's nose-to-tail cooking ethos.

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Looking back on 2016 and ahead to 2017: Robin Copestick, Copestick Murray

Published:  22 December, 2016

Robin Copestick of Copestick Murray predicts a more adventurous 2017 wine-wise, while hoping for that big win for Stoke City

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Looking back on 2016 and ahead to 2017: Ted Sandbach, Oxford Wine Company

Published:  21 December, 2016

The Oxford Wine Company's Ted Sandbach on a (mainly) good year, the challenges ahead and drinking more Pinot Noir

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Q&A: Alberto Antonini, winemaker and consultant

Published:  21 December, 2016

Andrew Catchpole caught up with globetrotting consultant oenologist Alberto Antonini at Bodega Garzón in Uruguay, where they talked authenticity, music and the herding of sheep

 

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Eden Mill is putting itself - and St Andrews - on the gin and whisky map

Published:  19 December, 2016

Visitors to the Scottish town of St Andrews will no doubt have heard of the university, its hallowed 18th green as the birthplace of golf and, as time goes on, Eden Mill.

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Jerry Lockspeiser: A great time to be in wine

Published:  14 December, 2016

I don't want to be a siren of gloom. After all Christmas is the time for good cheer. But we are racing towards the end of a year where disruptive global events - Brexit, Trump, Aleppo - have shaken our feelings of security.

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What lies ahead for 2017?

Published:  13 December, 2016

As a tumultuous year draws to a close, Harpers asked key trade figures to highlight the challenges, ongoing trends and opportunities in 2017

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Guy Woodward: Shouldn't Rioja just keep things simple?

Published:  08 December, 2016

It's the impossible question. And also, of course, the one that members of the trade are most frequently asked. "What's your favourite wine?" In the past, I always used to trot out the standard answer: "It depends" - on the occasion, the weather, the company, the mood and, of course, who's paying.

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Tim Atkin MW: The rise of the counterfeit wine trade around the globe

Published:  05 December, 2016

Investigative journalism is a dangerous business. Indeed, you could argue that in its purest form it's often fatal.

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Customer satisfaction with Eileen Ginger of Whitbread Plc

Published:  29 November, 2016

Whitbread is the UK's largest hospitality group, with an annual turnover of £2.9 billion. Harpers spoke to wine, beer and cider buyer Eileen Ginger about the drinks offerings across the portfolio

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My mind is made up, please don't confuse me with the facts

Published:  25 November, 2016

September 11th 2001. Anyone out of childhood can remember what they were doing the day the Twin Towers were felled

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Q&A: James Trelawny and Hugo Tapp, co-founders, Trelawny and Tapp

Published:  22 November, 2016

Young guns Trelawny and Tapp have fashioned a niche online wine offer designed to connect with the craft beer generation. They explain their vision to Andrew Catchpole

 

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Wine Rack: Bringing hybrid to the high street

Published:  18 November, 2016

Wine Rack is calling time on traditional high street retail with the roll-out of hybrid stores across its estate.

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Guy Woodward: Why is the wine world so snotty about luxury?

Published:  16 November, 2016

My former colleague Adam Lechmere came out with a great line the other day.

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Tim Atkin MW: Rioja's future lies in diversity, not uniformity

Published:  09 November, 2016

The poster in Vivanco's Museum of Wine Culture said it all. It was first published in 2001, but it looked much older than that.

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Q&A: Pierre Seillan, winemaker at Jackson Family Wines

Published:  07 November, 2016

Since setting off from Bordeaux to discover Sonoma County and make wines for the Jackson Family Wines (JFW) in the mid-1990s, it has been winemaker Pierre Seillan's goal to tap into the potential and diversity of the Sonoma terroi

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Q&A: Xavier Rousset MS and Gearoid Devaney MS, Cabotte

Published:  04 November, 2016

Xavier Rousset MS and Gearoid Devaney MS, restaurateur and wine importer respectively, have opened a Burgundy oasis in the City, realising a long-held dream.

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Hallgarten creates new regional sales director role

Published:  24 October, 2016

Luton-based suppliers Hallgarten Druitt & Novum Wines has boosted its senior management team with the creation of a new director of regional sales role.

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Jerry Lockspeiser: Does wine need its Uber?

Published:  24 October, 2016

The wine trade is not renowned for disruptive business models. We haven't yet had our Uber, Airbnb or iTunes. Nor do we have much of a history of radical innovation.

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Q&A: Rosie Finn, Neudorf Vineyards

Published:  21 October, 2016

New Zealand's Family of Twelve is still coming to terms with the loss of one of its founding members and first chairman, Richard Riddiford, who passed away recently.

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Q&A: Ken Forrester, owner, Forrester Wines

Published:  14 October, 2016

The man known as Mr Chenin tells Harpers how he views the South African wine market's evolution over the past 20 years - and what his plans are now after selling a significant stake in his business to French group AdVini.

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The Douro Boys driving whites and reds to new heights

Published:  11 October, 2016

This year the celebrated Douro producer Quinta do Vallado commemorates its 300th anniversary.

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Q&A: ?Ewan Murray, The Wine Society

Published:  10 October, 2016

PR manager Ewan Murray has been with The Wine Society for over a decade. We spoke to him about what makes this cooperative retailer so different

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Andrew Catchpole: Talking about a innovation revolution

Published:  07 October, 2016

Disruption is the new norm - and the experiential its freewheeling partner - as the fast-paced evolution of communications and other technologies continues to reshape how we interact with the world.

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The South American adventure of a Morrisons wine buyer

Published:  05 October, 2016

Andrew Ingham, wine buyer at Morrisons Plc, recounts a recent buying trip to Chile and Argentina. 

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Guy Woodward: Seven things I hate about the wine trade

Published:  05 October, 2016
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Q&A: Fraser McIlwraith, G1 Group

Published:  03 October, 2016

As the head of business development at Scotland's largest hospitality group, Fraser McIlwraith has the intimidating task of juggling increasingly strict government legislation with the needs of big business. We caught up with him to find out how he keeps G1 Group well stocked.

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Tim Atkin MW: What will happen to brand Brangelina?

Published:  30 September, 2016

You can always rely on the wine trade to show a sense of perspective. As Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie prepare to eviscerate one another in the divorce courts, no doubt damaging the lives of their six children in the process, the question on everyone's lips is: what's going to happen to Château Miraval?

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Q&A: Armelle Cruse, the vice president of Crus Bourgeois du Medoc

Published:  29 September, 2016

At a tasting of the 2014 Official Selection of Crus Bourgeois du Medoc, Justin Keay spoke with Armelle Cruse, the vice president of Crus Bourgeois du Medoc about the organisation's ambitious new classification plans.

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Justin Keay: Pico's Revival

Published:  28 September, 2016

Until the 1990s Pico's wine heritage was little more than history. Few were prepared to take on the big financial and logistical challenges that come with making wine in this extraordinary volcanic terrain. Little wonder - this is like no other wine region I have ever visited, unsurprisingly denominated as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 2004.

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Opinion: Five things to consider about the Hong Kong market

Published:  26 September, 2016

There is no doubt that Hong Kong is one of the most exciting wine hub in Asia and a gateway for merchants that want to get into the Chinese market.

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Mike Turner: Should parents let their kids have a go at wine?

Published:  20 September, 2016

There's been a few bits and pieces in the UK press recently about parents allowing their kids to drink alcohol with them at an earlier age than 18.

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The other side of life: Richard Cochrane, managing director of Félix Solis UK

Published:  19 September, 2016

Richard Cochrane, managing director of Félix Solis UK, talks about his passion for climbing.

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The Smith Report: New packaging formats are getting crafty

Published:  16 September, 2016

Wine has always been resistant to any format other than the classic 75cl bottle, but it has to start relaxing its approach to move forward

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Q&A: Ian Harris, Wine & Spirit Education Trust

Published:  15 September, 2016

During his 14-year stint at the helm, Ian Harris has transformed the WSET into the leading global wine education body.

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Profile: Henry Butler, Butler's Wine Cellar

Published:  12 September, 2016

With two Brighton shops and a share in a hybrid wine bar in Hove, vino purveyor Henry Butler is the de facto wine chap about town.

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Guy Woodward: Would you order a wine selected by an algorithm?

Published:  07 September, 2016

I'm in the market for a new car. Such a substantial purchase demands extensive research. Doubtless petrolheads would be in heaven at the prospect of debating fuel economy stats with like-minded car bores. For me, though, with my pitiful automotive knowledge, it is my worst nightmare.

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Q&A: Andrew Shaw, group wine buying director, Conviviality PLC

Published:  06 September, 2016

Conviviality PLC operates under numerous trading identities, including its retail arms Bargain Booze and Wine Rack. Having acquired leading wholesaler Matthew Clark in 2015, Conviviality added Bibendum PLB to its armoury in May 2016, with that group already operating a multi-channel sales strategy - Bibendum focusing on the on-trade, PLB on multiple off-trade and Walker & Wodehouse looking after the independent sector.

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Andrew Catchpole: What is in the bottle is not the only thing that counts

Published:  05 September, 2016

Editor Andrew Catchpole argues that while wine quality is certaintly important it is not the only way customers buy, particularly when it comes to trying a new wine.

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Tim Atkin MW: The impossible task of running a generic body

Published:  02 September, 2016

Tim Atkin MW looks at the challenges of running a generic body and how producers may often times have unrealistic expectations of a single person or job.

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Mike Turner: Is online delivery crippling some in the wine trade?

Published:  01 September, 2016

When it comes to delivery services the fees can be crippling particularly for smaller businesses.

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Jerry Lockspeiser: The Export Manager's Tale

Published:  24 August, 2016

People working in the wine business arrive by different routes. Jerry Lockspeiser tells the tale of Jan Kaspar and how he came into the wine trade.

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Q&A: Jon Usabiaga, chief winemaker, Viña Aresti

Published:  19 August, 2016
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Profile: Richard Lecoche of Great Western Wine on the business' growth as part larger Enotria

Published:  17 August, 2016

It's been six years since Great Western Wine was acquired by Enotria and the deal has helped take both businesses to new heights.

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Guy Woodward: British chefs love telling us to think local- until it comes to wine

Published:  15 August, 2016

Guy Woodward challenges- is it too much to expect that leading British restaurants carry an English wine by the glass?

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Andrew Catchpole: Independent, yet united, we could reach more wine drinkers

Published:  12 August, 2016

At last month's Think Indie Drink Indie event, businesses came together to discuss more effective ways of operating and attracting more wine drinkers, which left Andrew Catchpole feeling optimistic about the future of the trade.

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Q&A: Aidan Bowie, senior bartender, Dandelyan

Published:  10 August, 2016

The Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year GB 2016 talks to about how there's more to being a top bartender than just making a great cocktail.

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The Wine Show's Joe Fattorini to run Médoc Marathon raising £5K for The Benevolent

Published:  09 August, 2016

ITV's 'The Wine Show' presenter Joe Fattorini is set to run the Médoc Marathon and aims to raise £5,000 for drinks charity The Benevolent.

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Keys to building your indie business Part 2: How to capitalise on the off-into-on-trade offer

Published:  09 August, 2016

At the first Think Indie, Drink Indie event, successful merchants shared best practices and avenues to consider when looking to expand. Here is the first of a four part series covering different areas independent merchants should consider in expanding their businesses. Topics covered included why wholesaling is good for indies, how the hybrid model can be great for retail, what to consider when expanding online and the how to maximise the value of events.

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Miles Beale: The wine and spirits industry has its heart in the right place - the UK

Published:  08 August, 2016

Miles Beale, the chief executive of the Wine and Spirits Trade Association, reminds us while opportunities and challenges lay ahead following the Brexit vote "this is not a time for knee-jerk reactions", but "it is also not a time to be left standing still either."

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Tim Atkin MW: Embracing change and pushing boundaries

Published:  05 August, 2016

Liks so many industries the wine world is in flux and Tim Atkin challenges that may not be a bad thing.

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Q&A: Chester Osborn, head of D'Arenberg Wines

Published:  04 August, 2016

Chester Osborn, a man famous for his loud shirts and the flamboyant head of D'Arenberg Wines, talks to Angela Mount about his winemaking ethos and his quirkily-named wines.

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Family Affair Part 4: Miguel Torres Maczassek, general manager, Bodegas Torres

Published:  26 July, 2016

Family-owned wineries still thrive in an increasingly consolidated world. Andrew Catchpole speaks to Miguel Torres Maczassek, the general manager of Bodegas Torres, about the benefits of being independently run. This is the final article in a four part series.

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Family Affair Part 3: Mitchell Taylor, managing director, Wakefield Wines, Clare Valley

Published:  25 July, 2016

Family-owned wineries still thrive in an increasingly consolidated world. Andrew Catchpole speaks to Mitchell Taylor, the managing director of Wakefield Wines located in the Clare Valley, about the benefits of being independently run. This is the third article in a four part series.

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Family Affair Part 2: Robert Hill-Smith, chairman, Yalumba, Barossa Valley

Published:  22 July, 2016

Family-owned wineries still thrive in an increasingly consolidated world. Andrew Catchpole speaks with Robert Hill-Smith, chairman of Yalumba in Barossa Valley about the benefits of being independently run. This is the second article in a four part series.

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Family Affair Part 1: Alessio and Francesca Planeta, Planeta, Sicily

Published:  21 July, 2016

Family-owned wineries still thrive in an increasingly consolidated world. Andrew Catchpole speaks with Alessio and Francesca Planeta, both of whom are family members of Planeta in Sicily, about the benefits of being independently run. This is the first article in a three part series.

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Jerry Lockspeiser: Lessons learnt from Brexit

Published:  19 July, 2016

Many of us in the wine trade rue the Brexit result. Some, including Tim Atkin in his recent Harpers piece, hope that it won't be implemented. I campaigned to Remain, twice writing in Harpers in support, the second time urging readers to join in before it was too late. Alas, now it is. The people have spoken

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Guy Woodward: Why wine is failing the hipster test

Published:  15 July, 2016

If there are two things that Brexit has taught us about the mindset of the consumer right now, it's that the prevailing mood is anti-establishment, and that, partly as a consequence, when it comes to communicating a message the detail is not as integral as the tone.

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Mike Turner: Can blue wine be good for the wine category?

Published:  13 July, 2016

The world's wine press in recent weeks has been all over Blue Wine.  And when I say blue, I mean BLUE.  It's been in nearly every newspaper and online foodie publication.  Funny thing is that most of us writing these articles have never actually tasted it.  So why is it causing so much of a stir?

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Q&A: John Colley, managing director retail, Majestic Wine

Published:  11 July, 2016

When Colley joined Majestic in September 2015, he brought with him a wealth of experience and promptly hit the ground running. Now he has settled in, he talks about what he hopes to achieve over the next three years.

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Profile: Doug Wregg of Les Caves de Pyrene

Published:  08 July, 2016

With wine bars in London, Logroño and Melbourne, plus a natural wine fair to its name, Les Caves de Pyrene is an intriguingly off-piste wine importer. Doug Wregg explains what make the 'cavistes' tick.

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Tim Atkin: What will an EU exit mean for the wine trade?

Published:  08 July, 2016

What will Brexit mean for the wine business? In the traumatic week that has followed the referendum and the decision of 52% of voters to leave the European Union, the very question has seemed increasingly, almost fatuously, irrelevant.

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Pernod Ricard UK MD announces departure

Published:  28 June, 2016

Pernod Ricard UK managing director, Denis O'Flynn, has announced he will be leaving the group at the end of September.

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Vin-X CEO talks up a potentially positive outcome for the trade from Brexit

Published:  24 June, 2016

Upbeat stories are thin on the ground following Brexit, but ex-City fine wine investment broker Peter Shakeshaft has presented an intriguing analysis of what may happen over the next couple of years

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From Bristol to Romania: How an Englishman became a key figure in Romania's burgeoning wine industry

Published:  21 June, 2016

When Philip Cox left Bristol for Romania in the early 1990s, little did he imagine that a quarter of a century later he would be the co-owner of the most profitable winery in Romania.

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People: Philip Cox, Recas Winery in Romania

Published:  21 June, 2016

Philip Cox, left Bristol for Romania in the early 1990s and now his winery is the most profitable winery in Romania.

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Jerry Lockspeiser: Act now before it's too late

Published:  17 June, 2016

It was a glorious event. The Stade de France a sea of Polish and German colour- red and white scarves held aloft by their thousands, black and white shirts everywhere you looked. Crazy hats, painted faces, couples framed by a huge heart kissing on the giant screen.

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Opinion: You Been On That Facetube Yet?

Published:  16 June, 2016

Wine blogger Mike Turner, the man behind Please Bring Me My Wine, which has more than 30,000 Twitter followers, challanges there is value in investing in social media for wine businesses.

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Q&A: Andres Caballeros, winemaker director, Carolina Wine Brands

Published:  14 June, 2016

The winemaker director at Carolina Wine Brands talks about saving and promoting Chile's viticultural diversity.

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Guy Woodward: Why are women still under-represented in the wine trade?

Published:  10 June, 2016

Guy Woodward this month asks why women still under-represented in the wine trade when haveing women in all aspects of the business is so benefical. 

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Interview: Giles Cooke MW, at Alliance Wine, champions diversity

Published:  09 June, 2016

Alliance Wine's Giles Cooke MW is getting behind ambitious up-and-coming producers and ploughing a different furrow.

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Harpers Choice

Published:  07 June, 2016
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Q&A: Guillermo de Aranzabal, president, La Rioja Alta

Published:  06 June, 2016

Armit Wines' La Rioja Alta is known for its 890 and 904 wines - key years in the founding of the original winery. Harpers.co.uk caught up with the winery's fifth-generation president to find out what the Rioja label means to his business.

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Q&A: Guillermo de Aranzabal, president, La Rioja Alta

Published:  06 June, 2016
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Andrew Catchpole: Are you in or out?

Published:  06 June, 2016

To Brexit or not to Brexit? To further labour a Shakespeare reference, that is the question facing the British public as they head for the voting booths for the referendum on remaining or renouncing membership of the European Union on June 23.

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Q&A: Andrew Lundy, managing director, Vino

Published:  03 June, 2016

Rising from the ashes of Wine Rack after it went into administration in 2009, Edinburgh-based independent merchant Vino has garnered a reputation for a no-nonsense, fresh and fun approach to wine selling.

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Tim Atkin MW: Where does Spain fit in the battle for wine supremacy?

Published:  03 June, 2016

Tim Atkin takes a look at Spanish terrior and where Spanish wines fit in the hieracrchy for supermacy as a top wine producing country.

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Opinion: Logistic providers within the drinks trade need to respond to the changing landscape

Published:  31 May, 2016

As DHL's Tradeteam celebrates two decades in business, managing director James Gill discusses the changing face of the drinks logistics market and the crucial role logistics partners play in working with their customers to address the challenges.

 

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Q&A: Julio Sáenz, La Rioja Alta, S.A.

Published:  27 May, 2016

La Rioja Alta, S.A., has been making wine since it was founded by five families back in 1890. We chatted to Julio Sáenz, winemaker at the premium vineyard since 1996 and technical director since 2005, about how their wines and the winemaking have evolved.

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Jerry Lockspeiser: Is wine quality the key to sales?

Published:  26 May, 2016

While everyone in the wine business agrees that product quality is important, how we define 'quailty' may vary. So how do we persuade a buyer to give us a listing?

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Jamaican rum's master blender witnesses technology revolution during 35-year career

Published:  26 May, 2016

Joy Spence, master blender at Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum, has seen rum production revolutionised over the course of three-and-a-half decades in her chosen field.

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The Wine Show's Amelia Singer on being a social (media) butterfly

Published:  25 May, 2016

Amelia Singer, presenter of ITV's The Wine Show, is focusing on bringing new audiences to wine with her fun and friendly presence on social media.

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Andrew Maidment: Increasing focus on premium Malbec

Published:  20 May, 2016

Malbec's ever growing popularity is presenting Argentine producers with a dilemma as to whether to promote the country's broader diversity of varieties and styles or focus in on its flagship grape

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Peter Darybshire: We need to talk about alcohol

Published:  17 May, 2016

New lobbying group the Healthy Drinking Alliance, set up by Peter Darbyshire, is making inroads with MPs and retailers, but will it win over the trade?

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Skin Côntact: It's the final countdown! Mark Andrew talks about his favourite music legends

Published:  12 May, 2016

Our final personal interview with the stars set to take the stage at tonight's Skin Côntact benefit concert is with Mark Andrew of Noble Rot.

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Q&A: Michael Taylor, Santa Rita Estates

Published:  12 May, 2016

Michael Taylor, Santa Rita Estates off-trade sales director for Europe, talks about the history and ambition

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The Wine Show's Amelia Singer prepares to take the stage for Skin Côntact LIVE concert

Published:  11 May, 2016

For a second year in a row the wine trade supergroup Skin Côntact will be taking to the stage this week in an effort raise aid as part of Comic Relief.

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Hattingley's Simon Robinson steps up to the helm of English Wine Producers

Published:  11 May, 2016

Simon Robinson, owner of Hattingley Vineyards in Hampshire, has been appointed Chairman of marketing organisation the English Wine Producers (EWP).

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Alistair Cooper reveals his muscial heroes and embarassing moments ahead of Skin Côntact concert

Published:  10 May, 2016

For a second year in a row the wine trade supergroup Skin Côntact will be taking to the stage this week in an effort raise aid as part of Comic Relief.

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Sophie McLean takes the stage for Skin Côntact LIVE AGAIN

Published:  10 May, 2016

For a second year in a row the wine trade supergroup Skin Côntact will be taking to the stage this week in an effort raise aid as part of Comic Relief.

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Q&A: Dermot Sugrue, Wiston Estate

Published:  10 May, 2016

With his Wiston Estate and Sugrue Pierre sparkling wines scooping up accolades and awards, Dermot Sugrue, the Irish-born winemaker is at the forefront of the English fizz scene.

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Q&A: Sunaina Sethi, JKS Restaurants

Published:  04 May, 2016

At just 29, Sethi has already developed the wine lists for London restaurants Trishna, Gymkhana and Hoppers. Jo Gilbert asks what it's like to jump ship.

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Profile: Neil Bruce, Fulller's Brewery

Published:  03 May, 2016

Fuller's Brewery has ambitious plans for its wine portfolio, unveiling some radical rethinking of how it's sold and Neil Bruce the head of wine is up for the challenge.

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Guy Woodward: Reflecting on those we lost in the wine trade this year

Published:  29 April, 2016

For David Bowie, Terry Wogan and Ronnie Corbett, read Louis Latour, Paul Pontallier and Etienne Hugel. Maybe not in that order. But either way, 2016 has been as cruel a year in the wine community as it has in the wider world.

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Tim Atkin MW: The health of wine on the UK high street

Published:  29 April, 2016

Failing the emergence of a last-minute saviour, BHS looks set to slide into administration this week, joining a list of major high street casualties that includes Comet, Woolworths and JJB Sports.

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Jerry Lockspeiser: Running Business

Published:  28 April, 2016

Jerry Lockspeiser has learned a lot of lessons through his training for marathons that are also applicable to running a successful business.

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Q&A: Beltran Domecq, President of the Consejo Regulador de D.O. Jerez/Sherry

Published:  28 April, 2016

President of the governing body for Sherry, Beltran Domecq is fighting to make the category hip again.

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Q&A: Angelo Gobbi, Bromley Court Hotel

Published:  26 April, 2016

Angelo Gobbi is the whiskey sommelier and the overseer of all libations at the Bromley Court Hotel outside of London. Following a renovation of the hotel and in the throws of spring, beverages in the terrace garden call.

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Skin Côntact's Steph Barlow of BBR confesses her go to artist after a few glasses of wine

Published:  21 April, 2016

For a second year in a row the wine trade supergroup Skin Côntact will be taking to the stage next month in an effort raise aid as part of Comic Relief.

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Tristan Darby of the Bristol Wine School takes the stage with other legends of the trade for Skin Côntact

Published:  19 April, 2016

For a second year in a row the wine trade supergroup Skin Côntact will be taking to the stage next month in an effort raise aid as part of Comic Relief.

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Q&A: Stevie Kim, Vinitaly International's managing director

Published:  19 April, 2016

In case you didn't make it to Verona this year for Italy's biggest wine fair, we caught up with the Vinitaly International's managing director, Stevie Kim, to see how the show has changed as it celebrates its 50th year.

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Anne Serres, a winner of the 'Sing With Skin Côntact' competition, talks rock legends before her big break

Published:  15 April, 2016

Anne Serres is a Paris-born wine journalist and educator with a penchant for all things rock, who lists Dave Grohl, Linda Ronstadt, Freddie Mercury and Florence Welch among her musical heroes.

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Q&A: Vittorio Moretti, President of the Franciacorta Consortium

Published:  14 April, 2016

Owner of the Bellavista and Contadi Castaldi brands, Vittorio Moretti was elected president of the Franciacorta Consorzio in December 2015. He now faces an uphill struggle, in transforming Italy's premium traditional method fizz from a niche category into a household name.

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Chairman to depart from drinks giant Diageo

Published:  12 April, 2016

The board at Smirnoff-producer Diageo has announced their chairman will be stepping down after eight years in the post.

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Harpers' columnist Guy Woodward set to take the stage at this year's Skin Côntact concert

Published:  12 April, 2016

For a second year in a row the wine trade supergroup Skin Côntact will be taking to the stage next month in an effort raise aid as part of Comic Relief.

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Opinion: IPOB may not be everyone's cup of tea

Published:  12 April, 2016

Is IPOB dividing california winemakers? In Pursuit of Balance, a group that focuses only on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from California, has been generating some good publicity for those involved and helped to make names for some producers and the specific regions they hail from.

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Q&A: Dan Townsend, general manager for Europe, Treasury Wine Estates

Published:  12 April, 2016

Following the announcement of the acquisition of Diageo's wine portfolio Dan Townsend talks about the integration of the business and its plans for the future.

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Q&A: Tim Mondavi, partner, Continuum Estate, Napa Valley

Published:  08 April, 2016

The Mondavi family has a deeply rooted history in the Napa Valley and when they had to sell the publicly controlled business to Constellation Brands in 2004, decided to take some time out to launch Continuum Estate.

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Martin Williams: The ambitious Mr. M

Published:  08 April, 2016

It has been more than a year since Martin Williams went it alone and opened his first M restaurant on Threadneedle Street in London. Harpers.co.uk catches up with him and finds he hasn't slowed down since.

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Louis Latour 1932-2016: Burgundy's maverick negociant and wine producer

Published:  07 April, 2016

Louis Latour, Burgundy's maverick negociant and wine producer, is remembered as a man with a passion and a history

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Robin Davis: The growing appeal of niche agencies to the on-trade

Published:  06 April, 2016

Swig's Robin Davis talks about the growing appeal of niche agencies for a vibrant on-trade.

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Q&A: ITV's The Wine Show co-hosts Joe Frattorini and Amelia Singer

Published:  04 April, 2016

Ahead of this month's roll-out of ITV's new series The Wine Show, Harpers.co.uk catches up with Joe Fattorini and Amelia Singer.

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Guy Woodward: We need to ditch wine's elitist reputation

Published:  01 April, 2016

Guy Woodward reflects on how any wine "advice" may be viewed through the prism of wine being the preserve of patronising snobs.

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Insights: How can smaller producers make the most of big trade shows?

Published:  22 March, 2016

Reka Haros of Sfriso Winery was pleased to not attend this year's Prowein because as a small producer she finds it difficult to justify the cost of attending the fair. Instead she and Marilena Barbera of Cantine Barbera share some lessons learned and how they are changing their approach to trade shows to make sure they get the best return on the time and resource investments they make for events they do attend. 

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Jerry Lockspieser: Are you an Inner or an Outer?

Published:  22 March, 2016

Are you an "inner" or an "outer"? This is not a question about bicycle tyres but the increasingly vexed matter of where you stand on Britain's membership of the European Union.

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Joe Wadsack named IWSC Wine Communicator of the Year

Published:  16 March, 2016

The International Wine & Spirit Competition has named Joe Wadsack its Wine Communicator of the Year for 2016 award.

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Q&A: Bernadette Knight, Armand de Brignac

Published:  14 March, 2016

Launched in 2006 by historic house Cattier, the success of Armand de Brignac was largely built on its association with celebrities like Jay Z, who purchased the brand from Cattier in 2014. Yet, de Brignac's chief marketing officer insists that the wine's quality has chiefly contributed to the brand's success

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Q&A: In Pursuit of Balance

Published:  09 March, 2016

Five years on from co-founding In Pursuit of Balance, Jasmine Hirsch of Hirsch Vineyards and Rajat Parr of Domaine de la Côte and Sandhi talk about their vision for west coast Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

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Q&A: Jay Wright, chief executive, Virgin Wines

Published:  08 March, 2016

Virgin Wines cashed in on the recent Christmas trading period and saw sales soar by 12%, attracting 30,000 new online customers in the process. The man at the helm talks to Erin Smith about what it takes to be a success online

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Taking a break from the mainstream

Published:  07 March, 2016

It's often said that Champagne sales are a pretty accurate economic barometer, their fluctuations closely matching the financial health of the nation, fast charting out the highs and lows of boom and bust.

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Profile: Denis O'Flynn, Pernod Ricard

Published:  07 March, 2016

intDenis O'Flynn, managing director of Pernod Ricard, brings with him a clear strategy, an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for the industry - what could be better?

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Guy Woodward: keep wine writing simple, stupid

Published:  04 March, 2016

"Condensation and distillation." No, not the method for a new hipster gin being made in a Shoreditch loft - rather Hugh Johnson's description of his own writing style. 

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Tim Atkin MW: wising up to en primeur

Published:  04 March, 2016

You might not have noticed, but the annual Bordeaux en primeur campaign is almost upon us.

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Q&A: Natsuki Kikuya, sake samurai, sommelier and educator from the Museum of Sake

Published:  03 March, 2016

Natsuki Kikuya, sake samurai, sommelier and educator from the Museum of Sake, talks to Anne Greenhous about cup sake and the opening of a pop-up cup sake bar curated for The Hoxton, London.

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Alex Hunt: California now providing great value in comparison with France

Published:  03 March, 2016

Berkmann Wine Cellars has made a new push for Californian Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon, while launching an audacious challenge against the prices of wine made from the same grape varieties in Burgundy and Bordeaux in France

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It's the person, stupid

Published:  25 February, 2016

It's about time we considered the customer and put their preferences first, rather than treating them as an inconvenient obstacle to a perfect wine and food pairing

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Q&A: Guillaume Deglise, Vinexpo's chief executive officer

Published:  18 February, 2016

Vinexpo Hong Kong is set to return on 24-26 May, 2016 and harpers.co.uk talks with Guillaume Deglise, Vinexpo chief executive officer about what to expect at the show

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Andrew Bewes: Consolidation is forcing suppliers and industry to adapt

Published:  16 February, 2016

At last week's Hallgarten Druitt annual trade tasting held in London, managing director Andrew Bewes, discussed the impact consolidation is having on the industry, how it forcing suppliers to up their service offering, but also changing the way the trade is sourcing its wine.

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Q&A: Gary Cann, BWS procurement manager, Living Ventures Group

Published:  12 February, 2016

Gary Cann is the buyer at Manchester's leading bar and restaurant operator and he talks about drinks trends and the challenges of meeting these as an expanding on-trade group

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James Bielby: Has the Government turned its back on small businesses?

Published:  10 February, 2016

James Bielby, chief executive officer of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors, asks whether a number of different government initiatives being focused on from the National Living Wage to the relaxation of Sunday Trading rules could harm small business owners.

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Q&A: Chris and Andrea Mullineux, Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines

Published:  10 February, 2016

As Swartland's winemaking prowess matures, Geoffrey Dean talks to Chris and Andrea Mullineux of Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines about keeping that freewheeling spirit

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Profile: Ayo Akintola, the MD of Oddbins, looks at the future of wine retailing

Published:  08 February, 2016

UK's quirkiest retailer, Oddbins, has made a remarkable recovery in the past five years. Erin Smith talks with managing director Ayo Akintola about taking risks and what's ahead

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Tim Atkin MW: The story of the world's highest vineyard

Published:  05 February, 2016

In his wonderful book BAD: Or, the Dumbing of America, the late Paul Fussell developed a theory about altitude: the higher the restaurant, the worse the food.

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Guy Woodward: Shifting focus to alcohol's social issues

Published:  05 February, 2016

I spent a few days in Qatar last month. Not a place that I expected to inform this column, but then travel is full of surprises.

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Q&A: Peter Sisseck, Pingus

Published:  04 February, 2016

Pingus owner Peter Sisseck signed a controversial manifesto in defense of Spanish terroir challenging the dominance of the country's top DOs. Sisseck explains why a village specific approach is essential for Spain's future.

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Q&A: Leanne De Bortoli and her husband Steve Webber, De Bortoli Wines

Published:  03 February, 2016

Leanne De Bortoli and her husband Steve Webber, the chief winemaker, of the De Bortoli Wines talk about Yarra Valley wines, the 2015 vintage, anticipating consumer tastes and the UK market.

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Q&A: Andreas Clark, CEO, Wine Australia

Published:  28 January, 2016

Wine Australia's chief executive officer Andreas Clark at this week's London Australia Day Tasting discusses the challenges facing the UK market

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Q&A: Footballer Hidetoshi Nakata talks sake

Published:  21 January, 2016

Anna Greenhous, talks to one of the greatest Japanese footballers of all time, Hidetoshi Nakata, about retiring and becoming an international sake ambassador.

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Jerry Lockspeiser: Is it time for the wine trade to face up to the health risks of drinking?

Published:  19 January, 2016

Jerry Lockspeiser weighs in on the new Chief Medical Officer guidelines of alcohol consumption and argues as a trade we have an 'obligation to pay attention'. Are we skeptical because we simply don't want to believe the argument is valid?

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Opinion: New Zealand's Sauvignon addiction - a dangerous thing?

Published:  15 January, 2016

With plantings of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc reaching saturation point and New Zealand heavily reliant on its lead variety, James Lawrence argues that the country must necessarily evolve its offer

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Interview: Mike James is Aldi's ace in the pack

Published:  13 January, 2016

Mike James, wine buying director at Aldi UK, is driving a category which is driving a discounter at the forefront of the industry. Erin Smith reports on the changing face of its wine range 

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Q&A: Paul Schaafsma, chief executive, Accolade Wines

Published:  11 January, 2016

The recently appointed head of Accolade Wines talks about life in the top job, Chilean wine brand Anakena launching in the UK and how he plans to make Accolade a global one-stop shop for New World wines

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Christopher Cooper: Bartenders versus sommeliers - who brings the 'cool' to the drinks industry?

Published:  08 January, 2016

Perception is everything in the battle of the elite drinks purveyors, so it's about time we factored "cool" into wine's appeal, says Christopher Cooper

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Andrew Catchpole: A promising year for the wine trade

Published:  08 January, 2016

Consumer confidence - and spend - is on the up, a stronger pound is easing the path for UK buyers, and time has seemingly been called by the multiples on an era of heavy discounting, with range cuts also playing into the hands of adventurous independents selling on the contrasting breadth of their portfolio.

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Guy Woodward: The many reasons to be thankful for our wine press

Published:  08 January, 2016

When my name first started appearing at the top of this page each month, I promised myself there was one topic that I would strenuously avoid. Eighteen months in, I'm about to break that promise... 

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Tim Atkin MW: Debating the merits of terroir

Published:  08 January, 2016

"Soil is dirt." I'm sure the Californian producer Bill Jekel was being deliberately provocative when he entered into a well-publicised debate about terroir with Bruno Prats of Château Cos d'Estournel at the end of the 1980s, but he was also articulating a position that was widely held in the New World at the time.

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Christopher Cooper: The rise of the drinks expert entrepreneur

Published:  07 January, 2016

Christopher Cooper has worked in the restaurant scene for over a decade, but it all prepared him to launch his own drinks start-up. Here are some of the lessons he learned along the way.

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2015 year in review and hopes and fears for 2016: Clare Griffiths, Concho y Toro

Published:  04 January, 2016

Our final look back at 2015 is from Clare Griffiths, commercial director for Concho y Toro UK which saw an impressive performance for 2015- which may be tough to beat.  But looking ahead Griffiths is most excited about continuing the work her team has been doing in 2016 by focusing on building strong brands that deliver value in the UK market.

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2015 year in review and hopes and fears for 2016: John McLaren, Wines Institute of California

Published:  04 January, 2016

As we all ease our way into 2016 and we have a few of our final thoughts as the year begins from John McLaren, UK director of Wines Institute of California. Californian wines have done incredibly well in 2051, but McLaren sees consumers which buy from supermarkets as a challenge ahead in 2016.

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2015 year in review and hopes and fears for 2016: Ted Sandbach, Oxford Wine Company

Published:  31 December, 2015

Ted Sandbach, managing director and owner of the Oxford Wine Company, looks back at an exciting 2015 with opening of another Wine Cafe and figures are up with his wholesale business.  He is looking forward to enjoying the Great Escape over the Christmas break, but looking to 2016 Sandbach sees more consolidation ahead for the industry.

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2015 year in review and hopes and fears for 2016: Anita Jackson, Wines of Chile

Published:  31 December, 2015

Anita Jackson, UK director of Wines of Chile, looks back at a successful 2015, with volume and value figures up over the previous year.  She was particularly pleased with the success of the innovative Mercado Andino tasting in 2015. But over the Christmas period she looking forward to putting her feet up and enjoy a little down time before 2016, where she sees the biggest challenge ahead is getting consumers to trade up in their wine purchases. 

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2015 year in review and hopes and fears for 2016: Bernard Fontannaz, Origin Wine

Published:  30 December, 2015

Bernard Fontannaz, founder of Origin Wine, looks back at an overall positive 2015 and is excited about the sustainable future he is building for his company. He had a year full of expansion and is looking forward to more innovation in 2016.

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2015 year in review and hopes and fears for 2016: Nik Darlington, Red Squirrel Wine

Published:  29 December, 2015

For founder of Red Squirrel Wine, Nik Darlington, 2015 was a year of tremendous growth. Next year Darlington is looking forward to getting his wines even further around the UK. He sees that in 2016 the way forward, although challenging, will be through building a loyal and sustainable customer base.

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2015 year in review and hopes and fears for 2016: Dan Townsend, Treasury Wine Estates

Published:  29 December, 2015

Dan Townsend, general manager of Europe for Treasury Wine Estates, saw 2015 as very strong year at TWE and thinks that the reverse takeover of Matthew Clark by Conviviality "has the potential to be a real game changer in terms of the UK trading landscape." Townsend is most excited about the opportunities that lay ahead in 2016, but sees Duty as one of the toughest challenges that trade faces next year.

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2015 year in review and hopes and fears for 2016: Sarah Abbott MW, Turkish Wine Alliance and Swirl

Published:  28 December, 2015

Sarah Abbott MW has her fingers in many pies, including running her own events company Swirl and helping clients like the Turkish Wine Alliance promote their wines in the UK. While 2015 was a brilliant year for her, she is looking forward to 2016 and helping wine producers in countries that face huge political and economic pressures promote their wines in the UK as wine in these countries is a symbol of defiant hope. But 2016 will also have challenges and she worries about the uncertainty of the UK remaining as part of the EU.

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2015 year in review and hopes and fears for 2016: Miles Beale, WSTA

Published:  28 December, 2015

Miles Beale chief executive officer of the Wine and Spirits Trade Association, celebrated the 'best budget outcome for almost 20 years' in 2015.  Looking ahead, Beale is gearing up to to make the case for a 2% duty cut and fairer treatment for wine in 2016.

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2015 year in review and hopes and fears for 2016: Andrew Maidment, Wines of Argentina

Published:  24 December, 2015

Andrew Maidment, the head of Wines of Argentina in the UK said 2015 was another great year with growth of 26% compared to 2014. Looking ahead though Maidment sees 2016 as year to continue to focus on the end drinker, but will be following the discount retailers next year.

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2015 year in review and hopes and fears for 2016: Robin Copestick, Copestick Murray

Published:  24 December, 2015

Robin Copestick of Copestick Murray looks back at Stoke City football and how healthy the UK wine trade was in 2015. Although 2015 was good- "2016 will be better still."

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2015 year in review and hopes and fears for 2016: Roger Jones, The Harrow at Little Bedwyn

Published:  23 December, 2015

The celebrated Roger Jones of Michelin-star restaurant The Harrow at Little Bedwyn had a great 2015 with sales up 20%! He

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2015 year in review and hopes and fears for 2016: Ayo Akintola, Oddbins

Published:  23 December, 2015

Ayo Akintola, the managing director of Oddbins saw 2015 as a challenging, but satisfactory year.  The 'manic' response of retailers to threat of discounters moving into the UK has been a challenge in 2015.  But Akintola is looking forward to 2016 as he sees the opportunity to work with interesting suppliers as a 'once in a generation' opportunity.

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2015 year in review and hopes and fears for 2016: Hal Wilson, Cambridge Wine Merchants

Published:  22 December, 2015

Hal Wilson of Cambridge Wine Merchants has had an 'awesome' and 'dynamic' 2015. He has embraced the popularity of spirits, which has helped boost his offering to over 900 SKUs.  The two biggest challenges in 2016 Wilson's thinks will be to keep wine 'sexy' and combating supermarket discounting.

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2015 year in review and hopes and fears for 2016: Jo Wehring, Wines of South Africa

Published:  22 December, 2015

Jo Wehring of Wines of South Africa looks back at a successful Cape Wine in 2015, but sees Majestic as the retailer to watch heading into 2016. She is looking foward to a new tasting in 2016 that will be hosted by WOSA called Intrepid South Africa in the autumn next year- so watch this space.

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2015 year in review and hopes and fears for 2016: David Cox, The Benevolent

Published:  21 December, 2015

David Cox, the chief executive of The Benevolent, the drinks charity in the UK, is proud that in 2015 the charity was able to assist 570 beneficiaries.  For the trade, he saw 2015 as a challenging year where businesses need to work harder than ever to protect margins.  In 2016 he most looking forward to continuing to grow the number of companies that are engaged with charity.

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2015 year in review and hopes and fears for 2016: Julia Trustram Eve, English Wine Producers

Published:  21 December, 2015

In the first of our annual reviews of the year, we asked Julia Trustram Eve, the marketing director for English Wine Producers, what were some highlights of 2015 and what she thinks lies ahead for the industry. For Trustman Eve, 2015 was a busy year where English wines became increasingly more mainstream.  Looking ahead she see the Budget as one of the industries biggest challenges in 2016, but a lot of opportunity as well with the International Cool Climate Symposium being hosted in the UK.

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Geoffrey Dean: Cyprus' quality-focused wines and developed tourism is winning a combination

Published:  15 December, 2015

Wine drinkers who love nothing better than unearthing a hidden gem should look no further than Cyprus.

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Q&A: George Sandeman, Sandeman Port

Published:  15 December, 2015

As the iconic Port producer celebrates its 225th anniversary, seventh-generation family member George Sandeman presented a limited release of the 2000 Vintage Port in London. Anne Krebiehl MW met him to talk through the changing fortunes of Port

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Q&A: Nik Darlington, founder, Red Squirrel Wine

Published:  10 December, 2015
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Q&A: Tim Heath, head winemaker, Cloudy Bay

Published:  08 December, 2015

Tim Heath, who has been with Cloudy Bay for 10 years, talks about continuing the legacy of one of New Zealand's most iconic brands as it celebrates its 30th anniversary.

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Erin Smith: Change offers us hope for the future

Published:  07 December, 2015

Erin Smith looks back at 2015 and reflects on how change can offer opportunities in 2016

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People Mike Greene

Published:  07 December, 2015
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Jerry Lockspeiser: How to make money in wine? Start a crusade

Published:  04 December, 2015

Jerry Lockspeiser on why mission-driven businesses are appealing to consumers

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Tim Atkin MW: The battle over inheritance in Burgundy

Published:  04 December, 2015

Tim Atkin MW weighs in on the battle over inheritance in Burgundy and how it is tough for families where some want to sell and others want to carry on the family tradition.

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Opinion: Has Indian wine's time arrived?

Published:  03 December, 2015

Before 2008, just about the only Indian wine you could find was Omar Khayyam, a gassy sparkling wine particularly popular in Indian restaurants - until the global recession knocked its producer Chateau Indage, out of business. Today things are very different

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Q&A: Graham Gayler appointed as new non-executive director

Published:  10 November, 2015

Ridgeview, one of the largest English sparkling wine producers in Sussex, has appointed its former bank manager, Graham Gayler as a non-executive director. Gayler, a former director at NatWest bank, was one of the few lenders to show faith in Ridgeview and the future of English wine, when he agreed to fund the fizz producer during its first years of production in the 1990s.

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Q&A: Merchant Vintners' chairman James Tanner

Published:  05 November, 2015

James Tanner is the third chairman of the buying group which is celebrating 50 years of business and looking for new recruits.

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Q&A: Andrés Lavados, Chile's Santa Rita Estates

Published:  04 November, 2015

Andrés Lavados has been heading up Chile's Santa Rita Estates for more than a year. He talks about his vision for the company and how he plans to crack the UK market.

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Interview: Barbara Banke takes family-owned Jackson Family Wines global

Published:  03 November, 2015

Barbara Banke, the driving force behind Jackson Family Wines, on the challenges involved in guiding a family-owned business to global success.

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Mark Harvey, new MD of wine at Chapel Down, wants to shake up the wine trade

Published:  02 November, 2015

Mark Harvey was recently appointed managing director of wine at Chapel Down. He talks to Erin Smith about his new role and what he sees for the future of the English sparkling wine brand.

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Tim Atkin MW: Has Alberto Antonini opted to lead rather than follow the market?

Published:  30 October, 2015

Tim Atkin asks whether Alberto Antonini has decided to break away from more traditional styles of wine defined by the likes of Michel Rolland and to forge his own path.

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Guy Woodward: Why aren't restaurants offering more wines by the glass?

Published:  30 October, 2015

Along, it seemed, with half the UK's wine press, I was at the launch of Les 110 de Taillevent in London's Cavendish Square last week. My verdict? Go - and be sure to order the crab ravioli. What was most notable about the night, though, was not the guest list or the menu, but that here was a major restaurant being launched off the back of its wine offering.

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Geoffrey Dean weighs in on Veuve Clicquot's latest release the La Grande Dame 2006

Published:  27 October, 2015

While the 2006 vintage of Veuve Clicquot's La Grande Dame does not sing quite like its much lauded 2002 counterpart, which had better structure and more depth, the latest release is another very impressive offering from the celebrated Champagne house

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Justin Keay: Could Puglia be the new Tuscany?

Published:  23 October, 2015

Justin Keay takes a deep look at the Puglia wine region and investigates whether it should be considered the 'new' Tuscany.

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James Lawrence: Does Chianti have an image problem in the premium wine category?

Published:  16 October, 2015

James Lawrence examines the background to Chianti's continuing struggle for recognition in the premium wine category.

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Q&A: Bruce Tindale, Chairman International Cool Climate Wine Symposium

Published:  14 October, 2015

 Bruce Tindale, owner of Surrey vineyard High Clandon and chairman of the International Cool Climate Wine Symposium, which will be held in Brighton on May 26-28, 2016, talks to Erin Smith about next year's conference

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Tim Atkin MW: Young winemakers behind South Africa's "golden" age of wine

Published:  09 October, 2015

When was the last time you entered a wine tasting through a record shop?

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Q&A: Nick Picone, chief winemaker for Villa Maria talks about Albariño's X-factor

Published:  30 September, 2015

Nick Picone became Villa Maria's Group Chief Winemaker in June, after 18 years as a winemaker across Villa Maria's wineries in New Zealand's North and South Islands. He talks to Anne Krebiehl MW about his new role, about his plans and why he thinks Albariño has the X-factor.

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Matthew Gaughan: Oregon is a region still young at heart

Published:  21 September, 2015

The late summer sunshine in the beautiful surroundings of San Francisco's Presidio saw 66 Oregon producers showcase the state's wines. The event, Pinot in the City, which was held last month naturally focused on Pinot Noir, but a number of white wines were also available for tasting.

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Jerry Lockspeiser: The question every wine veteran gets asked- what is the BEST wine?

Published:  18 September, 2015

It happened again last week. I was on a flight from Mallorca to London City airport. It was one of those small planes with just two seats either side of the gangway. She was in an aisle seat and I was bolted in next to the window. I was trapped and I wanted to lie.

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Q&A: Philip Harper, the only non-Japanese Toji in Japan talks about what it takes to become a sake master brewer

Published:  16 September, 2015

Philip Harper grew up in Cornwall and upon graduating from Oxford University moved to Japan to teach English and in 2001, he passed the Nanbu Brewer's Guild exams to become the first and only foreign Toji, or master sake brewer. 

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Q&A: Philippe Dhalluin, managing director of Châteaux wines, Château Mouton Rothschild

Published:  14 September, 2015

Dhalluin has been overseeing the winemaking at Mouton Rothschild and several of its estates since 2003. He talks about the joys, as well as the pressures, of leading arguably one of the most iconic wine labels in the world.

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Tim Atkin MW: Rioja revolución

Published:  11 September, 2015

Tim Atkin MW takes a look at the current battle brewing in Rioja over regionality label regulations.

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Guy Woodward: Are wine and humour like a joyless marriage?

Published:  11 September, 2015

Guy Woodward asks whether the wine trade needs to loosen up a bit.

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The Social Company's Laure Patry and Frankie Van Loo talk about the success of Jason Atherton's global empire

Published:  11 September, 2015

Laure Patry, the group executive sommelier, and Frankie Van Loo, head chef at Social Wine & Tapas talk about what it is like to work at Jason Atherton's ever - expanding global empire The Social Company.

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Ex-Selfridges buyer Davies among record number of new Masters of Wine

Published:  08 September, 2015

Former Selfridges buyer Dawn Davies is among 19 wine trade professionals to gain the Master of Wine qualification.

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Mark Fiddes: Why every good drink deserves a ritual

Published:  03 September, 2015

Mark Fiddes weighs in on the link between drink rituals and the power of marketing spirit brands.

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Darren Smith: why does the wine aisle still confuse 'Johnny Average'?

Published:  21 August, 2015

Darren A. Smith is the founder of Making Business Matter which provides training on category management for suppliers and buyers for supermarkets.

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Justin Keay: Exploring the uniqueness of wines from the Dao, Portugal

Published:  20 August, 2015

Justin Keay discovers what makes Dao wines so unique.

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Opinion: Geoffrey Dean explores Swiss wines

Published:  14 August, 2015

When one of Switzerland's most respected sommeliers at one of the country's best-known hotels laments that his allocation for one Swiss winery is a measly six bottles per year, you are inevitably curious as to its identity.

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Q&A: Rajeev Samant, founder, Sula Vineyards, India

Published:  11 August, 2015

In a country where the annual per-capita consumption is little more than a tablespoon of wine, setting up an Indian winery came with its fair share of challenges. Rajeev Samant the founder of Sula Vineyards talks about his success.

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People: Molson Coors' head of wine Gary Keller looks at what is driving wine growth at the beer giant

Published:  10 August, 2015

For Molson Coors' Gary Keller, customer service and quality are key to driving growth in the beer giant's wine offer. He shares how the company goes above and beyond for its customers.

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Meet the Gardiniers: Brothers behind Le Taillevent bring a French institution to London

Published:  07 August, 2015

Ahead of their newest restaurant venture, which opens in London next month, Erin Smith sits down with the Gardinier brothers, owners of the famed Le Taillevent in Paris.

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Guy Woodward: What supermarket retailers could learn from restaurants

Published:  07 August, 2015

Among the defining wine trends of recent years, one of the most welcome is the smaller restaurant list. The new "less-is-more" approach means that every listing has to count.

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Louis Latour poaches Nightingale from McKinley Vintners

Published:  06 August, 2015

Louis Latour Agencies has announced the appointment of Guy Nightingale as its new key accounts manager.

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Copestick Murray announces key promotions and appointments

Published:  05 August, 2015

Copestick Murray has appointed two new members to its sales team after an extensive recruitment campaign earlier in the year.

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Rosie Davenport: Testing time for Tesco

Published:  31 July, 2015

It could be a long summer for suppliers waiting to hear whether they've made the grade as the extent of the Tesco's wine range cull starts to ripple through the trade.

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Justin Keay rediscovers Portugal's lost region, Barraida

Published:  31 July, 2015

Mention Portugal and wine lovers think Douro for its ports and increasingly impressive table wines.

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Rosie Davenport: Can Conviviality's bargaining win it Matthew Clark?

Published:  27 July, 2015

One of the more persistent rumours circulating the trade finally found some concrete grounds this month as Conviviality Retail put its head above the parapet and confirmed its intention to buy wholesaler Matthew Clark.

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Jerry Lockspeiser encourages us all to break free and rebel when it comes to wine

Published:  27 July, 2015

You know that feeling. For years you have been doing something that seems slightly illicit, almost shameful, then out of the blue someone knowledgeable tells you it's OK. You don't have to hide it any more. And you discover you are not alone. Lots of other people are doing it too. In fact it might even be a good thing!

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Q&A: Richard Kershaw MW, winemaker, Kershaw Wines

Published:  23 July, 2015

Richard Kershaw, the only winemaking MW in South Africa, was with Mulderbosch and Kanu, before leaving in 2011 to pursue his dream of making his own cool-climate wines in Elgin in the Western Cape.

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Q&A: Julie Campos takes the helm of Nicolas Feuillatte

Published:  21 July, 2015

It's been six months since Julie Campos took the helm at Nicolas Feuillatte. Erin Smith caught up with her to find out how she plans to shake up the status quo for the iconic Champagne brand

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Q&A: Steve Fennell, Sanford Winery & Vineyards

Published:  20 July, 2015

Steve Fennell, general manager and head winemaker at Sanford Winery & Vineyards located in Santa Rita Hills, talks about the winery that helped put the region on the map in the infamous film Sideways

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Interview: Robinsons Brewery doubles turnover with five-year plan

Published:  17 July, 2015

How does a traditional drinks business double turnover, margin and cash profit in the space of five years? Angela Mount meets Paul Robinson and Noel Reid of Robinsons Brewery to find out

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Guy Woodward: When it comes to consumer engagment it's good to talk - isn't it?

Published:  17 July, 2015

There I was, happily pontificating at one of the many excellent Industry Briefings at this year's London Wine Fair...

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Tim Atkin MW: The quality and diversity of Georgia

Published:  17 July, 2015
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Ex-News of the World journalist to head WSTA communications

Published:  15 July, 2015

A former News of the World journalist, who was acquitted of criminal charges of paying sources for information, has been appointed as the Wine & Spirit Trade Association's head of communications.

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Robinson to lead line-up at Pinot Noir conference in 'major coup' for New Zealand

Published:  14 July, 2015

New Zealand's wine industry is claiming a "major coup" after influential British wine writer and broadcaster Jancis Robinson MW agreed to appear at a big conference in the country.

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Justin Keay: Takes a look at English still wines at Bolney Wine Estate

Published:  14 July, 2015

Winning at Wimbledon is every tennis players dream. This summer though it also became a reality for  Bolney Wine Estate after its award-winning Pinot Gris was selected as an official wine at the world famous tennis tournament. This hasn't been the only recent accolade served to Bolney's Pinot Gris - the wine is to be served up to first class British Airways flyers from next month.

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Chapel Down appoints new wine chief to fuel growth plans

Published:  10 July, 2015

Kent wine producer Chapel Down is hoping to accelerate its expansion after appointing a former LVMH executive to head up its wine operation.

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Selfridges' Davies to join Speciality Drinks as head buyer

Published:  09 July, 2015
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Justin Keay: How multi-dimensional Italian wine suprises and impresses

Published:  07 July, 2015

Justine Keay asks: Has all of the good, interesting stuff somehow stayed home, to be drunk by discerning Italians? Last week's Definitive Italian Wine Tasting in London gave a definitive answer: No.

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Reka Haros: What are tradeshows doing for wineries?

Published:  03 July, 2015

As a co-owner of a small Italian winery, I often travel to conferences and trade shows. Conferences keep my mind open to what is new and trade shows keep me reassured that instead of running after the trade to sell or wines, we made the right decision to focus our efforts on our consumers.

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Ambassador to Guatemala and Honduras will head London office for whisky body

Published:  29 June, 2015

The Scotch Whisky Association has recruited the UK's ambassador to Guatemala and Honduras to be its director of global affairs.

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Wong wins Wine Business degree accolades at Plumpton College

Published:  22 June, 2015

Some rising stars of the wine trade world have been honoured in the annual awards ceremony at Plumpton College.

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Selfridges buyer Davies to leave after nine years for new challenge

Published:  18 June, 2015

Selfridges beer, wine and spirit buyer Dawn Davies is leaving the post after nine years.

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Jerry Lockspeiser: Brewing up a storm

Published:  16 June, 2015

Companies with lots of shareholders shouldn't have annual general meetings like this. Really. It's dangerous stuff. It might change the way we think about doing business completely and forever. And we don't want that. Or do we?

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Percival Val Brown talks about his 65 years in the drinks business

Published:  10 June, 2015

Percival Brown tells Douglas Blyde about his six decades in the business, from the cellars beneath Speakers' Corner to selecting the wines for Concorde.

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Glynn Davis: A postcard from the San Francisco Bay Area

Published:  10 June, 2015

Glynn Davis speaks about the craft beer movement in California after recent visit to the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Justin Keay reappraises Canadian wine

Published:  09 June, 2015

Twenty-three years is a long time in the wine-producing world and nowhere more so than in Canada, which as a major tasting in London's Canada House confirmed, is now a serious producer of interesting, quality wines. Justin Keay reappraises Canadian wine. 

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Vente-privee says UK consumers are ready to lap up flash wine sales

Published:  08 June, 2015

Is the UK prepared for flash wine sales? Vente-privee.com's Sally Scott thinks so and is determined to see the country embrace them, she tells Arabella Mileham.

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Q&A: John Lodge of rock band The Moody Blues talks about his love of wine and his own label Krisemma

Published:  08 June, 2015

Musician John Lodge is best known as the bass player of rock band The Moody Blues, but the Birmingham native also has his own wine brand. He talks about how his love of wine started and where it has taken him.

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Rosie Davenport: Less space, but room for all?

Published:  05 June, 2015
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Simon Cairns of The Co-operative on the growing importance of convenience retailing for the company

Published:  05 June, 2015

Simon Cairns, BWS category trading manager at The Co-operative explains to Angela Mount the supermarket's strategy, its supplier relationships and how it needs to "focus totally on convenience retailing, working within 2,000- to 4,000-square-foot shop formats."

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The Co-op looks to defend its market share in the convenience retail channel

Published:  05 June, 2015

In an exclusive interview with Angela Mount for this month's print edition of Harpers, which is out today, Simon Cairns the BWS category manager for The Co-operative explains how critical the convenience retail channel is becoming for the company.

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Field Morris & Verdin launch new Italian fine wine division, headed by former Berry Bros buyer

Published:  05 June, 2015

Field Morris & Verdin, the agency and wholesale division of Berry Bros. & Rudd Ltd, is launching a new Italian fine wine division, DBGitalia. 

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Guy Woodward: A parallel between the election results and Harpers most over- and under-rated wine countries survey

Published:  05 June, 2015

The outcome of - and the polls leading up to - this year's general election provided yet further evidence, were it required, of the vagaries of the Great British public  and, indeed, of opinion polls themselves.

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Tim Atkin MW: The hard work for Priorat wine pioneers

Published:  05 June, 2015

The village of Bellmunt del Priorat has its very own mining museum, a tribute to a time when lead was more important than grapes to the economy of this wild and isolated corner of Catalonia.

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Analysis: Do you remember your wine epiphany?

Published:  05 June, 2015

Trade personalities tell Rosie Davenport and Nigel Huddleston about the life-changing moment when they realised a career in wine was their destiny

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Dr. Damien Wilson & Dr. Sarah Quinton: How to enhance wine business through the use of LinkedIn

Published:  03 June, 2015

In the modern wine market, wine businesses are eager to identify ways in which they can utilise opportunities to develop their network of professional contacts.

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Tanqueray master distiller Tom Nichol reflects on 42-years in the industry

Published:  02 June, 2015

Tanqueray's master distiller, Tom Nichol, who is retiring from Diageo after a 42-year career, has been awarded a lifetime award by the Gin Guild, at its annual dinner. 

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Villa Maria winemaker Alastair Maling moves to Foley Family Wines

Published:  01 June, 2015

Alastair Maling MW, the general manager winemaking at Villa Maria is set to leave the New Zealand winery at the end of June to join Foley Family Wine.

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Tesco appoints former Diageo lawyer to head up legal team

Published:  29 May, 2015

Tesco has appointed Diageo's former lawyer David Berry as its first UK legal director, according to legal publication, The Lawyer.

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Aged Sake Part 2: A range of style and techniques

Published:  27 May, 2015

In the second part of our sake blog, Anna Greehhouse looks at styles and techniques of aged sake and looks beyond Japan to find them. 

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Aged sake Part 1: Is it all it is cracked up to be?

Published:  26 May, 2015

In the first of a two-part blog, Anna Greenhous looks at aged sake, a niche product that divides opinion.

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Matthew Dickinson asks: Where has all the profit gone?

Published:  26 May, 2015

Giving a talk at a recent WSET Business and Commercial Knowledge course gave Matthew Dickinson the opportunity to look at where the profit in wine has gone. Here he reflects on what he discovered:

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LWF 2015: Updated Live Blog

Published:  18 May, 2015

As the annual London Wine Fair returns to London's Olympia, Harpers.co.uk catches up with leading figures in the industry for a quick snapshot of the UK trade. Stay tuned as we keep you posted throughout the day on our live blog, as well as following us on Twitter on @HarpersWine using the #LWF2015 hashtag.

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Naked Wines Australian head appointed chief executive of UK and US businesses

Published:  14 May, 2015

Naked Wines has appointed the chief executive of its Australian business, Luke Jecks to head up its UK and US businesses.

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Breaking News: Elizabeth Newman to replace Andy Phelps as head of BWS at Sainsbury's

Published:  13 May, 2015

Sainsbury's has announced Elizabeth Newman will replace Andy Phelps as its head of BWS, according to Harpers' sister magazine Off Licence News

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Justin Keay on Malta, an unknown wines region emerging from the shadow

Published:  12 May, 2015

When Georges Meekers, head of sales at Delicata, suggested we meet at the Winery on the Waterfront, I had tantalising visions of a new glass-fronted building amidst Valetta's bustling restaurants and bars. Boy, was I disappointed. Delicata, Malta's largest wine producer, isn't at that Waterfront - the one where you can sip local Gellewza rose and watch the cruise ships come in - but at an industrial one facing Valetta.

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Harpers choice, May 2015

Published:  12 May, 2015

Brighton Gin; Calusari Pinot Grigio; VII Hills

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Rosie Davenport: "Politics aside, we're in a wine democracy"

Published:  11 May, 2015
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Guillaume Deglise, Vinexpo CEO: US and China to have big presence at Vinexpo

Published:  11 May, 2015

With only weeks to go before the new-look Vinexpo opens its doors for the 19th international wine and spirit exhibition, the pace of visitor bookings is turning into a flood. Over 48,000 visitors are expected from 120 countries. Centre stage is the US, which is showing unprecedented interest in exhibiting wines, but also in showing off its spirits and cocktail flair in the enhanced spirits sections.

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Naked Wines eyes up growth following its partnership with Majestic

Published:  11 May, 2015

Naked Wine's managing director Eamon FitzGerald talk to Harpers about the future of the new Naked Wines following its acquistion by Majestic.

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Interview: Majestic's new boss Rowan Gormley and Naked's Eamon FitzGerald on the company's new era

Published:  11 May, 2015

Majestic's new chief executive Rowan Gormley and Naked's managing director Eamon FitzGerald talk about the future of the new company.

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Q&A: Aurelio Montes, vice-president of Wines of Chile talks about the big changes he's seen in over 25 years in the trade

Published:  08 May, 2015

Aurelio Montes established his eponymous Chilean winery back in 1988 and since then has witnessed big changes in the business. Harpers.co.uk caught up with the veteran winemaker, also the vice-president of the Wines of Chile, to find out more

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Founders of Renissance Pubs Tom Peake, Nick Fox and Mark Reynolds talk about the rebrand and becoming 3 Cheers Pubs Co

Published:  08 May, 2015

Tom Peake, Nick Fox and Mark Reynolds, the pub group behind some of south London's most characterful informal establishments formerly known as Renaissance Pubs, were forced to have a rethink of their trading name and have undergone a rebranding to become Three Cheers.

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Tim Atkin MW: To spray or not to spray?

Published:  08 May, 2015

Tim Atkin MW takes a closer look at the current court case against Nuits-Saint-Georges' Thibault Liger-Belair.

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Yalumba's first non-family member MD, Nick Waterman talks about his long-term view for the business

Published:  08 May, 2015

Nick Waterman has become the first non-family member to hold the position of managing director at Yalumba in 165 years. He talks about how it feels to fill such big shoes.

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Bibendum PLB's new indie and wholesale arm Walker & Wodehouse on catering for the indepedent sector

Published:  08 May, 2015

Next month sees the final piece of the jigsaw slot into place for mega-supplier Bibendum PLB Group, as it launches its independent and wholesale division, Walker & Wodehouse. Arabella Mileham catches up with managing director Gareth Groves

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Guy Woodward: Looks at the crème de la crème of today's industry awards

Published:  07 May, 2015

Being one step removed from the wine industry these days - and a little slow on the uptake generally - it took me a while to work out why my diary was suddenly so full last month.

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English wine producer Gusbourne boosts team

Published:  06 May, 2015

Gusbourne Estate is looking to boost its growth in the UK after added sommelier Laura Rhys to its team.

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Australian Vintage appoints Bibendum PLB sales manager

Published:  05 May, 2015

Australian Vintage has recruited Karen Humphrey's from Bibendum PLB as its new business manager for Sainsbury's.

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Richard Mark James: Goes on rosé journey through the Languedoc

Published:  05 May, 2015

You wouldn't be surprised to hear that most (over three-quarters) of what the Languedoc produces and sells is red wine.

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Jerry Lockspeiser on whether peer reviews are the best judge of all

Published:  01 May, 2015

There is no doubt that ratings works.  

A book I was thinking of buying has an average 4.7/5 stars from 565 reviewers on Amazon. A restaurant on trip advisor has a straight 5/5 from 490, and a red wine on Laithwaites' site averages 4.4/5 amongst 439. These are not just marketing views invented by the owner's partner and a few friends. These are things a LOT of people like.

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Justin Keay looks at new vintages from Gaja Brunello

Published:  30 April, 2015

The release of a new vintage from the Gaja family can be pretty much guaranteed to cause a stir, given how highly regarded are their Nebbiolo and Sangioveses in the wine world. However the launch of the 2010 Brunello di Montalcino from Pieve Santa Restituta has generated particular excitement, as the general consensus is that the wines are outstanding.

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Sparkling wine-on-tap brand Frizzenti strengthens national team

Published:  28 April, 2015

Italian sparkling wine-on-tap brand Frizzenti is building a national sales team with the addition of two sales executives.

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Richard Mark James takes his pick of the Millésimes en Languedoc tasting

Published:  28 April, 2015

Richard Mark James picks his favourites from the annual Millésimes en Languedoc tasting in Montpelier this month.

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Bruichladdich distiller retires after more than 50 years in the industry

Published:  27 April, 2015

Bruichladdich's production director and master distiller is stepping down after 15 years at the Hebridean distillery.

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Matthew Gaughan assesses the progress of US wines from Washington state

Published:  27 April, 2015

The end of March saw over 6,000 people and 200 wineries attend Taste Washington in the event's eighteenth year. Held at the Seattle Seahawks' CenturyLink Field stadium, it featured local wineries, beer and cider producers, restaurants, sommeliers, and chefs to celebrate the growing drink and food culture in the state.

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Former TWE boss joins new digital TV channel dedicated to wine

Published:  24 April, 2015

David Dearie, the former CEO of Treasury Wine Estate, has joined the board of a new digital TV channel dedicated to wine.

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Q&A: Jonathan James talks to Harpers about his new franchise venture of Conviviality Retail

Published:  24 April, 2015

Jonathan James, the convenience store expert who has taken on the franchise of 36 stores acquired by Conviviality Retail from GT News, talks to Harpers.co.uk about his ambitious plans for the business.

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Conviviality Retail's franchise boss to consult customers on refit of GT stores

Published:  24 April, 2015

Jonathan James, the convenience store expert who has taken on the franchise of 36 Conviviality Retail's stores, is rolling out a customer consultation process to get customers' input on the refit of its new stores.

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Former Bibendum head of spirits launches new distribution business

Published:  22 April, 2015

The former head of Bibendum's beer and spirits division is launching his own spirits distribution business in May.

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En primeur whites: excellent vintage, but don't overestimate the acidity

Published:  22 April, 2015

A few years ago, I enjoyed a horizontal of the 2000 vintage of white Graves at Domaine de Chevalier and was struck at how some estates with higher acidities did better than others. 2000 was not a particularly successful vintage for whites. In contrast to 2014, the summer was too hot to produce vibrant wines and most were better enjoyed in their youth. So wines made from earlier picked grapes suited the vintage better - but that did not mean that the wines were necessarily very good. They conveyed freshness - but also under-ripe fruit.

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En Primeur: Bordeaux 2014 is a classicist's delight

Published:  21 April, 2015

Based on barrel tastings, 2014 is a welcome vintage after two terribly average years (2011, a slightly better 2012) and one downright ugly (2013, except for the whites).It may remind old timers of 1975. After three mediocre vintages, finally something good came.

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The Harrow at Little Bedwyn appoints first sommelier

Published:  20 April, 2015

The Harrow at Little Bedwyn after 16 years has hired Marcin Oziebly to be the dedicated sommelier as well as the general manager for the Michelin Star restaurant.

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Anna Greenhous: Do different rice varieties effect different styles and flavours of sake?

Published:  16 April, 2015

Different grape varieties create distinctively different styles and flavours of wine, but can the same be said for different rice varieties with sake? Anna Greenhous investigates.

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Justin Keay discovers some unknown suprises at last month's Go West tasting

Published:  15 April, 2015

Justin Keay weighs in on last month's Go West tasting and overwhelmingly urges the trade to "Go West, young man!"

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Q&A: Chris Tomlinson, Tirril Brewery

Published:  14 April, 2015

Former pub owner turned brewer and distiller Chris Tomlinson of Tirril Brewery talks to Helen Arnold about the launch of Cumbria's first single malt whisky - the only malt in Britain made using a beer recipe

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Justin Keay discovers some unknown suprises at last month's Go West tasting

Published:  14 April, 2015

Justin Keay weighs in on last month's Go West tasting and overwhelmingly urges the trade to 'Go West, young man!"

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Guillaume Deglise, Vinexpo CEO: Despite US wine market growth, UK is still powerful

Published:  14 April, 2015

When I announced in London recently that the USA was the world's biggest wine consumer and that the Chinese are tipped to drink more red wine than anyone else, it was clearly unexpected news for many.

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Q&A: Damian Clarke of Freixenet's UK says his past work with FMCGs is helping to build stronger brands in wine trade

Published:  14 April, 2015

After a career spanning many leading grocery brands, Freixenet's UK boss Damian Clarke explains how his classic FMCG training is paying dividends in sparkling wine in the UK.

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Q&A: Andrea D'Ercole, Ipsum Vinoteca

Published:  13 April, 2015

Andrea D'Ercole has been importing Italian wine and food for the on-trade since 2003. Nigel Huddleston asks him why now was the right time to launch his own wine bar at Ipsum Vinoteca in Leeds

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Q&A: Christian Seely of AXA Millésimes talks En Primeur

Published:  13 April, 2015

Since 2000, Christian Seely has successfully led AXA Millésimes alongside such wine estates as Château Suduiraut, Pichon-Longueville and La Tour Pibran. Now, all his attention is focused on the 2014 en primeur.

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Interview: Why Paul Symington is set on ensuring a healthy future for Port wine

Published:  10 April, 2015

If the Port industry shares the same ambition and drive for its future as producer Paul Symington, then that future is healthy indeed

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Fortified wines see sales declining, but there are still opportunties for the category

Published:  10 April, 2015

Despite declining volumes, there are still ample opportunities for growth and innovation within the fortified wine category.

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Q&A: David Cox, chief executive, The Benevolent

Published:  10 April, 2015

"Despite being in existence for 129 years, I am acutely aware that there are many people within the drinks trade that do not actually know that there is a trade charity there to support and help them. And even if they did know about The Benevolent, we found that many myths and misconceptions exist about who we help and how we help."

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Pierre Gagnaire: the chef other chefs want to be

Published:  10 April, 2015

oplePierre Gagnaire is one of the most admired and successful chefs in the world. James Steen talks to him about the Beatles, Beaujolais and the three Michelin stars he has held for nearly 20 years

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Le Vignoble on bringing award winning retailing to the south west

Published:  10 April, 2015

Le Vignoble in Plymouth is a buzzy wine boutique and lounge keen to educate its consumers and turn them into life-long wine connoisseurs

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Old Bridge Hotel turns to wine retailing to build success

Published:  10 April, 2015

When Huntingdon's Old Bridge Hotel launched its own wine shop, the idea seemed something of a folly. But, as Glynn Davis finds, it has been a runaway success

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Riecine: Bringing a touch of Englishness to the Tuscan hills

Published:  10 April, 2015

The English have long beaten a path to the rolling hills of Tuscany for their holidays. Twenty-four years ago winemaker Sean O'Callaghan did just that - but he never left and has been making wines at Riecine winery ever since

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Guy Woodward: Takes a look at the Cognac conundrum

Published:  10 April, 2015

I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I've ordered Cognac. Like crystal meth and Bikram yoga, it's simply not something by which I've ever been tempted.

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Richard Siddle: "I'd like to raise a glass to you all..."

Published:  10 April, 2015

When I joined Harpers eight years ago I have to admit I was very much an outsider joining the world of wine and spirits.

 

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Tim Atkin MW: Burgundy mourns the passing of Anne-Claude Leflaive

Published:  10 April, 2015

Anne-Claude Leflaive was sometimes described as one of Burgundy's "grandes dames" but there was nothing aloof about the woman who ran the most famous white wine domaine in the Côte de Beaune. Relaxed, friendly, yet intensely focused, Anne-Claude inherited the easy charm and sense of humour of her father, Vincent, who preceded her at the helm of this prestigious property.

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London Wine Fair 2015: Why LWF 2015 will the most diverse show in its history

Published:  10 April, 2015

After last year's make-or-break return to central London, London Wine Fair organisers Ross Carter and Will Broadfoot talk about what they claim is going to make London Wine Fair 2015 the most diverse show in its 35-year history.

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Independent wine shop owner runs Marathan de Sables for charity

Published:  08 April, 2015

An independent wine shop owner is hoping to raise money for charity by completing the notorious Marathon des Sables.

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How California's pursuit of balance is now producing breakthrough wines

Published:  02 April, 2015

The 21st century has seen a remarkable upsurge in the plantings of Pinot Noir throughout California, from a crush of 53,050 tons in 2000 to 248,469 in 2012. Concentrated on areas such as Sonoma, Monterey, Santa Barbara, Napa, and Mendocino, the upturn in the grape's fortunes has been matched by quality. The Sideways effect is much cited, but more important has been the discovery of sites, often near the coast, suited to this difficult grape variety and a different approach from the traditional Californian style of fruity, jammy Pinot.

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Mark Fiddes: how Jagermeister might have put an end to cute animals in advertising

Published:  02 April, 2015
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Douglas Blyde enjoys a trip to Dickensian London and the delights of The Chancery

Published:  01 April, 2015

Referencing the area's law firms, "The Chancery" comes into focus halfway down Cursitor Street. It is a slice of London immortalised in arguably Charles Dickens' greatest work, "Bleak House", featuring: "Sol's Arms Tavern", "Krook's Rag and Bottle Shop", and, perhaps most evocatively, "Coavinses Sponging House" (a temporary debtor's prison).

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Q&A: Mission Estate's Giles James on toppling Cloudy Bay and looking beyond Sauvignon Blanc

Published:  31 March, 2015

Mission Estate, New Zealand's oldest winery, may not yet be the most familiar of brand names in the UK wine world, but it has just managed to topple Cloudy Bay from its position as best selling New Zealand wine in the on trade. Helen Arnold caught up with UK business development manager Giles James to discover how it was achieved.

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Reka Haros: Lessons learned from VinItaly 2015 on how wine brands can better communicate with consumers

Published:  30 March, 2015

Reka Haros, of Sfriso Winery, was a panellist at Vinitaly 2015 'Talk Business Series' and she shares six tips wine brands need to be implementing as part of their wine communication strategy to successfully engage with today's consumers.

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Q&A: Coravin's new boss Frederic Levy on changing the way people access wine at home

Published:  30 March, 2015

Coravin's new boss Frédéric Levy talks about the gadget that is causing a stir in the on-trade and his plans to change the way people access and drink wine at home.

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Online wine merchant Swig targets on-trade as it appoints its first brand ambassador

Published:  27 March, 2015

Swig, the independent online merchant is ramping up its focus on the on-trade after appointing a new brand ambassador.

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Atherton to open London wine shop and tapas bar

Published:  26 March, 2015

Jason Atherton is opening a new wine shop and tapas bar in Marylebone in June.

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Q&A: Hervé Deschamps, chief winemaker at Perrier-Jouët, talks about his work at the iconic brand spanning three decades

Published:  25 March, 2015

Hervé Deschamps talks to Erin Smith about the pressures of being chief winemaker at Perrier-Jouët

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Pernod Ricard's 'black op's' vodka brand announces London team

Published:  25 March, 2015

An urban micro-distillery initiated by Pernod Ricard is set to open in Hackney in June, headed by two local entrepreneurs from outside the spirits industry.

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Jerry Lockspeiser: Would you buy wine from a fascist?

Published:  25 March, 2015

Would you buy wine from a fascist? Would you recruit a star salesman with a history of punching his colleagues?

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David Furer discovers much to admire in Ningxia - China's arguably best quality wine region

Published:  24 March, 2015
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Why English wine's Litmus Wines is on board with Branson's South African hotel venture

Published:  23 March, 2015

English winemaking consultants Litmus Wines recently teamed up with Richard Branson's private hotel collection Virgin Limited Edition to launch a new joint-venture wine business in South Africa's Franschhoek region. Litmus' founder and director John Worontschak, and VLE's managing director, Jon Brown, talked to Harpers.co.uk about the venture and what it will mean for the Surrey-based business. 

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The Institute of Masters of Wine inducts five new members

Published:  23 March, 2015

The Institute of Masters of Wine has welcomed five new Masters of Wine into its membership bringing the total number of MWs to 332 globally.

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Panos Kakaviatos: Domaine Zind Humbrecht 2013s - just bottled and delicious

Published:  18 March, 2015

They have not hit store shelves yet, but wine lovers should take note: many Domaine Zind Humbrecht 2013 wines exude crispy freshness, purity of fruit, delectable mid-palate sap, medium to full body, and often long and pleasing finishes

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Prowein 2015: Roger Jones says Auf Wiedersehen with his highlights from Dusseldorf

Published:  18 March, 2015

Roger Jones takes us around the wine world on his Prowien 2015 journey of discovery, where he explores some new and interesting wines.

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Prowein 2015: Roger Jones' day two from de Prowein Haus

Published:  17 March, 2015

Roger Jones takes us around the wine world on his Prowien 2015 journey of discovery, where he explores some new and interesting wines.

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Between a rock and a hard place: Bordeaux and en primeur 2014

Published:  17 March, 2015

En primeur is upon us; as soon as the days begin to lengthen and warm, the wine trade starts looking forward to (or complaining about) en primeur. Depending on who you ask its either a 'bacchanallian feast for the senses', and a tantalising glimpse of the most recent harvest, OR an onerous week of listening to winemakers tell you once again that it's the best vintage ever (since last time) and gazing into the tea leaves of barrel samples being tasted far too early.

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Day One at de Prowein House

Published:  16 March, 2015

Getting on the 10am Easy Jet flight from Gatwick to Dusseldorf yesterday morning was a bit like joining the Wine Trade Sunday School outing. The pull of Prowein has been building vastly over the last few years and it was good to see so many interested parties on the plane.

Prowein is vast and attracts nearly 50,000 trade visitors who are charged the princely fee of €70 for the privilege of attending over the period. There are just under 5,000 exhibitors from 47 countries, who are also charged for entrance despite paying for their stands. The only free tickets go to the 1,000 journalists, trying to get one of these passes is harder than getting a ticket for the Rugby World Cup Final.

Room rates have also been racked up with basic 'Travel Lodge' accommodation costing €400 plus a night.

However once you have parted with your money this is the place to be, everything is run efficiently, held just outside the centre of town with easy access and well set out. Yesterday was spent in the Non European Pavilion, where you have of course South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Chile etc and 2 other non European countries; England ( Farrage would be delighted) and Greece (have Germany decided to throw Greece out of Europe overnight).

Prowein's stature is highlighted by the amount of winemakers in attendance and this was certainly apparent in the Non European Pavilion. It makes an efficient use of your time to be able to meet and reacquaint with so many of the Worlds very best winemakers.

Highlights of the day's tasting included meeting one of the UK's top winemakers' Emma Rice from Hattingley Valley, and trying her exhilarating layered and textured Kings Cuvée Sparkling wine, Emma who was inspired into the wine business after trying Krug 1979, certainly seems to have put some Krugness into her Kings Cuvee, a stunning barrel aged wine. From South Africa a loud cheer must also go to Simonsig MCC 2010, a very fine great value Sparkling that had all the finesse of vintage champagne.

I was really pleased to have come across Razvan Macici, Cellar Master at Nederburg Wines, despite having been to South Africa twice in the last 12 months had not come across these wines, his Gewurtztraminer was a seamless delicate wine with a scattering of rose petals, Turkish delight nuances and named The Beautiful Lady, this wine was certainly a beauty. The closest Gewurtztraminer to my favourite, the World Class Vinoptima from New Zealand.

From New Zealand it was great to catch up with Elephant Hill with their Francophile style wines, delicate restrained and showing great elegance. The New Zealand stand was a hub of activity with numerous sell out masterclasses.

Over to Australia and the Wine Australia team have built a lovely open plan tasting area, with plenty of room to sit and talk to winemakers whilst also enjoying Wine Australia's trade mark food and wine matching. Highlights included the Reds from Langmeil in the Barossa. These wines were controlled, delicate and silky smooth, restrained being the key theme.

Today I go into the unknown and visit the 2 Pavilions dedicated to Germany, sadly when I was at school we were taught Latin so my grasp of the German language is zero, but am looking forward to explore not only the two traditional highlights from Germany; Riesling and Pinot Noir but look further afield.

Prowein also knows how to organise masterclasses, and each day's programme is packed with these, one I have signed up to is Japan's Sakura Awards Prentation. In Japan some 46% of Sommeliers are female and 60% of wine experts are female, this is Japan's biggest Wine competition and judged solely by Japanese women, but the Awards are open to wines from all over the world, which appeal to women and match food.

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Q&A: Beltrán Domecq of the Consejo Regulador on sherry cocktails and sherry's affinity with food

Published:  16 March, 2015

Beltrán Domecq, president of Consejo Regulador de las denominaciones de origen Jerez and Graham Hines, UK director of The Sherry Institute of Spain talk to Harpers.co.uk about sherry, its affinity with food and the growth of sherry-based cocktails.

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Miles Beale: whatever the result thank you for supporting Drop the Duty campaign

Published:  13 March, 2015

In the final countdown to next week's Budget, Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine & Spirit Trade Association thanks Harpers readers for their support in rallying to the 'Drop the Duty!' cause. 

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'Drop the Duty!': whatever the result, thank you for getting involved!

Published:  13 March, 2015

In the final countdown to next week's Budget, Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine & Spirit Trade Association thanks Harpers readers for their support in rallying to the 'Drop the Duty!' cause. 

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St Austell's Brewery appoints first exclusive wine buyer to drive more sales

Published:  13 March, 2015

St Austell's Brewery has promoted Louisa Fizpatrick to the newly created role of wine buyer, in recognition of her hard work and expertise and extensive knowledge of the wine world.

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Justin Keay is impressed by what Portugal has to offer

Published:  12 March, 2015

To say Portuguese wine has come a long way is a bit like saying Roger Federer is quite good at tennis.

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James Lawrence: Falling in love with Franciacorta

Published:  11 March, 2015

James Lawrence tells a tale of how he fell in love with an Italian fizz called Franciacorta, involving disarmingly honest vineyard owners,  the 21st-century poster-child for the region and a single arrest of a Celtic fan.

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Maxxium promotes Mark Riley from head of off-trade to group's managing director

Published:  10 March, 2015

Spirit distributor Maxxium UK has named Mark Riley as its new managing director, who will take up the role next month.

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How Armit's Italian tasting turned Justin Keay in to a believer

Published:  10 March, 2015
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Richard Siddle: can independents (and their suppliers) grasp their moment in the limelight?

Published:  09 March, 2015

We hear (and we write) a lot about how important the independent sector is to the future of the wine and spirits sector.

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María José Sevilla, Wines from Spain, on what we can expect next in the UK

Published:  09 March, 2015

Consumer knowledge of Spanish wines has grown exponentially in the UK in recent years. María José Sevilla, director of Wines From Spain, talks to Harpers about what's next.

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Mark Holdsworth, Half Hitch Gin, on breathing new life in to London gin

Published:  06 March, 2015

Camden Lock in north London was once the centre of the capital's gin production. Fifty years after the last distiller moved out, Mark Holdsworth is breathing new life into the area. He talks about craft gin and his plans for Half Hitch with Helen Arnold.

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Guy Woodward: why Robert Parker's legacy will be increase in power of peer reviews

Published:  06 March, 2015

How do you choose a hotel? Or a film for the flight? A book for the pool? If you're anything like my wife, you check the user ratings on TripAdvisor, Rotten Tomatoes or Amazon, where peer-to-peer reviews carry far more weight than those of any critic. And what weight.

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Tim Atkin MW: Last chance for Bordeaux to get it right with 'out of touch' en primeur

Published:  06 March, 2015

There's a scene in This is Spinal Tap, Rob Reiner's 1984 spoof rockumentary about English heavy metal band Spinal Tap, that features a live performance of a song called "Stonehenge". Keen to add some extra theatre to the gig, the band commission a model of the prehistoic English monument, which descends from above as they play on stage. There's only one problem: the dimensions are all wrong. Instead of 18-foot replica stones, the band orders 18-inch ones by mistake.

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Martin Williams: Ex-Gaucho boss on theatre of dining at his new 'M Restaurants'

Published:  06 March, 2015

Martin Williams caused a stir in the restaurant world when he announced he was leaving his top job at Gaucho Grill to go it alone in a 300-seat destination dining venue in central London. But he could not be happier following the opening of his new venture "M".

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Guy Woodward: Robert Parker's ultimate legacy - increased power of peer reviews

Published:  06 March, 2015

How do you choose a hotel? Or a film for the flight? A book for the pool? If you're anything like my wife, you check the user ratings on TripAdvisor, Rotten Tomatoes or Amazon, where peer-to-peer reviews carry far more weight than those of any critic.

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Denis O'Flynn, Pernod Ricard UK, why we need to get behind the WSTA

Published:  06 March, 2015

Denis O'Flynn, managing director of Pernod Ricard UK, talks about his plans as the new chairman of the Wine & Spirit Trade Association.

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Marisa D'Vari : Can New Zealand build a reputation for producing quality reds?

Published:  05 March, 2015

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand is the success story of the modern wine world, yet is a double-edged sword in terms of the country's ability to promote the excellent quality of all its fine wines.

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Tim Carlisle: what the drinks trade can learn from Dr Gregory House MD

Published:  04 March, 2015

House may not have much in the way of bedside manner but he is very good at working out what is wrong with people. In fact in the TV series despite getting it wrong sometimes, usually guessing that at some stage it's Lupus or Sarcoidoisis (and often both) before finally settling on the correct diagnosis.

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Colum Egan, master distiller at Bushmills, predicts a strong future for Irish whiskey

Published:  02 March, 2015

These are excavating times for Irish whiskey in general, and for Bushmills in particular. More than 20 distilleries have either started producing whiskey spirit or about to, the country's whiskey industry is awash with overseas money, and is more vibrant and dynamic than at any time in more than century.

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Douglas Blyde finds much to savour in the "lovingly" assembled wine list at Stoke Place

Published:  02 March, 2015

Stoke Place, a characterful Georgian pile unfairly tarred by its Slough postcode has retained the accolade of AA Notable Wine List year-on-year. While the hotel may be a little scuffed around the edges, the 30-page wine list authored by general manager, Terry McEvoy is lovingly put together.

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Pernod Ricard shakes up team to boost Asian growth

Published:  27 February, 2015

Pernod Richard has shaken up its executive team as it looks to boost growth in Asia.

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How to drive a wine brand in the UK on-trade by Wine Business Solutions

Published:  27 February, 2015

Peter McAtamney, principal at research body, Wine Business Solutions, gives his personal assessment on how best to drive and build a wine brand in the UK on-trade with a particular nod to Kleine Zalze, which has been named number one South African brand in its latest 2014 Wine On-Premise report,and Matthew Clark which is reaping the rewards of an astute wine listing strategy

 

 

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Jerry Lockspeiser reviews the "inspiring" An Unlikely Vineyard by Deidre Heekin

Published:  25 February, 2015

Jerry Lockspeiser gives his assessment of the new book by Deidre Heekin: An Unlikely Vineyard.

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Reka Haros, Sfriso Winery: five key steps to take when selling direct to consumers

Published:  24 February, 2015

Reka Haros, who runs the Sfriso family winery in Italy, offers more advice on how wineries, producers and wine businesses can successfully go direct to their customers.

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Australia needs a strategy that speaks for all its wine industry says Wine Business Solutions

Published:  24 February, 2015

The quickest way for the Australian wine industry to achieve the effective and lasting changes it seeks is to implement a strategy that does not just speak for the big corporations, but works for all levels, according to leading research body Wine Business Solutions.

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Coravin takes on Nespresso boss as new chief executive to lead expansion

Published:  24 February, 2015

Coravin, the pioneering wine access system which allows you to pour wine from a bottle without removing the cork, has appointed former Nespresso boss Frédéric Levy as its new chief executive to lead its ambitious expansion plans in to new markets.

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How video will be the norm in wine marketing within three years says Matthew Dickinson

Published:  23 February, 2015

Following last week's web video masterclass and seminar hosted by Google and YouTube for members of the UK wine trade and students from Burgundy's School of Wine Business, wine consultant Matthew Dickinson gives his personal summary and looks at how video is going to change the way the wine industry communicates.

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Roger Jones sees England win on home soil in Battle of Bubbles with New Zealand

Published:  20 February, 2015

After a draw in New Zealand 12 hours earlier, a challenge yesterday afternoon to see whether English sparkling wine would win against New Zealand on home ground resounded in a clear victory for the home team, although technically as it was held at New Zealand House, it was not quite home soil.

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Dominic Roskrow on the wonderful world of weird and wacky whiskies

Published:  20 February, 2015

New whisky distilleries are popping up all over the world and they're all competing to make a name for themselves. But some, says Dominic Roskrow, are turning to increasingly bizarre production methods in an attempt to be different

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Waitrose's Anne Jones, Skin Contact guest singer, shares her musical delights

Published:  19 February, 2015

If you've missed the exciting news of wine trade supergroup Skin Contact performing next month, then you must have been hiding under a rock. Guest starlet Anne Jones, of Waitrose, reveals her musical delights.

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Justin Keay: Appreciating the new Austria

Published:  18 February, 2015

Justin Keay gets to grips with the growing diversity of Austrian wines at the country's recent London wine tasting.

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Crowdfunding: A saviour or white whale for the wine sector?

Published:  17 February, 2015
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South Africa: early harvests, upcoming regions and footballers

Published:  17 February, 2015

Geoffrey Dean's latest trip to South Africa lets him witness first-hand the early harvest, while visiting upcoming regions and observing the footballing influence on winemaking.

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What we can all learn from the failure of Vinopolis

Published:  16 February, 2015

Is it really 16 years since Vinopolis opened its doors to the public? I can clearly remember the hoopla and sense of anticipation that accompanied the launch of London's self-styled "premier wine-tasting experience and visitor attraction".

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England rugby's Andy Sheridan offers his wine tips for the Six Nations

Published:  13 February, 2015
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World expert John Gauntner introduces us to sake

Published:  13 February, 2015

John Gauntner is renowned as being one of the English-speaking world's foremost experts on sake. Here he explains how he got into sake, and what's happening in the industry now.

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Jerry Lockspeiser on why crowdfunding is such an exciting opportunity for business

Published:  13 February, 2015

Why is crowdfunding so inherently exciting? The heady emotional mix of allure, participation, open access, opportunity, creativity and success is hard to resist.

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James Connolly on how independents can differentiate and diversify

Published:  12 February, 2015

James Connolly, consultant at Broderson & Co, says that when merchants are faced with tough trading conditions, they should be open to discussions on consolidation. Differentiating, diversifying, innovating and communicating can also help reinvigorate a business. 

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Are you breaking the law by serving draught Prosecco?

Published:  11 February, 2015

David Wilkinson, partner and head of IP and Katrina Walter of legal firm Stevens & Bolton LLP analyse the legal implications of on-trade outlets that sell Prosecco on draught.

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Q&A: BiBoViNo's Frantz Roesch on why BIB wine is going upmarket

Published:  10 February, 2015

Frantz Roesch, founder of French bag-in-box retail concept BiBoViNo, reveals his plans for UK expansion, high profile backers and why it will focus on old world wines only.

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Why a cut in duty is fair to consumers and business says SWA's David Frost

Published:  10 February, 2015

In my time as a diplomat, I spent a lot of time promoting Scotch whisky overseas. When I first got to know the industry,  I found it very surprising to learn Scotch Whisky was Britain's biggest food and drink sector and indeed represented nearly a quarter of all Britain's food and drink exports.

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Hal Wilson, Cambridge Wine Merchants: why I lobbied my MP for a duty cut

Published:  10 February, 2015

As Harpers calls on independent wine merchants to play their part in the industry wide campaign to convince the Chancellor to issue a duty cut on wine and spirits in his March Budget, leading independent Hal Wilson,  of Cambridge Wine Merchants,  today explains why he has personally lobbied his local MP, the Liberal Democrat Julian Huppert, and invited him to his business so that he could explain the issues in person - and urges other merchants to do the same.

 

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Q&A: Agustin Trapero, sommelier, Almeida

Published:  09 February, 2015

Fiona Griffiths talks to Agustin Trapero, sommelier at Almeida in Islington, about swapping the restaurant's printed wine list for a 'wine wall' and tasting table

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Profile: Frescobaldi - stepping into the unknown

Published:  06 February, 2015

Italy's Frescobaldi family may be world famous for its wines, but can it succeed in the highly competitive restaurant world? Douglas Blyde goes behind the scenes at its first standalone restaurant off London's Regent Street

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Richard Siddle: why Tesco's product cull will impact everyone in the trade

Published:  06 February, 2015

Here are a few questions for you? Do you work with any of the major supermarkets? If so do you ever take a close look at what is happening in any other aisle of the store other than wine and spirits?  I mean do you assess how a particular category like confectionery, health and beauty or crisps and snacks is merchandised?  How many suppliers in that fixture that retailer works with? What sort of promotions they are running? If you don't then you need to.

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Guy Woodward: Why the UK trade needs to turn its back on overpriced Bordeaux

Published:  06 February, 2015

I saw a headline the other day that grabbed my attention. "Hopes rise for Bordeaux prices in 2015". Ah, I thought, that's good - they're coming down at last.

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Tim Heath, senior winemaker of Cloudy Bay, talks about the challenges of making an iconic Sauvignon Blanc

Published:  06 February, 2015

Tim Heath, Cloudy Bay's straight-talking 38-year-old Aussie winemaker, talks about the challenges of producing one of the world's most iconic Sauvignons, his winemaking ethos - and his loathing of accountants.

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Anton Moiseenko: Why Russia really needs your support - and your wine

Published:  06 February, 2015

It may be hard to believe, but we Russians are no different from you. Our taste buds are there and actually working.

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Tim Atkin MW: What we can all learn from the failure of Vinopolis

Published:  06 February, 2015

Is it really 16 years since Vinopolis opened its doors to the public? I can clearly remember the hoopla and sense of anticipation that accompanied the launch of London's self-styled "premier wine-tasting experience and visitor attraction".

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Q&A: Conviviality's Diana Hunter on acquisitions and expanding ranges

Published:  05 February, 2015

The ink has barely dried on Conviviality's latest acquisition deal - to take on 37 stores across Yorkshire and the East Midlands - and chief executive Diana Hunter already has plans in place for further expansion.

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Oliver Zhou on the likely impact of Coravin's launch in China

Published:  05 February, 2015

I am sure as an industry professional, you have heard quite a bit about Coravin. Yes, I am talking about that state-of-art, revolutionary device that can draw the wine out of a bottle without pulling out the cork while replacing the missing wine with Argon gas. The Coravin system has been adopted by many top-notch restaurant and celebrity sommeliers around the globe and it has significantly changed many high-end venues' wine by-the-glass offer.

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Simon Woods assesses how far Kingsland has gone with its independents and on-trade range

Published:  04 February, 2015

Already one of the largest bottlers of bulk wine in the UK, Manchester-based Kingsland is now looking to reposition itself as a one-stop shop for both the on-and off-trade. Recent tastings in London and Manchester provided a chance to see how the range stacks up.

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Stuart Whitwell: How will global trends impact drinks industry in 2015?

Published:  03 February, 2015

That's the question Stuart Whitwell of Intangible Business tries to answer here. Looking at the performance of the big movers and shakers, allied with trends in the main global markets, Whitwell foresees windows of opportunity for innovation.

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Peter Shakeshaft: what impact a weaker euro will have on the fine wine investment market

Published:  02 February, 2015

Markets are adjusting to the commencement of a large programme of quantitive easing from the European Central Bank announced on January 22 January, and assimilating the impact of a sweeping left wing victory in Greek elections and the potential for the long discussed "Grexit" from the euro.

 

 

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Matthew Gaughan assesses how far California has come in adapting Zinfandel for all tastes

Published:  30 January, 2015

 

The last weekend of January saw California's great wine city San Francisco celebrate the state's iconic grape, Zinfandel. The Zinfandel Experience, held at the Presidio, and organised by Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP), is an annual event designed to raise awareness and appreciation of this often misunderstood and easily maligned grape. Over 3,000 consumers attended the event, celebrating its 24th consecutive year.

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Seraphina Elmore stands up for all that is good about alcohol and drinking

Published:  29 January, 2015

We are only all too aware of how much the drinks trade is under attack by the health sector and public lobby, meaning that with all the negativity regarding drinking, the benefits of alcohol have largely been washed away in a sea of bad press.

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Restaurant review: Douglas Blyde beats the critics to Berkshire's Oakley Court

Published:  28 January, 2015

Douglas Blyde: from horror to hedonism at Oakley Court

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Glynn Davis discovers a New York craft beer scene of all shapes, sizes...and strengths

Published:  26 January, 2015

One of the downsides of drinking in specialist beer bars in the UK is that you'll far too frequently hear the comment 'you can't drink many pints of that' when drinkers are confronted with anything stronger than 5%.

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Why legally protecting your business assets and brands is vital to any growth strategy

Published:  26 January, 2015

Olivia Perrottof law company, Stevens & Bolton LLP, says it is vital wine and spirits businesses protect their brand names and  IP assets if they are to maximise growth 

 

 

 

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Justin Keay finds much to discover at London's annual New Zealand tasting

Published:  23 January, 2015

First impressions count for much and so it was this week at the 2015 Annual Wines of New Zealand Trade Tasting. The unremarkable, ever so slightly claustrophobic Lindley Hall - which seems to host almost all generic tastings these days - was absolutely packed; within seconds of grabbing my glass I found myself firmly wedged into a crowd that reminded me of my student days of catching public transport in India.

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Former ITN and CNN correspondents in Wine Enthusiast's top 5

Published:  22 January, 2015

David Smith, the former ITN news correspondent turned winemaker, has received a massive vote of confidence for his Argentinian wine, SonVida, that only had its first vintage in 2007, by being named number four in the prestigious Wine Enthusiast Top100 wines of the year.

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Q&A: Buckingham Schenk's new MD Craig Durham outlines his plans

Published:  22 January, 2015

Newly-appointed managing director of wine supplier Buckingham Schenk Craig Durham takes up the role on February 1. He is the current sales director at the firm and replaces Jon Pepper MW, who is moving to Enotria. Here he shares his plans, current successes, how to expand on brand ranges, and why he'd love to see Swiss wines in the UK.

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Roger Jones concludes his South African tour with a clarion call to the UK to stock up!

Published:  22 January, 2015

The South Africa wine industry generally seems to be fighting a battle to persuade the UK that it produces not only premium quality wines but that they deserve a higher price for these wines. Having seen one notable exchange between a formidable UK Importer and equal South African producer regarding prices it would seem that not all is rosy in the Cape garden.

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Roger Jones' South African journey covers sublime Pinotgate and bush vine Chardonnay

Published:  19 January, 2015

First visit of the day was not the usual looking winery, but a bungalow in the middle of a housing estate; Thorne and Daughters, and sadly the daughters were too busy to meet me as they were both attending primary school!

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Geoffrey Dean on why Burgundy's Chateau de Santenay is a winery to watch

Published:  19 January, 2015
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Miles Beale: how you can help secure a 2% cut in alcohol duty

Published:  16 January, 2015

Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine & Spirit Trade Association, sets out the steps everyone involved in the UK drinks industry can play their part in convincing the Chancellor to a 2% drop in alcohol duty in the forthcoming Budget

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Roger Jones finds gold in them thar hills of Stellenbosch

Published:  15 January, 2015
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Alfred Cointreau on history and how to engage with modern bartenders

Published:  14 January, 2015

Alfred Cointreau is a sixth generation member of the Cointreau family, and since 2011, has been the liqueur brand's heritage manager. He fills us in on the French brand's 165-year history and how he engages with bartenders today.

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Reka Haros: why wineries need to go direct to their consumers

Published:  13 January, 2015

Reka Haros of the Sfriso Winery in Italy explains why she changed her business model, cut out the middle men and took her wines straight to consumers in their homes

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Roger Jones: how South Africa came out top in Michelin challenge with Australian wines

Published:  13 January, 2015
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Q&A: Diego Muntoni, head sommelier, OXO Restaurant

Published:  12 January, 2015

From the whiff of fermenting grapes at his family's vineyard to his first job behind a bar, the OXO Restaurant's head sommelier guides us through his career so far

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Richard Siddle: all eyes on Tesco to take lead in retailer supplier relations

Published:  12 January, 2015

When over 200 businesses are moved to fill in an in-depth, 20 question survey online in the week before Christmas you know you have hit a nerve.

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Steve Charters: Are experts really better judges of wine than consumers?

Published:  12 January, 2015

How well do we professionals evaluate wine according to consumer tastes? Do experts and ordinary drinkers have the same view about how good a wine is?

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Q&A: Pierre-Henry Gagey, president, Maison Louis Jadot

Published:  11 January, 2015

Pierre-Henry Gagey has been with Maison Louis Jadot since 1984 and became president in 1992, following in the footsteps of his father who had joined in 1954 to become its director in 1962. He talks to Anne Krebiehl MW about the prices of the 2013 en primeur campaign and the challenges facing Burgundy now

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GM Drinks shows how cash and carry sector can be key to future sales

Published:  09 January, 2015

GM Drinks has been in business for three years and is already distributing a million bottles a year. Richard Siddle talks to founder Marc Patch about succeeding in the cash-and-carry sector

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Jason Wilson: It's wine, Jim, but not as we know it

Published:  09 January, 2015

It's 2015... I wonder what the year to come will be like. Then I click on the latest episode of William Shatner's new web show Brown Bag Wine Tasting...

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Rowan Gormley tells the naked truth about Naked Wines

Published:  09 January, 2015

No one can deny Naked Wines has an innovative business model, but is it everything it claims to be? Erin Smith asks founder Rowan Gormley to reveal all

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Tim Atkin MW: remembers true "pioneers" Serge Hochar and Dave West

Published:  09 January, 2015

It's highly unlikely that Dave West, the former barrow boy who created wholesale drinks warehouse EastEnders in Calais, and Serge Hochar of Lebanon's Château Musar ever met.

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Guy Woodward: Champagne reveals ugly side in Jayne Powell dispute

Published:  09 January, 2015

There are few things in business as unattractive as bullying - a practice with which, regrettably, I am only too familiar.

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Wine lover and collector Peter Dean is surprised by Bergerac's "treasure trove" of wines

Published:  08 January, 2015

 

 

My 'road to Damascus' moment with wine came 10 years ago when I was served an array of perfectly aged bottles, which were all drinking superbly, with food that matched. Although I had always had an interest, from this point on I started taking wine seriously as a subject: drinking and buying a lot of it with the requisite research, effort and hopefully some skill. I started a small wine club soon after and have written about fine wine for three years - continuing to love the sense of discovery that accompanies finding a new producer, an over-looked vintage or a region that you knew little about. Oh and I bloody love drinking the stuff.

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Roger Jones finds there is much to be impressed by South African sparkling wines

Published:  08 January, 2015

With English Sparkling Wine dominating prestigious wine lists in the UK, it is interesting that we may have forgotten about the quality that South Africa produce, under the Methode Cap Classique category. Slightly confusing they also have a sparkling wine category which is not made in the traditional champenoise method, where C02 is added.

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Direct Wines' new chief David Thatcher shares his vision

Published:  07 January, 2015

David Thatcher, incoming group chief executive of Direct Wines, tells us how he is planning to build on the group's successful formula, ramp up personalisation and how Prosecco outsold Champagne 2:1 over Christmas.

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Oliver Zhou's personal tips on how to enter the Chinese wine market

Published:  06 January, 2015

As someone who has been working in the Chinese wine industry for quite some time, it is not uncommon to meet winery owner/export manager/brand manager who are desperately talking about trying to enter Chinese market and get on track with this fast growing industry. But like the old saying, it is always easier saying(in this case, planning) than doing. Chinese market is more sophisticated than other market in many ways, and spending days reading marketing research material simply won't cut it. I would like a share some Chinese insight into entering the Chinese market which many wineries might neglect one thing or two.

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Roger Jones looks ahead to a culinary and wine tour of South Africa

Published:  05 January, 2015

Over the next two weeks I will not only be visiting numerous wineries or farms as they call them here but cooking at two prestigious pop up events. The first is on Friday January 9 at The Vineyard Hotel in Cape Town, where 80 guests will be served a six course dinner matched with 12 premium wines blind from Australia and South Africa. The second dinner will be held at 96 Winery Road, in the company of Mr Chenin; Ken Forrester. Prior to that I have organised a tasting of South African sparkling wines, with one of England's top Fizz, Sugrue Pierre,  thrown into the mix, bringing together some of the Cape's top tasters and sparkling wines.

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Obituary: Serge Hochar of Lebanon's Château Musar

Published:  04 January, 2015

Michael Karam, acclaimed journalist, ambassador for Lebanese wine and author of  Wines of Lebanon remembers, Serge Hochar, the charismatic and buccaneering owner of Lebanon's Château Musar, who died at the age of 74, while on holiday with his family in Mexico over the new year.

 

 

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2014 Review and Hopes and Fears for 2015: Nick Oakley

Published:  02 January, 2015

Nick Oakley of Oakley Wine Agencies on the growth of Portuguese wines in 2014, and how he'd like to sell more to independent merchants.

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2014 Review and Hopes and Fears for 2015: Stephen Forward, Essentially Wine

Published:  02 January, 2015

Outspoken independent merchant and Harpers' blogger Stephen Forward of Essentially Wine picks out Naked Wines, Oddbins and Borough Wines as ones to watch in 2015.

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2014 Review and Hopes and Fears for 2015: Matthew Hennings

Published:  01 January, 2015

Matthew Hennings of Hennings Wine Merchants, says the trade must continue to fight against those intent on 'dumbing down' wine to the consumer with 'whopping discounts and lousy wine'.

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2014 Review and Hopes and Fears for 2015: Anita Jackson

Published:  01 January, 2015

Anita Jackson, UK director for Wines of Chile, says 2014 got off to a tough start, and tips Chile for further organic and sustainable innovations for 2015.

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2014 Review and Hopes and Fears for 2015: David Frost Scotch Whisky Association

Published:  31 December, 2014

David Frost, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, reflects on the Scottish referendum and the increased investment in the sector, while hoping for an improvement in sales in 2015.  

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2014 Review and Hope and Fears for 2015: Ted Sandbach of Oxford Wines

Published:  31 December, 2014

Ted Sandbach, managing director of independent wine merchant the Oxford Wine Company, talks about plans to open a new wine bar in 2015, and how deep supermarket discounting is still a serious challenge for independents.

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2014 Review and Hopes and Fears for 2015: Jerry Lockspeiser, Off Piste Wines

Published:  31 December, 2014

Jerry Lockspeiser, chairman of Off Piste Wines and serial wine industry entrepreneur as well as Harpers columnist, gives his thoughts on why 2015 may be a "crossroads year" for the retail trade, and how we are still "failing to inspire" wine drinkers.

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2014 Review and Hopes and Fears for 2015: Doug Wood of WoodWinters

Published:  30 December, 2014

Doug Wood, owner of Scottish independent merchant WoodWinters, lets off steam about supermarkets, credit control and 'parasitic internet-only' retailers, while looking forward to lots of Christmas presents from staff.

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2014 Review and Hopes and Fears for 2015: John McLaren

Published:  30 December, 2014

John McLaren, UK director of the Wine Institute of California, on how the UK has changed to become a fresh land of opportunity for Californian producers, how it's in a 'holding pattern' with grocers, and why he 'may scream' if he's told to 'engage with consumers' again.

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2014 Review and Hopes and Fears for 2015: Kingsland's Neil Anderson

Published:  29 December, 2014

Neil Anderson, marketing director at Kingsland, considers how and why brands need to think more about consumers for the year ahead, and reckons companies should be looking to those outside the category for inspiration.

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2014 Review and Hopes and Fears for 2015: Mission Estate's Giles James

Published:  29 December, 2014

Giles James, UK business development manager for New Zealand's Mission Estate, talks about Kim Kardashian breaking the internet, why provenance is a major opportunity, and why Noble Inns is one to watch.

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2014 Review and Hopes and Fears for 2015: Cambridge Wine Company's Hal Wilson

Published:  26 December, 2014

Hal Wilson, managing director of independent merchant Cambridge Wine Company, gives us the low-down on opening a new wine bar, Cahors wines making a comeback and why he's watching this space with Philglas & Swiggot.

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2014 Review and Hopes and Fears for 2015: PLB's John Osborne

Published:  26 December, 2014

John Osborne, managing director of the PLB trading division at Bibendum PLB, talks about the 'year of transformation', how retailers must adapt to the changes in how consumers shop and further supplier consolidation into next year.

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2014 Review and Hopes and Fears for 2015: Australian Vintage's Julian Dyer

Published:  26 December, 2014

Julian Dyer, general manager for UK & Europe at Australian Vintage, talks about McGuigan breaking into the Top 5 global wine brands in the UK, consolidation in the supply sector, and why he's back the WSTA's Drop the Duty campaign.

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2014 Review and Hopes and Fears for 2015: Joe Wadsack

Published:  25 December, 2014

The new wine 'face' of BBC's Food & Drink programme Joe Wadsack fills us in on Balkan wines, presenting on the Beeb and why London's on-trade margins are 'taking the mick'.

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2014 Review and Hopes and Fears for 2015: WSTA chief Miles Beale

Published:  25 December, 2014

Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine & Spirits Trade Association, says the industry's progress against the Responsibility Deal is something to shout about. Meanwhile he's gearing up the pre-Budget Drop the Duty campaign and planning to engage with government after 2015's General Election.

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2014 Review and Hopes and Fears for 2015: Waitrose's Pierpaolo Petrassi

Published:  25 December, 2014

Pierpaolo Petrassi MW, head of beers, wines and spirits at Waitrose shares his thoughts on grocery retail's decline, his inspiration from the team at Waitrose and why we should all be watching Amazon.

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Tim Wilson of Wilson Drinks Report gets to grips with the challenges of online shopping over Christmas

Published:  24 December, 2014

Online Christmas brings its own challenges, says Tim Wilson of the Wilson Drinks Report.

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2014 Review and Hopes and Fears for 2015: Origin Wines' Bernard Fontannaz

Published:  24 December, 2014

Bernard Fontannaz, founder of Origin Wines, talks about the 'game-changing' supply base consolidation and what 2015 has in store in his review of the year.

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2014 Review and Hopes and Fear for 2015: Direct Wine Shipments Neal McAlindon

Published:  24 December, 2014

Neal McAlindon, director at Belfast's Direct Wine Shipments, tells Harpers.co.uk why 2014 has been another good year, despite tricky market conditions in Northern Ireland.

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2014 Review and Hopes and Fears for 2015: Morrisons Mark Jarman

Published:  24 December, 2014

Mark Jarman, head of wine operations at Morrisons, relives the retailer's award-winning year and predicts further success for sherry and South American wines.

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2014 Review and Hopes and Fears for 2015: Guy Woodward

Published:  23 December, 2014

Harpers columnist Guy Woodward is the latest in our line-up of key industry figures to share their thoughts on 2014 and their predictions for 2015 with you.

 

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2014 Review and Hopes and fears for 2015: Concha y Toro's Simon Doyle

Published:  23 December, 2014

Simon Doyle, general manager or Concha y Toro UK, reflects on the growth of its key brands, and how to step up to deliver more in 2015.

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2014 Review and Hopes and Fears for 2015: Wines of South Africa's Jo Wehring

Published:  23 December, 2014

Jo Wehring, UK market manager for Wines of South Africa, is already gearing up for 2015's Cape Wine, saying the "energy" behind South Africa's wines just keeps growing

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2014 Review and Hopes and Fears for 2015: Robin Copestick

Published:  22 December, 2014

Robin Copestick, managing director of Copestick Murray, reflects on the vagaries of the grocery retail sector in 2014 and greater international collaboration for 2015.

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2014 Review and Hopes and Fears for 2015: LGCF Tim North

Published:  22 December, 2014

Tim North, UK director of Les Grands Chais de France, considers the growing number of consumers willing to spend more for a special bottle of wine, and the challenges facing suppliers and major retailers in 2015.

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2014 Review and Hopes and Fears for 2015: Liv-ex's James Miles

Published:  19 December, 2014

James Miles, managing director of fine wine exchange Liv-ex, reflects on the "tough year" for fine wine that was 2014, and why he believes the Bordelais will offer more realistic prices in the coming year's en primeur campaign.

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2014 Review and Hopes and Fears for 2015: Daniel Murphy of Murphy Wine Company

Published:  19 December, 2014

In the first of our annual reviews of the year for the festive period, we ask Daniel Murphy, founder of bulk wine broker Murphy Wine Company, to look back on 2014 and assess what he sees as the big challenges for the sector in to 2015. In a nutshell he believes few in the trade have really grasped the impact of a sea change in world wine production, nor of the potential for bulk wine in the UK.

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Justin Keay gets over his prejudices to delight in wines from Mallorca

Published:  18 December, 2014
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Anne-Catherine Vigouroux on what to expect at January's French Wine Discoveries tasting

Published:  17 December, 2014

Ahead of January's French Wine Discoveries tasting at London's Tobacco Dock Anne-Catherine Vigouroux  of organisers, WIne4Trade, explains what visitors can expect from the 120 exhibitors taking part at the event on January 13.

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Douglas Blyde gets to know Chilgrove gin with founder Christopher Beaumont-Hutchings

Published:  16 December, 2014

Christopher Beaumont-Hutchings and I sip violet-tinged Aviation sours alongside positively fatty Scottish oysters at the Rib Room's bar. The sturdy looking, brass and dark wood build of this old-school drinkers' haven at the five-star Jumeirah Carlton Tower seems appropriately grand given there is cause for celebration.

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Winerist founder tips 2015's must-visit wine destinations

Published:  15 December, 2014

If the wintry weather is getting you down, check out this list of top five wine holidays for 2015 from Diana Isac, the co-founder and chief executive of wine and food trave website Winerist. Maybe it's something to ask Santa for... How many can you tick off the list? 

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Marisa D'Vari on how Portugal's Douro valley is now a natural home for wine as well as Port

Published:  12 December, 2014

With the holidays well underway, many consumers are enjoying what is turning out to be their seasonal flirtation with Port. Yet apart from the party season, clerks and sommeliers increasingly report that quality-driven dry red wine made from traditional Douro grapes is gaining favour over the fortified style, citing consumer preference for lighter, less alcoholic and less sweet styles. According to the IVDP, last year over half of all wine exported from the Douro was unfortified. Does this suggest changes are afoot for fortified wine in the Douro?

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Caliterra's Rodrigo Zamorano on making wines that change people's perceptions of Chile

Published:  12 December, 2014

Chilean winery Errazuriz, established over 130 years ago, has owned Caliterra since 2004. Helen Arnold talks to its chief winemaker, Rodrigo Zamorano, about his new Edicion Limitada range, and the changing face of Chilean wine.

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Smith Report: have we lost our moral compass in business?

Published:  09 December, 2014

There have been more than enough financial scandals in recent months, raising the question: have we lost our moral compass when it comes to business?

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Q&A: Cherie Spriggs, Nyetimber

Published:  08 December, 2014

Nyetimber is on a roll this year after its Classic Cuvée 2009 won two trophies at this year's International Wine Challenge. Harpers.co.uk caught up with head winemaker Cherie Spriggs to ask what drew her towards the iconic label and where she plans to take it next.

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Stephen Forward: are zero-hour contracts an employment tool or Victorian torture?

Published:  08 December, 2014

There's been a lot of bad press lately on the subject of zero-hours contracts. The Labour party have pledged to abolish them if they win the next election. So what are zero-hours contracts exactly, why do employers use them, and how do they work in practice?

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Vino Wines is gaining ground in Edinburgh

Published:  05 December, 2014

Quality wines combined with the canny idea to sell premium ready-meals is making Vino a destination wine store in Scotland.

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Guy Woodward: The wine industry could learn so much from friendly coffee baristas

Published:  05 December, 2014

On the face of it, Waitrose's commitment to making its beer, wine and spirits departments "destinations" in their own right is a no-brainer.

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Richard Siddle: Why we just can't get enough of online shopping

Published:  05 December, 2014

The time it will take you to read this first paragraph is all it now takes to buy a loved one a special present for Christmas. The speed, reliability and ultimately convenience of shopping online now means it is quite acceptable to give even your nearest and dearest a gift that comes wrapped in cardboard through the post.

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Tim Atkin MW: Why we must all share the blame for cheap wine

Published:  05 December, 2014

Mad Frankie Fraser, the notorious gangster who died last week, was famous for using pliers to extract his victims' teeth under torture. One hesitates to say that the wine trade could have used the skills of a man who worked for both the Kray twins and the Richardson gang, but there are times when persuading consumers to trade up can feel like pulling molars.

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Spirit Cartel drives growth through its premium range of spirits for the on-trade

Published:  05 December, 2014

Too often the world of high-end spirits can be a very grown-up affair, but not at Spirit Cartel, which is having great fun making a name for itself with an award-winning range of premium spirits.

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Sophia Warner of the Pebbles Projects talks about 10 years of changing lives in South Africa's winelands

Published:  05 December, 2014

As the Pebbles Project celebrates its 10th year, co-founder Sophia Warner explains how the trade has helped provide support and education to children in South Africa's winelands and what a difference it makes.

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Dominic Roskrow on why politics, intrigue and gossip are rife in the world of craft distillers

Published:  04 December, 2014

 

Looking back on the recent Craft Distillers' Expo reminded me of what it must be like to attend a political party conference. For a very small party.

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Brothers James and Richard Manning are doing their bit to shake up juice bars

Published:  03 December, 2014

Brothers James and Richard Manning started out in the industry selling fresh British juices made at their Herefordshire farm. Little did they know that their old wooden apple crates would transform their business, says Bernadette Costello, and they are now looking to work with wine and spirits brands.   

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Cruz Liljegren picks up on the hot debates at the World Bulk Wine Exhibition

Published:  03 December, 2014

 

This year's World Bulk Wine Exhibition is now over after two conference days in Amsterdam last week. More than 250 producers from 19 countries, and almost 6,000 professionals attended the fair, a 30% increase from last year, informs the organisers. The interest in bulk wine is clearly on the rise. Here Cruz Liljegren picks out his three hot topics discussed by the attendees.

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Glengoyne's Stuart Hendry: 'We're still selling too much whisky'

Published:  02 December, 2014

Stuart Hendry, brand heritage and commercial director for Glengoyne Distillery near Glasgow, talks Scotch whisky's enduring popularity, barrel prices, slow distillation and long-term plans with Geoffrey Dean

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Tracy Ewen: Don't let cashflow issues burst your bubble this Xmas

Published:  02 December, 2014

Commercial finance expert Tracy Ewen reveals how not to get caught out with cashflow this Christmas trading period. 

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Roger Jones concludes his wine tour of New Zealand with praise for its sustainability

Published:  01 December, 2014

Sadly my time in New Zealand has come to an end, however, amongst all the highlights and amazing experiences, including flying a plane, one common theme kept coming up, besides the quality of the wines, and that is the word sustainability.

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Avril Tooley on dangers for drinks brands from plain tobacco packaging

Published:  01 December, 2014

The announcement about warnings on alcohol packaging is reminiscent of recent rumblings in the legislative sphere that may see tobacco products move to plain packaging. Although warnings won't take up the entire pack, there is a concern amongst those in the industry that alcohol will eventually suffer a similar fate.

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AWE's Lindsay Oram on how regulation and innovation is working for German producers

Published:  28 November, 2014

One of the most common questions posed by students is, 'Why is winemaking in the Old World so heavily regulated compared to winemaking in the New World'? Many students also assume that regulation leads to lack of innovative thinking. And nowhere is there more wine regulation than in Germany.

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Justin Keay is bowled over by the first Winchester Wine Festival

Published:  28 November, 2014

Not long ago, Winchester called to mind England's oldest public school and wealthy retired folk clutching their Daily Telegraphs and taking the inevitable black labrador for its daily constitutional. Whilst these images still hold true, a quiet revolution has taken hold in England's former capital city.

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Brands - they're more than just a name, says Stuart Whitwell

Published:  27 November, 2014

Stuart Whitwell, joint managing director at brand valuation firm Intangible Business, considers the importance of branding and its correlation to the commercial success of an alcohol brand - as well as tackling the tricky issue of how these profitable brands are valued as intangible assets.

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Anne Krebiehl MW gets to grips with the intricacies of grower Champagne

Published:  27 November, 2014

For the first time in its history, the Institute of Masters of Wine put on a tasting of grower Champagnes, that burgeoning category of growers who decide to bottle their own wines rather than sell grapes to either a co-operative or one of the large Champagne houses. By doing so, they create Champagnes that often represent a very local, sub-regional character, sometimes down to a single vineyard.

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My Choice: Mario Pablo Silva of Chile's Casa Silva

Published:  26 November, 2014

Mario  Pablo managing director of Chile's Casa Silva shares his likes for wines and spirits and why an Oxford pub is his favourite bar in the world.

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Roger Jones on falling in love with the "wild west" of New Zealand's Central Otago

Published:  26 November, 2014

If there was one area in New Zealand which defines the whole ethos of its wine industry it must be Central Otago.

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Andy Barrington on why consumers buy drinks brands that reflect well on them

Published:  26 November, 2014

Andy Barrington, managing director at creative agency The Minimart, tells us how the consumer's personal brand is affecting drinks marketing. Many now choose drinks brands based on how it can boost their own brands - think about the drinks selfie, Barrington says.

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David Gleave, Liberty Wines, and his key wine trends for Christmas

Published:  26 November, 2014

We believe Old World wines will continue to perform well this Christmas as people look to spend a little bit more and trade up to premium examples of known varieties. Alpha Zeta's Single Vineyard Pinot Grigio 'Terrapieno' from the Veneto is a good example of this.

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Glynn Davis on what we can learn - and ignore - from classic German beer halls

Published:  25 November, 2014

If a world beer tour existed then Bamberg, in Germany's Franconia region, would be included on the itinerary. This modestly sized town is not only a UNESCO world heritage site but it also has one of the highest concentrations of breweries in the world.

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Geoffrey Dean on how wine tourism has taken off in Catalonia

Published:  24 November, 2014

If New World countries were the forerunners in promoting wine tourism, it has taken some Old World heavyweights much longer to embrace the concept. Spain was slow off the mark, notably Catalonia, but from a standing start 10 years ago, the Catalans have finally woken up to the value of wine tourists. And the punters are coming in big numbers - an estimated 750,000 a year, with Torres' Penedes headquarters alone attracting 120,000 visitors.

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Roger Jones adds a Canterbury tale to his tour of New Zealand

Published:  24 November, 2014

The car journey from Blenheim Airport to Waipara is one of the most beautiful drives you could envisage, with a wild coastline that is picture perfect.

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Damien Wilson on why wine bloggers are an endangered species

Published:  21 November, 2014

One of the great communication innovations assisting the wine sector's recovery has been the birth of the wine blogger. Since wine blogging began, its role has evolved from being a publicly recorded journal by wine enthusiasts through to a buying guide and discussion platform for news and events in the wine sector.

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Dia Simms, the woman behind P Diddy's drinks ventures, on why their spirits mean business

Published:  21 November, 2014

Starting off as Sean 'Diddy' Combs personal chief of staff, Dia Simms is now the executive vice president of Ciroc Vodka & Innovations, at the newly-formed Combs Wine & Spirits.Gemma McKenna catches up with Simms and finds out what the pair have planned for the expansion of the drinks empire.

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Roger Jones on what New Zealand is doing best with Sauvignon Blanc and his top wines

Published:  21 November, 2014

Concerns have been rumbling in the UK that Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc may have reached its fashion peak and is going the same way as Australian Chardonnay did a decade ago, where the industry were guided by the supermarket dinosaurs to produce a product that consumers no longer wanted, but price and flash instant big flavour hit was the defining factor.

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Mintel's Jonny Forsyth: Evolving tastes among global wine drinkers

Published:  20 November, 2014

Wine tastes are evolving but is the industry agile enough to take advantage? Mintel's research clearly illustrates how different the coveted Millennials are to previous generations, global drinks analyst Jonny Forsyth told Wine Vision.

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Isabelle Pangault, Foncalieu' s new winemaker, on opportunities for Languedoc-Rousssillon

Published:  18 November, 2014

Geoffrey Dean talks to Isabelle Pangault, winemaker and brand ambassador for Foncalieu, the leading Languedoc-Roussillon co-operative:

 

 

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Roger Jones on how New Zealand's Nelson is coming out of Marlborough's shadow

Published:  18 November, 2014

Overshadowed by New Zealand's flagship 'Marlborough' region just two hours scenic drive to the East, sunny Nelson is a truly boutique region offering a range of impressive quality and world class wines.

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Anna Greenhous: Reviews first-ever sake qualification courses that are rolling out in the UK

Published:  17 November, 2014

Until recently, there were no English language sake qualifications available in the U.K. This November saw the launch of the WSET's Level 3 Award in Sake, one of a few sake courses and qualifications now available from different providers in the U.K. 

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My Choice: John Coe of Coe Vintners on Ronnie Scotts, The Sting and tequila

Published:  14 November, 2014

We asked John Coe, chairman of Coe Vintners, for his favourite things when it comes to wine, food, restaurants and bars and who he would like to share them with.

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Burgundy winemaker Roland Masse reflects on his last year as manager of Hospice de Beaune

Published:  14 November, 2014

The winemaker and manager of Domaine des Hospices de Beaune in Burgundy, Roland Masse, 61, will complete his 15th and final vintage for the annual Hospices de Beaune auction this coming Sunday. Here he reflects on his career before handing over responsiblity to Ludivine Griveau who will become the first woman to manage the domain from January.

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Panos Kakaviatos on why it is time to get excited about Greek wine again

Published:  14 November, 2014

From a smooth and structured Rossiu di Munte Yiniets 2009 by Katogi Averoff (100% Cabernet Sauvignon) to the chocolately hutzpah of Avaton by Ktima Gerovassiliou PGI Epanomi 2011, with three Greek varieties (Limnio, Mavroudi and Mavrotragano), Greek wine is creating some buzz among both consumers and wine writers.

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Roger Jones discovers a rugby hero and great wines in Martinborough

Published:  13 November, 2014

A Burgundian Grand Cru style village community saturated with prestigious vineyards squeezed into a very small area with just one prime green site not attributed to vines, the rugby ground!

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Justin Keay enjoys Corney & Barrow's break with tradition with more "eclectic" range

Published:  12 November, 2014

Think Corney & Barrow and you think tradition, with serious mainly French wines dominating its list, coupled with some pricey Italians (think Barolo and Brunello) and Spaniards. But with the wine trade facing challenging times, and tastes changing, C&B has been broadening its list.

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Oddbins Ayo Akintola in his own words: Majestic is 'screwing' suppliers

Published:  11 November, 2014

Oddbins managing director Ayo Akintola describes Majestic's recent demand from suppliers for financial support for its new warehouse as "one of the shabbiest business decisions" in the past couple of decades in the UK wine industry. Here, in his own words, he responds to its actions:

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Advertising legend Sir John Hegarty on what it is really like to be a winemaker

Published:  11 November, 2014

Perhaps unsurprisingly considering his high standing in the world of advertising, and the vociferous views on wine marketing which he expressed in last month's Harper's, Sir John Hegarty intends his 37 acre vineyard, located amid woodland and spontaneously sprouting herbs by Minervois' Montaigne Noire, to be a brave venture.

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Roger Jones indulges in Hawkes Bay's Food and Wine Classic

Published:  10 November, 2014

For 10 days in November Hawkes Bay is transformed into a food and wine Mecca attracting thousands of people from all over the world to divulge and celebrate the bounty that the area produces as part of the Food and Wine Classic. Wineries, local restaurants, scenic parks and historical buildings are used to offer an array of tastings, gourmet meals, art, voyages, celebrity chefs, and wine challenges, all packed out from free to enter events to ticketed events up to $300 per person.

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Enotria's Troy Christensen on what next for supplier and retailer relations after TescoGate

Published:  07 November, 2014

Troy Christensen, chief executive of Enotria, tells Gemma McKenna what's going on at the supplier, the state of distributor retailer relations in light of TescoGate, and what we can expect next.

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Richard Siddle: what sort of community do you hang out in?

Published:  07 November, 2014

 

 

They say you can tell a lot about someone by the company they keep. Or the sort of people they like to hang out with. The thought crossed my mind at last weekend's Digital Wine Communications Conference. An event which attracted well over 300 delegates and speakers who were quite happy to give up their weekend to travel to the shores of Lake Geneva in Montreux, Switzerland.

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Guy Woodward: even Champagne has a lot to learn about consumers

Published:  07 November, 2014

Comedian and writer David Mitchell is among the more perceptive columnists for the once great Observer, so it was with interest that I read his piece on how the taste of Champagne doesn't matter. When it comes to serving sparkling wine, he claimed, so long as it has bubbles, and says Champagne and not Cava on the label, any further qualities are immaterial.

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Tim Atkin: why consumers could fall out of love with Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

Published:  07 November, 2014

Some milestones make you think. Next year will be the 30th anniversary of the founding of Cloudy Bay, one of the most successful wine brands ever, and a label that helped to launch an entire region.

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Trademark disputes: Star Wars' owner disputes Empire Strikes Bock Beer

Published:  06 November, 2014

The drinks industry is renowned for its playful and sometimes tongue-in-cheek branding but businesses can wind up in legal disputes if they overstep the mark. Stuart Whitwell considers: where is the line drawn between parody and infringement?

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Roger Jones flies his way to Hawkes Bay

Published:  05 November, 2014

An innocent question by the young pilot may possibly have confused both of us, 'what are you like flying in small planes Mr Jones?'  I answered no problem thinking he was asking if I was comfortable travelling in a 2 seater plane, but alas as soon as we took off he said 'you can take over now', so for the next 30 minutes Wales' equivalent to the Red Arrows was weaving down the coast from Gisborne to Hawkes Bay.

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Roger Jones continues his Kiwi tour by discovering "hidden secrets" of Gisborne

Published:  03 November, 2014

Roger Jones continues his wine and gastronomic tour of New Zealand with a trip to Gisborne:

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Caroline Gilby MW uncovers Cyprus's burgeoning wine industry

Published:  03 November, 2014

Sun, sea and sand are not factors normally associated with quality wine production, but once you leave the high-rise hotels and holiday villas of the coast, inland Cyprus is a fascinating ancient wine landscape, discovers Caroline Gilby MW.

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Matthew Gaughan enjoys celebrating Pinot Noir with Sonoma winemakers

Published:  31 October, 2014

This past Sunday, as winemakers wound down from this year's condensed harvest, the well-to-do Sonoma town of Healdsburg hosted the annual Pinot on the River festival, a celebration of the region's exciting up-and-coming Pinot Noirs. Originally held on the sometimes muddy banks of the Russian River, the festival is now located in Healdsburg's picturesque, well-paved main square, attracting an enthusiastic sell-out crowd on the busiest day of the festival's history yet.

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Jerry Lockspeiser on why we could all do our bit to help in fight against ebola

Published:  31 October, 2014

The Millione wine brand is a social business started by myself, Cliff Roberson and Mike Paul.  All profits are used to build primary schools in Sierra Leone. Four schools have been running successfully and the fifth is half built.

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Glynn Davis: a postcard from Porto

Published:  30 October, 2014

Glynn Davis sends us a postcard from Porto, where he finds out what else is on offer besides the fortified wine. 

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Roger Jones finds damaging frost and elegant wines at New Zealand's Kumeu River Winery

Published:  30 October, 2014

Based in the Kumeu wine region some 30 minutes from Auckland, this world renown Chardonnay producer was hit by frost over the weekend which destroyed part of one of their vineyards. A freak overnight change in temperature gave no warning so it had not hired the usual helicopters to protect the vines (see footnote).

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Roger Jones gets ready for a wine tour of New Zealand with a new release tasting in London

Published:  28 October, 2014

In the first of a series of articles for Harpers.co.uk, as he travels across New Zealand hosting culinary and wine events and visiting many of the country's top wineries, Roger Jones of the Michelin-starred Harrow at Little Bedwyn attended a New Zealand tasting in London to get his palate in to gear.

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Mike Ratcliffe: Why South Africa's growing in confidence

Published:  28 October, 2014

Mike Ratcliffe, managing director of Warwick and Vilafonte wineries in Stellenbosch, tells Geoffrey Dean about the growing confidence in South Africa's industry. 

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Geoffrey Dean finds the key to modern Portugese Vinho Verde wines

Published:  28 October, 2014

Vinho Verde has come along way since its Peninsular War origins. This lush, green and mountainous appellation, first demarcated in 1908, makes up 18% of Portuguese output and has 101 export markets, of which Britain, Germany and Brazil are the fastest growing.

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Can supermarkets handle Britain's changing shopping habits?

Published:  27 October, 2014

Professor Heiner Evanschitzky of Aston Business School asks whether the supermarkets handle Britain's changing shopping habits.

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Alistair Morrell on how to grow a wine business in the UK

Published:  24 October, 2014

Where do you go if you want to grow a wine business in the UK?

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TescoGate: what suppliers can do if unfairly treated by Tesco or any other majors

Published:  24 October, 2014

Suppliers who feel aggrieved at their treatment at the hands of any major retailer can take action now by complaining to the Groceries Supply Code of Practice adjudicator, writes wine trade lawyer Andrew Park.

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Angela Mount: What's the impact on BWS of Tesco's missing strategy?

Published:  23 October, 2014

Ex-Somerfield head of wine Angela Mount questions the impact on BWS of the lack of a long-term strategy at Tesco, as the retailer struggles to manage the consequences of its financial scandal. 

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Chris Blandy: big changes afoot in Madeira as premium wines gain traction

Published:  23 October, 2014

Changes are afoot in Madeira: it is shifting towards the premium end and its tourism potential is growing, says Chris Blandy, owner of Blandy's Madeira Wine Company.

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Jerry Lockspeiser: can you drink as much as you like and stay healthy?

Published:  22 October, 2014

"I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning that's as good as they are going to feel all day".  Frank Sinatra quoted in the book.

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Borough Wines: why its customers can't stop coming back

Published:  22 October, 2014

Borough Wines are on a mission. And that mission is well and truly making its home in west London with the opening, earlier this year, of its latest outlet in Kensal Rise.

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Stephen Forward: why fine wine prices won't recover anytime soon

Published:  20 October, 2014

It doesn't matter how much you flog it, the horse is dead! I'm talking of course about wine investment. We're unlikely to see this mule recover its losses anytime soon.

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Will Beck: why there is plenty of life - and money - in wine investment

Published:  20 October, 2014

I read Stephen Forward's article entitled "It's time wine investment was consigned to the history books" with interest, not so much because I am a partner at a FCA authorised asset management company that specialises in fine wine investment, and therefore have more than a passing interest in the subject, but because it is rather inconsistent and ill-conceived.

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Angela Mount: TescoGate - lifting the lid on supplier/retailer relations

Published:  17 October, 2014

Angela Mount, ex-Somerfield buyer, gives her view on what is happening at Tesco and other major retailers as a result of the financial scandal and director suspensions.

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Christian Holthausen: why wineries must take "digital" and social media seriously

Published:  17 October, 2014

Fostering legitimate cultural understanding between the world's wineries and the world's digital wine community is now more important than ever - and both sides have a responsibility to bring this to fruition, writes Christian Holthausen of the DWCC (Digital Wine Communications Conference)which takes place in Montreux, Switzlerand between October 31 and November 2.

 

 

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Bulk wine: New Zealand reaching 'event horizon' says Justin Knock MW

Published:  16 October, 2014

New Zealand's wine industry is about to reach an "event horizon", says Justin Knock MW. Read more about what's going on in the "truly global market for bulk wine". Warning: it's not pretty. 

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Avril Tooley on the advertising challenges and opportunities for dark spirits brands

Published:  14 October, 2014

From its invention in the 17th century gin has always had a murky reputation. Poor quality grain and low prices led to a virtual epidemic of extreme drunkenness. In fact, the impact was so great that the nickname "Mother's ruin" remains with us today.

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Steve Manktelow on the fun, excitement and mystery of the GOAT in Chelsea

Published:  13 October, 2014

Douglas Blyde speaks to Steve Manktelow on a career in bars and cocktails that has seen him work with legends like Dick Bradsell to running his own operation at the GOAT in Chelsea.

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Matthew Gaughan's personal tribute to California's wines of Paso Robles

Published:  13 October, 2014

Paso Robles is a wild area between San Francisco and Los Angeles, but largely disconnected from the rest of California. Traditional outlaw territory, it still feels like a great place to hide from the pressures of the world. It's hot, sleepy, and still, disturbed only by breezes blowing from the nearby Pacific Ocean.

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Media expert Richard Shotton on the power subtle advertising can have on consumer behaviour

Published:  10 October, 2014

Every year nearly £200m is spent on alcohol advertising. One of the main assumptions behind that spend is that we need to change the way people think about a brand to have an impact on sales.

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Chief of the week: Angela Mount

Published:  10 October, 2014

This week's Chief of the Week is former Somerfield head wine buyer Angela Mount for having the guts to stand up, stick her head about the parapet and tell the world what it is really like to be at the sharp end as a supermarket buyer when the s**t hits the fan.

 

 

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Ataraxia's Kevin Grant on why terroir is now central to South African winemaking

Published:  10 October, 2014

"It's been a long time coming, and if fear were the basis on which decisions were made, then Ataraxia would never have been born," says South African winemaker, Kevin Grant of his latest, patiently-maturing winemaking venture.

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Peter Borg-Neal on developing a regional chain with Oakman Inns

Published:  09 October, 2014

Fiona Griffiths talks to entrepreneur Peter Borg-Neal about his 10-strong (and growing) Hertfordshire-based group of pubs and restaurants, Oakman Inns.

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Geoffrey Dean on the Malbec "revolution" taking place in Argentina

Published:  09 October, 2014

Whisper it gently - certainly to those lovers of big, heavily extracted, super-ripe, sweet-fruited, oaky Mendoza Malbecs  - but a revolution in Argentina is nearing completion. Nothing of course to do with economic or social issues, but rather a quest by many of the country's leading winemakers to reinvent the style of the country's flagship varietal.

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Angela Mount's first hand experiences of multiple and supplier relations

Published:  08 October, 2014

Former Somerfield buyer Angela Mount has first-hand experience on being a wine buyer in a difficult climate. She gives her view on what happens behind closed doors at supermarkets when they come under fire.

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Jonathan Cahill: we need to educate consumers on value of wine rather than pice

Published:  07 October, 2014

In his recent talk, the leading advertising figure Sir John Hegarty described the wine industry as "peculiar, fragmented, confusing and impenetrable". He went on to point out that 90% of consumers don't understand quality in wine.

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IVDP: the growing importance of Port in modern times

Published:  07 October, 2014

The Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e Porto (IVDP) has been around since the 18th century and president Manuel de Novaes Cabral tells Erin Smith he still sees his mission intrinsically linked to helping protect Portuguese wine and particularly Port.

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Tim North, Les Grands Chais de France: why the country is a treasure trove for wine

Published:  06 October, 2014

Tim North, UK manager for Les Grands Chais de France, on how he believes France can show the rest of the world it can still excite and surprise consumers with its amazing diversity of wines

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Mark Dally on driving wine across Fuller's 400 pubs and hotels

Published:  06 October, 2014

Think of Fuller's and you think of beer. The west London-based group owns nearly 400 pubs and hotels, and the guest beer and take-home market has made its London Pride one of the most popular ale brands in the UK, writes Nigel Huddleston.

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Sogrape's Fernando Guedes: building Port's presence in the UK market

Published:  06 October, 2014

Sogrape Vinhos, owner of one of the most recognisable Port brands in world, Sandeman, has been ever so quietly rebuilding the relationship that Britain has with Port, as he tells Erin Smith.

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Jason Wilson joins the white wine appreciation society

Published:  06 October, 2014

It's easy enough for wine geeks to roll their eyes or poke fun at the Summer of Riesling, the popular annual campaign/movement here in the US that's just ended - and will finally be retired - after a seven-summer run.

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Richard Siddle: time to put retailer and supplier relations on a fairer footing

Published:  03 October, 2014

The fallout from Tesco hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons - and overstating its profits to the tune of some £250 million - could be felt by everyone in the grocery retail sector, never mind the suspended Tesco executives currently re-evaluating their careers.

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Harpers Global Design Awards 2014: what the judges said

Published:  03 October, 2014

This year saw Harpers' Design Awards go global, with entries featuring a range of products aimed at all levels of the market. From the budget to the luxury, we pick out the medal winners and showcase those products and their designers that stand out from the rest.

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Tim Atkin on why modern winemaking is a breath of fresh air

Published:  03 October, 2014

"To thine own self be true." Polonius' advice to his son Laertes in Hamlet is arguably easier to give than to follow. Most of us make regular compromises in our personal and professional lives. We don't lie to ourselves exactly, but we fall short of the absolute standards to which we aspire.

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Guy Woodward: Hegarty's right - we need to follow Top Gear to sell wine

Published:  03 October, 2014

It didn't come as a huge surprise when Sir John Hegarty used his WSTA conference key note speech to deliver a withering assessment of the wine trade's relationship with its audience. One of the foremost marketing exponents of his generation, Hegarty knows a thing or two about generating headlines. 'Appalling', 'pathetic' and 'mad' were among the politer descriptions aimed at his audience. 'Confusing' and 'impenetrable' were daggers to the heart - a stinging critique of the public's perception of the world of wine. Why so stinging? Because the words ring so true...

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Pablo Alvarez, Vega Sicilia, on the global opportunity for Ribera del Duero wines

Published:  02 October, 2014

Vega Sicilia was established in 1859, although its modern history began with the property's purchase by the Alvarez family in 1982, who acquired the estate as joint shareholders. Patriarch David Alvarez subsequently appointed his son Pablo as managing director of the property. Since the mid-1980s, Pablo Alvarez has ensured that Vega Sicilia remains Ribera Del Duero's most renowned and prestigious wine, for sale in over 25 markets. With Alvarez's careful direction, the property has managed to overcome both the Spanish economic crisis and endure a family feud over the future of the estate, in addition to investing in the regions of Rioja and Toro. James Lawrence reports:

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German specialists, ABS Wine Agencies and Howard Ripley, on promoting Grosse Gewächse

Published:  01 October, 2014

The annual release of the Grosse Gewächse in September is a firm feature in the German wine calendar. Slowly, this important release date is also gaining UK currency. Grosse Gewächse are dry single-vineyard wines produced to a strict quality code by VDP members (Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter). The VDP is Germany's largest and most important grouping of quality producers whose private vineyard classification recognises exceptional, historic single sites as Grosse Lagen.

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Douglas Blyde: there's much to discover below the surface of Bibendum's South African wines

Published:  01 October, 2014

If you are looking to introduce and promote your South African wine offer then offering journalists the chance to meet four of their most innovative winemakers at the much brightened Quo Vadis, Soho, where arguably argumentative art has been removed in favour of characterful woodcuts on menus, is a good place to start.

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Anthony Rose on the story behind his new Tapas Bar Guide

Published:  30 September, 2014

I met Isabel Cuevas seven years ago in Yamanashi, Japan's wine country, as you do. We got on like the proverbial house on fire and we kept in touch when she moved to England to join her husband-to-be, both, incidentally from the rural Spanish wilds of Extremadura. Thanks to her natural affinity for Spanish food and gastronomy and my love of Spanish wine, it took us no longer than you can say croqueta to decide that we should collaborate on a guide to tapas bars in the UK. Of course it would mean eating and drinking our way around our favourite tapas watering holes, but someone has to do it, as they say, so why not us?

 

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Chester Osborn on his new d'Arenburg Amazing Site wines

Published:  29 September, 2014

Chester Osborn of d'Arenburg winery in McLaren Vale, on why he's decided to vinify and release winers from some of his top plots separately.

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Jochen Erler goes behind the scenes at South Africa's Michelangelo Wine Awards

Published:  29 September, 2014

The International Michelangelo Wine Awards in Stellenbosch, South Africa, can be considered a truly international contest because only international wine experts are invited for judging.  It is also the only international wine and brandy contest held in South Africa.

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Jerry Lockspeiser: why we should celebrate £6 wines not denigrate them

Published:  26 September, 2014

Wine selling for £6 or less is shit.  Not my words but those of advertising legend Sir John Hegarty at the Wine and Spirit Trade Association conference.

 

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Arto Koskelo on wine blogging - a revolution that never happened

Published:  25 September, 2014

It was definitely a Summer of Love kind of a think though the cheerful crowd was not holding hands, singing Kumbaya and getting high on LSD, but rather handling Riedel glasses, dancing itself silly and getting tipsy on red wine.

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What's on at SITT Autumn: Andrew Steel from Connoisseur Estates

Published:  24 September, 2014

Andrew Steel, director of Connoisseur Estates, a UK wine agency, tells Harpers.co.uk, what to expect on his stand today at the SITT Autumn Tasting held at the Royal Horticulture Halls in London.

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Growing wine in the desert: Q&A with Alejandro Galaz of Ventisquero

Published:  23 September, 2014

Challenging stereotypes was on the agenda of Alejandro Galaz this week. As one of Viña Ventisquero's winemakers he is part of Ventisquero's latest project in the Atacama Desert: Tara Wines. 

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Mike Paul's 7 steps to success with new product developement in wine

Published:  23 September, 2014

One comment on my recent piece on the importance of branding  was that it is all very easy to argue that one should invest in branding but it would be rather more useful, at least  to those already 'converted', to provide some insights into how best this might be achieved.

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What to expect at SITT Autumn: Forth Wines

Published:  23 September, 2014

Scottish distributor, Forth Wines, explains what visitors can expect on its stand at SITT Autumn taking place at the Royal Horticutural Halls in London on September 24.

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Danilo Zilli, head sommellier at Novikov, talks about how he fell in love with wine

Published:  22 September, 2014

Danilo Zilli, talks to Harpers.co.uk about the how he fell in love with wine.  Like any relationship, it has its up and downs, but being head sommellier at Novikov offers Zilli a great perk- the opportunity to taste some amazing wines.

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Dr Damien Wilson on bridging the gap between wine academics and the trade

Published:  22 September, 2014

As the summer holidays in Europe wind down to a close, I find myself preparing for another promising year as an academic. However, fronting the ever-present glow of my computer screen, a quick glance at twitter reminded me of the uproar that researchers in wine business create when highlighting inconsistencies by practitioners in the wine market.

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Chief of the week: Advertising legend Sir John Hegarty

Published:  19 September, 2014

lThe words "guru" and "legend" are bandied around by us journalists far too often to try and bring attention to what someone who is far from being either of those two things has just told us.

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What to expect at SITT Autumn: Steven Gerrard, Barwell & Jones

Published:  19 September, 2014

In a first of a series of interviews with suppliers exhibiting at next week's London SITT tasting for independent merchants and the on-trade we ask Barwell & Jones managing director, Steven Gerrard, what visitors can expect on their stand.

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What to expect at SITT Autumn: Richard Dudley Craig, Dudley Craig Wines

Published:  19 September, 2014

Here Richard Dudley Craig explains what Dudley Craig Wines will have on show at the SITT Autumn tasting on September 24 at the Royal Horticultural Halls in London.

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Matthew Dickinson: why some producers and agents need a kick up the...

Published:  19 September, 2014

I've never worried about being controversial, and some statements in this post may shock - so if you don't want to know the score, look away now. Whisper it: "Some producers do not invest sufficiently in their commercial activities."' And perhaps even more quietly: "Some agents squat on an agreement with a producer without doing anything for their commissions."

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Anna Greenhous: how sake brewing is growing around the world

Published:  19 September, 2014
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Martin Sealy on how suppliers working together can cut supply chain costs

Published:  17 September, 2014

Traditionally the concept of collaborating with competitors has seemed at odds with gaining a market advantage, and subsequently manufacturers and retailers of wines and spirits have sought different routes to market to find that edge.

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Jackson Estate's Matt Patterson-Green showcases his Kiwi wines at Chiltern Firehouse

Published:  17 September, 2014

"I believe Marlborough will be known for producing the best Pinot Noir over time," declares Matt Patterson Green, winemaker of Jackson Estate. In his glass is one expression, Vintage Widow 2012, named, he says, "after women who lose their men to the vineyards..."

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Francoise Peretti of the UK's Champagne Bureau on the region's 2014 harvest

Published:  17 September, 2014

Peretti tells Harpers.co.uk this year's Champagne harvest is "textbook" so far, with high quality grapes that could lead to a vintage year.

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Jochen Erler assesses South African wine trends

Published:  17 September, 2014

South Africa's wine industry can be considered one of the most dynamic worldwide. Its wine production has been driven by its exports  -  both increased by 50% since 2000, indicating that local consumption has remained the same over these years.

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Views of the Beautiful South: Mario Pablo Silva, Casa Silva

Published:  17 September, 2014

Here Mario Pablo Silva , managing director of Chilean wine producer Casa Silva, gives his impressions and hopes for the UK market on the back of last weeek's Wines of the Beautiful South tasting.

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Views from Beautiful South: Roberto Echeverria, Echeverria Family Wines, Chile

Published:  16 September, 2014

Here is the latest producer from last week's Wines of the Beautiful South tasting who is happy to share his thoughts on the UK market and the opportunties for their wines.

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Ryan Opaz: let's have fun and make the most of what we can do with wine

Published:  16 September, 2014

"The first thing you need to know about Rioja to understand its wines is..."

"If you really want to appreciate sweet wines you first need to understand..."

"This wine will not show its full potential unless you pair it with..."

 

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Views from Beautiful South: Ricardo Rabelo, Finca Flinchman

Published:  15 September, 2014

Following this week's Wines of the Beautiful South tasting in London Harpers caught up with key figures from across the Chilean, Argentinian and South African wine industries to assess their thoughts on the UK wine market for their wines.

 

 

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Views from the Beautiful South: Americo Hernandez, Vina Ventisquero

Published:  15 September, 2014

Following this week's Wines of the Beautiful South tasting in London Harpers caught up with key figures from across the Chilean, Argentinian and South African wine industries to assess their thoughts on the UK wine market for their wines.

 

 

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Jerry Lockspeiser on some peculiar but inspiring winemaking in Mallorca

Published:  12 September, 2014

The first thing you see at the winery is a sign saying "HIPPIES USE BACK DOOR- NO EXCEPTIONS".  In the barrel room oak vats are identified by the names of rock bands - the Clash, Joy Division, Pulp and Portishead amongst them - or images of molecular structures. Outside the back door a large pile of straw bales wait to be wrapped around modern stainless steel vats, nature's insulation to keep her product cool.

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Justin Keay discovers the delights of Burgundy - for the first time

Published:  12 September, 2014

I guess most oenophiles have gaps in their wine CV - the vast growth of the industry over the past 20 years somehow makes it inevitable. One of mine though was really quite large. Although familiar with most of France's wine regions - Bordeaux left and right, beautiful Alsace, Champagne, the Rhone Valley, Provence - I had never managed to make it to Burgundy.

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Ferrari's Camilla Lunelli on finding a home for Trentodoc Italian sparkling wine in the UK

Published:  12 September, 2014

It was Giulio Ferrari in Trento, the Alpine north of Italy, who pioneered traditional method sparkling wines, or 'Metodo Classico', in Italy in 1902. With barely 900 hectares dedicated to sparkling wine production, mostly in mountainous vineyards, the wineries of Trentodoc, as the association is known, have carved out prime position at home.

Today, Cantine Ferrari is still the region's most prestigious producer with a cult-following across Italy for its Perlé brand and its top cuvées like Riserva Lunelli and Giulio Ferrari. While they have built an impressive reputation in both the US and Japan, they are treading very carefully in the UK. Camilla Lunelli, Ferrari's PR and communication director, speaks about the company's UK strategy to Anne Krebiehl MW.

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Myles Donneky on the high life at Hutong - 30 floors up in London's Shard

Published:  11 September, 2014

The 22 year-old bar manager of "Hutong" above Aqua on floor 31 of The Shard talks to Douglas Blyde about tea punches, pride in service, and competitive ping-pong...

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Glynn Davis discovers the craft beers and bars of Copenhagen

Published:  10 September, 2014

It doesn't take too long to suss out that beer-led bars in Copenhagen fall into two camps - there are the young upstart operators and then there are the old established players. The former are very limited in number while the latter make up the vast majority of the market.

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Bruce Jack on the challenges and opportunities for South African wine

Published:  10 September, 2014

Bruce Jack is a key figure in the Accolade Wines South African winemaking team. His direct responsibilities cover the Kumala, Fishoek and Flagstone ranges, Tesco Finest, The Rustler, Stumble Vineyards, Breakers Point and Lost Ostrich, as well as strategic NPD. He talks to Gemma McKenna about how he is working with the Kumala winemaking team to help reposition the Kumala brand and ensure the quality of the wine shines through to customers.

 

 

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Jacob Ehrenkrona on giving up financial career to create Martin Miller's Gin

Published:  09 September, 2014

Harpers.co.uk talked with Jacob Ehrenkrona, the chief executive of Martin Miller's gin, about why he gave up a career in venture capitalism to pursue the classic spirit.

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Richard Siddle: time to stand up and applaud Majestic and Oddbins

Published:  08 September, 2014

For my sins I have spent the best part of the last 20 years writing about and reporting on the UK retail sector.  In that time I have come to respect, perhaps even love some of the country's most well-known retail brands, some of which can rightly be described as amongst the best in the world.

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Guy Woodward admires how Napa Valley took the Californian earthquake in its stride

Published:  06 September, 2014

It was 3.20am on a Sunday morning when the earthquake struck. If there can ever be a good time for the almighty's mysterious ways to take their course, this was surely it. Wineries were empty, the harvest not yet brought in, vats largely unused. One can only imagine the carnage had the 6.0 tremor struck 10 days later, during working hours, as the mass of hired hands were stacking up pallet upon pallet of grapes inside Napa cellars.

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How Oddbins has defied its critics to bounce back to winning ways

Published:  05 September, 2014

In three years Oddbins has risen from death's door to win IWC High Street Retailer of the Year. Gemma McKenna meets Ayo Akintola, its Renaissance Man

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Distell's Richard Rushton earns his stripes

Published:  05 September, 2014

In his first major UK interview, Distell's Richard Rushton reveals his big plans for the company's wine division, as Erin Smith reports

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Tim Atkin reflects on the star quality of the life of Baroness Philippine de Rothschild

Published:  05 September, 2014

As you'd expect of a former actress, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild liked an audience. When Château Mouton-Rothschild hosted the Fête de la Fleur celebration at Vinexpo in June 2003, after guests had enjoyed liberal quantities of the legendary 1982 she took to the stage to thank the room. She had, she announced, invited a good friend along to sing to us. To the sound of the opening bars of the drinking song from Verdi's La Traviata, a black curtain opened behind her to reveal none other than Placido Domingo. Most people would be upstaged by a world famous opera singer, but Philippine had star quality of her own.

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Jason Wilson on why we should not always believe what we read about American whiskey

Published:  05 September, 2014

What makes whiskey "made"? That question has been hotly debated within American whiskey circles this summer. (And yes, over here we include the 'e' when speaking of bourbon and rye; deal with it).

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Anne Krebiehl: why biodynamic wines need to change their communication

Published:  04 September, 2014

Biodynamics has probably been more hindered than helped by its advocates. If it wasn't starry-eyed talk of cosmic forces and stags' bladders that provoked either ridicule, anger or accusations of hocus-pocus, the claim that its methods are scientifically unfounded has been the most enduring and damaging.

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Darrel Joseph explores up and coming wines from Macedonia

Published:  03 September, 2014

On August 31, I completed my most recent visit to the Republic of Macedonia, having sniffed and tasted my way through dozens of wines produced by nine of this Balkan country's top quality wineries. Over the course of those six days, my impressions were more vivid and my conclusions more solid than those I had made during any of my previous visits to the country, the last of which was in December 2012.  To sum it up, Macedonia's quality wines not only have gotten, but are getting better and better. The consistency, the expression of aromas and flavours, the freshness, the balance and harmony, the use of wood, the ageing potential - in other words, the absolute quality - are seriously there and keep notching upward.

 

 

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Georg Riedel on Riedel's new Veritas range and working with Coca-Cola

Published:  02 September, 2014

Founded in 1756 by Johann Cristoph Riedel, the Riedel name is today synonymous with high-quality glassware; loved by the trade and consumers alike. With an impressive track-record of product innovation and savvy marketing, Riedel's market breakthrough arguably came in 1979, when the firm opened a subsidiary in the US. Having collaborated with such iconic winemakers as Robert Mondavi, Angelo Gaja, and more recently soft drinks manufacturer Coca-Cola, Riedel is clearly not an old-world wine snob. The brand is coming to London's Vinopolis this month, to showcase the new Veritas glassware range. James Lawrence asks Georg Riedel what we can expect:

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Back to School: Anya Robson of Murphy Wine Company

Published:  29 August, 2014

As part of our ongoing Back to School series, Anya Robson of bulk wine broker Murphy Wine Company reckons Spain's bulk industry is in crisis and tips South African rosé as one to watch.

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Back to School: Hatch Mansfield's Patrick McGrath MW

Published:  29 August, 2014

Patrick McGrath MW, managing director of Hatch Mansfield, sees ongoing margin pressure for suppliers as a major threat, and tips New Zealand and Prosecco for continued growth. This is part of a series of 'back to school' reports from leaders across the wine trade.

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Back to School: Felix Solis UK MD Richard Cochrane

Published:  29 August, 2014

Felix Solis UK managing director Richard Cochrane says the end and restart of the 3 for £10 mechanic was a landmark for the UK wine trade, and reckons further consolidation is on the cards. 

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Back to School: Hallgarten & Druitt's Chris Wilson

Published:  28 August, 2014

As summer draws to a close, we asked some key figures in the trade to round up events in the wine trade for the year to date, and outline their company's plans for the rest of the year.

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Back to school: Liberty Wines MD David Gleave MW

Published:  28 August, 2014

David Gleave MW, managing director of Liberty Wines, focuses on Europe's upcoming 'difficult' harvest and taking on new agencies for his back to school report.  

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Back to School: Brand Phoenix's Greg Wilkins

Published:  28 August, 2014

As summer draws to a close, we asked some key figures in the trade to round up events in the wine trade for the year to date, and outline their company's plans for the rest of the year. Greg Wilkins, managing director of Brand Phoenix reckons Chinese austerity has had a major impact on the wine trade, and picks fruit-flavoured wines as the next big thing.

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Back to School: Wines of Argentina's Andrew Maidment

Published:  28 August, 2014

As summer draws to a close, we asked some key figures in the trade to round up events in the wine industry for the year to date, and outline their organisation's plans for the rest of the year.

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Napa's Hess Collection's James Caudill on quake damage at winery

Published:  26 August, 2014

James Caudill, director of PR and hospitality at Napa's The Hess Collection group of wineries, on the damage the group sustained following the 6.0 earthquake. 

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Jon Chadwick on moving from the NHS to setting up his own craft spirits distillery

Published:  22 August, 2014

Former National Health Service chief Jon Chadwick has gone from advising people to drink less to setting up County Durham's first distillery. He tells Jennifer Ashcroft where the idea came from, what it means to be a "craft" gin distillery and how he's capturing Durham in a bottle.

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Mike Paul: why wine producers that see themselves as brands hold all the power

Published:  15 August, 2014

A recurring theme of most marketing orientated articles in Harpers is the need for wine producers to develop, and then promote effectively, their individuality: to communicate to  the trade and the consumer, hopefully in an inspiring way, what makes them special and  separates them from their competition.

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Justin Keay discovers what it is like to be a wine tourist in Provence

Published:  15 August, 2014

Why is Provence wine - and in particular its pink or gris wines - the marmite of the wine world? I kept asking myself this question as I drove around the almost absurdly pictureseque wine region around Bormes Les Mimosas and Le Lavandou, dodging scantily dressed tourists with surely very different things on their minds.

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Mike Veseth, the Wine Economist, on the global issues facing the wine industry

Published:  15 August, 2014

Mike Veseth is a specialist in globalisation who blogs as The Wine Economist. He is also professor emeritus of International Political Economy at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma near Seattle. After reviewing his books Wine Wars and Extreme Wine for Harpers.co.uk  Jerry Lockspeiser talks to him about what he sees as the key global business issues facing the wine industry.

 

 

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My Choice: Mike Beavan of Coe Vintners on drinking Riesling with Aerosmith

Published:  13 August, 2014

 Mike Beavan, sales director at Coe Vintners, steps up to the plate to give his run down of faovurite wines and spirits and where he likes to drink them.

 

 

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Mike Ratcliffe: Leadership changes will shake up South African wine industry

Published:  12 August, 2014

A lack of visionary and legitimate leadership has long been a thorn in the side of the South African wine industry.

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James Steen takes trip down memory lane at St Bart's Brewery in Smithfield

Published:  12 August, 2014

There are several ways to reach Smithfield, home of the newly opened St Bart's Brewery. You can take the bus or a cab, or if you happen to be a side of beef or a carcass of lamb then a refrigerated van from the slaughterhouse to this ancient London meat market is the preferred option.

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Cape Legends Ross Sleet harks back through the years of South African wine

Published:  11 August, 2014
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Big interview: Pierre Levron on why Costco takes wines and spirits so seriously

Published:  08 August, 2014

Costco likes to pile it high, so if you secure a listing there you can expect to see sales take off overnight. Pierre Levron explains to Andrew Don why the wholesaler takes beers, wines and spirits so seriously

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For future growth Carlsberg must succeed in wine as well as beer, says James Lousada

Published:  08 August, 2014

As Carlsberg's specialist wine and spirits division, now called Crown Cellars, celebrates over 20 years, the brewer's UK chief executive, James Lousada, explains to Richard Siddle why wines and spirits are now so important to the group

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Halewood International is always on the look out for the next "Crabbie's" says Richard Clark

Published:  08 August, 2014

Richard Clark, director of innovation at Halewood International, says the company is always on the lookout for the next Crabbie's, as it looks to drive innovation across all the drinks categories in its portfolio.

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Richard Siddle: only by looking at wine through consumers' eyes can we communicate with them

Published:  08 August, 2014

Why is it the best ideas are often the most glaringly obvious thing to do - it is just that no-one has thought to do so before.

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Tim Atkin: why the Chinese wine market is so hard to predict

Published:  08 August, 2014

First time visitors to Beijing are often struck by the pollution that seems to blanket the city on a daily basis, reducing visibility and filling lungs with undesirable gunk. It's a symbol of China's rush towards industrialisation, as well as the lack of environmental checks and controls. But it's tempting to see it as a metaphor, too, not least for the wine industry. Trying to understand what is going on in China can feel like staring into a Stygian fug at times.

 

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Guy Woodward: it's the people we remember not their wine

Published:  08 August, 2014

In wine as in life, one of the most common mistakes people make is to assume other people know what they're talking about. Enthusiasts, in particular, are wont to believe that everyone else is as interested in a subject as they are. In most cases, I'm afraid to say, they're not.

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George Workman of Frizzenti on the huge opportunties for wine on-tap

Published:  07 August, 2014

We talk to George Workman, managing director of Frizzenti, the company behind the on-tap serve for Italian sparkling wine about how he sees the Prosecco and sparkling wine market growing and developing in the future.

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Diana Hunter, Conviviality CEO, on the new BB's Warehouse concept

Published:  06 August, 2014

Diana Hunter is chief executive of Conviviality Retail, owner of the Bargain Booze network. Last week the firm announced the launch of a new concept - BB's Warehouse - a destination discount off-licence warehouse. Gemma McKenna finds out more.

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Evuna looks to build on success of second Manchester Spanish wine bar concept

Published:  05 August, 2014

It's taken over a decade for Manchester's tapas and Spanish wine institution Evuna to get round to opening its second site, but now it has its sights set on opening more.

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Jean-Claude Mas on how he has helped build a global French wine brand

Published:  04 August, 2014
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Christine Parkinson on driving sake with customers and sommeliers at Hakkasan

Published:  01 August, 2014

Helen Arnold talks sake with Christine Parkinson, chief wine buyer at the 12-strong Hakkasan restaurant chain, the first company to put some of its sommeliers through a new WSET sake course.

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Jerry Lockspeiser on why consumers are right to buy cheaper wines

Published:  01 August, 2014

A decade ago I was at a business review meeting with  Mark Murphy, Tesco's then head of beers wines and spirits, discussing how to persuade consumers to 'trade up', or as they would put it, buy higher priced wines.

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Douglas Blyde takes a look at Foxton's - the estate agents - first move into dining at Pavilion

Published:  31 July, 2014

Pavilion, the restaurant, is the latest addition to the TARDIS-like, six floor luxury serviced office complex of that name, created by the founder of Foxton's estate agents, Jon Hunt and daughter Emma.

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Rie Yoshitake on promoting sake around the world with the IWC

Published:  31 July, 2014

Anna Greenhous talks to Rie Yoshitake, UK representative of the Sake Samurai Association, about how the IWC sake category came about, its impact and success in promoting sake across the world.

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David Atkinson on how technology is vital in how big drinks brands communicate with consumers

Published:  30 July, 2014

Drinks brands have been among the most enthusiastic adopters of technology for marketing purposes. It's easy to see why. The social nature of drinking makes digital a natural bedfellow for drinks brands with novel and entertaining content to have a direct conversation with their drinkers such as the Fosters' Comedian in Your Pocket app, which forges a direct link with drinkers.

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James Lawrence tries to keep up with France's whirlwind wine producer Jean-Claude Mas

Published:  29 July, 2014

Jean-Claude Mas works at a pace that would put any Olympic athlete to shame. Since acquiring his eighth estate, Domaine La Ferrandiere in February 2014, Mas has negotiated the purchase of land on a Venetian island, overseen a new tourism project, released a new range of wines and finally decided to get into bed with French supermarkets. Oh, and he still finds time to see his family, "occasionally" he admits, with a wry smile.

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How a 'yes' vote from Scotland would affect alcohol taxes and logistics

Published:  29 July, 2014

Excise duty expert Alan Powell considers how Scottish independence could affect drinks firms operating both sides of the borders in terms of excise duty and logistics.

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Jayke Mangion on the story behind setting up a restaurant in an old Clapham public toilet

Published:  29 July, 2014

 

Douglas Blyde meets the co-founder of "WC", the new wine and charcuterie bar located in a Victorian former public toilet in Clapham.

 

 

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Douglas Blyde takes a trip back in time with Luxardo and Maraschino liqueurs

Published:  25 July, 2014

In honour of today's British visitors, the Union Jack is draped alongside the bandiera d'Italia at Luxardo's distillery near Padua. But both are motionless given the lack of breeze.

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Andrew Weeber Gusbourne looks back at ten years of growth at his English winery

Published:  24 July, 2014

Andrew Weeber Gusbourne, chairman of Gusbourne plc, talks to Anne Krebiehl at the celebration of the estate's tenth anniversary. He remembers the past decade and looks ahead, always with his motto in mind: "There's always room at the top." Congratulations and happy 10th birthday, Gusbourne!

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Geoffrey Dean is blown away by beauty and quality of Switzerland's Lavaux wine region

Published:  24 July, 2014

When Patrick Fonjallaz's grandfather bought a 32,000-litre foudre at the Geneva Exposition of 1897, he got home to find it was too big to fit into his cellar on the northern shore of Lake Geneva. So he built another one, where the magnificently ornate foudre is still housed. It is not used for wine maturation any more, but stands sentinel-like in the winery, a reminder of the canton of Vaud's distinguished winemaking history.

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Croatian billionaire Ernest Tolj shares his winemaking adventure

Published:  23 July, 2014

Croatian electrical cabling billionaire Ernest Tolj owns Saints Hills winery in Dalmatia. He tells us about Croation wine, the country's history, the potential for the wine industry and working with Michel Rolland. 

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Anna Thorburn of Domaine l'Ancienne Ecole on leaving law to make wine in the Côtes du Rhône

Published:  22 July, 2014

Anna Thorburn talks with harpers.co.uk about embarking on every winelover's dream- chucking it all to move to France and starting a winery.  She imparts her experience and the lessons learned about the joys and hard work it takes to make such a dream a reality.

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Laura Thomas on why the wine trade can't ignore the sugar debate

Published:  21 July, 2014

Following recent government advice to halve your sugar intake, we catch up with health coach Laura Thomas, to find out why the wine industry should sit up and take note.

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Imogen Taylor on "exciting" white South African wines and making it as a young sommelier

Published:  18 July, 2014

Douglas Blyde talks to the 22 year-old sommelier of Greyhound at The Test in Stockbridge who says it was not her father of Stone Vine & Sun fame that inspired her to take up a career in wine, but getting her hands dirty out in wineries around the world instead.

 

 

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Andy Palmer on why big brands have forgotten advertising is about "selling"

Published:  18 July, 2014

There is a prevailing school of thought in the advertising business that to change consumer behaviour you first need to change consumer attitudes [and by consumer behaviour we mean getting people to buy stuff].

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Book review: Jerry Lockspeiser on DO PURPOSE: Why brands with a purpose do better and matter more

Published:  15 July, 2014

In the new Uncorked Book Club area on Harpers.co.uk books, featuring new and interesting titles for the trade, Jerry Lockspeiser discusses why this David Hieatt book on brands got so far into his head that it is still there days later...

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John Williams at Frog's Leap on the changing face of Californian winemaking

Published:  14 July, 2014

Reflecting on the recent period of uncertainty for this year's vintage in Napa Valley as a result of drought conditions in California, Katherine Canfield catches up with Frog's Leap winemaker, John Williams, in Rutherford to discuss how approaches to winemaking in the region are changing.

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Anna Greenhous assesses Bibendum's new sake range

Published:  14 July, 2014

Hot on the heels of Bibendum's launch of its new premium sake range, Anna Greenhous talks about the new range, the potential for pairing with non-Japanese food and the possibilities of the rice-based beverage as part of a wider cocktail offering.

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Helen Savage on how winemakers are turning to music to protect their vines

Published:  11 July, 2014

If music be the solution to frost damage, mildew, water stress and especially esca, play on...

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Chiefs of the week: Guy Woodward

Published:  11 July, 2014

Let's raise a glass to our new regular columnist Guy Woodward who is now entertaining Harpers readers with his insightful, cutting and controversial views. 

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Tim Atkin on Moore, Banks and Batty in his World Cup memories

Published:  11 July, 2014

The World Cup final is only two days to go and who better to get you in the mood than wine critic, broadcaster and more importantly Tottenham Hotspur fan (we think!), Tim Atkin MW. Here are his World Cup memories:

 

 

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Henry Ashworth, the Portman Group: our industry's commitment to the Responsibility Deal

Published:  11 July, 2014

Here we publish the comment piece from Henry Ashworth, chief executive, of the Portman Group, on his reaction to this week's government announcement on the Responsbility Deal and the drinks industry's response to the new commitments laid down in the deal.

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Frédérique Dutheillet de Lamothe on why Cru Bourgeois is a wine brand in its own right

Published:  11 July, 2014

The French Appellation Contrôlée system is famously based on guaranteeing the geographical origin of a wine, rather than focusing on the quality of what is actually in the bottle - something that causes a headache for those who are trying to sell French wine and the consumers who wonder what the difference is between a bottle of Bordeaux at £4 and one at £24.

Six years ago, the châteaux who were members of the then rather moribund Cru Bourgeois classification decided to break with tradition and let their wines stand or fall on the basis of an objective measure of the wines' quality.

Frédérique Dutheillet de Lamothe was in London recently to help spread the word about the Bordeaux classification that is unlike any other. With her background working for Tom Ford at Gucci, she knows a thing or two about building and protecting a brand.

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The Wine Chambers: bringing quality wine to the north east

Published:  10 July, 2014

Ben Chambers, owner of The Wine Chambers stores in Tynemouth and North Shields, talks about the difficulty of buying quality wine in the north east, the superiority of bottled-at-source wine and what keeps customers returning.

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David Babich on how carefully matched food helps bring his wines alive

Published:  10 July, 2014

David Babich, general manager of the family-owned Babich Wines, which reaped its first vintage in Auckland's Henderson Valley in 1916, along with Dinah Kinnear, sales manager for Europe, introduced their wine range at a special event hosted by UK distributor, PLB, at London's Underground Cookery School.

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Chris Stroud's World Cup Memories with Saudi Arabia, Roger Milla and Bryan Robson

Published:  10 July, 2014
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Adam Withrington on New Order, Ghana, Suarez and his World Cup memories

Published:  09 July, 2014

Well that was a bit like watching a car crash in slow motion. Too many bad memories if you happen to be Brazilian, but dreamland for the Germans. To help bring us back down to earth we turn to Adam Withrington, PR manager at Treasury Wine Estates for his World Cup Memories.

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Jason Wilson: whatever happened to Viognier becoming the next big thing?

Published:  08 July, 2014

Whatever happened to Viognier becoming "the next Chardonnay"?

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Adrian Atkinson on Zidane, Lineker and Barry Davies in his World Cup memories

Published:  08 July, 2014

After the long, two day wait, the World Cup in Brazil starts again later today with Brazil back in to action againt Columbia. To get you in the mood, here Adrian Atkinson is the latest to step up to the plate and share his World Cup memories.

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Ted Sandbach, Oxford Wine Company: what I want from my suppliers

Published:  07 July, 2014

As an independent wine merchant one of the important and challenging jobs is how we deal and negotiate with suppliers. These can be large national companies or small boutique operations and we could be dealing with anything from the old fashioned "rep" to owners, directors or winemakers.

 

 

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David Cartwright remembers Mario Kempes, Gordon Banks and Bryan Robson

Published:  07 July, 2014

And then there were four...yes the Brazil World Cup is getting down to the serious stuff with only the semi-finals and final to go. But there is still time for members of the trade to share their World Cup Memories. David Cartwright of Seckford Agencies is the latest to take up the challenge.

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Tim Atkin MW on the hail crisis in Burgundy and what producers could learn from Argentina

Published:  04 July, 2014

"Would you like to go up in one of our planes?" asked Eduardo Martín, director of the Argentinean Ministry of Agriculture's anti-hail squad. It was an offer that was all too easy to refuse. In Mendoza, the 24 pilots who are employed by the Ministry to combat hail are paid danger money and deserve every peso. Since 1998, when planes seeding clouds with silver iodide replaced rockets as a way of combating the biggest risk to vineyards, the pilots have been doing what must rank as one of the scariest jobs in the world. You fly inside a cloud at 1,500 metres for up to seven hours a day with almost zero visibility, relying on your instruments to guide you. A plane went down in 2004 and it won't be the last.

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Richard Siddle on why independents are demanding so much more from major suppliers

Published:  04 July, 2014

It was nearly three years ago when leading independent wine merchants and their suppliers came together to hold open debates on how they could work closer together. The sessions, organised by Harpers, culminated in both sides agreeing a set of Best Practice Guidelines by which they felt they could work better together.

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The rum doctor: Dr Frank Ward of WIRSPA

Published:  04 July, 2014

Harpers.co.uk caught up with Dr. Frank Ward of the West Indies Rum and Spirits Producers' Association (WIRSPA) to find out what the association is currently doing to raise the profile of Caribbean rum in the UK.

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WSTA's Miles Beale gears up for the next battle to cut wine duty

Published:  04 July, 2014

Fresh from victory in the battle against hiking alcohol duty ever-upwards, the Wine & Spirit Trade Association's chief executive is already champing at the bit to secure a fair duty level next time around.

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Guy Woodward remembers Maradona, Gazza and 1990 in his World Cup memories

Published:  03 July, 2014

Two days without World Cup football on TV? Well here is our latest World Cup Memory to keep you going whilst we wait for the quater-finals to kick off tomorrow afternoon. Step forward Aston Villa fan and former editor of Decanter, Guy Woodward, for his trip down World Cup memory lane. Guy has also agreed to sign for Harpers as one of our regular columnists here on Harpers.co.uk and in the magazine, so look out for his latest column on the site tomorrow.

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Beermoth looks to bring US style beer retailing to Manchester

Published:  03 July, 2014

Specialist beer shops have joined the 21st century, among them Beermoth, in central Manchester's hip northern quarter, and set up by Scot Davies, a former manager at the city's The Knott bar, and American Jeremy Stull, who worked at the esteemed Port Street Beer house.

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Nik Darlington plays out the World Cup for real - with the world of wine

Published:  03 July, 2014

You could cut the tension with a grissino. The shoot-out was tied at 2-2, both sides' fans on tenterhooks.

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Christian Seely shows the quality of the Douro with a vertical tasting of Quinta do Noval

Published:  02 July, 2014

Christian Seely's contention that the Quinta do Noval vineyards are producing outstanding dry red table wines was vindicated at a mid-summer vertical tasting in London. The flamboyant, bow-tie- wearing managing director of the leading port house has always believed that unfortified wines from the Douro had the potential to express Noval's terroir. A look at the estate's three dry reds - Quinta do Noval Douro DOC,  Cedro do Noval and Quinta do Noval Touriga Nacional - between the period 2004-11 supported that view.

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Dan Townsend on Italia 90, Johan Cruyff and Archie Gemmill in his World Cup Memories

Published:  02 July, 2014
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Stephen Rosser applauds the quality of wines being produced in Portugal's Douro Valley

Published:  01 July, 2014

Stephen Rosser, of the Association of Wine Educators, tips his hat to the growing number of quality wines being made across Portugal's Douro Valley that are slowly making the region if not as famous for its Ports at least respected for its winemaking skillls working with vines that date back over a 100 years.

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Matthew Dickinson on Gary Lineker, Maradona, Zico and his World Cup memories

Published:  01 July, 2014

Today wine consultant, Matthew Dickinson, who by living in Avignon can still claim to be partly in the World Cup with France looks back over the years to give his World Cup memories. If you would like to share your World Cup best and worst moments with the trade then simply answer the same questions as below and emaile richard.siddle@wrbm.com.

 

 

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Ben Smith, CYT UK, World Cup Memories: Gazza, Nessun Dorma and The Cure

Published:  30 June, 2014

Things are hotting up down in Brazil as the World Cup is now well in to its knock-out phase. As the tensions mount over the next fortnight, Harpers will be turning to key people in the trade to look back and pick out their favourite World Cup memories.

 

 

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Heather Dougherty's Top 10 wine countries for the World Cup

Published:  30 June, 2014
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Ross Sleet, Cape Legends: Michael Owen, South Africa 2010 and my World Cup memories

Published:  27 June, 2014

Ross Sleet of South Africa's Cape Legends looks back on his favourite World Cup memories and the pride and emotions of when the tournament came to his home country.

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Mark Fiddes: My favourite World Cup Memories

Published:  27 June, 2014

Harpers columnist and brand and advertising consultant, Mark Fiddes of ideamotel gives his World Cup memories as part of our new series.

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Tengu Sake's Oliver Hilton-Johnson on driving sake sales in the UK

Published:  27 June, 2014

Anna Greenhous talks to Oliver Hilton-Johnson of Tengu Sake, shortlisted for the International Wine Challenge 'Innovator of the Year' 2014 award, about how he's made sake more accessible and the growing interest in sake in the UK.

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Marisa D'Vari: can Cahors Malbec ever grab market share from Argentina?

Published:  26 June, 2014

The key question raised during the recent Cahors Malbec Days (CMD) celebration in Cahors, France is this:  should the Cahors producers trade on the Malbec name in order to grab market share from the Argentine upstarts, or focus on their unique terroir and dramatically different flavour profile?

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Will Oatley of Louis Latour Agencies on poor harvests and on-trade trends

Published:  26 June, 2014

Will Oatley, managing director of Louis Latour Agencies, talks the on-trade, poor Burgundy harvests and  putting the spotlight on Champagne.

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Douglas Blyde compares the culinary and wine delights of the Fat Duck and Fera at Claridge's

Published:  24 June, 2014

Occurring within days, I was lucky enough to experience arguably two of England's finest chefs calibrate dishes to complement complex ferment from noble estates. These were served in the presence of two of the trade's most celebrated raconteurs.

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Anna Greenhous on America's growing love affair with sake

Published:  23 June, 2014

Anna Greenhous looks at sake breweries outside Japan. In this, the first part of a two part article, she takes a look at the USA, where the majority of non-Japanese sake breweries make their home.

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James Miles makes the case for the fine wine exchange

Published:  20 June, 2014

Exchanges have been in existence for hundreds of years, yet the concept of an exchange for fine wine is relatively new. Here James Miles, Liv-ex director, examines the origin and role of exchanges, and why the fine wine exchange has played a central role in the growth of the global market.

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Miguel Smith on why life is so much better with a Mount Gay rum in your hand

Published:  20 June, 2014

Douglas Blyde meets the UK and international brand ambassador for Mount Gay rum who oversees the brand's maturation facility in Barbados' parish of St Lucy. Miguel Smith joined the business in 1991, and was instrumental in the development of the award-winning Extra Old blend.

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Linda Reiff and Patsy McGaughy on raising big money for Napa Valley

Published:  18 June, 2014

 

Katherine Canfield catches up with Linda Reiff,  president and chief executive, and Patsy McGaughy, communications director of Napa Valley Vintners,  following this month's Napa Valley Auction to look at what impact the event has on this key wine growing region.

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Doug Shafer on how he keeps Stag Leap's iconic status around the world

Published:  16 June, 2014

Marisa D'Vari talks to  Doug Shafer, son of founder, John, of  Shafer Vineyards, about how how he continues to build on the world famous Stags Leap wine which today produces 32,000 cases per year with 17% allocated for export markets including Japan, Canada, and the UK.

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Marisa D'Vari on what really goes on at the Napa Valley wine auction

Published:  16 June, 2014
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Geoffrey Dean celebrates South Africa's two hero grape varieties: Chenin Blanc and Pinotage

Published:  15 June, 2014

Not even the Loire comes close to matching the amount of South Africa's old-vine Chenin Blanc, plantings which span over 3,000 hectares, three times as much as is found in France's best region for the grape. In their continuing quest to market how varied, and how good, their twin calling cards of Chenin Blanc and Pinotage can be, Wines of South Africa laid on a special tutored vertical tasting recently of both cultivars in the London.

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Maria Chebotova: what we can learn from Think Red Think Côtes du Rhône campaign

Published:  07 June, 2014

Intense market competition makes it hard to be successful in the UK. As the epicenter of the wine world it is easy to be lost in the tons of advertising campaigns and communications. But having been recognised as having one of the best UK trade campaigns in recent years, the Côtes du Rhône has been doing something different. Olivier Legrand, marketing director at Inter-Rhône, and one of the creative minds behind the Think Red Think Côtes du Rhône concept shares some of the secrets of its success with Harpers.co.uk.

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Gilbert Winfield: Let's hope London Cru is first of many UK urban wineries

Published:  06 June, 2014

London Cru, London's first urban winery is the new venture of the unstoppable Cliff Roberson, founder of Roberson Wine. This concept has been going a while in the US and Canada, but the UK seems to be lagging a few years behind on this. Roberson is setting a great example for future ventures, and I hope we see more of them.

 

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Michael Simms, head sommelier at Sartoria, on a life serving wine

Published:  05 June, 2014

Harpers.co.uk talks with Michael Simms, head sommelier at Sartoria in Mayfair about how he accidently fell into training to become a top sommelier.

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The art of craft gin distilling with Tom Warner and Sion Edwards

Published:  03 June, 2014

After meeting at agricultural college, Tom Warner and Sion Edwards started on separate paths in the fresh-food industry. But they soon came back together to set up their own boutique gin distillery in the Northamptonshire village of Harrington, which provides the sub-brand name of their flagship Warner Edwards gin. This is craft distilling in action, as Warner and Edwards distil, fill, number, label and wax seal every bottle by hand. Nigel Huddleston asks the questions

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Panos Kakaviatos on the struggle to keep up with wine communications

Published:  03 June, 2014
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Susana Balbo: Argentina's queen of winemaking

Published:  02 June, 2014

Susana Balbo is one of the best-known winemakers in Argentina, as well as its first female oenologist. She is also the only woman to have held the position of president of Wines of Argentina - she has just been appointed for a third time. Her family winery - Dominio del Plata in Agrelo, Mendoza - exports worldwide, and includes the Gaucho chain of restaurants as one of its key UK customers. Helen Arnold meets her

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Sam Neill and Nigel Greening on what makes a great Pinot Noir producer

Published:  02 June, 2014

Two of New Zealand's leading Pinot Noir producers, Sam Neill of Two Paddocks and film star fame, and Nigel Greening of Felton Road, set out at a special tasting last week in London what it is that has drawn them in to trying to create award Pinot Noir from the Central Otago.

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Andrew Bewes on Hallgarten Druitt's insights and sales driven strategy

Published:  30 May, 2014

Hallgarten Druitt is one of the biggest and most important wine suppliers in the country. Yet, as managing director Andrew Bewes admits, there is much about the company that the trade is yet to discover. Richard Siddle digs deeper to find out

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Tim Atkin MW: How do we turn "cool" sherry into hard sales?

Published:  30 May, 2014

Tim Atkin MW weighs in on the growing popularity of sherry....yes that's right-sherry!

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Jason Wilson on falling back in love with Gewürztraminer

Published:  30 May, 2014

The Boozehound draws a parallel between a buddy from Jersey, a Diva and Gewürztraminer

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Richard Siddle: do you know what really turns your business partner on?

Published:  30 May, 2014

It is said the most important factor in a successful relationship is the ability to listen to the needs and wishes of your partner.

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Tesco's Laura Jewell MW on what she wants from wine suppliers

Published:  30 May, 2014

In the first of a series of buyer-to-buyer interviews, Angela Mount talks to Laura Jewell MW about her role as Tesco's wine category product development manager and what she is looking for from her suppliers

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Joel Cadbury on driving wine sales and training at Bel & Dragon Inns

Published:  30 May, 2014

Douglas Blyde talks with Joel Cadbury, founder of the Groucho private members club, about the wines he is serving up at his estate of Bel & Dragon Inns.

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David Mawer of JF Hillebrand UK on logistics and bulk wine trends

Published:  30 May, 2014

When it comes to controlling costs in the supply chain there is no one better placed than David Mawer, managing director of logistics company, JF Hillebrand UK. Mawer talks with harpers.co.uk about the key distribution trends, growth in bulk wine and importance of long term planning.

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Jerry Lockspeiser is enthralled by the wine business insights of Mike Veseth

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