The 2021 South African wine harvest has been estimated at 1,461,599 tonnes, 8.9% larger than in 2020.

A bottle of 1821 Grand Constance sold for a record-breaking R420,000 (£21,222) at the Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction in Stellenbosch.

Pernod Ricard says its New Zealand wine brands Brancott Estate and Stoneleigh will be unable to meet global Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc supply this year after one of the smallest New Zealand harvests in 10 years.

A bottle of Pétrus 2000, which has spent 14 months aboard the International Space Station, is to be offered for sale by Christie’s.

Familia Torres has expanded its range of red Priorat wines with Secret del Priorat 2018 made from Garnacha, Cariñena, Cabernet sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah.

The Symingtons have bottled six Quinta Vintage Ports from 2019 and will release two en primeur – Quinta do Vesúvio and Dow’s Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira.

Vineyards across France have been hit hard by overnight frosts, partially compromising the 2021 harvest.

The Bollinger family has announced the acquisition of Oregon-based Ponzi Vineyards which will be its first winery in the US.

According to the Champagne Bureau USA, the exports of champagne to the US fell almost 19% in 2020 year-on-year.

Campo Viejo has announced the launch of Winemaker’s Blend, a new blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha and Bobal.

Terlato Wine Group has announced an exclusive sales and marketing agreement with Champagne Lanson to become effective April 1, 2021.

Wine research and content company Liquid Icons has launched The Golden Vines Awards and fundraising event that will support diversity and inclusion-related wine education funding globally.

Natural and organic ecommerce wine shop, Lucy’s Wine, has launched in the UK.

Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, the largest wine and spirits distributor in the United States, has signed a national distribution agreement with Foley Family Wines.

Drinks importer and distributor, Rusty Rabbit International, has launched a new premium champagne brand called Lapin Rouillé Champagne.

Online retailer Wine Access has acquired Napa Valley merchant 750 Wines for an undisclosed fee.

The London Wine Fair 2021 will now take place virtually between 17-19 May in light of the ongoing uncertainty around the Covid-19 global pandemic.

In branding, marketing and ownership, champagne is the spirit category of wine. Not coincidently, it’s also the wine style you’ll see most in cocktail bars – somehow a glass of good sparkles fits the environs perfectly. Then you have classic cocktails which call for its use.

Exports for English sparkling wine brand Nyetimber have grown by more than 90% in 2020.

Moradillo de Roa 2016 from the Legaris winery (DO. Ribera del Duero) has been named the Best Spanish Red and one of the 30 best wines in the world by the International Wine Challenge.

Third generation port winemaker James Symington has passed after more than 40 years working in the trade.

Prosecco DOC producers are now legally allowed to export Prosecco DOC rosé after it gained approval in the Official Journal of the European Union.

All of Australia’s top five export markets experienced value growth in the 12 months to September 2020 reaching a total value of almost $3bn, according to Wine Australia’s latest Export Report.

D.O. Cava has launched a new website which gives the Spanish Designation of Origin a new look with more digestible content.

Wines of Great Britain has appointed Simon Thorpe MW as its new CEO, starting Monday 26 October.

Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits has agreed to sell 100% of its shares in wine brand Moncigale to parent company Grands vins JC Boisset.

Milano Wine Week 2020 will take place from 3-11 October with both face-to-face and remote options.

Catena Zapata has released its 2017 vintage of Nicolás Catena Zapata and Adrianna Mundus Bacillus Terrae which will be distributed with La Place de Bordeaux in Europe and Asia.

UK retailer Majestic Wine has launched a new initiative called ‘Majestic Diversity In Wine Scholarship’ to help strengthen the wine industry's inclusivity.

Wines of Great Britain has announced strong positive growth in sales with an estimated 5.5m bottles of English and Welsh wines sold in 2019, up 70% on the previous year.

English winery Hattingley Valley has launched its first still red wine, a 2016 Pinot Noir, since being established in 2008.

Zamora Company’s Spanish wine producer Ramón Bilbao has begun organic conversion for vineyard plots in Rioja and Rueda.

Quintessential has acquired all US wines within the Accolade Wines portfolio including the production, global sales and marketing of four labels: Geyser Peak, Atlas Peak, Outlot and XYZin.

Grupo Sogevinus has added two brands to its portfolio through the acquisition of Quinta da Boavista, an 80 ha property that was part of the first delimitation of the Douro region.

Argentina’s Catena Zapata is now recognised as the best winery in the world having topped The World’s Most Admired Wine Brands, conducted in association with market research specialists at Wine Intelligence.

Taylor’s port has declared a ‘Classic Vintage’ for the third year in a row having experienced “exceptional” conditions in the Douro Superior region.

Sales of rare wines and spirits to Chinese buyers has led to a 25% jump in Asia sales during March according to global merchant BI Fine Wine & Spirits.

Ramón Bilbao has launched its Spanish Wine Academy online in light of the necessary postponement of its international events calendar this spring.

Domaine de la Commaraine has announced the purchase of 5,8 ac of vineyards in the Côte de Nuits to supplement the 9,3 ac of its Clos in Pommard Premier Cru.

Romania’s largest wine exporter, Cramele Recas, has purchasing a further three ventilators and medical equipment for the emergency hospital in Timisoara, Western Romania.

Snowy conditions have caused minimal vine damage in Bordeaux according to a report released by the Counseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux.

Argentina’s Catena Zapata has topped this year’s list of The World’s Most Admired Wine Brands, conducted in association with market research specialists at Wine Intelligence.

The Wine Institute of California has argued that wineries are an “essential business” and should be allowed to maintain operations during a lockdown.

The Institute of Masters of Wine has announced seven new Masters of Wine, from five countries. The total number of MWs in the world is now 396 in 30 countries. 

Drinks International has named Louis Roederer as the World’s Most Admired Champagne Brand in 2020, a magazine which ranks champagne brands from 1-30 based on the votes of the world's top wine experts.

Crus Bourgeois du Médoc has unveiled a new three-tier classification for its wines which have been introduced to add clarity for consumers.

Villa Maria premiered a feature length documentary called Vintage in London this week ahead of its Amazon Prime launch later this month.

Ridgeview Wine Estate in Sussex, England is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and the opening of a new winery at the estate. 

Champagne is a category in which brand reputation has a key role. Its expense clearly plays a part in consumers' brand loyalty - creating a reluctance to experiment with lesser-known brands as they might in the craft-spun worlds of beer and gin, for example.

Brands Report 2020: Sherry

28 January, 2020

That 90% of our sample of the world’s best bars say they stock sherry goes some way to explain the renewed importance of this Spanish fortified in the modern cocktail bar.

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Nick Strangeway

How the industry has changed since travel limits

Nick Strangeway looks at how travel restrictions have left a permanent impression on the global bar trade.

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