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Analysis: Independent merchants trends for 2016

Published:  10 December, 2015

With the growing popularity of hybrid wine shops, the independent retailers are finding strength in offering their customers something that the 'big boys' are not able to. So what does 2016 hold for the sector? James Lawrence investigates


Insight: Is Ribera Del Duero in Rioja's shadow?

Published:  19 November, 2015

James Lawrence asks if there is any room for Ribera Del Duero in London's crowded on-trade?


Analysis: Can Cava strike gold on its quest for premiumisation?

Published:  13 November, 2015

James Lawrence takes a look at Cava producers who are bucking the trend, even leaving the regional Cava designation, in an effort to produce a more premium product. But how much traction are these Cava producers getting?


James Lawrence: Does Chianti have an image problem in the premium wine category?

Published:  16 October, 2015

James Lawrence examines the background to Chianti's continuing struggle for recognition in the premium wine category.


Analysis: White Bordeaux on the up?

Published:  08 October, 2015

The Bordelais may have had a few tough vintages in row for its reds wines, but could their dry whites be on the rise?


Analysis: Can English sparkling wine ever go mainstream?

Published:  17 August, 2015

James Lawrence examines the future prospects for English fizz.


Insights: The rise of Spanish white wines in the on-trade

Published:  11 August, 2015

Spanish white wines are emerging from the shadow of the reds with a number of varieties and styles that are making headway in the UK on-trade.


Insights: The increasing commonality of prestige Champagne

Published:  29 July, 2015

James Lawrence examines the increasing commonality of the de luxe and vintage Champagne segment.


Q&A: Christian Seely of AXA Millésimes talks En Primeur

Published:  13 April, 2015

Since 2000, Christian Seely has successfully led AXA Millésimes alongside such wine estates as Château Suduiraut, Pichon-Longueville and La Tour Pibran. Now, all his attention is focused on the 2014 en primeur.


James Lawrence: Falling in love with Franciacorta

Published:  11 March, 2015

James Lawrence tells a tale of how he fell in love with an Italian fizz called Franciacorta, involving disarmingly honest vineyard owners,  the 21st-century poster-child for the region and a single arrest of a Celtic fan.


Xavier Gramona: why he is committed to Cava and putting quality first

Published:  15 October, 2014

Established in 1921 at the heart of Cava's homeland in Sant Sadurni D'Anoia, Gramona has long held the status of the region's finest sparkling winemaker. Driven by the belief that top class Cava - both in price and quality - can compete with world class Champagne, Gramona practices extended lees ageing for its wines, in contrast to the industry norms. The house also now closely observes the Champagneois culture of late disgorgement, having released a Bollinger-esq R.D 14 year old Cava at €125 a bottle this year.


Pablo Alvarez, Vega Sicilia, on the global opportunity for Ribera del Duero wines

Published:  02 October, 2014

Vega Sicilia was established in 1859, although its modern history began with the property's purchase by the Alvarez family in 1982, who acquired the estate as joint shareholders. Patriarch David Alvarez subsequently appointed his son Pablo as managing director of the property. Since the mid-1980s, Pablo Alvarez has ensured that Vega Sicilia remains Ribera Del Duero's most renowned and prestigious wine, for sale in over 25 markets. With Alvarez's careful direction, the property has managed to overcome both the Spanish economic crisis and endure a family feud over the future of the estate, in addition to investing in the regions of Rioja and Toro. James Lawrence reports:


Ribera del Duero should shun powerful wines for more classic style says Pingus founder

Published:  02 October, 2014

The biggest threat to the future of wines from the Ribera Del Duero is consumers turning their back on the signature ripe and powerful style of the region, according to Pingus founder Peter Sisseck.


Georg Riedel on Riedel's new Veritas range and working with Coca-Cola

Published:  02 September, 2014

Founded in 1756 by Johann Cristoph Riedel, the Riedel name is today synonymous with high-quality glassware; loved by the trade and consumers alike. With an impressive track-record of product innovation and savvy marketing, Riedel's market breakthrough arguably came in 1979, when the firm opened a subsidiary in the US. Having collaborated with such iconic winemakers as Robert Mondavi, Angelo Gaja, and more recently soft drinks manufacturer Coca-Cola, Riedel is clearly not an old-world wine snob. The brand is coming to London's Vinopolis this month, to showcase the new Veritas glassware range. James Lawrence asks Georg Riedel what we can expect:


Jean-Claude Mas on how he has helped build a global French wine brand

Published:  04 August, 2014

James Lawrence tries to keep up with France's whirlwind wine producer Jean-Claude Mas

Published:  29 July, 2014

Jean-Claude Mas works at a pace that would put any Olympic athlete to shame. Since acquiring his eighth estate, Domaine La Ferrandiere in February 2014, Mas has negotiated the purchase of land on a Venetian island, overseen a new tourism project, released a new range of wines and finally decided to get into bed with French supermarkets. Oh, and he still finds time to see his family, "occasionally" he admits, with a wry smile.


Major wine companies should not pin their futures on China, warns Krug chief

Published:  28 July, 2014

The wine world needs to let go of its obsession with China, and stop believing that the market can solve all its problems, according to Margareth Henriquez., chief executive of Krug, the top branded Champagne house.


Prosecco producer Bisol reveals plans to launch new Venetian wine

Published:  24 July, 2014

Bisol, the leading Italian Prosecoo producer, is to release a Venissa red in 2014, accroding to Matteo Bisol, the director of the family's Venissa tourism project on the Venetian island of Mazzorbo.


Champagne industry must face up to negative impact of global warming

Published:  09 June, 2014

One of the biggest challenges facing the Champagne industry is how to manage the negative effects of global warming, according to Krug's senior viticulturist, Romain Le Guillou.


Michel Rolland on life as an international wine consultant

Published:  01 May, 2014

Internationally acclaimed winemaker and consultant, Michel Rolland, talks to James Lawrence how he manages to juggle working for 200 wineries around the world, including Chateau Figeac in St Emilion, which he is trying to turn in to a Grand Cru Classe A property.