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  • Jason Wilson

    Jason Wilson joins the white wine appreciation society

    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.

  • Richard Siddle

    Richard Siddle: time to put retailer and supplier relations on a fairer footing

    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.

  • Tim Atkin

    Tim Atkin on why modern winemaking is a breath of fresh air

    “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.

  • The Three Wine Men are the closest thing wine has to the mass popularity of Top Gear

    Guy Woodward: Hegarty's right - we need to follow Top Gear to sell wine

    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’, ...

  • Mike Paul

    Mike Paul's 7 steps to success with new product developement in wine

    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.

  • Richard Siddle

    Richard Siddle: time to stand up and applaud Majestic and Oddbins

    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.

  • Guy Woodward

    Guy Woodward admires how Napa Valley took the Californian earthquake in its stride

    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.

  • Mike Paul

    Mike Paul: why wine producers that see themselves as brands hold all the power

    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.

  • Tim Atkin

    Tim Atkin: why the Chinese wine market is so hard to predict

    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.  

  • Guy Woodward

    Guy Woodward: it's the people we remember not their wine

    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.

  • Richard Siddle

    Richard Siddle: only by looking at wine through consumers' eyes can we communicate with them

    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.

  • Tim Atkin

    Tim Atkin MW on the hail crisis in Burgundy and what producers could learn from Argentina

    “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 ...

  • Guy Woodward

    Guy Woodward: no more ivory tower posturing, let's get personal with consumers

    Harpers is pleased to announce it has signed up Guy Woodward, former editor of Decanter, as a regular columnist and contributor.This month he tips his cap to the creative minds at Naked Wines and other innovative retail sites that are genuinely communicating to consumers in a way they can understand and says there are so many lessons to be learnt from the old school wine trade still stuck in its ivory tower. 

  • Jerry Lockspeiser

    Jerry Lockspeiser is enthralled by the wine business insights of Mike Veseth

    Mike Veseth is an unusual academic. Professor emeritus of international political economy at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, and an economist who studies global wine markets, he writes about wine business issues with a down to earth populist ease that Nigel Farage would be proud of. His enthusiastic, chatty style resembles a conversation over a glass of Merlot in a wine bar. He makes his subject highly accessible and clearly loves this world.

  • Call My Wine Bluff panel

    Jerry Lockspeiser: Call My Wine Bluff proves people just want to have fun with wine!

    As reported in Harpers in March we aimed to raise enough at this year’s Call My Wine Bluff to pass £1 million since our first event 6 years ago. Thanks to the generosity and spirit of the 180 people who laughed, listened, chatted and drank their way through the evening (no one was spitting thank God) we did – by some way.

  • Cobra man

    Mark Fiddes on why he is struggling with the beer brand smarm offensive

    You may recognise the symptoms. It’s more debilitating than hay fever; the snarling of the lip, the nausea, an ennui so enervating that zapping from Dave TV to a living human channel is almost impossible.

  • Jerry Lockspeiser

    Jerry Lockspeiser: do wine buyers get the suppliers they deserve?

    Jerry Lockspeiser, chairman of Off-Piste Wines, discusses the challenges wine buyers may encounter with suppliers and a five point plan on how to get the most out of a supplier relationship.

  • Tim Atkin

    Tim Atkin MW: Why en primeur is not working

    Tim Atkin MW on why the en primeur system needs urgent reform to not only regain the trust of critics and the trade alike but most importantly keep it relevant and credible to future investors. 

  • Guy Woodward @guyawoodward

    Guy Woodward: Why en primeur is a "con" and a "sham"

    Guy Woodward, former editor of Decanter magazine, explains why he thinks the en primeur system is, in parts, a “con” and a ”sham” and in need of a radical overhal. 

  • Mike Paul

    Mike Paul: is the new EU planting wine regime a missed opportunity or pragmatic compromise?

    Given the space devoted recently to predictions relating to the future of the wine business I’ve been surprised at the lack of attention focused on the new EU vine planting regime which is due to come into effect at the end of 2015. From that date each member state with over 50,000 hectares under vine will be able to add 1% per year to its vineyard area.

Anne Burchett, Sopexa UK

Chief of the Week: Anne Burchett, managing director, Sopexa UK

24 Oct 2014 | By Claret Pimpernel

As we have put such a focus on French wines this week with the France Summit it is only fitting that our Chief of the Week is none other than Anne Burchett, managing director of Sopexa UK, who won the Harpers Special Achievement Award at our French Wine Awards.

    Opinion

    How much can you drink and stay healthy, questions Jerry Lockspeiser

    Jerry Lockspeiser: can you drink as much as you like and stay healthy?

    22 Oct 2014 | By Jerry Lockspeiser

    “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.

    Will Beck: why the fine wine market is here to stay

    Will Beck: why there is plenty of life - and money - in wine investment

    20 Oct 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 ...

    Comments (9)

    Stephen Forward

    Stephen Forward: why fine wine prices won’t recover anytime soon

    20 Oct 2014 | By Stephen Forward, Stephen Forward

    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.

    Comments (6)

    Angela Mount

    Angela Mount: TescoGate - lifting the lid on supplier/retailer relations Subscription

    17 Oct 2014 | By Angela Mount

    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.

    Christian Holthausen on the need for wineries to open up to digital media

    Christian Holthausen: why wineries must take "digital" and social media seriously

    17 Oct 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.    

    Comments (3)

    Justin Knock

    Bulk wine: New Zealand reaching 'event horizon' says Justin Knock MW

    16 Oct 2014 | By Justin Knock MW

    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. 

    Comments (2)

    Piper-Heidsieck Chef de Caves Régis Camus’ 20th anniversary

    23 Oct 2014 | By Marisa D'Vari

    Mr. Camus joined Piper Heidsieck in 1994, quickly proving himself a master blender and taking an interest in every aspect of winemaking. "Style and quality are the result of many subjective decisions taken throughout the process as a whole, from harvesting right through to shipping. Therefore, one must be mult-italented, know what one wants and accept no compromise whatsoever as far as quality is concerned."

    Mark Dally

    Mark Dally on driving wine across Fuller’s 400 pubs and hotels Subscription

    06 Oct 2014 | By Nigel Huddleston

    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.

    Ayo Akintola; the man leading Oddbins' revival

    How Oddbins has defied its critics to bounce back to winning ways Subscription

    05 Sep 2014 | By Gemma McKenna

    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

    Richard Rushton

    Distell's Richard Rushton earns his stripes Subscription

    05 Sep 2014 | By Erin Smith

    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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