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09 December 2017 № 338

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11 November 2017
Champagne LALLIER: work and passion

Aÿ’s winemaking history dates back almost 1,700 years to the Roman era.  In the 16th century, Henry IV, ”His Majesty of Aÿ and good wine’‘, created the reputation of still white wines from Aÿ throughout his kingdom.
Around two hundred years later, the invention of blending, and the control of secondary fermentation in bottle, gave birth to Champagne, the sparkling wine that we know today.

The first bottle labels signed by Champagne LALLIER date back to 1906, when the Champagne house was founded by René LALLIER (1861 – 1938), who had married into a prestigious Champenois family.
LALLIER has been deeply rooted in the village of Aÿ ever since. The shield that proudly adorns its labels symbolizes the historical roots of the Lallier name.
In 1936, Aÿ was one of the seventeen villages to be classified as ‘‘Grand Cru” in Champagne, a clear indication of the quality of the grapes that grow on its famous hillsides and the remarkable wines they produce.
In 1996, René-James Lallier, the founder’s grandson, took the brand in a new direction. He carried out major modernization work on the production facilities in Aÿ and refurbished the cellars in which LALLIER champagnes are left to age for many years.

27 August 2017
UPS to ship wine in three days to more countries

The US delivery company has said it is expanding its wine, spirits and beer shipping services internationally to quench the thirst of many of the world’s biggest wine importing nations.

This expanded service will allow more people to order their favourite wine brands directly from the vineyard and have it on their doorstep within three days – although it added that delivery time depends on location.

Its move again demonstrates rising competition in the wine delivery sector, and in direct shipments led by online orders.

‘Direct-to-consumer wine shipments are experiencing phenomenal growth around the world,’ said David Rosenberg, UPS international marketing manager.

‘Considering the growth rate and the customer demand, UPS has expanded services to an additional 36 countries with more in the works.

‘This service is now operational, reaching 24 of the top 35 wine importing countries. Our services also include the shipment of beer and distilled drinks.’

UPS’ main focus is Europe, where the service is available to 23 countries, including the UK, France, Switzerland and Belgium.

The second important destination is the emerging market of Asia, where 11 countries are able to benefit from the service, including Japan, Hong Kong and Mainland China.

The International Organisation of Vine and Wine estimates that 43 percent of all wine is consumed outside the country of its origin.

In the US, the home territory of the UPS, direct-to-consumer and cross-border wine shipping has been a fraught battleground in the US in recent years, with ongoing disputes between retailers, wineries and distributors. However, the market has opened up significantly in recent years.

US wineries sent 17% more wine direct to drinkers in 2016 versus 2015, according to an industry report released earlier this year.

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25 August 2017
Antinori buys Chilean winery

Italian wine giant Marchesi Antinori has bought Haras de Pirque winery for an undisclosed fee.

The family-owned Italian wine group, which produces Super Tuscan favourite Tignanello and also owns the Antica winery in Napa Valley, has been in a joint-venture with the Matte family at Haras de Pirque since 2003.

Marchese Piera Antinori discovered the Maipo Valley estate in 2001 and the the two families subsequently collaborated to create Albis, the winery’s flagship wine.

Albis is ablend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Carménère – Chile’s signature grape but also with a strong French heritage and still one of the grapes allowed in Bordeaux red blends.

‘We are very excited to continue our Chilean venture’, said Albiera Antinori, president of Marchesi Antinori. ‘We will focus on enhancing the quality of our estate-grown fruit through sustainable and organic vineyard practices’.

Eduardo Matte acquired Haras de Pirque in 1991, after a business career in Chile’s private sector.

The domaine extends over 600 hectares, including 100 hectares of vineyards planted with Carménère, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon blanc and Chardonnay grapes.

Located in the upper Maipo Valley, the region has a Mediterranean climate with rains occurring mainly in the winter.

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23 August 2017
‘Lucifer heatwave’ kick-starts early Franciacorta harvest

Hot weather and drought mean that some sparkling wine producers in northern Italy have started harvesting grapes 12 days earlier than normal.  Producers of Italian sparkling wine Franciacorta, in Lombardy, east of Milan, officially began their 2017 wine harvest on 3 August.

Picking began as the so-called ‘Lucifer heatwave’ became the latest spate of hot weather to arrive in parts of Europe this summer; leading to health warnings for citizens and problems for public services in several countries.

In the vineyards, many areas have reported that vines are ahead of schedule in 2017.

Franciacorta producers do not normally start harvest until after ‘Ferragosto’, a national bank holiday, which falls on 15 August.

‘The extremely high temperatures we’ve been having lately made us start the harvest,’ Mauro Piliu, export director of Castello di Gussago, told

The estate was harvesting Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

The official regulations of the region dictate that the grape harvest must not begin before 1 August. ‘It seems that recently we’ve been getting closer and closer to that date,’ said Piliu.

It’s been a year of extremes in many of Europe’s vineyards.

Earlier in the year, some areas of Italy, Spain and France experienced early blossom followed by devastating frosts, while others were affected by hailstorms.

Franciacorta is expected to see overall yields down by 30% due to earlier frosts, according to the region’s wine council. Piliu estimated that, due to the weather conditions, the 2017 production of Castello di Gussago will be 10 percent lower than last year.

Italy’s Coldiretti agricultural lobby said it expected wine production across the country to be 10 percent to 15 percent lower than in 2016.

Italy is not the only country seeing an early start to its wine harvest. In Spain, Colet winery, just outside Barcelona, has also started picking grapes for sparkling wines.

‘We started on 3 August, which is the record earliest in the history of our vineyard,’ said Irene Mestre Torras from Colet Viticultors. ‘It’s even earlier than in 2015 when the heat forced us to begin on 6 August.’ Similarly to the Italian Franciacorta region, the harvest in Penedes normally begins after 15 August.

Colet started with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Normally there is a time window between the picking of different variety of grapes, but due to the prolonged heat the ripeness of many grapes will coincide and the harvest time for each of their varieties will be about 10 days earlier.

‘Xarel-lo, for example, is usually harvested in September, but this year we believe we will have finished by the end of August,’ said Torrras.

Colet’s production drop is estimated to be at around 15 percent as opposed to 2016.

In France, the agriculture ministry said last month that the vineyard growing season was two weeks ahead of schedule in several areas.

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07 August 2017
Troplong Mondot has been sold to Scor

St-Emilion's highly rated Château Troplong Mondot has been sold to French insurance company Scor in a week of deals on Bordeaux's Right Bank, with Moueix family-owned Bélair-Monange also agreeing to buy two estates.

Scor has become the latest French insurance group to own a high-profile Bordeaux winery after news broke that it had bought Château Troplong Mondot, the St-Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé B estate, from the Valette-Pariente family. A fee was not disclosed but it would likely have been at the higher end of the St-Emilion value scale.

French land agency ‘Safer’ said last year that St-Emilion vineyard prices ranged from 200,000 euros per hectare up to 2.5 million euros per hectare, depending on the site. Demand was outstripping supply, according to property consultancy Vineyard Intelligence.

Xavier Pariente said that he would remain in charge at Troplong Mondot for the next three months, when Scor will appoint a new CEO.

Troplong Mondot has 33 hectares of vines, with 90% planted to Merlot, 8% to Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% to Cabernet Franc.

Separately, the Moueix family, headed by Christian Moueix and owner of some great domaines such as Trotanoy, Lagrange La Fleur-Pétrus and Latour à Pomerol, is set to add two new properties to its portfolio.

The family has agreed to buy Clos La Madeleine, a St-Emilion Grand Cru Classé, and Château Magnan La Gaffelière, a St-Emilion Grand Cru, via its existing ownership of Château Bélair-Monange.

‘The acquisition is in progress, we are waiting for the legal processes to be completed,’ Christian Moueix told

With only 2.3 hectares, Clos La Madeleine is closest to Bélair-Monange and Château Ausone on the limestone plateau of St-Emilion and planted with 76% Merlot and 24% Cabernet Franc.

It was previously owned by more than 80 investors managed by Société Générale, a French bank and investment company.

Château Magnan La Gaffelière is a larger domaine with ‘a lot of plots’ covering 10 hectares, said Christian Moueix.

‘The terroirs are very diverse and very different to Bélair-Monange,’ he said.

‘For this reason we want to keep them separate from Château Bélair-Monange even if the acquisition was made by Bélair-Monange.’

As with all wines from the Moueix family, the wines will be distributed by Etablissements JP Moueix.

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04 August 2017
All Britons want for summer is a box of wine

UK wine lovers are returning in their droves to bag-in-box wines, according to Amazon sales data covering summer so far. Box wine – or bag-in-box as it has become known – is enjoying a summertime surge in the UK, with sales increasing by more than 200% at online retail giant Amazon.

Convenience, increasing environmental awareness and improving quality and choice were the reasons pin-pointed by for the 212% increase in its boxed wine sales during June and July, compared to the same period last year.

The city of Bristol led the way with a 650% surge in boxed wine sales over that period, followed by Leeds (up 325%) and London (up 137%), Amazon said today (27 July).

Its figures add to emerging evidence that bag-in-box wines have come back into fashion in the UK.

Waitrose said earlier this month that it was launching a premium range of bag-in-box wines. It began with a boxed Provence rosé, combining two contenders for the key UK wine trend of the summer.

Amazon said that its biggest sellers were JP Chenet Cabernet, with sales up 362% for the June and July versus last year, El Emperador Sauvignon Blanc (+216%), Banrock Station Chardonnay (+150%) and Banrock Station Shiraz (+123%).

‘As the quality and breadth of selection increases, boxed wine is becoming more popular, particularly over the summer months when it can be easily transported from pantry to picnic,’ said Sebastian O’Keefe, beer, wine and spirits store manager at

‘We have already seen the evolution from cork to screw top and our customers are clearly shrugging off the preconceptions of boxed wine and embracing the ease and environmental benefits of switching from bottle to box.’


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02 August 2017
UK police raid uncovers thousands of suspected stolen wines

On Thursday 20 July, officers from Serious and Organised Crime Unit of the Kent Police raided two warehouses  – one in Goudhurst Road, Horsmonden, the other in nearby Tibbs Court Lane, Brenchley.

They found a large amount of allegedly stolen goods – thousands of bottles of wine, along with flat screen TVs, marble tiles and air conditioning units. The identity of the wines was not available.

There are 127 palettes of ‘stolen’ loot, filling 4 HGV lorries. The police are now busy identifying the owners of these wines and other goods.

A 26-year-old man from Horsmonden has been arrested and bailed until 17th August.

The raids follow multiple complaints from at least 20 companies from outside the UK.

For at least ten years criminals have targeted wine producers in France, Italy and other parts of Europe. Typically producers are contacted by email by someone falsely posing to work for a legitimate UK wine business.

Orders are placed, wine dispatched but frequently diverted on route to a new destination where it disappears, while payment bounces.

Detective Inspector Annie Clayton said:  ‘We have received multiple complaints from victims who have alleged they have lost goods due to fraud and that these goods were delivered to storage facilities in west Kent; which have now been searched.

‘This is a complex investigation, which is being assisted by our partners at Interpol and the Metropolitan Police and which has so far resulted in the recovery of vast amounts of property we believe has been obtained by fraudulent means. The Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate is committed to tackling those who facilitate organised crime in Kent and we are investigating allegations, which are on a very significant scale.’


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30 June 2017
Hidden message reveals ancient soldiers’ thirst for wine

Scientists have revealed a hidden message on a fragment of ancient pottery on display in Israel, shedding more light on who was drinking wine 2,500 years ago in the region.

Scientists from Tel Aviv University used ground-breaking image technology to uncover an eroded message on the shard of pottery, found near the site of an ancient fortress and dating to around 600 BC.

Their research revealed an order for wine, oil and flour, most likely from soldiers stationed at the fortress, located near to the modern-day Israeli city of Arad.

For the wine world, the discovery adds to evidence of widespread wine consumption in the region at the time.

It is also a victory for multispectral imaging, which was successfully used by researchers to recover the message that had gone unnoticed despite the clay pot fragment being on display at an Israeli museum for half a century.

‘The text bears more than 50 characters, creating 17 new words,’ said researchers in a paper published on Public Library of Science (PLOS) One.

‘It begins with a request for wine – “If there is any wine, send [quantity]” – as well as a guarantee for assistance if the addressee has any requests of his own,’ researchers said.

It’s quite likely that the fortress was occupied by soldiers of the Kingdom of Judah, which was facing a tumultuous period that would ultimately lead to its demise in the same era.

Historians and archaeologists are building a picture of wine drinking and production in the region at this time.

Local wines were believed to have been dark and rich, although many had extra herbs and spices added, according to Dr Patrick McGovern, known as the ‘Indiana Jones of ancient wines’ and who is scientific director of the Biomolecular Archaeology Project at the University of Pennsylvania’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in the US.

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28 June 2017
UK heatwave sends Provence rosé sales soaring

Supermarkets and wine merchants have seen a strong increase in rosé sales in the UK during a heatwave that culminated in the hottest day for 40 years.

June 21st was the hottest day in the UK since 1976, with temperatures reaching 34°C celsius in some parts of the country. Other countries have also experienced a spate of hot weather, from France to the south-west US.

In the UK, has discovered that a week of high temperatures and sunshine lead to a surge in sales of rosé wines, and particularly rosé from Provence.

Asda reported an increase in rosé sales of over 26% compared to the same week last year; it saw a 170% rise in French rosé sales and also 250% in Australian rosé.

Waitrose told that sales of rosé were also up strongly, and Tesco reported that rosé sales were up 20% compared to the same week last year.

At Majestic, rosé sales are up 16% year to date since April 2017.

Provence rosé was doing especially well, with sales up 29% at the wine retailer.

‘Provence is flying – which, given Majestic’s already strong market share, is big,’ said Jack Merryless, spokesperson for Majestic.

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26 June 2017
Château Soutard owner buys neighbouring Château

Following weeks of speculation around St-Émilion, Bertrand de Villaines, CEO of La Mondiale Grands Crus confirmed to his acquisition of  St-Émilion Grand Cru Classé, Château Petit Faurie de Soutard.

La Mondiale Grands Crus also owns Château Soutard and Château Larmande in St-Émilion, and is the wine estates branch of French insurance company AG2R La Mondiale.

Château Petit Faurie de Soutard is Château Soutard’s neighbour, but there is no intention of combining them.

‘We will not integrate Petit Faurie de Soutard into Château Soutard’, said de Villaines.

‘Petit Faurie de Soutard is a great domaine, and we want to understand it.’

de Villaines also rejected the idea that he will use this purchase to increase the land area of Château Soutard.

Historically, the vines of Petit Faurie de Soutard were part of  Château Soutard, but the two have been separated since 1851.

The vineyard is planted on eight hectares of calcareous-clay soil, with 65% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Petit Faurie de Soutard had belonged to the Capdemourlin family since 1978.

Soutard had been previously owned by Francois des Ligneris, who was known for his opposition to the St-Émilion syndicat, and the appellations body the INAO.

No fee was disclosed for the Château Petit Faurie de Soutard sale.

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01 June 2017
Krug launches luxury festival for £400 a ticket

Krug has announced it will be hosting a lavish, night-time Champagne, food and music festival in Hampshire, with tickets starting at £395 per person.

Champagne house Krug announced that it will host a luxury festival called ‘Into the Wild’ this summer, where guests will be treated to barbecued meats cooked on 10-feet-high fires and paired with Krug Champagne. There will also be music acts, but no names were disclosed.

Tickets for the festival, to be held on 29 July from 4pm to midnight, will cost £395 per person or £750 for a pair, said Krug.

It said the event will take place in the ‘grand English wilderness’ of Hampshire.

More specifically, ‘Into the Wild’ will be set up in the grounds of The Grange, a 19th-century Greek-revival manor owned by the 7th Lord Ashburton. It’s a venue that already hosts an annual opera festival. 

The evening’s entertainment is said to come from South American chef Francis Mallmann, who will headline the festival with his open-fire cooking, using flames reaching up to 10ft high.

Dubbed by the Champagne house as a ‘culinary sybarite’, Mallmann is a celebrity chef who grew up in Patagonia, Argentina, where he first realised his love for ‘open-fire cooking’.

Olivier Krug, director of the eponymous Champagne house, said, ‘Francis Mallmann embodies the Krug spirit of a refined maverick’.

Mallmann will lead the guests across three sites of the estate, where his team will have cooked locally sourced meat and vegetables for up to seven hours on mammoth fires.

Each round of his barbecued meats will be paired with a wine from Krug’s Champagne portfolio in what is being termed as ‘rough luxury style’.

No live music acts have been revealed, but Krug has said new music platform Mahogany will be in charge of the musical pairings.

The event follows on from their ‘Krug Island’ project last year, when Krug Champagne partnered up with Mick Jones to throw an exclusive music festival on a private island off the coast of Essex. Young celebrities including Rafferty Law, Jaime Winstone and Tess Ward were in attendance.

The festival will take place 4pm-midnight on July 29. Tickets include food, drink and return travel to London at the end of the evening. You can register your interest at

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29 May 2017
Bordeaux 2016 en primeur

Its been the biggest week so far of the Bordeaux 2016 en primeur campaign, with Left Bank stalwart Lynch-Bages joining Right Bank big guns Pavie and Angélus on merchant lists.

A rash of price rises continue to be the signature of the Bordeaux 2016 en primeur campaign.

Today (24 May) has seen Château Lynch-Bages, rated 95 points by Decanter, at €96 ex-Bordeaux, a rise of 14.3% from last year, expected to go on the market in the UK at around £1,150 per case of 12.

That would put it in-line with market value and expected to sell well.

Yesterday, Châteaux Angélus and Pavie continued their policy of releasing at the same price, something that they have followed since both being promoted to Premier Grand Cru Classé A in 2012.

They came out at €294 per bottle ex-Bordeaux, a 16.7% increase on the 2015 opening price. In the UK, this translated to a price of £3,576, where sterling different since last year translates to a 33% rise.

Other releases this week include Château Carbonnieux at €25.20 ex-Bordeaux, up from €23.40 with the 2015 vintage.

Château Saint Pierre came out at €45.60 ex-Bordeaux (£548 in UK), Château Petit Village at €54 ex-Bordeaux (up 12.5%), Château Gloria at €30 ex-Bordeaux or £360 per case of 12 in the UK, Château Sociando Mallet at €26.40 ex-Bordeaux (up 18.9% on last year and around £315 per case of 12 in the UK), Château Langoa Barton at  €36.60 ex-Bordeaux (up 14.4%) and La Lagune at €35.40.

First Growths have also begun to show their hand – Château Quintus from Haut-Brion held its 2015 price of €96 ex-Bordeaux translating to £586 per case of 12 in UK.

Carruades de Lafite came out at €135 ex-Bordeaux, and the main Lafite-Rothschild 2016 – one of the wines of the vintage for many – released its first tranche at €455 ex-Bordeaux, just 8.3% up on last year but at volumes that were 50% down, meaning that a second more expensive tranche is expected. Negociants are almost entirely holding on to stock to release at an average price between the two tranches.

‘With more questions than answers, it’s a non-event,’ said Shaun Bishop, CEO of JJ Buckley Fine Wines in California.

‘So far, the wines with the briskest pace of sales on the first day of the release are Pavie, Palmer, Montrose, Labegorce, Branaire Ducru, Beychevelle, and Pape Clement,’ he told

In the UK, several merchants have reported a steady pace of sales, though not at levels seen for top vintages of the past.

But there is talk, too, of how the en primeur environment has changed. Paul Marus of Corney and Barrow told, ‘As each campaign passes, it becomes more evident that many properties no longer want to sell en primeur. They want to finance the stock themselves and sell bottled wines at a later date, at a higher price. It will be a whole new world, that could easily all end in tears.’

Source –

26 May 2017
Viognier saviour Georges Vernay dies in the Rhône

Georges Vernay, one of the men who saved Condrieu in the Northern Rhône and put Viognier on the world wine map in the process, has passed away at the age of 92.

Georges Vernay (1926–2017) was the pioneer of the appellation we know today as Condrieu in the northern Rhône. He took over at the family winery in 1953 with only one hectare in the Coteau de Vernon. His father, Francis, had planted vines in 1937 and at that time the domaine was cultivating several crops alongside vines.

The appellation of Condrieu was born in 1940, but the name was not officially listed by French officials until 1945, after the Second World War. The wines of this time were sold simply with Viognier on the label, rather than the name of the appellation.

Before Condrieu gained a worldwide reputation, the appellation nearly disappeared.

In 1960, the AOC included seven hectares of Viognier – believed to be some of the only commercially-planted Viognier left in the world at the time.

In 1986, it extended to 20 hectares; in 1990, it covered 60 hectares; and today the appellation covers 184 hectares.

It was Georges Vernay’s brilliance that transformed this small appellation into one with a worldwide reputation.

‘My father-in-law was a real, erudite wine grower who represented the [Viognier] grape,’ said Paul Amsellem, of Domaine Georges Vernay and husband of Christine Vernay.

‘He did not realise that he represented the grape all by himself [for a long time],’ he told

Paul Amsellem described Georges Vernay as ‘a forerunner in the comprehension of the Viognier grape but also in the techniques of vinification’.

He added: ‘He was one of the first to use thermo-regulation and barrels in the Rhône Valley.’

Georges Vernay was president of Condrieu for 30 years. Today, all the winemakers from this appellation have lost the forefather of Condrieu.

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19 May 2017
Wine evenings in Pinot Noir

Dear friends! We continue our series of enogastronomic dinners and tasting of the best wines in the world. Every Thursday at 19.30 restaurant Pinot Noir invites you to the dinner with fine wines from different countries, accompanied with author dishes of Michel  Cristmann, our great chief. He is an infinitely talented person with unique culinary skills, a true master of his craft, whose true vocation is high gastronomy.

Wine evenings in Pinot Noir

We offer special set of 3 dishes with 3 wines for fix price (2000 rub.) for these evenings. Maxim Kobylnikov, vice-president of the East European Sommeliers and Experts Association, certified sommelier, who has extensive experience in the wine and restaurant business, holds tastings.

To reserve a place, please, call +7 (863) 240-81-38.

16 May 2017
French Michelin chef Alain Dutournier about food and wine

Two-starred Michelin chef Alain Dutournier talks to at Château La Dominique in St-Emilion about the new wave of Bordeaux winery restaurants - recalling a time when merchants and high society were content to eat noodles with red wine at the city's Quai des Chartrons. Plus, see his ultimate, end-of-the-world wine list.

People who eat meat should be prepared to watch animals being killed and failing to respect the history of the land ‘is a crime’; Michelin chef Alain Dutournier is not short of passionate opinions on the subjects of wine and food, and not afraid to express them.

12 May 2017
Good luck!

On May 12, 2017 the exit educational course of academy of the sommelier Mozart Wine House in Gelendzhik has ended. This project has been realized with assistance of the East European sommelier and experts Association.

Good luck!

The employees of restaurants "On a Steep Slope", "Magnolia", "Ragout", "Hali-Galya" and others with original interest and enthusiasm have plunged into the many-sided world of winemaking, listened carefully and asked a set of questions, any of which wasn't left without answer.

Two months of intensive learning and fascinating tastings, and here – the strong foundation for knowledge is laid, final examination is successfully passed. We congratulate our graduates! Read books and taste more! Good luck to you, friends!

12 May 2017
More drinkers buy California wines above $10

Shipments of California wine across the US hit record levels last year, as volumes rose 2% to 238m cases, at an estimated retail value of US$34.1bn.

The increases mean that California wine shipments have gone up by nearly 25% over the past decade, said Jon Moramarco, founder and managing partner of BW166, which purchased The Gomberg-Fredrikson Report into the US wine market last year. The report is used by the California Wine Institute and US government.

‘The growth trend has been driven by population, which is up more than 12% over the last decade, and by the fact that baby boomers, traditionally the large population segment of frequent wine consumers, have been joined by millennials aged 21-38 who are also driving the growth in wine consumption,’ said Moramarco, in a statement released by California’s Wine Institute.

California wines priced at $10 and above are also on the increase, and now make up 19% of the market by volume, and 40% by value – while wines under $10 are flat or falling, despite still accounting for more than 80% of volumes.

Total shipments of Champagne and sparkling wines rose 14% in 2016 to 25.6m cases, with Prosecco driving the strong growth in the market.

Meanwhile, access to wine across the US continues to expand, with 550,000 locations that sell wine, according to market research company Nielsen.

As well as stores, bars and restaurants, these now include less traditional locations such as bookstores, nail salons, coffee shops – and even car washes and car repair shops.

Figures released in February showed that US wine exports earned a record $1.62bn in winery revenues during 2016, despite a double-digit decline in shipment volumes.



05 May 2017
Loire 2017 vintage in trouble after frost

There could be fewer Loire wines around from several appellations after winemakers were among those hit by heavy frosts across Europe, and some for the second consecutive year.

Loire Valley vines were also hit hard by spring frost in 2016.

Although it is still too early to have exact figures, some Loire regions and appellations have lost a significant percentage of their 2017 crop due to frost.

Unlike the historic frost of 1991, which occurred over one night, producers faced an exhausting series of frosts as they did in 2016.

The frosts occurred in the last weeks of April with particular damage on the 20th, 26th and 27th.

Damage varies considerably along the Loire. In the Pays Nantais (Muscadet), Savennières and Saumur-Champigny the frost is more serious than last year, while overall Indre-et-Loire department has suffered less than last year.

‘The 2017 frosts are more serious than last year with around 40%-50% of our vineyards affected, although we will not have a full picture until the end of this week,’ said François Robin, of La fédération des vins de Nantes. ‘The heart of the Sèvre-et-Maine has suffered most.’

Emmanuel Ogereau, of Domaine Ogereau, told, ‘Savennières was wiped out on 27th – only 10% of the crop remains and there is also severe damage in other parts of Anjou.’

‘The higher Saumur-Champigny vineyards, which are not normally frosted, were hit on 20th, while the lower ones to the west were frosted the next week, especially 27th,’ said Patrick Vadé.

‘Some producers have lost everything. The Robert & Marcel coop report a 20% loss in their 1800 hectares.’

Guillaume Lapaque, directeur at Fédération des Associations Viticoles d’Indre-et-Loire et de la Sarthe says that, ‘Overall the 2017 frost has been much less devastating in Indre et Loire than in 2016. We calculate that the loss in the département is in the order of 15%, whereas last year it was 50%.’



29 April 2017
Argentina harvest 2017: promising vintage

Off the back of a very wet El Niño vintage last year, it was a relief for winemakers in Argentina to return to its more characteristic dry climate. Although quality is considered high across the board, damaging spring frosts significantly reduced the quantity.

‘2017 is a fantastic harvest in terms of quality,’ said Santiago Achaval, winemaker at Matervini.

‘After 2014 and 2015 were challenged by rain close to the harvest, and 2016 in spring and early summer, we had a return to almost normal Mendoza weather. The only problem was a series of near-frost events during spring. This resulted in a poor fruit set for Malbec, with yields down between 40% and 60%.’

A slightly earlier harvest than normal was a blessing in disguise for Mendoza as mid-April experienced a big downpour of rain and several hailstorms.

‘2017 will be remembered for its excellent quality and low volume. Low yields and excellent ripeness led to an impressive concentration of tannins and very intense colour.

‘The tannic structure offers mouth-filling wines, and we can expect tremendous ageing ability.’

In Salta and northern Argentina the yields increased compared to last year, with no reported complications. However further south in Río Negro and Neuquén, late spring frosts also reduced yields by up to 40% followed by a hot summer, flash floods and hail.

Argentina’s 2017 vintage was undeniably smaller, but should stand out for its concentration and quality.



29 April 2017
The summer is coming!

Wine bars Mozart Wine House and French restaurant Pinot Noir invite you to the opening of the spring-summer season.

The summer is coming!

Now you can enjoy the warm rays of the spring sun, and of course, great food, fine wines and other noble drinks on the terraces of wine bars Mozart Wine House and restaurant Pinot Noir. And for those who are afraid of the cool winds and changeable spring weather, we want to reassure — terraces are equipped with comfortable heaters, and to the most thermophilic we can offer cozy blankets.

Wine bar Mozart Wine House: Pushkinskaya Street, 112, tel.: +7 (863) 2999–209.

Tapas-bar Mozart Wine House: Bolshaya Sadovaya Street, 130, tel.: +7 (863) 263-13-90.

French restaurant Pinot Noir: Pushkinskaya Street, 25, tel.: +7 (863) 240-81-38.

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