of the biggest stories of the year.
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Reports a Warm Summer and Promising Wines
(Wine Spectator) Cabernet Franc and
Chenin Blanc look good, but Muscadet hopes
washed away by autumn rains.
Winemakers Report Great Wines, but Low
(Wine Spectator) Reds look more
successful than whites at this early stage,
with yields down.
Winemakers Call It a Power Vintage
(Wine Spectator) A very serious vintage,
with potentially ripe, powerful wines. Low
acidity and high alcohol could be a
challenge to winemakers.
Chapel Down winery pushes boundaries
(The Drinks Report) Chapel Down releases
England's first Orange wine with the 2014
Orange Bacchus, made by wild fermentation
and extended skin contact.
in new strategy as profits dip
(The Drinks Business) Despite a 50% drop in
pre-tax profits and total debt of £25
million, new CEO Rowan Gormley is upbeat and
confident for future "sustainable growth".
wines ‘scarce but promising’, say producers
(Decanter) With the earliest harvest in over
15 years quality is high, but after 3 years
of drought quantity is low with yields down
by as much as 50%.
Chief to lower alcohol guidelines
(The Drinks Business) Dame Sally Davies is
set to call for a reduction to 10 units per
week, a significant drop from the current
(1995) guidelines of 2-3 units per day for
women and 3-4 for men.
Aldi and Lidl's fixed price model
(The Drinks Business) An end to half-price
promotions as the retailer cuts its wine
range from over 950 to 660 and employs an
average pricing structure.
scraps 6-bottle minimum
(The Drinks Business) Majestic have dropped
their long-standing minimum purchase
requirement in an attempts to provide
"simpler, clearer pricing".
Spot as World's Biggest Wine Producer From
(Bloomberg) In the regular merry-go-round of
biggest producer the
latest OIV figures show Italy overtaking
France after a 10% increase in production to
48.9 million hectoliters (6.5 billion
bottles). The OIV figures show a global
increase in production by 2%.
Ridgeview to Chinese Premier
(The Drinks Business) Ridgeview’s
‘Grosvenor’ 2009 brut makes the banquet menu
(curiously in French, given the occasion)
along with Burgundy, Bordeaux, Vin de
Constance and a vintage Port.
growers predict high-quality 2015 vintage
(Harpers) The 2015 vintage looks set to be
exceptional, according to wineries from
across California. In
related news, Wine Searcher reports that
Napa wine prices are likely to continue
rising due to the small harvest.
Wine. Yes, it's a thing...
(Wine.co.za) South African winemakers are
starting to use the indigenous Roobis as an
alternative to oak for winemaking, with the
added advantage of no sulphites required.
How Big Is
China's Counterfeit-Wine Problem? French
Report Calls It An Industry
(Wine Spectator) "For every real bottle of
French wine in China, there is at least one
counterfeit bottle...an industrialization of
counterfeiting... very high quality wine
making it difficult to tell the real
from the fake".
winemakers plant hedges to cut pesticide
(Decanter) With concerns over pesticide use
and illness, winemakers in the Bourg
appellation are to plant hedgerows around
vineyards in 27 ‘sensitive sites’ around the
appellation, including crèches, schools and
Chenin Blanc hailed as the best white wine
from South Africa
(Wine.co.za) Kleine Zalze’s Family Reserve
Chenin Blanc 2013 voted best white at the
Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, with
their 2015 Cellar Selection Chenin Blanc
Bush Vines heralded as ‘Best of Show - South
Africa White’ at the Mundus Vini
International Wine Awards.
Napa Wraps Up
Earliest Harvest in Years
(Wines and Vines) With most grapegrowers
finishing off harvest "yields are down,
quality is high and drought and wildfires
haven’t impacted the crop.”
Authentic Wine in the Angel's Share
(Wine Spectator) Californian researchers are
trying to create a non-invasive, vacuum
based technique for radiocarbon dating wine
that could be used to detect counterfeits.
(The Drinks Business) New rules to be
implemented in the next 2 years aim to
ensure at least 85% of fruit comes from the
area on the label. Currently 75% of
grapes/concentrated must destined for
Japanese wine are imported.
for early 2015 wine harvest
(Decanter) A hot and dry growing season
means some Rioja producers expect to begin
the 2015 wine harvest up to a month early,
with expectations of a quality harvest.
French lawmakers scrap reform plan
(Decanter) The Constitutional Council,
France's highest lawmaking body, has
rejected plans to soften the controversial
Grgich wines in Croatia
(Decanter) Wildfires on Croatia's Dalmatian
coast are believed to have destroyed
vineyards on the Peljesac peninsula and the
island of Korcula. The Grgich winery near
Dubrovnik, the sister operation of Mike
Grgich’s eponymous estate in Napa Valley,
has lost thousands of bottles worth of wine
- although the winery itself was undamaged.
newcomer Rathfinny Estate bottles first wine
(Decanter) Sussex-based Rathfinny began
bottling its first wines on 18 May, around
one year after opening its winery, with 6000
bottles of still wine for release and 6000
bottles of sparkling for lees aging.
Small quantities mark en primeur campaign
amid flurry of releases
(Decanter) Prices up by between 15% and 25%
on the 2013 vintage but small quantities on
Report: Australia and New Zealand
(Wine Searcher) New Zealand "an early start
and an early finish " with a smaller
harvest, especially for Sauvignon Blanc.
Similar news from Australia with yields down
but high quality expected, especially
Margaret River and the Yarra Valley.
Report: South Africa
(Wine Searcher) "Like a rat up a
drainpipe being pursued by a Cape cobra"
- up to a month early in places; a
challenge, but with potentially high
Report: South America
(Wine Searcher) Heat, floods and volcanoes
in Chile suggest a mixed vintage, while wet
and warm in Argentina led to a fifficult
harvest with a lot of rot.
production hit record highs in 2014
(Decanter) U.K. Vineyards have doubled in
the last 7 years (>2000ha) and now produce
6.3 million bottles, 4 million sparkling.
(Wines and Vines) Does California have a
"normal" rainfall pattern? Although area
like Paso Robles and the Central Valley are
in water crisis others, such as Napa and
Sonoma, are coping well.
Bordeaux Blend in China's Shangri-La
(Wine Searcher) An exclusive Cabernet-Merlot
blend from "a very, very remote part of
China" is due for release in October 2015,
"but it will be expensive".
drought will worsen, says forecasts
(The Drinks Business) After four years of
drought California faces another long, dry
bacteria key to wine style?
(The Drinks Business) New research suggests
it's the bacteria in the soil that plays the
biggest part in wine style & "terroir", with
management of the vineyard "microbiome" an
important future consideration in
triumphs in maturation test
(The Drinks Busines) IN attempts to
challenge existing misconceptions about
screwcaps four prestige Australian reds went
through a blind tasting at VinItaly; with
the screwcap versions finding most favour
after 10-14 years in bottle.
Tragedy and Relief for Chilean Wineries
(Wine Searcher) 30mm of rain falls in 3 days
in Northern Chile, after the last 3 years
which saw only 45mm. It harvest time for
Chilean winemakers so this causes major
in home use as it starts to builds a
(Hapers) Coravin, the gadget that allows you
drink wine without opening the bottle, is
looking to broaden its reach in the UK
through as it targets in-home users.
Spark Fear Over Arsenic in Wine
(Wine-Searcher) In what seems to be a
cynical economic ploy to create a market for
wine testing a lawsuit is filed in the U.S.
claiming high levels of Arsenic are to be
found: "It's the equivalent of yelling
fire in a crowded theater when there is no
fire and in fact, everything's perfectly
California's Wine Institute have
published a Fact Sheet for those
Owner Executes Investor
(Wine-Searcher) Robert Dahl, of Dahl
Vineyards in Yountville, shoots and kills
his business partner before fleeing from
deputies and later killing himself.
Chancellor courts wine drinkers with tax
(Decanter) Chancellor George Osborne
announced a freeze on wine duty, although
beer & spirits saw tax cut, something that
has not happened for wine since 1984. Only
Ireland has higher taxes for wine in the
wineries facing 'shortage of grapes'
(Decanter) Priorat and Mallorcan wineries
are experiencing grape shortages this year
leading to likely price increases and
wine estates battle to save vineyards from
(Decanter) Wildfires near Cape Town may have
scorched several vineyards and smoke-taint
is a worry, although the early start to the
2015 grape harvest may have helped many
wineries with a lot of fruit already pciked.
close at the end of 2015
(The Drinks Business) London's wine
experience venue Vinopolis is to close after
15 years, described as “the best possible
decision for the business and its
Wine is now the
UK's most popular alcohol drink
(Harpers) Wine is now the most popular
alcohol drink with 60% of adults, according
to a new poll commissioned by the Wine and
Spirit Trade Association.
archaeologist' creates authentic ales and
wines using 2,000-year-old residues in pots
(Daily Mail) Dr Patrick McGovern analyses
residues found on fragments of pottery and
studies references in texts to create
glass of wine increases stroke risk by third
(The Telegraph) Drinkers in their fifties
and sixties who had at least two units a day
had a 34 per cent greater risk of stroke
than those who consumed just under half the
amount. This is the latest in a run of
scientific research into the benefits or
risk of alcohol:
One day off drink a week lowers disease risk;
Does moderate drinking reduce heart failure
consume more wine than Italy by 2018, says
(Decanter) Germany will overtake Italy to
become the world's third largest wine
consuming nation within four years, but the
US still leads France ad number one.
Individual consumption is topped by France &
Italy at 45 litres per person each year.
New home for
500 year old wine
(Wine-Searcher) A wine made in 1472 - and
only tasted 3 times - has been transferred
to a new barrel following leakage in the
previous one in Alsace.
Study: A drink
a day keeps the doctor away
(The Drinks Business) While excessive
drinking increases risks, for men who drank
up to seven alcoholic drinks a week the risk
of heart failure was down by a 20% compared
to those who completely abstain from
Think You Know
How Resveratrol Works? Think Again
(Wine Spectator) Research suggests that even
low levels of Resveratrol may still provide
a protective effect for cells.
places 1855.com in liquidation
(Decanter) The Tribunal de Commerce in Paris
has put French online wine merchant Heracles
into liquidation. The company included 1855,
ChateauOnline (renamed Ares) and Cave Privee
businesses, owed millions of euros to
creditors and buyers who never received
wines purchased en primeur.
are using sunblock to protect grape crops
(BBC) Winemakers in Australia have taken to
putting sunscreen on their grapes to prevent
them from burning in the sun.
pay over the odds as inflation rockets 3.4%
(Harpers) Inflation may have fallen to 0.5%
in December, but wine drinkers haven’t felt
the benefit of the drop in the cost of
living as inflation on wine rose 3.4% in the
Wine world pays
tribute to Serge Hochar who dies, aged 75
(Decanter) The driving force behind the
success of Lebanon's Chateau Musar dies at
75 in a swimming accident while on holiday
For 2014's wine news