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Italian grape prices collapse

Published:  23 July, 2008

Perhaps the most unifying factor in the Italian wine scene at present is the fall in grape prices, which seems to be happening from north to south and east to west.

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Decanter launches Asian edition

Published:  23 July, 2008

Consumer wine magazine Decanter is to launch a dedicated Far East edition next month - the first western wine magazine to do so.

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Tuscan wine scandal

Published:  23 July, 2008

Two men are under arrest and 13 people are under investigation by Italy's Guardia di Finanza (fiscal police), together with police of the fraud squad called out by Siena's district attorney in yet another alleged sofisticazione (wine adulteration) involving fake Tuscan classics.

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Siegel bought by Australian

Published:  23 July, 2008

Siegel Wine Agencies - best known for its range of premium German producers, such as Hermann Donnhoff - has been bought by New World specialist, Australian Wineries, for an undisclosed sum.

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Tough' UK hits Constellation

Published:  23 July, 2008

On the back of the departure of a large part of Constellation Europe's senior executive team - chief executive Christopher Carson, marketing senior vice president, Graham Oak, and chief operating officer Richard Peters (with further cuts to
the marketing department rumoured to be in the air) - Constellation supremo Richard Sands has blamed tougher' trading conditions in the UK for only a modest rise in profits.

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South Africa Supplement 2005

Published:  23 July, 2008

There's a reason why Harpers' 2005 South Africa supplement is resplendent in flowers. It's nothing to do with the Chelsea Flower Show or the Royal Horticultural Society, it's all about biodiversity in the Cape.

The South African wine industry is pioneering a project to conserve the Cape Floral Kingdom and, in doing so, it gives Wines of South Africa (WOSA), the country's generic body, a great consumer marketing campaign giftwrapped on, as it were, a platter.

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Buzzed' is the new merry', says pub-crawl author

Published:  23 July, 2008

Police and drinks watchdogs need to take a new approach to their responsible-drinking campaigns, according to an author who has completed a 45,000-mile pub crawl to research his latest book.

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Young bloods provide new Oxygene

Published:  23 July, 2008

A group of 18 young Bordelais - either chteau owners or their offspring - has set up a new association designed to breathe new life into Bordeaux's reputation abroad.

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New commercial director for Matthew Clark

Published:  23 July, 2008

Ian Smith has been appointed as commercial director of Matthew Clark. This new role has been created to coordinate all sales, purchasing and marketing activities within Matthew Clark, following several years of rapid growth.

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Bordeaux 2005: high hopes

Published:  23 July, 2008

Producers in Bordeaux are talking up the 2005 vintage like no other since the turn of the Millennium. And despite a well-known predilection to calling all but the most disastrous of years excellent', it appears that this year it may well be just that.

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AA Award winners

Published:  23 July, 2008

France, Spain and Greece are the next up-and-coming wine-producing countries, according to the results of this year's AA Wine Award.

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PR change at Somerfield

Published:  23 July, 2008

Emma Wellings PR has been unceremoniously dropped as the public-relations agency for Somerfield with only two weeks' notice, and Phipps PR has been appointed as a replacement.

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Tokara breaks out

Published:  23 July, 2008

The first vintages of Tokara wines - owned by South African merchant banker GT Ferreira - will be launched in the UK, with an on-trade focus, at Wines of South Africa's Mega Tasting on 11 & 12 October.

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IWSC looks forward

Published:  23 July, 2008

Despite receiving a record number of entries for its 2005 awards, the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) is looking to cast its net still wider, having launched a new campaign aimed at raising its profile across the global wine and spirits industry.

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100,000 of Wine Society stock stolen

Published:  23 July, 2008

More than 1,300 cases of wine belonging to The Wine Society were stolen after a delivery driver was duped last week. 1,000 cases of the society's own-label 2004 Pinot Grigio and 360 cases of 2003 Chianti Leonardo, with a total retail value of 101,760, were stolen on 26 September.

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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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