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  • Richard Siddle, editor of Harpers Wine & Spirit

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

    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.

  • Guy Woodward @guyawoodward

    2014 Review and Hopes and Fears for 2015: Guy Woodward

    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.  

  • Richard Siddle, editor and chief, of Harpers Wine & Spirit

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

    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.

  • Tim Atkin

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

    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.

  • Guy Woodward @guyawoodward

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

    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.

  • Tim Atkin MW

    Tim Atkin: why consumers could fall out of love with Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

    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.

  • Guy Woodward

    Guy Woodward: even Champagne has a lot to learn about consumers

    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.

  • Richard Siddle, editor of Harpers Wine & Spirit

    Richard Siddle: what sort of community do you hang out in?

        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.

  • Jerry Lockspeiser

    Jerry Lockspeiser on why we could all do our bit to help in fight against ebola

    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.

  • 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.

Jacob's Creek is back on the TV

Australians get their hands dirty in ad campaigns - but can we spot the difference? Video

30 Jan 2015 | By Claret Pimpernel

What is it about Australian wine videos with all their references to mother nature, the dirty soils, the sweaty growers and the super production values?

    Opinion

    Fette Sau mixes craft beers and BBQ food

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

    26 Jan 2015 | By Glynn Davis

    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%.

    Legal advice from Olivia Perrot on IP and protecting your business assets

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

    26 Jan 2015

    Olivia Perrott, of 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       

    New Zealand's Annual Trade Tasting 2015

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

    23 Jan 2015 | By Justin Keay

    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.

    Roger Jones of the Harrow at Little Bedwyn

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

    22 Jan 2015 | By Roger Jones

    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.

    Jones had the chance to enjoy a 1969 Lanzerac Pinotage with Anthony Hamilton Russell

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

    19 Jan 2015 | By Roger Jones

    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!

    Comments (1)

    Investment is paying off at Burgundy's Chateau de Santenay

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

    19 Jan 2015 | By Geoffrey Dean

    The trade’s annual Burgundy tastings in London may be over, but in 12 months time when the 2014 vintage is tasted, Chateau de Santenay is hoping it can show a significant improvement in its wines following a massive investment in the winery last year. The Credit Agricole-owned operation, which has 91 hectares under vine in the Cote d’Or and Cote Chalonnaise, has benefited from expenditure on new state-of-the art vinification equipment to the tune of 5 million euros, nearly all of it ...

    New Street Wine Shop, London

    New Street Wine Shop changes strategy by consumer demand Subscription

    09 Jan 2015 | By Richard Foster

    After two years of trading, London’s New Street Wine Shop is thriving. But, as Richard Foster discovers, its customers have entirely up-ended the original business plan

    Rowan Gormley

    Rowan Gormley tells the naked truth about Naked Wines Subscription

    09 Jan 2015 | By Erin Smith

    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

    Marc Patch

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

    09 Jan 2015 | By Richard Siddle

    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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