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The week that was

Published:  26 April, 2019

In case you missed some of the headlines these past two week on, here’s a bumper review of the top online news, analysis, opinion and features from before and after Easter. 

Top news stories: The trade body for France’s Côtes du Rhône has unveiled plans to target consumers in their thirties and forties.

The most read news was the rebrand of Majestic Wine stores to Naked Wines, as the company’s Wakefield store became the first to receive a facelift, And elsewhere in the retail firmament the proposed merger between Sainsbury’s and Asda has been blocked by the Competition and Markets Authority.

A clear idea of why the traditional retail market is fast evolving and being challenged was encapsulated by the latest online sales figures, which revealed that the beer, wine and spirits category recorded 9.6% growth last month compared to March 2018.

Meanwhile, world wine production reached a near record high in 2018 in a clear departure from the historically low production of the previous year, with consumption stabilising rather than growing.

Côtes du Rhône targets 30-45 age group for new global campaign

CMA blocks Sainsbury’s and Asda merger

First Majestic store receives Naked Wines rebrand

Online BWS sales grow ahead of market

Alavesa name change to Euskadi to boost ‘weight and identity’ of Basque Rioja

Global wine output reaches near record high of 2004

Analysis and Insights: As disease-resistant vine quality improves, Darren Smith assessed how environmental pressures may radically alter the viticultural landscape.

Wine may have a serious challenger, though, as the brains behind synthetic alternative Alcosynth say they’re five years from hitting the market and revolutionising the alcohol industry.

Meanwhile, we ran a report from the 2019 Climate Change Leadership Conference, which called for the wine industry to set a global example as a sustainable and environmentally-sound sector.

And Rioja’s new single-vineyard classification signalled the region’s desire to go after greater premium market share - the big question being ‘will it succeed?’.

A brave new world disease resistant vines

The end of sex, drugs…and alcohol?

Together we can change the world

Risky business in Rioja

People and Opinion: Joe Fattorini considered the benefits of the appeal of the imperfect, known as the Pratfall Effect.

Andrew Catchpole caught up with Álvaro Palacios, the Spanish winemaker who has done more than most to show the world what Spanish terroir has to offer.

Regular columnist Jerry Lockspieser called time on the current rules for wine.

And Guy Woodward argued that most wine and food pairing is tosh.

Joe Fattorini: The pratfall effect

Q&A: Alvaro Palacios

Jerry Lockspieser: Is it time to change the rules about wine?

Guy Woodward: I'm not trying to do sommeliers out of a job