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South African wineries start petition to halt sand mines being built in iconic Swartland

South African winemakers in the highly influential and important wine region of Swartland are facing the prospect of two two large sand mines being built in the area of Paardeberg. This follows the decision by the local Municipality to issue two new sand mine licenses. A move that has galvanised support across  both the South African […]

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Q&A with Elias Fernandez winemaker at Shafer Vineyards in Napa

As part of the 10th edition of  Wine Behind The Label we selected 16 highly talented winemakers who have consistently been able to produce five and sometimes, super five star wines for extra recognition. The first of which we profile here, Elias Fernandez, chief winemaker at Shafer Vineyards in Napa, California. Where and when were you born? […]

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Steps to protect China’s currency could see a stop to investment in foreign wineries

The number of Chinese wine producers and businesses looking to buy wine properties overseas could be drastically hit by new Chinese laws tightening up the regulations regarding money being taken out of the country. It has been quite a common event for a major Chinese investor or businessman to buy up prime estate property and […]

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South Africa takes steps to make bottled and not bulk wine its biggest sector by 2025

  The South African wine industry is looking to make bottled wine its biggest player again, as the  volumes  of bulk wine now being exported from the country is putting locals out of work in key manufacturing jobs linked to making bottled wine. This is according to new figures revealed by the Wine Industry Strategic Exercise, […]

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Jascots shines light on which countries and varieties are selling most on London wine lists

It can often be hard to really know what wine is selling in the UK premium on-trade as there is not much data or independent research on the sector. Step forward Jascots Wine Merchants which has for the second year carried out an independent assessment of 240 wine lists in London and analysed the countries, grape […]

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Australia’s strategy to push more premium wines is working in the UK and Europe

Australia’s strategy to drive a more premium offer in the UK and Europe appears to be working with the latest set of export figures showing bottled wine is increasing whilst bulk is in decline. Whilst 80% of the wine shipped to the UK from Australia comes in bulk that share declined by 14% in 2016 […]

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Spain is king when it comes to global bulk wine trades

When it comes to bulk wine then Spain stands heads and shoulders above the rest of the world of wine, accounting for half of the top 10 bulk wine trading routes around the world. That is according to the latest figures released by the American Association of Wine Economists.  The figures have raised some eyebrows in Europe […]

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New Zealand recovers from earthquake and is set for average 2017 vintage

Despite suffering major earthquake damage in the country’s key wine producing regions of its South Island, New Zealand is on course for an average 2017 vintage, according to Phil Gregan, chief executive of New Zealand Winegrowers.   Speaking to Wine Behind the Label this week he said the country was coming out of what was […]

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Major South African wineries caught up in wild fires in Somerset West

South Africa’s winelands have been hit again by a series of wildfires that has caused damage to major wineries including Vergelegen, Morgenster, Lourensford and Waterkloof. The fires have already caused some serious damage to vines, but the full consequences won’t be known until they have had a full assessment from viticulture experts. The fire broke […]

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Argentina and New Zealand enjoy record breaking year of sales in the UK

Argentina and New Zealand were the two stand out performing countries in the UK in terms of wines sales growth in 2016, according to new figures from the Wine & Spirit Trade Association. Its latest Market Report shows that UK drinkers bought over 20 million litres of Argentinian wine, almost 27 million bottles, in the […]

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Côtes du Rhône Villages agrees to add three new appellations

Steps have been made to increase the Côtes du Rhône Villages with three new appellations added that will be able to market their status in 2017. The three new appellations added include:  Côtes du Rhône Villages Sainte-Cecile; Côtes du Rhône Villages Suze-la-Rousse; and Côtes du Rhône Villages Vaison la Romain. They have all been approved bythe National […]

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Analysis: key things to know about Chinese wine market

The Chinese wine market has experienced impressive growth in the past ten years, but few would doubt that it remains anything over than an emerging market, according to Rabobank, which has just produced a report into China’s wine market: However, it is a market that is evolving, from one that was over-reliant on business and […]

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Spain’s Navarra region has enjoyed an “excellent” 2016 vintage

Spain’s Navarra 2016 vintage is said to be “excellent” according to the manager of the region’s Consejo Regulador.   In total around 83 million kilos of grapes were harvested – slightly down on last year  – with Ribera Alta accounting for 39% of the total harvest, Ribera Baja 28%, the Lower Mountains 17%, and Tierra Estella […]

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European Union wine subsidies favour the bigger wine producing countries

New research has revealed that when it comes to handing out subsidies and support it it some of Europe’s wealthiest and most established wine countries that get more better than countries you might think are more in demand. A new study published in the Journal of Wine Economics, shows its the EU’s riches countries that receive […]

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Consumer demand sees China’s wine imports up by nearly 20%

A further sign that China’s middle classes are opening up to wine is that the latest wine import figures that showed there was an impressive near 20%  jump to US$1.77 billion in the first nine months of this year, according to latest figures from the China Association for Imports and Exports of Wines and Spirits. The […]

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Rioja celebrates a “superb” vintage with great weather for quality grapes

Unusually good weather, exceptional condition of the grapes and staggered picking has resulted in a “superb” Rioja harvest. In total, 442.4m kg of grapes were picked, which was turned into 318.5m litres of wine according to the DOCa Rioja.   Both the quantity and quality of this year’s crop have been described as “highly satisfactory”, […]

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New Zealand producers count the cost of latest earthquake to hit the South Island

New Zealand is still counting the cost of what was potentially a devastating earthquake of 7.5 magnitude that hit the country’s South Island on Sunday night. However, early signs are the wine community has had a narrow escape other than a wine spillages, lost tanks and barrels. The quake could not have come at a […]

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Piedmont celebrates bumper 2016 harvest and a good year for Barolos

Wine producers in Piedmont in north west Italy are celebrating what they say is going to be a good, strong harvest, with grapes for their Barolo wines looking particularly healthy. Wine growers  across the region have been largely happy with the outcome of the harvest, reporting a bumper crop in some places and overall good high […]

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Chile and Argentina enjoy flying sales in UK off-trade

South American wines from Chile and Argentina were the two stand out performers in the UK off-trade in the last year, according to the latest figures from IRI. Chile’s performance saw enter the top five best selling countries in the UK for the first time with sales up 4.5% by value to £441 million in […]

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Bordeaux on course for a “great vintage” after ideal growing conditions

The 2016 Bordeaux harvest has been described as “a great vintage in the making” by the Bordeaux Wine Council (CIVB). Several factors conspired to create the ideal growing conditions, including uniform flowering, a dry sunny summer, evenly occurring veraison and the Indian summer which led to optimal ripeness in each plot and grape variety. And […]

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