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Frizzenti taps into Prosecco popularity

Published:  10 July, 2013

Sparkling wine brand Frizzenti is capitalising on the growing popularity of Prosecco with its on-tap solution for the on-trade.


Union des Grand Crus de Bordeaux and VinItaly agree future trade dates

Published:  26 June, 2013

Unions des Grand Crus de Bordeaux and VinItaly have signed an agreement coordinating the calendars of their industry events for the next four years to avoid any trade clashes. Text

Unions des Grand Crus de Bordeaux and VinItaly have signed an agreement coordinating the calendars of their industry events for the next four years to avoid any trade clashes. 


Semaine des Primeurs in Bordeaux will be held between March 31 to April 5, 2014, March 30 to April 3 2015, April 4-8, 2016, and between April 3-7, 2017. 


VinItaly in Verona will be held April 6-9. 2014, March 22-25, 2015, April 10-13, 2016, and March 26-29, 2017.


Italian producers look to international growth to escape domestic economy

Published:  10 April, 2013

Italian wine producers are increasingly looking to international markets to escape their own crippled domestic economy.


Pre-orders for Naked Wines' ProWein discovery sold in 24 hours

Published:  09 April, 2013

Online wine retailer Naked Wines pre-sold over £37,000 worth of Italian wine in just 24 hours after its maker was discovered by its customer buying team at ProWein.


Piccini introduces rosata to Memoro Vino d'Italia range

Published:  05 April, 2013

The family-owned Italian wine producer Piccini has introduced a third wine, a rosata, to its Memoro Vino d'Italia range.


Italy breaks out from Pinot Grigio's shadow

Published:  15 March, 2013

As a challenging harvest across Italy 'rocks the Pinot Grigio boat', now is the time to look towards the myriad indigenous alternatives, says Anne Krebiehl


Douglas Blyde discusses the world of Prosecco with winemaker Primo Franco of producer Nino Franco

Published:  05 March, 2013

Primo Franco, of Prosecco producer, Nino Franco, marked 30 years since he produced his first vintage by hosting a lunch at Hawksmoor restaurant, Air Street, Mayfair. Franco mentions that his choice of restaurant - the latest in the clubby Hawksmoor quartet, and first to offer dishes devised by celebrity fisherman, Mitch Tonks alongside signature steak - happens to lie close to the recently-refurbished five star, Café Royal. It was in those kitchens during the early 1970s, explains Franco with a wry smile, that he toiled as a kitchen porter. After his first shift, during which he confronted "an endless seeming conveyor of dishes", the disorientated, young navvy found himself spending the bulk of his earnings on the taxi home to Acton.


Exclusive research: indies look to Old World for growth

Published:  15 February, 2013

European wines made from indigenous varieties are providing independent wine merchants with much more scope for growth compared with the New World's offering.


Country reports: Italy

Published:  18 January, 2013

How many consumers have really embraced Italian diversity? And for those that haven't, is it because they find it too complex or....


PLB launches second regional roadshow

Published:  18 January, 2013

PLB is to launch its second UK Regional Roadshow tour with its specialist portfolio and has further announced it will join forces with Hatch Mansfield for the Scottish leg of the tour.


Avignonesi Winery acquires third vineyard in 18 months

Published:  19 December, 2012

The Italian-based biodynamic producer Avignonesi Winery has acquired its third vineyard in 18 months, making it one of the region's largest producers of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.


Tour de Belfort opens Manchester wine and cookery school

Published:  18 December, 2012

French winemaker Muriel Lismonde, owner of Tour de Belfort, has opened wine and cookery school Le Vin La Table in Hale, which aims to offer variety of wine tastings, cookery classes and workshops.


Trade events November

Published:  26 November, 2012

Wednesday, November 28

Goedhuis & Co annual press and trade portfolio tasting and Rhone 2011 En Primeur tasting



Sprizzato - a splash of Italian sunshine

Published:  21 November, 2012

In defiance of the winter weather the new light drink Sprizzatois aiming to bring some Italian sunshine to the UK market.


Sustainable irrigation system aids TWP harvest

Published:  15 November, 2012

A sustainable irrigation system linked to a reservoir, has made a significant difference in this year's harvest, according to winemaker Stefano Girelli.


Girelli whose company The Wine People TWP, operates in several regions across Italy, says its Sicilian estate, Feudo di Santa Tresa in Vittoria, saw just a 5% drop in harvest, which he says given the current figures due to drought, he is "very happy".



"The vines suffered a little from the heat, but not too much and the quality of the grapes was very good. They had higher alcohol levels than usual, however this was well balanced by the acidity and ph - the quality of the white wines is outstanding and the reds are very good, particularly elegant. The conditions were perfect for organic viticulture (Santa Tresa has been certified organic since 2009), very little intervention of any kind needed."



He added its Miopasso Nero d'Avola which is made with a proportion of dried (Amarone-style) grapes and conditions for the appasimento were excellent - "we're looking forward to a really stunning vintage of this wine," he says.



For Sicily in general Girelli's main observation is the slightly higher alcohol levels. In the West - the Trapani area - he says the whites are "stunning - full bodied, with great balancing acidity and low ph - Grillo in particular is fantastic." For the reds, he says the eastern areas of the island look the best - Agrigento and Gela.



In Italy, he says the quality in Puglia, is "incredible". But he adds there are some issues with excessive alcohol, which they are bringing under control, due to vine dehydration.


From an economic perspective the short vintage in Tuscany, will put pressure on Chianti prices, he adds.


Harvest news - sustainable irrigation system aids TWP vintage

Published:  15 November, 2012

A sustainable irrigation system linked to a reservoir made a significant difference to this year's harvest, according to winemaker Stefano Girelli.


Italian screwcap decree is a 'crass compromise', says expert

Published:  30 October, 2012

The Italian Ministry of Agriculture has agreed to relax laws on wines allowed to be bottled under screwcap, but renowned expert David Gleave MW of Liberty says it hasn't gone far enough.


A new decree was drafted in August 2012, allowing all DOCG wines, apart from those with the name of a sub zone on the label, or the name of a vineyard, to use alternative closures such as screwcap or synthetic corks. However Gleave, the managing director of Liberty Wines, says it hasn't gone far enough and called it a "crass compromise".


The amendment came on the back of a letter originally sent in 2006 by Gleave, stating that producers should be allowed to decide which closure was best suited to their wines and their market. He made the point that the previous ministerial decree of July 1993, which banned the use of anything other than natural cork on DOCG wines, was outmoded.

He said: "As from early next year, we expect to start shipping a Soave Classico under screwcap. But here is the rub. We can ship both a Soave Classico and a Soave Superiore DOCG under screwcap, but not a Soave Classico Superiore DOCG. This latter wine needs to be sealed with cork.


"Such a crass compromise does little to promote the image of Italy as a quality-focussed and innovative wine producing country, especially when we currently import Chablis Grand Cru, Chablis Premier Cru, Puligny Montrachet Premier Cru and other such European wines sealed under screwcap."


Liberty has been in touch with its producers to see which will be moving to screwcap. Once a majority of members of any consorzio vote in favour of a change, the amended law for that zone must be sent to Rome for approval.



Gleave added: "The decree has removed the obstacle previously placed in the way of those producers who wanted to use screwcaps, but does underline the fact that local consorzi must instigate any change."



According to Gleave producers in Chianti, Gavi and Barolo & Barbaresco Chianti, Gavi, Barolo and Barbaresco have applied to their consorzios to implement the change.



Douglas Blyde looks in to the wines of Joe Bastianich from Friuli

Published:  30 October, 2012

Rock and roll in appearance, and relaxed in manner, Wayne Young hosted a tasting of the wines of Joe Bastianich's Friuli vineyards this week in London with UK agent Bibendum.


Douglas Blyde on discovering the world of Amarone through Sandro Boscaini and Masi Agricola

Published:  25 October, 2012

Bedecked in stripes, from suit to socks, Sandro Boscaini, president of Masi Agricola, was in town earlier this month to celebrate the launch of a hardback book about arguably the best-known wine from Valpolicella, from where he was born. 'Amarone - The Making of an Italian Wine Phenomenon' is written by British expat, Kate Singleton (who also collaborated on Wines of Sicily and The Golden Book of Chocolate). Six corks, one embossed, grace its cover.


Geoffrey Dean on his discoveries in Piedmont

Published:  19 October, 2012

In contrast to the wettest British summer for a century, Piedmont enjoyed such a dry, sunny growing season that the harvest was completed much earlier than normal.