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Washington adds wine district

Published:  23 July, 2008

Washington State gains its eighth official wine district following the US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau's designation of the Wahluke Slope as an American Viticultural Area (AVA).
The new area will be the fifth subregion of the well-recognised Columbia Valley appellation and, with more than 5,000 acres under vine, will represent close to a fifth of the state's overall production, supporting the nation's second-largest wine region.
Warmer temperatures and earlier ripening are among the reasons for this development, and the Columbia River to the west and south and wildlife refuges on the east and north provide natural definitions to the appellation.
Wahluke Slope is one of the state's premier wine-growing regions, and government approval will allow the industry to differentiate itself,' says Robin Pollard of the Washington Wine Commission.

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Product news

Published:  23 July, 2008

Sweeter way to pop
Champagne Pommery Elixir NV is the latest addition to the UK from the second-largest Champagne house. It's a sweeter style (Sec) than the Brut Royal NV and is primarily on-trade focused. Sara Hicks of Vranken Pommery Monopole comments: By introducing the Elixir Sec to the UK market, we feel we can truly say that Pommery has the right Champagne for every occasion.' Percy Fox and Justerini & Brooks represent Pommery in the UK.

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Thresher buys 200 stores as Unwins collapses

Published:  23 July, 2008

Threshers has snapped up 200 outlets from Unwins, and as Harpers went to press, the administrator of the failed off-licence group was evaluating final offers for the remaining 150 shops in the chain and its freehold head-office premises in Kent.

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The Interview: James Harris, Proprietor, 11 Abingdon Road, London

Published:  23 July, 2008

You must be relieved that the restaurant is now open?
A new place is very similar to childbirth. When it's finished you say, Absolutely never again, not in a million years,' but then sometime afterwards you begin to forget the pain and think, Wouldn't it be great to have another one,' and you're off again. But the real hard work starts when the adrenalin levels go down and you've still got a snagging list from here to Brighton.

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Cyber wine

Published:  23 July, 2008

There I was in the kitchen, grumpy because I felt I was having to give up my precious Sunday evening to do some sort of virtual wine tasting. Being an editor, the boss, you learn the brutal art of delegating. After all, you can't do everything. Indeed, all those stress guides tell you to prioritise and delegate, but I had left it too late. Last thing on the Friday, there was hardly anyone around so I was left with six bottles of wine, a website and an access code. Drat!

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The C word

Published:  23 July, 2008

New Year's Day 2006 was not only a day of recovery from festive mania, it was also the first day of a whole new set of EU traceability regulations for the catering industry. Depending on individual views, these additions are either an important asset or a frustrating affliction, but either way, they are the next step towards a world in which a restaurant waiter can tell a customer exactly which patch of ocean the house sea bass comes from and the name of the fisherman who caught it.

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Focus on Susannah

Published:  23 July, 2008

Focus PR has appointed Susannah Grant as account director. She will look after both the Wines of Argentina and Pernod Ricard Travel Retail accounts.
Susannah has spent the past two years travelling the globe, and prior to that she worked for Berkmann Wine Cellars as marketing manager and had stints at The Sherry Institute and Wines from Spain.

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Patriarche takes Castelnau

Published:  23 July, 2008

Patriarche Wine Agencies has been appointed UK importer for Cooprative Rgionale des Vins de Champagne and its brand Champagne De Castelnau.
General manager of Patriarche Wine Agencies Keith Isaac MW said: Castelnau is an excellent, quality Champagne, which we will be aiming at the on-trade and specialists. In addition, we have the capacity to fulfil own-label requirements and develop brands for supermarkets.'

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Cutty's Cecil retires

Published:  23 July, 2008

Robert Cecil, international sales director of Cutty Sark International will retire at the end of the year after nearly 33 years with the Whisky Division of Berry Bros & Rudd. Cecil joined BBR in February 1974 and has spent the subsequent years building a distributor network for Cutty Sark and The Glenrothes in European markets.

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Australia: state of play

Published:  23 July, 2008

As an objective framework to a paper that necessarily has a large degree of subjective arguments and judgements, I decided I would start with an analysis of the trophy results for the last six Sydney Royal Wine Shows (from 2000 to 2005 inclusive). I looked at the varietal mix, the regional mix and the winemaker mix - the first two simple enough; the last requiring some preliminary explanation. So I will start with the winemakers. The primary division was between large, medium and small. I could give you a winery-by-winery classification,
but - while some of you might disagree - the majority wouldn't.

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Martin Kember back

Published:  23 July, 2008

After working in an export role for the past six years, Martin Kember returns to a UK base as a global sales consultant'.
Kember, who previously worked with Champagne Lanson and Mondavi, stated: I will specialise in UK and international opportunities for premium and ultra-premium brands, looking to improve their clients' bottom line.'

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Closures Supplement 2005

Published:  23 July, 2008

We have sought to be impartial, authoritative and above all stimulating and readable, since this important subject affects virtually everyone in the business of selling wine. And we hope to do this again next year and for however long it takes to establish which closures are best for whatever wine you are selling. We don't have the answers - frankly, nobody really has. But the issues and choices are becoming clearer and easier to understand.

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Jancis Robinson MW calls for cooperation on Burgundy tastings

Published:  23 July, 2008

Jancis Robinson MW OBE has called for better communication and cooperation between the various companies holding tastings of the latest vintage of Burgundy next month.

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California on the move

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Wine Institute of California has a new address: 83 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0HW.
Tel: 020 3008 8060; fax: 020 3008 6180; e-mail: info@calwine.co.uk

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Wine-investment seminar

Published:  23 July, 2008

Wine Invest 2006, a one-day seminar on fine-wine investment, takes place on 7 February at Trinity House in London. Speakers include Serena Sutcliffe MW of Sotheby's, Christopher Burr MW of Uvine, and Adam Brett-Smith of Corney & Barrow.
Topics under discussion will include the US and UK auction markets, wine in the wider economy' and developing a portfolio-investment approach'.
Go to www.wineinvest2006.co.uk for more information.

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Cox is new WSET trustee

Published:  23 July, 2008

Michael Cox, the UK director of Wines of Chile, is the latest trustee of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET).
Cox replaces Mickey Davies as a representative of The Vintners' Company. Born into the wine trade - Matthew Clark was his maternal great-great-great-grandfather - Cox has also been a WSET Diploma lecturer and set up the Wines of Chile UK generic office in 2003.
WSET chief executive Ian Harris said: It is a pleasure to welcome such a well-known figure from the trade into our rapidly evolving organisation. Michael is a dynamic, popular character and a strong asset to the Trust.'
Other WSET trustees include Julian Brind MW, Lynn Power and Nick Clarke MW.

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Bouchard Pre & Fils expands

Published:  23 July, 2008

Charlemagne, three anonymous Cistercian monks, Duke Philippe the Bold, Duke Philippe the Good, Louis XI, Pasteur... It was quite a reception party that Bouchard Pre & Fils had lined up for the opening of its new purpose-built winery outside Savigny-ls-Beaune on Saturday 19 November, the famous figures from Burgundy's rich history present in sculptures that cast long shadows along the 140 metre-wall.

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Colheitas lift Madeira

Published:  23 July, 2008

The new style of single-vintage Colheita or Harvest Madeiras has helped to revive interest in the category as a whole and almost doubled like-for-like sales between the year to October 2003 and the year to October 2005. According to the latest figures from the Instituto do Vinho da Madeira (IVM), sales of all vintage-dated wines have almost doubled since 2003, rising from 14,620 litres to 21,341 litres in 2004 and 26,848 litres in 2005.

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PLB's German debut

Published:  23 July, 2008

Riesling producer Moselland is the first-ever German producer represented by PLB. The winery has more than 3,000 member-producers in the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Nahe, Pfalz and Rheinhessen regions, and its brands include Divinum and Insignum.
PLB chairman Jeffrey Fredericks said: Moselland is a major wine producer with an annual sales volume of 28 million litres, providing plenty of scope to supply both excellent branded products and good-quality bulk wines for our customers.'

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Coyle works with Coto

Published:  23 July, 2008

Former Oddbins head buyer Lynne Coyle is working on a new project with Rioja producer Bodegas El Coto.
We're working on a new-wave style Rioja with more fruit and made in a more modern style,' said Coyle.
It will be targeted at the type of consumer who is more used to drinking New World wines than traditional Rioja. It will also have modern, more user-friendly packaging.'
The wine is expected to retail at around 6.99-7.99 with promotional support.
The wine will be distributed by Cockburn & Campbell (which is part of the Young's group), as is the rest of the El Coto range.

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