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The week that was

Published:  16 August, 2018

In case you missed some of the headlines this week on, here’s a review of the top online news, analysis, opinions and features.

Top stories: Amid a highly pressurised high street environment, there were several positive moves for prominent independent businesses this week.

This included the news that after 21 years with the family firm, Abby Moreno is striking out on her own with plans to open a new hybrid wine venture in early 2019.

Having sold the family business to Boutinot in 2016, Moreno is now forging ahead with the new shop-come-wine bar business, which won’t be far from her family’s base in northwest London.

The area is where the Moreno family opened its eponymous wine shop in Maida Vale in 1968.

There also looked like there might be light at the end of the tunnel for Argentinian steak restaurant Gaucho.

The chain said it wanted to set the record straight, that it is business as usual under administration firm Deloitte, while also confirming a potential buyout is in the works.

The group seemed confident news of a sale would be confirmed by the end of the month, with talks - perhaps prematurely - covering UK expansion.

Elsewhere, small importer Red Squirrel revealed plans to branch out of the capital to visit some of the UK’s other metropolises for it annual portfolio tasting.

In collaboration with similarly sized merchant The Knotted Vine, Nik Darlington and his team will be touching down in Manchester and Bristol next month.

Analysis and Insights:
This week former supermarket buyer Angela Mount investigated how distributors and producers are shaping up to meet buyer demands as routes to market narrow.

And Justin Keay looked at the so-called off-piste wines from Greece, Turkey, Hungary and Romania.

With quality improving all the time, Keay discovered how producers of these once niche wines are now re-imaging the old favourites that helped put them on the global wine map in the first place.

People and Opinion:
From a humble start in the trade, Berry Bros. & Rudd chief exec and WSTA chairman has come a long way since starting out as a wine delivery boy.

The former Tesco wine chief sat down with Harpers editor Andrew Catchpole this week to talk heading up the BWS department at Britain’s largest grocer, among other career touchstones, on the way to St James’s and the Berry Bros.’ HQ.

And our on-going meet the buyers series refreshed with Jon Moore, general manager/buyer at Swansea-based indie, Mumbles Fine Wines.