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The week that was

Published:  03 May, 2019

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

Top news stories: Gavin Quinney’s annual en primeur and vintage report for Harpers describes 2018 as “an exceptional vintage”, with the top red wines showing “extraordinary depth, opulence and intensity”.

Closer to home, the London Wine Fair’s boss has come out in defence of the decision to charge certain visitors to this year’s show.

Meanwhile, exports of Australian wine to the UK jumped 4% in value to AUD$388 million last year, and 0.1% in volume to 242 million litres.

And Scotch Whisky now contributes £5.5billion to the UK economy, up 10% since 2016, according to the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).

En primeur report: extraordinary and exceptional 2018 vintage

LWF fees came from “aggrieved” exhibitors

Australian wine exports to UK up in value but volume stagnant

Checkout free shopping trial sees alcohol removed from shelves

Flavoured and spiced to replace white as favourite rum style in UK off-trade

Scotch Whisky fuels the UK by £5.5bn

The Benevolent launches campaign to push 'It could be me' initiative

Chapel Down creates England’s largest estate in Kent

Analysis and Insights: Brexit is boosting British job uptake in hospitality, but a severe worker shortage continues to undermine the sector.

On a lighter note, González Byass UK has been celebrating a decade of En Rama, which managed to shake up a moribund sherry category.

With gin sales still fast climbing, we also examined whether value can be locked in to future proof the category against peak gin.

Elsewhere, the Champenois are working to recover Champagne’s position in the UK, but are divided over how best to engage with younger consumers.

Stuffed on staff?

Ten years of Tio Pepe En Rama

Botanical battle

Has the king of fizz gone flat?

People and Opinion: Columinist Tim Atkin MW assesses the relevance of today’s wine writers, while taking ‘karaoke journalism’ to task for undermining expertise.

A different sort of quality control was also to the fore for Corpinnat’s joint president, Xavier Gramona, who is fighting to rid Spanish sparkling wine of the 'bargain-basement' image.

• Tim Atkin MW: The dangers of karaoke journalism

Q&A: Xavier Gramona, co-president, Corpinnat