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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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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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