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15 August 2016
Wine-making in Brazil

As Brazil is getting a lot of attention right now it may be appropriate to point out that there are actually quite a lot of good wines in this big country.

It is perhaps not the first country that comes to mind when you think of wines from South America. But Brazil is rapidly becoming known internationally as a serious wine country and exports have grown dramatically in recent years.

Brazil is a big country. There is tropical heat in the north but down in the south, on the border with Uruguay and at 600 meters (2000 ft) altitude, the climate is well suited to viticulture.

Much of the Brazilian production is still simple wines. These are made from American grapes and sold locally, often in 5-liter carboys. But ambitious producers are now making more and more wines from European Vitis vinifera grapes. They call these wines Vinhos Finos.

Some producers have completely stopped growing the American vines. Overall, Brazil has today about 80,000 hectares (200,000 acres) of vineyards. Out of these 80,000 hectares between 10,000 ha and 15,000 ha (between 25,000 acres and 37,000 acres) are planted with European grapes.

For most producers, the American grapes are an important part of their production. At Vinhos Mioranza, for example, founder Antônio Alvise Mioranza and his grandson Diego make 7 million litres (1.85 million US gallon) of vinho de mesa (table wine) from American grapes and 100 000 litres (26 400 US gallon) of Vinhos Finos. They are not ashamed of their table wines. The grapes are Isabel, Niagara, and Bordo and for this category, says Diego, the wines have a good quality.

In São Paolo it is 25 degrees Celsius (77 F) in August (and that’s the winter), down to Bento Gonçalves it is 10 C (almost 20 F) cooler. Bento Gonçalves is the main town in the wine region of Vale dos Vinhedos, 2 hours’ flight south from São Paolo. Here the vines grow at between 600 and 800 meters (between 2000 ft and 2600 ft) altitude in an undulating landscape that stays green more or less all year round. There is never any lack of rain in the Vale dos Vinhedos. They have around 1300 millimetre (51 in) per year (that is quite a lot in a wine region), well spread out over the year. Fortunately, most of the vines grow on well-drained slopes.

The climate is mild, without any excesses. The average annual temperature is 17.6 degrees Celsius (63.7 F). Average winter temperature is 12.9 degrees C (55.2 F) and average summer temperature is 22 C (71.6 F). As a comparison, the average temperature in Bordeaux in July is 20 degrees Celsius (68 F). Frost in spring can occur, but it is rare.

It is here, around the city of Bento Gonçalves, that the history of Brazilian wines began. In 1875 Italian immigrants arrived here, most of them from Veneto and Trentino in Italy. Accustomed as they were to grow and to drink wine, they didn’t hesitate long before they started cutting down forest and plant vines. Soon, wine was an important economic activity in the region.

Some of the first wines they made were sparkling. And sparkling wines are now an important part of the production of many of the Brazilian wine producers. Often the “charmat” method is used which means a second fermentation in tank (as opposed to in bottle as in e.g. Champagne). Some of the wines are made with a long ageing on the lees in the tank which gives the wines a good, toasty complexity.

The unpretentious sparkling wine called Moscatel Espumante is made in large quantities. The grapes are Moscato Branco and they often come from the tropical Vale do São Francisco in northern Brazil, almost on the equator. Here, the grapes are harvested twice a year. The wines are easy drinking aperitif wines with some residual sweetness, low alcohol and floral and caramel aromas.

Wine producers in Brazil are dynamic and very much looking at the export market. They have worked well because exports have increased dramatically in recent years. Many of them are very good at receiving tourists and wine lovers. Some also have hotels and restaurants.

Source: www.forbes.com

 
13 August 2016
Don’t confuse with Cava DO

Torres have announced their decision to differentiate their new sparkling wine, launching this year, by not putting the Cava name on it - therefore not signing it up to be part of the Cava DO, as originally planned.

The 2013 vintage of the sparkling wine will not be part of any denomination, even though it has been made in Catalonia and still using the traditional method.

‘This wine has been produced under the supervisions and parameters of the Cava D.O., but we have decided to separate ourselves from registering as Cava’, said Miguel Torres.

The Torres premium sparkling wine is made from grapes from vineyards 500m above sea level, in Penedès. 36,000 bottles have been produced.

The wine will also not be part of the Penedès D.O. In this way, they have more flexibility with winemaking in the future, and won’t be bound by limitations. In particular, Torres sees the potential of making wine from grapes in the high altitude region of Tremp, which would not be allowed under Cava specifications. ‘Gradual changes in temperature, due to climate change mean single estates in high altitudes in Catalonia would complement this style of winemaking.’

Source: www.decanter.com

 
10 August 2016
Fires on vineyards

A huge fire in Monterey County keeps getting bigger, but so far growers of the county's best-regarded wine grapes say the wind is keeping their vineyards safe.

However, the Soberanes Creek fire, which has blazed through 57,000 acres is not yet close to being brought under control. The state declared it 45 percent contained as of Sunday morning. On Monday night, US Highway 1, a major coastal road, was to be closed in both directions near the epicenter of the blaze in Big Sur.

Monterey County is an important grapegrowing area, with much of its fruit ending up in bottles labeled Central Coast. Monterey has the most white-wine grapes of any county in California, according to the US Department of Agriculture. It also has the second-most Pinot Noir grapes of any California county, behind only Sonoma, and is fifth overall in red-wine grapes.

The most prized grapes come from the Santa Lucia Highlands, which is due east of the fire. So far, winemakers and vineyard owners say that southerly winds have mostly kept the smoke away from their grapes.

The same is not true for Carmel Valley, which is much closer to the center of the blaze. Carmel Valley doesn't have the cachet of Santa Lucia Highlands, but it does make some nice wines, and this vintage of them is endangered. Bernardus Vineyards & Winery vineyard manager Matt Shea told Wines & Vines last week: "We've definitely been bathed in smoke."

While smoke will not in most cases permanently damage grapevines, smoke taint is a major problem for thinner skinned grapes like Pinot Noir. Anderson Valley suffered essentially a lost vintage in 2008 because of smoke taint from out-of-control fires. The wines can be sold, but either with an unusually smokey flavor, or, if heavily filtered to strip out the smoke, with simply less flavor than usual.

The Soberanes fire, which Cal Fire was started at by a campfire at an illegal campsite, has already destroyed 57 homes and claimed the life of one person fighting it. More homeowners in Big Sur were ordered to evacuate on Monday. Cal Fire says at least 650 structures are currently threatened.

Source: www.wine-searcher.com

 
12 June 2016
Bordeaux Estates Boost 2015 Wine Prices as Campaign Quickens

Bordeaux wine estates pushed prices higher as the sales campaign for the 2015 vintage quickened, with Chateau Haut Bailly increased more than 50 percent and Chateau Cos d’Estournel up more than 40 percent, according to Liv-ex data.

Haut Bailly, a grand cru classe in Pessac Leognan south of the city, will charge 66 euros ($74) a bottle, an increase of 53 percent relative to its 2014 wines, according to Liv-ex. Prices increased 42 percent at Cos d’Estournel in Saint Estephe to 120 euros and 46 percent at Chateau Pichon Longueville Baron in Pauillac to 96 euros.

The pace of Bordeaux wine-price increases has accelerated, with gains of more than 40 percent for leading estates comparing with increases averaging about 32 percent the previous week for other classed growths around the region and gains of 19 percent in late May. Some top estates have still not set prices for their new “en primeur” wines sold while still in the barrel, two months after presenting them in early April tastings.

“With the Bordeaux 2015 campaign now entering its final significant stretch, one trend has been noticeable,” Liv-ex wrote in its market blog. “The increases are increasing.” It said that a prediction back in April by its members that prices would rise 18 percent on average for 2015 “now seems wildly optimistic for buyers.”

After three difficult vintages in Bordeaux in 2011 to 2013 and a return to a more classic style in 2014, last year’s wines have the potential to be the best since the highly rated 2009 and 2010 harvests. An unusually hot June and July was followed by rain in August that helped the vines, and then sunshine through the harvest allowed grapes to be picked at their ripest.

Producers interviewed in Bordeaux and London have said that 2015 is shaping up to be the highest-quality Bordeaux vintage in at least five years.

Other estates releasing wines in recent days included Chateau Palmer in Margaux, which raised its price by 31 percent to 210 euros a bottle, Chateau Lynch Bages in Pauillac, which boosted its price by 40 percent to 84 euros, and Clos Fourtet in Saint Emilion, which raised its price 33 percent to 67 euros, according to Liv-ex.

Source: www.bloomberg.com

 
11 June 2016
Champagne sales 2015: the facts

“Champagne is back” said Vincent Perrin, new CEO at the Comité Champagne, when speaking yesterday at a press conference during the UK’s Annual Champagne Tasting, and referencing the global volume and value growth for the region in 2015, in particular the strong performance by Champagne in the UK market, as well as the region’s new turnover record worldwide, which hit a new high of €4.74 billion last year.

Such a figure, explained Bruno Paillard, president of Comité Champagne’s Communication Commission – who also attended the press event – represents 30% of the export value of all French wines, the largest proportion by region for the country, ahead of Bordeaux and Burgundy.

In terms of volume, the region shipped a total of 312.5 million bottles in 2015, which, Paillard admitted, was still short of Champagne’s historical record: in 2007 it reached 339m.

“We have not recovered yet our volumes of 2007,” he stated, although, as the figures on the following pages show, Champagne shipped more bottles worldwide in every year from 2006 to 2011, aside from 2009, when sales dropped to 293m, following the financial crash in October 2008.

Since 2014, however, there has been a turnaround in volume sales, and driving that global growth, stressed Paillard, has been the Champagne houses – not those producers classified as growers or cooperatives.

Indeed, referring to last year’s shipments, Paillaid said that volumes produced by the maisons reached 223.5m, which was up 3.9% on the previous year, while the growers accounted for 60.9m bottles, down 3.6%, and the cooperatives, 28.1m bottles – a fall of 2.7%.

“It is clear that the growth was totally due to the maisons,” he concluded.

Over the following pages is a breakdown of the key facts and figures regarding the Champagne market worldwide, with an in-depth focus on the UK market.

Source: www.thedrinksbusiness.com

 
10 June 2016
From Blood to Wine – Innovation in technology aimed to assist winemakers

The three students from the Institut d’Optique Graduate School, part of the Université Paris-Saclay in France, have created a unique, portable device, adapted from existing blood analysis technology invented by biotech start-up Archimej Technology, which allows for the real-time control of wine quality.

So how did they go from blood to wine? Mr Valecha said it started on the innovation and entrepreneurship programme he and his colleagues took during the first year of their master’s. Students had to propose ideas to students to adapt the companies’ technology.

Archimej’s monitor analyses blood by performing a full panel of blood tests, looking at 10 to 20 biomarkers – including cardiac and liver – in a sample. The wine monitor uses this principle to assess the wine quality during production.

‘What a winemaker does is take some samples from different stages of the production and sends them to labs to test the alcohol degree, sugar quantity, acid levels. We want to test these parameters at the winery,” Mr Valecha explained.

He said winemakers were interested in the product even at this early stage, when they are monitoring only one or two parameters – sugar levels and one of the acids. In the future, they hoped to analyse all the acids, pH, sugar, and sulphur levels.

When asked to review the monitor, winemaker at Enotria & Coe, Freddie Cobb said: ‘As we all know, wine is a living product that is constantly evolving, whether it be in the vineyard, during fermentation or ageing in tank, barrel and bottle. So there is always a desire by all winemakers to have an instant snapshot of how these wines are evolving and help them to make decisions in to optimise the organoleptic profile and limit the risk of spoilage’.

‘At the minute it has its limitations in analysing just one or two parameters, which can be easily and cheaply analysed in house. Nonetheless this could become a very useful piece of piece of equipment to have if the technology is developed to analyse more parameters in the future.’

According to Mr Valecha, winemakers currently spend around €2,500 every year for lab analysis, a costly and time-consuming but vital expense, given that whole barrels of wine can be lost if they are not monitored during production. Though they don’t have a price yet, the students do not want to exceed €5,000. Mr Valecha believes the monitor will cover a winemaker’s expenses and will be a sound investment as they can ‘test production faster, easier and won’t have to pay for each analysis.’

Cobb believed wine technology needs to be a complimentary constituent part of good winemaking saying; ‘I am always slightly apprehensive of this type of technology, as it can lead to “lazy winemaking” where winemakers can become over reliant on it. The best winemakers use both chemical analysis and more importantly organopletic properties to base their decisions. In this day and age, consumers are looking for expressive wines, yet striving for consistency in terms of quality.’

Source: www.decanter.com

 
10 June 2016
From Blood to Wine – Innovation in technology aimed to assist winemakers

The three students from the Institut d’Optique Graduate School, part of the Université Paris-Saclay in France, have created a unique, portable device, adapted from existing blood analysis technology invented by biotech start-up Archimej Technology, which allows for the real-time control of wine quality.

So how did they go from blood to wine? Mr Valecha said it started on the innovation and entrepreneurship programme he and his colleagues took during the first year of their master’s. Students had to propose ideas to students to adapt the companies’ technology.

Archimej’s monitor analyses blood by performing a full panel of blood tests, looking at 10 to 20 biomarkers – including cardiac and liver – in a sample. The wine monitor uses this principle to assess the wine quality during production.

‘What a winemaker does is take some samples from different stages of the production and sends them to labs to test the alcohol degree, sugar quantity, acid levels. We want to test these parameters at the winery,” Mr Valecha explained.

He said winemakers were interested in the product even at this early stage, when they are monitoring only one or two parameters – sugar levels and one of the acids. In the future, they hoped to analyse all the acids, pH, sugar, and sulphur levels.

When asked to review the monitor, winemaker at Enotria & Coe, Freddie Cobb said: ‘As we all know, wine is a living product that is constantly evolving, whether it be in the vineyard, during fermentation or ageing in tank, barrel and bottle. So there is always a desire by all winemakers to have an instant snapshot of how these wines are evolving and help them to make decisions in to optimise the organoleptic profile and limit the risk of spoilage’.

‘At the minute it has its limitations in analysing just one or two parameters, which can be easily and cheaply analysed in house. Nonetheless this could become a very useful piece of piece of equipment to have if the technology is developed to analyse more parameters in the future.’

According to Mr Valecha, winemakers currently spend around €2,500 every year for lab analysis, a costly and time-consuming but vital expense, given that whole barrels of wine can be lost if they are not monitored during production. Though they don’t have a price yet, the students do not want to exceed €5,000. Mr Valecha believes the monitor will cover a winemaker’s expenses and will be a sound investment as they can ‘test production faster, easier and won’t have to pay for each analysis.’

Cobb believed wine technology needs to be a complimentary constituent part of good winemaking saying; ‘I am always slightly apprehensive of this type of technology, as it can lead to “lazy winemaking” where winemakers can become over reliant on it. The best winemakers use both chemical analysis and more importantly organopletic properties to base their decisions. In this day and age, consumers are looking for expressive wines, yet striving for consistency in terms of quality.’

Source: www.decanter.com

 
02 June 2016
Viña Zorzal in the Academy of sommelier Mozart Wine House

2 June 2016 at the Academy of sommelier Mozart Wine House took place the presentation of winery Vina Zorzal and the wine tasting from the manufacturer.

Viña Zorzal in the Academy of sommelier Mozart Wine House

As the younger generation of producers of Viña Zorzal, the large bodega on the border of Navarra and Rioja Vinicola Corellana, observed ruefully to UK importer Ben Henshaw of Indigo Wine, if only their father had set up shop 15 minutes' drive further south, they could have sold all their wines as Rioja and had a rather easier time of things than they do at the moment, saddled with the rather obscure region of origin Correlana.

Work in the household is distributed: for the vineyards cultivated exclusively by hand and according to organic methods of viticulture, Mikel Sanz looks, for vinification, using exclusively natural yeasts iñaki, and for the promotion and export – Shabi.

In 2014 the lineup of wines of Navarre was joined by Rioja assembled in Alaves from old vines. The vineyards with the brothers work in Navarre and in Rioja, are high enough in the foothills of the Sierra Cantabria, about 550-600 meters above sea level, thereby maintaining a fresh style of wine and rich aromatics. At the winery the main principle of less=more. In an attempt to convey as accurately as possible the unique regional character of wines, not to say the character of each vineyard, the brothers try as much as possible less to interfere in natural processes.
Born this way a very precise, clean and elegant wines, able to convey the essence of what the philosophy of the family, and the uniqueness of the neighbouring two great regions! White wines Vina Zorzal have a pleasant, fresh taste, and the reds are deep and tannic wines from autochthonous varieties represent their region in all its splendor and charm.

At the tasting were presented white varietal wines Garnacha Blanca and Chardonnay, rose (saignant) of Garnacha, Tempranillo red wine aged in steel, and aged in French barriques Graciano, Malayeto (single vineyard) and the wine assemblage Señora de las Alturas.
In the opinion of the tasters for white wines Vina Zorzal has a pleasant refreshing taste, and the red is deep and tannic wines from autochthonous varieties represent their region in all its splendor and charm, show silky tannins, good balance of acidity and a long finish.

We thank our partners - the company Grape for organizing and executing this event.

 
26 May 2016
Meeting with the cognac producer Laurent Lheraud

On may 26, 2016 in the tasting hall of the Academy of sommelier Mozart Wine House with support of East European Association of sommeliers and experts took place the presentation of alcoholic beverages Lheraud cognac house.

Meeting with the cognac producer Laurent Lheraud

The presentation was held by the son of the head of the house Laurent Lheraud, directly involved in the processes of production, and exports-Director Alexander Massin.

Cognacs Lheraud are made by the traditional way, by double distillation, without modern electronic devices, plain caramel, sugar and other ingredients, by mixing alcohols of the same year, so they are different natural color and natural flavor and are unique. The bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC) controls all stages of cognac production, confirming their origin and quality.

At the tasting were presented cognacs Lheraud Cognac VS, Cognac Lheraud Cuvee 10, Cognac Lheraud 1979, Armagnac Lheraud 1979 and Pinot de Charentes Rosé Perle Collection.

The preferences of the tasters were split: some have noted the youthfulness and lightness of cognac VS, someone estimated the 10-year-old cognac for its richness, structure and body, and others were conquered by the power of the vintages.The sweet Pineau des Charentes called in the memory of each favorite dessert.

 
16 May 2016
Hail in Chablis vineyards adds to frost woes

Friday 13 May proved unlucky for Chablis winemakers after a hailstorm hit around 400 hectares (ha) in the area.

It comes just two weeks after frost damaged vines across Burgundy, including some of those in Chablis, and adds to a sense of foreboding about the potential size of the 2016 harvest.

From Chablis to Ligny-le-Châtel, the hailstorm crossed the north of the Chablis vineyard area from west to east causing massive damage to vineyards.

Approximately 400 hectares were affected by hail. ‘With 20% of vineyards damaged by frost and now 10% by hail, this is disastrous for a winemaker,’ Frédéric Gueguen, winemaker in Préhy and president of the Fédération de Défense de l’appellation Chablis, told Decanter.com.

Initial estimates suggest some vineyards saw 80% to 100% of their prospective 2016 crop destroyed.

But, it was a mixed picture, as if often the case with the impact of extreme weather.

‘The impact to in the Grands Crus is limited,’ said Benoit Drouin of Domaine Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin. ‘A part of Vaillons and Séchets were affected by hail, but what is most worrying is the accumulated frost and hail.’

Several growers and winemakers were pessimistic about the future. ‘The vines are stressed, and the flowering will be crucial for us,’ said Drouin. ‘With these problems, 2016 will be very difficult, and 2017 seems to be problematic too.

Source: www.decanter.com

 
11 May 2016
French winemaker threats secure Tour de France deal

Organisers of the Tour de France 2016 have agreed a promotional deal with winemakers in southern France in order to avoid a threatened blockade of the annual cycling race.

Winemakers in the Aude area of Languedoc-Roussillon had threatened to disrupt the Tour de France 2016 when it passed through their region, because the organising body had earlier signed up a Chilean wine brand as an event sponsor.

But, a deal has been struck to end the stand-off, following meetings in Narbonne between Frédéric Rouanet, président des Vignerons de l’Aude, Christian Prudhomme, general director of Tour de France, and Jérôme Despey from France AgriMer.

The trio agreed to a deal ‘offering French winemakers the chance to create a flag for French wine, in addition to separate flags for regional products’, Prudhomme told French TV station France 3.

Cono Sur’s Bicicleta can only be promoted at Tour de France stages outside of France – this  year Spain, Switzerland and Andorra – because of French restrictions on promoting alcoholic drinks at sporting events.

 
07 May 2016
Alcohol trade considering

The General Prosecutor's office verified the alcohol trade considering the mass poisoning of citizens.

To drink becomes not just harmful, but deadly. The poison can be not only a cheap drink, but expensive and "elite" alcohol, or rather his counterfeit. That is why the Prosecutor General's office charged all public prosecutors of subjects of the Russian Federation to verify the execution of the legislation in the production and turnover of ethyl alcohol, alcoholic and alcohol-containing products.

- The results indicate numerous violations of law in the activities of organizations and individual entrepreneurs realizing alcoholic production, - has informed the correspondent "RG" in supervising Department.
Prosecutors throughout the facts revealed retail sales of alcohol without a license. In the Vladimir region, for example, on materials of public Prosecutor's check concerning the individual entrepreneur trading wines and spirits without a license and without quality proof, was initiated a criminal case under article about illegal business. Total revenue from the sale of illegal alcohol amounted to about 2 million rubles.
According to the Prosecutor General, cases of sale of alcoholic counterfeit are widespread, as well as the illegal sale of alcohol via the Internet. Just over a month, prosecutors sent to court over thousands of claims about the recognition of the Internet saling of alcohol to be prohibited on the territory of the Russian Federation.

Prosecutors revealed more than 10 thousand violations of the law, brought about 2,5 thousand administrative cases and sent 64 material for the decision of a question on criminal prosecution to investigators.
The Prosecutor General's office informed the Russian government about results of check and proposed to define Federal authority with the right of extrajudicial blocking of Internet stores selling alcohol, as well as to toughen criminal liability for illegal circulation of alcohol.

 
06 May 2016
The best vodka 2016

Experts of the International tasting commission  "The Best Vodka 2016" announced results: the best product is produced by KIN Group of companies.

"The best vodka" - the professional competition, largest in Europe, takes place the 9th year in Russian research Institute of food biotechnology of Russian agricultural Academy, unites responsible producers of alcoholic beverage production.  
In 2016, despite the exacting requirements to manufacturers, leading experts from Russia and Kazakhstan have noted a high level of quality of the spirits presented on the competition. Medallists defined by blind tasting in 8 nominations. Winners became: “Matrioshka Vodka Cranberry” (the nomination "Special Vodka"), “Matrioshka Vodka Luxury” (the nomination "Bonus Segment"), “Matrioshka Vodka Honey” (the nomination "Special Vodka ") and " Katuysha Classic" (the nomination “Average price”). 
Assortment "Katyusha" representes four tastes: "Classic", "Ashberry and hawthorn", "Blackcurrant", "Rye bread", in the range Matrioshka - "Luxury", "Cranberry", "Honey".  
Katusha and Matrioshka have the ecological certificates of International Ecological Fund that confirm their naturalness, lack of chemical preservative and genetically modified plant-based objects. 
 
Katusha and Matrioshka first came on the market in 2000-ies, are brands with a rich history – various labels, different assortment, the main thing remained unchanged – the quality of the product, which is famous for "Moscow wine and brandy factory "KIN". 

Источники: http://www.kingroup.ru, http://www.alcoexpert.ru 

 
05 May 2016
Russia against illegal sales

The tax of duty for a license for the retail of spirits may fall from 65 thousand to 8 thousand rubles, but become mandatory for every merchant. 

Alcohol producers think that it will take the shops without a license and selling illegal products avowedly, the retailers, in turn, hope the new scheme create unified rules of obtaining a license in different regions.

The Ministry of economy recommended the Ministry of industry to study the issue of reducing the state duty for a alcohol sale license to 8 thousand roubles, subject to license purchasing by each market/ 
In a press-service of the Ministry of economy confirmed this information, noting that the Ministry's position on this issue will be announced in the near future. The Ministry of industry and trade let know to his working on the differentiation of the state duty for a alcohol sell license in conjunction with stakeholders, but it is early to tell aboout the criteria of differentiation. 
The Ministry of industry and trade has already proposed to differentiate the fee for a license, depending on the number of commercial properties and their locations. According to the plan of the Ministry, the tax will be required to pay for each shop or public catering arraging a single license for legal entity. However, the Ministry of industry and trade plans to reduce the amount of duty not so much: in rural areas it should cost 20 thousand rubles., in small towns (under 200 000 hab.) — 30 thousand. rub., in other localities - 50 thousand. 

Source: http://www.kommersant.ru

 
04 May 2016
Goud luck, Caroline Frey!

Caroline Frey, an oenologist who runs La Lagune in Bordeaux, Paul Jaboulet Aîné in Rhône and Château Corton C in Burgundy has bought a small parcel of land in Switzerland’s Valais region.

The winemaker wants to make late harvest Petite Arvine on the 2,000 square metre patch of land. ‘I have been thinking about this since 2002, when I graduated from the Bordeaux University of Oenology, and I would like to offer [professor] Denis Dubourdieu a case of the best Petite Arvine. I have always liked this grape,’ she said. ‘I like the Valais landscape and on the strength of doing my running in this area, I found a tiny parcel that suits me perfectly,’ she said. 
The parcel is situated in the town of Fully, in the west of the region, the only place with granite soil in the Valais. ‘Ever since I started making wine in Hermitage, I have liked granite soil, and I want to produce a late harvest of Petite Arvine on this parcel,’ Frey said. The vineyard was a mix of Pinot Noir and Chasselas when acquired by Frey, who is now moving over to Petite Arvine grapes and intends to follow biodynamic principles. 
The first wines are expected to be ready in 2018. 

Russia against illegal sales. 

 
27 April 2016
Russia to Open Its First Whiskey Distillery

Russia's first whiskey distillery is due to be built in the Kaliningrad region.

The project was announced by Igor Kudryavtsev, general director of the Alliance-1892 winery and cognac distillery, the company behind the move. 
Whiskey consumption has not decreased in Russia, despite the country's economic recession, according to Kudryavtsev. He said the new product will fulfill up to 35 percent of Russia's demand for the beverage and will also be exported to India, China, Africa and Latin America. 

The distillery will offer a domestically made product, which will be comparable to the world's best, Kudryavtsev said. He added that a number of foreign companies have offered to collaborate in the project. 
Investment in the new distillery will total 13 million euro ($14.6 million), according to the RBC news website. 
The manufacturing of whiskey became possible in Russia only last year after Russia legalized the production of distilled beverages from grain. 

Source: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/ 

 
25 April 2016
Italy has been overtaken in wine consumption

Italy is practically synonymous with wine and it leads the global export market, with one in every five bottles sold abroad coming from the Mediterranean country.

But Italians themselves seem to be losing their appetite for the beverage.

The United States topped the list of biggest wine-drinkers in 2015, followed by France and then Germany, according to a new study from the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV). It’s the first time that Italians have been beaten to the podium by German drinkers.

However, figures from Italy farmers' association Coldiretti show that wine consumption in Italy actually saw a modest rise of 0.3 percent in 2015, whereas in France it fell by 1.2 percent. On the other hand, the US and Germany saw more dramatic rises of one percent and 1.1 percent respectively.

Germans drank 20.5 million hectolitres of wine last year, compared to 30.1 million in the US and 27.2 million in France.

Italy fell just behind Germany, with just under 20.5 million hectolitres downed - the equivalent of about 13.6 billion glasses of vino - however, it does have a significantly smaller population than the top three wine-drinking nations.

http://www.thelocal.it

 
25 April 2016
Napa Valley wine train incident

The Sistahs on the Reading Edge book club made international headlines in August 2015 after they were escorted off the Napa Valley Wine Train, allegedly for laughing and talking too loudly.

The 11 women, 10 of whom were African American, were led through five carriages of the train before being met by police officers when they disembarked.

The women subsequently filed a lawsuit claiming $11m in damages for racial discrimination, with two of the members claiming in The San Jose Mercury News that the incident caused them to lose their jobs.

The Napa Valley Wine Train, which has since come under new ownership, has not commented on the settlement, following a request from Decanter.com.

At the time of the incident, wine train chief executive Anthony ‘Tony’ Giaccio said, ‘The Napa Valley wine train was 100 percent wrong in its handling of this issue’. It also hired a crisis management PR consultant to handle the situation. Giacco also promised staff would have diversity training in light of the incident.

The incident caused widespread anger on social media with #laughingwhileblack trending across the globe and other people commenting on racial discrimination they have experienced.

Napa Valley Wine Train was bought jointly in September by Noble House Hotels & Resorts and Brooks St.

http://www.decanter.com

 
22 April 2016
The Best Sommelier in the World

Arvid Rosengren emerged from a field of 15 semi-finalists to claim the top prize at the best sommelier in the world competition in Mendoza, Argentina, at 1am local time on Wednesday 20 April.

Sommelier at a trendy New York restaurant for the last two years, Rosengren breaks the mould of the previous winning sommeliers.

Most competitors have been preparing for at least six years for the tournament, which takes place every three years.

Sleepless nights, thousands of pounds invested in rare bottles, and zero social life are common elements of preparation. Japanese candidate Hiroshi Ishida spent last month living away from his wife and three children, for his final purgatory of preparation.

This year’s competition saw a record 61 candidates enter, and it cost the Argentine Sommelier Association £0.5m to host.

The quarter-finals kicked off with a blind tasting of two wines and four spirits, a theory exam and a service test.

A planned pitfall in the practical exam was failing to notice a dirty speck on one Champagne glass, and candidates reported theory questions asking for all the AOCs in Belgium and to list Germany’s wine regions by reverse size order.

The eventual semi-finalists were: Christian Jacobson (Denmark), Heidi Makinen (Finland), Henrik Dalh Johansen (Norway), Raimonds Tomsons (Latvia), Robert Andersson (Sweden), Arvid Rosengren (Sweden), Hiroshi Hishida (Japan), David Biraud (France), Paz Levinson (Argentina), Satoru Mori (Japan), Elyse Lambert (Canada), Piotr Pietras (Poland), Alexander Rassadkin (Russia), Gareth Ferreira (South Africa), Julie Dupouy (Ireland).

The 15 semi-finalists rose early the next day for 10 tests, including another written theory, blind beverage and wine tasting, a restaurant wine menu proposal, food and wine pairing and dealing with tricky clientele.

The finalists announced were the two favourites from the outset, David Biraud from France and Arvid Rosengren from Sweden, and a dark horse, Julie Dupouy, representing Ireland. Rosengren was first on stage as the curtain lifted to reveal a mock restaurant with 23 judges eyeballing the competitors.

First up was a service task to make a dry martini and serve three glasses of a Champagne that was not in the ice bucket. Each candidate correctly offered an alternative.

A whirlwind of tests over the different judging tables tested their ability to serve, blind taste, pair a wine list with a menu, spot mistakes in a wine list, and convince some clients to buy a few cases of an expensive wine.

Candidates then had to recognise images shown on screen for 15 seconds, including of DecanterChina columnist Li Demei, Almaviva winery, and a Daktulosphaira Vitifoliae.

Finally, each candidate had to pour a magnum of Champagne equally into 15 glasses without any re-pours and empty the bottle. Tension was palpable, and it took seven minutes to do.

A short tango interlude eased the tension as the judges totted up the final scores.

An engraved Champagne bottle trophy was duly wheeled on stage before the finalists’ sweating brows and Shinya Tasaki announced Rosengren as the winner.

Biraud came second, Dupouy third, Paz Levinson fourth and Elyse Lambert fifth – making it three women in the top five of what has often been known as an all-gents club.

http://www.decanter.com

 
20 April 2016
Italian wine ‘better than’ French?

Italy's prime minister Matteo Renzi has caused a stir in French media after claiming that his country's fine wines were better than those from France...

Matteo Renzi said during the Vinitaly trade show in Verona last week that Italian wine is now ‘better than’ French wine, according to Italy’s ANSA newswire.

Renzi said he also made similar comments to France’s president, Francois Hollande, during a recent meeting.

In the light-hearted exchange, Hollande is reported to have retorted that Italy might be outselling France in terms of volume, but French wine was more expensive. French media jumped on the reported comments last week.

There is an ongoing wine rivalry between the two nations, and both are seeking to increase exports of their finest wines to key markets such as the US and China.

Italy overtook France to become the world’s biggest wine producer in 2015, following a larger harvest, according to the International Organisation for Vine and Wine (OIV).

‘It’s really apples and oranges,’ said Ian D’Agata, Decanter contributing editor and expert on Italy and also for Sauternes in Bordeaux, when asked to comment on the Renzi and Hollande quips.

‘There are things that both countries do extremely well relative to wine, and others each could do much better; but the wines from these two countries are some of the world’s greatest, made from very different grapes and terroirs, so it’s almost impossible to compare the two.’

Source – www.decanter.com

 
18 April 2016
Heavy hailstorm hits vineyards in Burgundy

A fierce hailstorm described as the first of its kind by several witnesses means Mâconnais vineyards face a 'crucial' three weeks early in the Burgundy 2016 growing season.

A heavy hailstorm in Mâconnais lasting up to 50 minutes in some places damaged vineyards over an area of 2,500 hectares (ha) in the afternoon of 13 April.

Growers say that the rare spring storm has put their Burgundy 2016 vintage under early pressure.

‘We have never seen anything like it,’ Jean-Philippe Bret, of Bret Brothers, told Decanter.com. ‘I have talked to long-standing vine growers and they have never known a hailstorm during spring.’

From Prissé in the north to Chânes around seven kilometres further south, Mâconnais vineyards were hit during bud break. In some areas, between 50% and 100% of vines have been destroyed, according Frédéric Burrier, the President of Pouilly-Fuissé.

The most affected communes are Pruzilly, Chasselas, Fuissé and Solutré, and the least affected are Chaintré, Vinzelles and Lassales.

Hail also hit the north of Beaujolais, in Saint-Amour and Juliénas appellations, with moderate damage.

Jean-Philippe Bret said: ‘If the primary bud is destroyed, the hope is that a second bud will grow. Although such growth is likely, maturity of different vines will be heterogeneous. The next 15 days to three weeks will be crucial for the future of the 2016 harvest.’

On Thursday 14th April, hail also hit Cahors in south-west France. Vineyard damage ranged from 20% to 50% depending on plots and sectors, according the Syndicat des Vins de Cahors.

As in Mâcon, the force of the storm was strong with wind speeds of 100 kilometres per hour affecting nearly one third of the vineyards, approximately 1,000ha.

Source – www.decanter.com

 
01 April 2016
New professional sommeliers graduates!

Today in the Academy of sommeliers Mozart Wine House took place the presentation of diplomas for the first group of the course WINE PRO of this year.

New professional sommeliers graduates!

During  two and a half months students plunged into the fascinating and multifarious world of noble alcoholic beverages, learned to listen and feel wine, to define his class and style, to appreciate it professionally, regardless of own preferences, to find magnificent food and wine combinations, to compose a wine collection. The course WINE PRO is the most interesting virtual travel worldwide acquainting with culture, history, philosophy and traditions of various countries and the various people. Students regularly passed difficult profile examinations and showed brilliant results. Certificates of graduate of Academy of sommeliers Mozart Wine House, certificates of member of East European Association of the sommelier and experts, distinctive badges, and also tasting of great Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Riserva Fattoria dei Barbi wine of 1997 became a desired award for persistent work, thirst for knowledge and love to wine.

We congratulate our graduates and we sincerely wish them to achieve progress in the chosen business, to reach the highest and ambitious levels and to remain at the same time sincere and human as we knew them!

To learn details about activity of academy of sommeliers Mozart Wine House and educational programs, and just as to register in list is possible on the official web-site of www.mozartwine.com, or by the phone 8(863)206-11-22.

 
13 March 2016
The week "en primeur"

From 4 to 8 April 2016 a week "en primeur" (fr.) will take place in Gironde.

Bordeaux winemakers invite experts from all over the world for enjoy, appreciate and make an opinion about their wines, which just begun to form - the vintage 2015. The excitement and buzz last till producers call the sales prices and wines go on sale in June.
 
The sale en primeur means the purchase of wine will be available a year or 18 months or even 2 years. This practice, traditional for Bordeaux in the eighteenth century, allows producers to benefit the cash immediately, as well as to protect themselves against unforeseen risks. The buyer can get a bottle at a lower price (15 to 25% below the market price). Ordering he pays half of the cost and undertakes to pay the balance at the time of delivery of wine. This system was invented and developed in the 1980s. Formerly buying en primeur was possible only for merchants, but now has been made available and individuals. Even if for buy grand cru you must contact the negociant from Bordeaux place,  not directly to the chateau. Week en primeur always causes great excitement and leads to speculation.

En primeur you buy the wine not ready  tasting, and only following on the experts' conclusions. And that not guarant financial benefit, because  always changing prices. Going to the market, wine price can fall, especially if the harvest is high. But the possible advantage of futures is that it provide an opportunity to buy few bottles of some famous crus which would be inaccessible later, because the stars are not coast much. 

 As for the harvest 2015, experts call it promising because the dry and hot summer. Libournais (Saint-Emilion, Pomerol ...) and Medoc (Pauillac) promises some sweetness. Experts fear that the wine will be too warm.

This sale en-primeur has nothing to do with vins primeurs - the young wines, going on sale in October or November, and fitting within a year of harvest. This wine must be drunk immediately and it need to don't think. In Gironde, just the opposite. This wine needs to be stored,  it only starts to form after the famous week en-primeur, and that consumers will keep in the cellar before opening for several years. Their price justifies the thought about it ... Only one thing in common: both those, and other wines to their producers make a profit at the same time.

Источник: http://www.hachette-vins.com/guide-vins/actualite-vin/288/la-vente-des-bordeaux-2015-en-primeur-du-4-au-8-avril

 
02 March 2016
California wine veteran Peter Mondavi dies

Peter Mondavi, part of the Mondavi wine family and one of the most significant individuals in the development of the California wine industry, has died aged 101.obituaries Peter Mondavi died at his home in St Helena, Napa, on 20 February, said Charles Krug Winery, the family estate where he served as chief executive for nearly 40 years.

Mondavi died surrounded by family members, the estate said.
He will be remembered as one of the leading lights of California wine of the last century and his time at the helm of Charles Krug Winery has coincided with the US sunshine state – and Napa Valley specifically – establishing itself on the global fine wine scene.
In 1986, the Napa Valley Vintners Association named him one of ’12 living legends in the Napa Valley’. He was the last survivor of that group.

He was particulatly known for innovation, a character trait that extended from his student days when he studied the effects of cold fermentation on white and rosé wines – a controversial approach at that time.
Mondavi was also happy to speak his mind. When asked by Decanter in 2010 whether wine had become too expensive, he said, ‘Basic wines no, but the premium wines are just crazy. There’s enough multi-millionaires who make so damn much money who created the problem.’
He added that wine should not be just an income for those making it. ‘You have to love the wine business, period. If you don’t, then get out.’
After studying economics at Stanford University and oenology at the University of California Berkeley, Mondavi served in the US military during World War Two and returned to the US in 1946. During his absence, the Mondavi family had acquired Charles Krug Winery, one of the oldest in California and established in 1861.
Peter initially worked with his brother, Robert Mondavi, but the two went their separate ways after a reputed falling out in 1965. The pair were reconciled later in life, several years before Robert Mondavi died in 2008.
Among his achievements, Peter Mondavi bought more than 320 hectares of premium Napa Valley vineyard land in the late 1960s and early 1970s, helping Charles Krug to establish itself as a family-owned, estate wine producer.
Mondavi also spent a further $22m to plant around 160ha of land with Bordeaux grape varieties in the first decade of the 21st Century.
Peter Mondavi was preceded in death by his wife, Blanche, and his siblings, Robert, Mary and Helen. He is survived by a daughter, Siena, two sons, Marc and Peter Jr, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Source: www.decanter.com

 
01 March 2016
Five new Masters of Wine announced

There are now 343 Masters of Wine around the world after five more students passed the rigorous entrance exams for the exclusive club.

The Institute of Masters of Wine announced five new members on 29 February.
They include a winemaker, two wine buyers, a marketing manager and the owner of a hospitality training business, it said.
The new Masters of Wine are:
• Ivan Barbic MW (Switzerland)
• Eran Pick MW (Israel)
• Jan Schwarzenbach MW (Switzerland)
• Lenka Sedlackova MW (Czech Republic, currently based
in the UK)
• Stephen Wong MW (Malaysia, now living in New Zealand)
MW hopefules must complete both theory and practical Exams before submitting a final research paper on a wine topic of their choice.
It is notoriously difficult to pass, but that does not appear to deter applicants. The institute said that 74 students from 14 countries were accepted on to stage one of the programme in September 2015.
Ivan Barbic MW: born in Croatia but grew up in Switzerland and graduated as a food technology engineer at ETH Zurich, with a diploma thesis in wine flavour analysis. He is currently strategic buyer for importer Bataillard.
Research Paper: An assessment of the sensorial, economic and analytical impacts of fining agents without allergen compounds on a commercially important red wine on the Swiss market.
 
Jan Schwarzenbach MW: Studied viticulture at Charles Sturt university and oenology in Adelaide, Australia, before working in wineries in both Australia and Switzerland. More recently, he spent several years teaching at the WSET accredited Académie du Vin in Switzerland, and is currently head of en primeur buying for Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhône at the Co-op retailer in the country.
Research Paper: Buying behaviour of multi-channel retail wine consumers in Switzerland in store and online using the market leader Coop as an example
Lenka Sedlackova MW: Born and raised in Czech Republic but lives in the UK and currently works as marketing manager for renowned UK importer Fields, Morris and Verdin – part of Berry Bros & Rudd. She has a particular passion for Spanish wines.
Research Paper: An evaluation of the market position of Reserva and Gran
Reserva Cava in the London on and off-trade
Eran Pick MW: Born in Kfar Sava, Israel, and today lives in Tel Aviv. He learned about winemaking in the vineyards of Napa, Sonoma, Barossa and Bordeaux, and graduated from UC Davis with a BS in viticulture and oenology in 2006. He now works for Tzora Vineyards in Israel.
Research paper: The Quantification of the Variability of Meso climates among Important Vineyard Regions in Israel
Stephen Wong MW: Malaysian born Chinese, who originally studied law at the University of Otago in New Zealand. Despite completing his barrister exams in Wellington, Wong took a job as a sommelier and, after seven years, began a consulting role. He now runs a small hospitality education and support business based in Wellington, named Wine Sentience, training staff and managing wine lists.
Research Paper: The coincidence of a global financial crisis and oversupply an analysis of Marlborough’s controversial 2008 vintage and its consequences

Source: www.decanter.com

 
24 February 2016
Hugh Johnson donates wine manuscripts to UC Davis

Long-standing wine writer and Decanter columnist Hugh Johnson OBE is set to formally donate his research notes and manuscripts for books such as World Atlas of Wine to UC Davis at a ceremony in California this week.

Hugh Johnson, Decanter Man of the Year in 1995 and an Officer in the French Order Nationale de Merité, has chosen to donate his wine papers to UC Davis’ Peter J Shields Library.
The materials include annotated manuscripts and research notes for his books, including The Story of Wine and the World Atlas of Wine, now co-authored with Jancis Robinson MW and in its seventh edition.
There will also be examples of his journalism, television programmes, lecture notes and transcripts, and various other projects accumulated over his unparalleled 50-year career in wine.
A ceremony to mark the donation will be held at UC Davis on Tuesday 23 February, with 160 students and wine professionals in attendance.

Axel Borg, distinguished wine and food science biographer at UC Davis, told Decanter.com, ‘Hugh Johnson created the concept of world wine. He proved the popularity of wine atlases, and proved that you can make a living out of writing about wine.
‘Besides the historical benefits of this collection, we have an undergraduates’ writing programme at Davis, and for them to be able to study his writing process and revisions will be a great honour.’
The emeritus professor of English, Thomas Pinney, author of A History of Wine in America, will hold a filmed Q&A session with Johnson speaking about his career and the specifics of the work included in this donation.
The Peter Shields library holds over 30,000 wine books, with a special collections library of rare manuscripts, maps and imprints from 1450 to 1900. The library already contains the papers and books of legendary American wine writers Leon D Adams and Roy Brady.
‘It’s simply the greatest wine library in the world,’ said Johnson
Johnson’s horticultural papers have been donated to the Garden Museum in London.

Source: www.decanter.com

 
21 February 2016
Age and disease threaten Burgundy wine shortage

Burgundy wines may become even more difficult to find because of vine disease and smaller harvests from ageing vineyards, according to a new report by the region's wine council.

The future is challenging for Burgundy, according to a report by the Burgundy wine council, BIVB.
While demand for Burgundy is strong, and prices for top wines remain high, overall harvest size is set to shrink – and not just due to the perennial threat of hail storms.
Burgundy vineyards have ‘aged and the yields reduced significantly since 2000 in response to a range of factors’, said Corinne Trarieux, of the BIVB Technical Centre.

The first problem relates to degenerative vine diseases such as esca or fanleaf, which affect almost 14% of vineyards and ultimately kill many vines.
More than 100,000 hectares of vines across France were lost to disease in 2014, French government figures show.
The age of vines is a problem, too. In Côte d’Or and Saône-et-Loire, 60% of the vines are over 30 years old. The average age of a Burgundy vineyard is 50 years, Corinne Trarieux toldDecanter.com, which causes lower yields.
Turnover of vines is under 1%, according to Trarieux. The replanting of dead vines only and not the whole area – ‘complantation’ – is a factor in low production.

Trarieux concluded that, in the face of climate change, growers need to be proactive in addressing the various issues.
Relatively small Burgundy vintages in 2011, 2012 and 2013, have already reduced some wineries’ cash flow, preventing them from replanting, according to the report.
It also reports that owners of some areas of Burgundy Grand Cru or Premier Cru vineyards do not want to replant the whole area and reduce their revenues for four or five years.
To deal with this situation, the BIVB has launched a programme to help vine growers.
‘To increase potential production, a lot of things need to be implemented,’ said Corinne Trarieux. ‘But we must do this intelligently to avoid interrupting production.’

Source: www.decanter.com

 
15 January 2016
Concern as EU relaxes rules on vineyard planting rights.

Controversial new rules that make it theoretically possible for anyone to get commercial vineyard planting rights on any piece of land - such as on the banks of the Seine in Paris - have received a cautious reception from French winemakers. 

The long-mooted and much-debated deregulation of vineyard planting rights across the European Union came into effect on 1 January 1 2016. It means previous system of planting rights has been scrapped in favour of individual, ‘non-transferable authorisations’ that can be granted even on land that was previously not considered suitable for vines. Some fear that appellation systems could be jeopardised by changes to planting rules. Under the new rules, French regions such as Picardie or the Ile de France around Paris can legally bottle and sell wine commercially, whereas previously any wine produced in these zones could only be for personal consumption. But, intense lobbying from EU member states and winemakers has seen the introduction of ‘safeguards’.

New plantings cannot exceed 1% of the Member State’s existing vineyard area. For France, that means around 8,000 additional hectares in 2016. Plus, Member States have the power to limit vineyard growth in certain areas, ‘where properly justified’, the European Commissions said. Some producers were still concerned that the changes herald more to come. ‘Although very little will effectively change in the short-term, the new regulations set up the potential for bigger changes in the future,’ Jean Baptiste Bourotte, a négociant and winemaker in Pomerol in Bordeaux told Decanter.com. ‘It’s still important to ensure that vines will not be planted in unsuitable areas, and to protect the quality image of French wine.’

Under the new rules, the three levels for labelling wine will be AOC/AOP (appellation controllée), IGP (indication géographique protégée) and VSIG (vins sans indication géographique, replacing the former table wine category). Winemakers in all three levels can apply for planting authorisations. The changes are being brought in for a transition period that lasts until 2030, where all terms previously allowed on wine labels will still be permitted.

Source: www.decanter.com

 
13 January 2016
Michel Chapoutier buys Château des Ferrages.

Maison Michel Chapoutier, the well-known producer of Tain-l’Hermitage in Northern Rhône, has bought Château des Ferrages in Provence. 

The move gives Chapoutier, the pioneer of biodynamic farming in the Rhône valley, a stronger position in the fast growing rosé wine sector and is evidence of an expansion strategy in this area. Château des Ferrages is located in Pourcieux, between Aix-en-Provence and Saint-Maximin in the lowland of Sainte-Victoire. The estate covers 28 hectares and produces both Côtes-de-Provence and Côtes-de-Provence Saint-Victoire wines. With a 1,000-square-metre winery that has a total production capacity of 3,500 hectolitres, the estate currently produces 1,400 hectolitres per year. That is equivalent to around 187,000 bottles, with 90% dedicated to rosé. ‘To us, Provence is a natural continuation of the Rhône Valley,’ Corinne Chapoutier told Decanter.com.

Maison Chapoutier will retain the Château des Ferrages brand, and will not include its umbrella logo bottle  labels, Corinne Chapoutier said. She declined to provide any more details before an official press release. But in all likelihood, the Château des Ferrages estate will not operate using biodynamic farming methods, at least in the short term. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. Château des Ferrages was previously owned José Garcia and had been in the same family for three generations. Global rosé wine sales are around 2.6bn bottles annually, according to the most recently released figures from research group The IWSR and trade show Vinexpo.

Source: www.decanter.com

 
11 January 2016
Australian wine veteran Bob Oatley dies.

Bob Oatley, Australian wine pioneer and founder of Rosemount Estate, as well as owner of the Wild Oats XI yacht, has died at the age of 87.

Bob Oatley established Rosemount Estate in 1969 and built it into one of the driving forces of the modern Australian wine industry before selling via a A$1.5bn merger deal with rival Southcorp in 2001.Five years later, he set up Robert Oatley Vineyards with son Sandy, and was also a keen sailing enthusiast whose yachts dominated the Sydney to Hobart race, and also won the Admiral’s Cup in Cowes. From modest beginnings in the Hunter Valley, Oatley made his first fortune in exporting coffee and cocoa beans from Papua New Guinea in the 1950s and 1960s.

He was named as an Officer of the Order of Australia in the 2014 Australia Day Honours. Fellow winemaker Bruce Tyrrell told the ABC News website: ‘He drove Rosemount into those early days of exporting Australian wine. ‘You know I remember in the early ’80s being thrown out of a New York liquor store because “they didn’t make wine” in Australia. ‘Bob and the crew at Rosemount were really one of the ones that did a huge amount of work to break that down.’

Announcing Bob Oatley’s death with ‘profound sadness’, the Oatley family said, ‘The Oatley family has been touched by the many kind words and tributes that have already been received from friends, colleagues and the wider Australian community. They thank everyone for their love and condolences.’

Source: www.decanter.com