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Labelling warning: how cigarette-style labels could affect alcohol

Published:  11 May, 2022

For 20 years, graphic warnings have been emblazoned on cigarette packets in the UK, warning consumers of the health risks associated with tobacco. A couple of decades later and alcohol might be subjected to similar labelling, potentially dissuading young people from buying beer, wine and spirits in the future.

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Innovation Report: The glass debate

Published:  10 May, 2022

Is glass creating a bottleneck in the drive to greater sustainability and can we change consumer perception of it as a strong indicator of quality? Andrew Catchpole reports back from Harpers’ recent Sustainability of Glass webinar.

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Spiralling production costs: the battle for bottles – and more

Published:  09 May, 2022

One of the biggest challenges facing wine producers worldwide is the shortage of glass bottles – but that’s not the only problem that will dog 2022, as James Bayley reports.

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The changing role of the sommelier

Published:  05 May, 2022

Restaurants across the country are still suffering the devastating effects of Covid and face a tidal wave of soaring costs, including a return to 20% VAT.

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Sustainability report: build back better

Published:  05 May, 2022

On 17 March, P&O Ferries terminated the contracts of thousands of long-standing UK employees, rehiring staff on lower wages. The move, which has been fiercely condemned by a variety of stakeholders, was a sad reminder that corporate ethics can still take a back seat to the worship of Mammon, even in a progressive age.

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Indies: Fighting back against the obstacles to trade

Published:  05 May, 2022

Jason Millar looks at how the long tail of Brexit and Covid have impacted merchants looking to buy direct.

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The rise and rise of sparkling wines

Published:  04 May, 2022

Sparkling wine has been stealing a march for some time. Established in quality terms long ago by the Champenois and rocketed into the mainstream via Prosecco’s global volume domination during the 2010s, the way is increasingly widening to allow alternative bubbles to rise to the top of the glass. This has certainly been the case over the past year. Following years of predictions that Crémant could carve out a niche in the ‘in-between’ price segment, it and others have seen tangible change after many years of waiting in the wings.

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The indies on a net-zero mission

Published:  04 May, 2022

Sonya Hook catches up with two indie wine merchants committed to doing greener business that have reinforced their ethical stance by signing up to Harpers’ Sustainability Charter.

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Headline Heroes: The beauty of bulk

Published:  29 April, 2022

If you still think that ‘bulk wine’ is in some way a negative phrase, then you are in danger of being seriously behind the curve. Shipping in volume for in-market bottling has many benefits, ranging from the environmental and economic to the underpinning of dynamic innovation. And, with technology improving all the time, there are many who now believe the quality preservation of bulk-to-bott le can exceed that of many wineries’ own bottling lines.

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An update from the Harpers Sustainability Champions

Published:  28 April, 2022

With an impressive calibre of companies from all quarters of the trade signed up to Harpers Sustainability Charter, we highlight just some of the activities and advances made by our Champions, Partners and Founding Signatories.

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Why the trade must step up to sustainability

Published:  27 April, 2022

Sustainability isn’t an optional extra for the wine trade. It’s a moral choice in that we can’t expect the next generation to pick up our tab. I had a friend at university who regularly used to come out to drink with us at the student union with just a single pound coin in his pocket. (Those were the days when one pound was enough to buy a pint of beer at discounted student prices). So he’d go and buy his pint and then rely on the rest of us to fund his drinking for the rest of the evening. He was always apologetic, and there was always an excuse. But I don’t think I can remember him ever paying his way.

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Driving a sustainable campaign

Published:  27 April, 2022

Overleaf you’ll find the full wording of our Sustainability Charter, launched as part of a new Harpers campaign to drive sustainability in the UK drinks trade and to which we heartily encourage you to subscribe. Those that already have, including our initial headlining Sustainability Champions such as Enotria & Coe and North South Wines, our Sustainability Partners, Lanchester Group and Bodega Argento, plus our early bird signatories, are also listed here. Moreover, there are focuses on the sustainable progress of many of those companies throughout this report.

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California steps up to the plate

Published:  25 April, 2022

California is certainly a force to be reckoned with in the wine world, whether that be judged by size, value or quality. Accounting for some 90% of the US’s wine, considered alone the state comes up behind France, Spain and Italy as the fourth-largest producer in the world. What is more, California has carved out a high-end reputation, with investable ‘blue chip’ labels and other top quality wines to rival the best from Europe’s headlining regions, both in terms of status and the price tags to match. It is fair to say, though, that this has been achieved with more of a focus on America’s own wine-thirsty and deep-pocketed buyers.

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After the gin boom

Published:  22 April, 2022

The past two years have been tough for everyone and Britain’s gin distillers are no exception. The various lockdowns and general uncertainty hit the industry hard and, while retailers and direct sales helped alleviate the shortfall, “the on-trade could never be replaced by home consumption”, according to Nick Cook, director-general of the Gin Guild.

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Rethinking glass

Published:  21 April, 2022

With glass recycling now definitively out of the deposit return scheme for England and Northern Ireland, the question of what to do with glass is back on the agenda. Could the future be reusable? Jo Gilbert reports.

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Champagne has cause to celebrate

Published:  21 April, 2022

With sales exceeding all expectations, the drink for good times is back on top form, finds James Bayley.

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Multiples: New world, same aisle

Published:  20 April, 2022

Supermarket wine ranges are continuing to evolve in 2022, as James Bayley discovers.

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Generation Sobriety turns to fine wine for alternative investments

Published:  20 April, 2022

According to a study released by Cult Wine Investment, an “identity-conscious” demographic of wealthy Millennial buyers are becoming vital to the prosperity of the secondary wine market.

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A model UK winery

Published:  13 April, 2022

Cast your mind back, if you can, to the pre-pandemic rush of grape plantings that boosted English wine coverage before 2020.

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Age as a thing of beauty

Published:  11 April, 2022

The concept of old vines has been a marketing tool for decades. From California to France and Spain, ‘vieilles vignes’ and other – unregulated – designations are a generally agreed-upon method of sending a message to the consumer. The message is usually about

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