Raise profitability or die

12 September, 2018

That was the somber message from Wines of South Africa’s chairwoman at the opening of Cape 2018 in Cape Town today (September 12).

Simon Tam, head of wine at auction house, Christie’s Hong Kong, has warned that buyers in the US and Europe will not be able to compete with Asia when it comes to buying top quality wines in the future.

Wines of South Africa non-executive chair, Carina Gous (pictured) told a packed auditorium at Cape 2018's opening seminar that profitability was a “huge, huge challenge” with many farmers giving up growing vines.

The harvest of the northern sector of the Rhône Valley has occurred prior to the southern sector due to favourable weather.

Tutelary Consortium for Prosecco DOC is anticipating strong productions for the Italian sparkling wine after near to perfect conditions continue.

Hubert de Billy of Champagne Pol Roger has been appointed as the new president of Primum Familiae Vini.

The official start of the harvest for Federweisser, a partially fermented, yeasty wine, in Lörzweiler, Germany begun on 6 August, the earliest start date on record.

Accolade Wines has announced it will be investing more than £1m in South African wine brand Kumala with a new brand creative entitled ‘Keep it Kolourful’.

Benchmark Drinks has unveiled a range of wines named after one of England’s greatest cricketers, Ian Botham.

AXA Millésimes and the Dotzler family have announced the purchase by AXA Millésimes of Outpost Wines, based near Angwin, on the higher slopes of Howell Mountain in Napa Valley.

Olivier Dauga was in London on 16 July to present new examples of his projects with wine producers in Bordeaux which focus on organic conversion and sustainability.

Matt Deller MW has joined Tor Wines in Napa Valley as chief operating officer, responsible for supporting owner Tor Kenward in all areas of the business.

Rathfinny Wine Estate, located in Southern England has appointed Jebsen Fine Wines as its distributor in Hong Kong, where it is set to launch its sparkling wines in September 2018.

Champagne Castelnau has launched a 2018 special edition design for its Brut Réserve NV and Brut Réserve Rosé NV bottles to celebrate the start of the Tour de France.

The Symingtons have reported high demand for their 2016 vintage ports anticipating a premature sellout.

Champagne Castelnau has bought a villa property in Reims, France to act as a new visitor and events center to open in spring 2020.

The much vaunted 2008 vintage of Dom Pérignon was launched earlier this month at a spectacular event in Hautvillers, appropriately close by the cellar in the vineyard – ‘Cave Thomas’ -- where Dom Pérignon himself made his wines.

The owner of a large estate in southern England has planted what is believed to be the first commercial Pinotage vineyard in the UK.

Champagne Palmer has announced that it has formed a strategic partnership in the US with TRU Estates and Vineyards, the fine wine division of Constellation Brands.

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust’s chief executive, Ian Harris, received the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) from Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace this week.

The International Wine Challenge (IWC) is to be launched in China, owners William Reed has announced.

The Uncommon is the name of a new English sparkling wine, made from Bacchus grapes, produced in Surrey, about 20 miles from London, which comes in 25cl can.

Eisberg, the alcohol-free wine, is expanding its involvement in cycling by sponsoring this summer’s Tour Of Britain and sponsoring two pro cycling teams, Storey Racing and Canyon Eisberg.

Seven Kentish wineries, Biddenden Vineyards, Chapel Down, Domaine Evremond, Gusbourne, Hush Heath Estate, Simpsons Wine Estate and Squerryes, have joined forces to form The Wine Garden of England.

Distell, Africa’s leading producer and marketer of leading fine wines, ciders, spirits and RTDs, has sold its Uitkyk wine farm in Stellenbosch to Warwick Wine Estate

Champagne Castelnau has launched Hors Catégorie CCF 2067, the second prestige cuvée to be released as part of its premium Hors Catégorie collection.

Wine company Advini, owner of L'Avenir, Le Bonheur and majority shareholder in Ken Forrester Vineyards, has acquired a majority share in South African wine brand, Stellenbosch Vineyards for an undisclosed fee.

Australian wine exports to China (including
 Hong Kong and Macau) increased by 51% for the year to March 2018, totalling $1.04bn – a first for exports to a single country – according to data released by Wine Australia.

The three port houses belonging to The Fladgate Partnership; Croft, Fonseca and Taylor’s, have each announced 2016 as a vintage year.

Japan has overtaken Germany in export volumes of champagne for the first time in history, according to data provided by Comité Champagne.

Rioja’s DO (The Consejo Regulador de Rioja DOCa) has launched its new brand identity.

The Symington family has declared 2016 as a vintage port year, its fourth since 2000.

CA Grands Crus has reported “pockets of real excellence” despite Bordeaux receiving “one of the most dramatic frosts since 1991”.

Finance experts believe that The Caryle Group’s recent acquisition of Accolade Wines will allow them to capatalise on China’s middle class market.

Charles Sichel, export director at Maison Sichel believes that the development of world wines has driven the quality of Bordeaux to its greatest quality level in history.

Camel Valley, the Cornish wine producer, has been awarded a royal warrant, by Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales. The warrant has been granted for its English sparkling wines.

Chilean wine must move for the premium sector in order to retain its growing reputation, according to Emmanuel Riffaud, general manager at Baron Philippe de Rothschild, Maipo Chile.

Aymeric Pollenne has been crowned Young Sommelier of the Year for Great Britain by Chaîne de Rotisseurs at its awards ceremony at the Dorchester, London on 23 March.

Just three days ago, a trade group representing California’s vintners issued a report showing China was among the top importers of the Golden State’s wine, bringing in almost $79 million worth of U.S. wine last year.

Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA has announced the appointment of Véronique Hombroekx as managing director of its branded wines division.

The Denominación de Origen Calificada Rioja has announced growth in its foreign markets across 130 countries.

China is expected to overtake the UK to become the second most valuable wine market in the world, according to data released by IWSR.

Drinks International's Most Admired Champagne Brands 2018 has launched in digital form. 

Austrian wine harvest up +36%

06 February, 2018

The Austrian wine harvest is estimated to be coming in at 2.6m hectoliters, a staggering +36% up on 2016 and +23% above the five-year average.

Cramele Recas, Romania’s largest winery, will launch a variety of new products at ProWein International Trade Fair, 18-20 March, Düsseldorf, Germany.

Romanian wineries are preparing for a big 2018 due to the lower global production forecast for the year.

Wine Intelligence has announced the appointment of Chris Hancock as its chairman, following David Scotland’s retirement.

The CEO of the VSPT Wine Group, Pedro Herane, has become a new board member for Wines of Chile, the trade association which represents viticultural producers in Chile.

Chinese distiller, the Yanghe Distillery Company, has bought a 12.5% stake in the VSPT Wine Group, Chile’s second largest wine producer and exporter.

A near 51% share in Catalan sparkling wine brand Freixenet has been offered to German counterpart Henkell.

Comment

Dominic Roskrow

Rum's time to shine

Who would have thought it? After decades of dabbling on the margins of the fashionable bar trade, rum is enjoying its most successful spell in the limelight since the early ’90s, when spiced rums swept all before them.

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