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  • 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.

  • 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.

Laura Jewell MW

Chief of the Week: Laura Jewell - soon to be UK "chief" of Wine Australia

28 Nov 2014 | By Claret Pimpernel

  We’re not sure if we should be referring to a Master of Wine as a “chief” but either way congratulations to Laura Jewell who this week has been named as the new UK and Europe, well,chief for Wine Australia.

    Opinion

    Stuart Whitwell

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

    27 Nov 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.

    David Gleave

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

    26 Nov 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.

    Roger Jones enjoys his time in Central Otago

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

    26 Nov 2014 | By Roger Jones

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

    Comments (1)

    Andy Barrington

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

    26 Nov 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.

    Bamberg has a great array of beer and bar offer

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

    25 Nov 2014 | By Glynn Davis

    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.

    Idyllic beaches in Canterbury, New Zealand

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

    24 Nov 2014 | By Roger Jones

    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.

    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.

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