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Dale Dewsbury, Manager, Andrew Fairlie at The Gleneagles Hotel

Published:  23 July, 2008

What is your wine-buying strategy?

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Blanc to change Le Manoir list

Published:  23 July, 2008

Raymond Blanc is to change the wine list at his Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons restaurant in Oxfordshire - but he will not be ditching New World wines, as has been reported elsewhere.
On the restaurant website, Blanc says: We are removing from our cellars any red wines that are overoaked, unbalanced or lack tannins. Those whites strongly flavoured with vanilla or that are too buttery will also go.'

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Out of the shadows

Published:  23 July, 2008

With all the growth in wine production seen in China of late, a key question is whether there are enough local grapes to meet demand. The largest vineyard areas are in Xinjiang province in the west (northern Silk route) and the eastern coastal province of Shandong, where most of the grapes used for wine production are grown. OIV forecasts 450,000 hectares (ha) for 2004, making China fifth in the world rankings, with more land planted to vines than the United States. This figure
is more than double the amount of 1997, which was under 200,000 hectares. Industry analysts calculate 15-20% of
the total vineyard area to be dedicated for grape-wine production, which is 70,000-90,000ha. Bo Tan at Macquarie Research says total grape production is expected to grow 17% per year.

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South Africa goes Mega

Published:  23 July, 2008

Wines of South Africa (WOSA) is holding its Mega Tasting, aimed at the pan-European market, on Tuesday 11 October and Wednesday 12 October at Old Billingsgate Market, which looks on to the River Thames. More than 200 producers will be taking part, representing boutique vintners, corporates, cooperatives, garagistes and ngociants. Focusing on the Cape's biodiversity and the effect this has on the country's wines, and including a range of themed tastings, this event is set to be one of the biggest generic national tastings ever presented by a wine-producing country. For more information, call Sophie Waggett on 020 8947 7171 or e-mail her at sophie@winesofsa.com

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Pension reform sends Bordeaux prices skyward

Published:  23 July, 2008

Prices of blue-chip Bordeaux have risen by up to 20% in
the last three weeks, on the back of fevered buying from
UK merchants hoping to take advantage of changes to pensions rules effective next April - even though the full details of the new rules are yet to be announced. The changes to the law should mean that fine wine' can be included in Self Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs) and would therefore be eligible for tax relief.

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The Champagne harvest

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Champagne harvest is just about complete, and the maximum permitted yield of 13,000 kilos per hectare (kg/ha) should be reached right across the appellation. This was the level set by the Comit Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC) in early September, just before the harvest officially began on the 12th, with 1,500kg/ha of this, the equivalent of around 41 million bottles, being put into the qualitative reserve'.

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Symington calls for caution over brandies

Published:  23 July, 2008

Paul Symington has said that the Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro
e Porto (IVDP) needs to keep a careful watch on the brandies that Port producers are using.

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Unwins director quits

Published:  23 July, 2008

David Massey, who was brought in by Unwins as a director just six months ago, has left the company. His stated intent, at the time of joining, was to float the company within two years.

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UK consumers baffled by wine lists

Published:  23 July, 2008

One quarter of restaurant-goers in the UK are so intimidated by wine lists that they always stick to the house white or red, a new survey has revealed.

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Interactive wine tasting ready for online debut

Published:  23 July, 2008

Virtual Wine will broadcast its first live wine tasting on Sunday 16 October at 7pm.

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Call for greater Port/table-wine distinction

Published:  23 July, 2008

The head winemaker of Port producer The Fladgate Partnership has criticised the Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e Porto (IVDP) for failing to tighten up vineyard designations in the Douro Valley, reports Stuart Peskett.

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South Africa has massive problem' with on-trade

Published:  23 July, 2008

For on-trade buyers, South Africa is only good for cheap entry-point wines, predominately Chenin Blanc and Pinotage, according to Andy Bayley and John Graves, sales and marketing director and national accounts director respectively for Atlantic Wine Agencies.

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Sainsbury's buyer news clarified

Published:  23 July, 2008

Jane Hughes, Sainsbury's category manager for wine, has clarified the wine buying set-up.

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Constellation circles Vincor

Published:  23 July, 2008

Constellation Brands has been rejected in its hostile takeover bid for Canadian wine giant Vincor, which bought UK agent and distributor Western Wines last year.

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On Trade Special: Late Payments

Published:  23 July, 2008

Before I landed a job reporting on the world of wine for Harpers, one of my tasks in life was to sell wine at a restaurant near the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Soon after opening, it was apparent that the legions of lawyers who populate Chancery Lane were not turning up in the expected numbers.
The restaurant soon ran out of money - although it was almost half a year later that it began to run out of most of its wines. It all became rather problematic: May I strongly recommend this wine, sir? It has been drinking very nicely.

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Lanson's Royal approval

Published:  23 July, 2008

Champagne Lanson will be the official house Champagne for the Royal Albert Hall for the next three years.
The brand, which has held the contract at the London venue
for the past three years, has also sponsored numerous Premiership football teams, as well as the Wimbledon and French Open tennis tournaments.

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The festive Grouse

Published:  23 July, 2008

This Christmas will see a six-week advertising campaign featuring The Famous Grouse.

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Rights on wine names

Published:  23 July, 2008

Port, Sherry and Champagne producers are bitterly disappointed that the recently announced and much-trumpeted wine-trade agreement between the United States and the European Union fails to protect their appellations fully. And on the basis that the European Commission has failed to negotiate a complete ban on the ongoing abuse of such names in the USA, they are seeking financial support from the EU in the new US campaign that's about to start and seeks to put an end to such fraudulent practices.

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Wine Australia gets the book club bug

Published:  23 July, 2008

Wine Australia is launching a new marketing initiative next month which aims to capitalise on the growing popularity of book clubs.

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Rain finally arrives in Douro

Published:  23 July, 2008

The six-hour rain shower that hit the Douro in early September was the first the region had received since May - and Port producers and table winemakers alike breathed a huge sigh of relief.

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