|LIWF: Day Two, Live Blog|
|Written by Richard Siddle|
|Wednesday, 23 May 2012 11:04|
You can also keep up to date with breaking news through the Harpers Twitter feed at @harperswine.
Wine Intelligence looks at the future of the wine industry and where clever investors should put their money. Investing in real estate in California might be the best option, the firm says (somewhat tongue in cheek), with the audience choosing to do just that ahead of investing in a winery in China, lower abv products for the UK, and natural or organic wines for the UK and Nordic markets.
Louis-Fabrice Latour, head of the family-run Maison Louis Latour, says the company is "getting closer" to its aim of having vineyards in all 10 of Beaujolais' Crus. It currently boasts vineyards in nine of the region's Crus following its acquistion of Fessy. Latour said the company is also planting Pinot Noir in Southern Beaujolais, where "it has never been done on a big scale". "It's a big project," he said.
Legacy Wines, the branded wine arm of Kingsland Wines aimed at the convenience and impulse channels, unveils its new portfolio of umbrella wines. They include The Wonder Wines, with retro 1950-style imagery, with its initial mid-tier The Board Meeting range and Juicy Grape Wines, with its Big Crush mid-tier branded offer. Both ranges will retail at around £5.99. It hopes to add more varietals and sub-brands to the Wonder Wines and Juicy Grape Wines portfolio.
Origin Wines rolls out its new Fairtrade lighter style, 5.5% wine ranges for the on and off-trades. Fair and Light Fairhills is on sale initially exclusively in Tesco from this week with its on-trade brand Fair Horizons available to the on-trade through Matthew Clark. Wines expected to retail in the off-trade at around £4.99 with the option to discount from tehre. Origin's John Woodrife tells Harpers the wines would fit nicely as a bridge between fruit ciders and wine. The wines include a Fruity Rose, Yummy Red and Zesty White.
Origin also to roll out a number of lighter style 5.5% Moscato products including a Stormhoek Rose Moscato.
Andy Phelps, head of BWS at Sainsbury's, tells the Harpers debate that it is working on a raft of new ideas to help better engage with its consumers. He urges the wine trade to look outside its own category and in areas like health and beauty and shower gels which can have a large number of SKUs and yet so much easier to shop.
Joe Wadsack, wine critic blogger, says it is not often what the wine trade says that turns of consumers, but how it is said. If you speak with real passion enthusiasm or write in a truly engaging way then people will listen regardless of how technical the information.
US wine blogger and broadcaster, Christina Pickard, says the UK wine trade needs to relax and have more fun when it talks to consumers about wine. In the US it is far less stuffy and people are not as intimidated about talking about wine.
11am: Brown Brothers, or should that be Brown Sisters now that Katherine, Caroline and Emma are on board or coming on board? The family has a unique succession plan with each daughter required to work outside the family firm for at least four years before they are permitted to apply for a role (one must be available). The three believe they can help engage the next generation of consumers. More to follow.
10:45am: Gonzalez Byass looks pretty in pink as it gets ready to launch Wirra Wirra's Mrs Wigley: a 4.5% abv Moscato in a 50cl bottle with crown seal. Yesterday it launched this year's Tio Pepe En Rama - which has already sold out, according to Jeremy Rockett. He also thinks the London-centric sherry boom is "diversifying" and extending across the country - it has seen double digit volume growth for the last two years for Tio Pepe. More to follow.
Aimed at the independent and specialist on and off-trade sectors, the wines are only in to their second vintage with a global production of 60,000 cases.
Andrew Steel told Harpers there was a clear demand from the specialist independent trade for "good quality, and, yes, expensive wines". The range includes five wines.
Also new on Connoisseur Estates is its Sidewood range from Adelaide Hills, Australia and its Chateau D'Angles premium French range.