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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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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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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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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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World wine volumes down to four year low as bad weather hits vintages around the globe

The overall global wine production for 2016 is going to be 5% smaller after adverse weather conditions have hit most parts of the southern hemisphere. The situation has been seen as further evidence of climate change, with South American countries, including Chile and Argentina particularly badly hit. The estimates have been made by the International Organisation […]

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Beaujolais leads new French export drive in to the UK and reports strong 2016 vintage

It seems the UK wine drinkers are falling back in love with French wine, which will a mixture of comfort and frustration to producers reeling from the worst vintage in the country since 2012. Latest wine export figures from Business France show Beaujolais was up 18% in volume and 20% in value between 2014 and […]

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Richard Siddle: why Georges Barbier sets the standards for rest of on-trade suppliers

The UK on-trade is particularly well blessed to have such a choice of small, dedicated, highly focused and passionate wine suppliers that can offer a wide range of eclectic, innovative and edgy wines.  Many of which, like Red Squirrel Wine and Indigo Wine, are relatively still new kids on the block. But the idea of […]

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ANOTHER AWARD FOR WINE BEHIND THE LABEL

Cher Monsieur Moore, cher Monsieur Blech, Je vous remercie tout particulièrement de l’intérêt porté à notre concours international de livres sur la Vigne et le Vin, et la confiance que vous avez accordée au Jury spécialisé de l’Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin. J’ai l’immense plaisir de vous annoncer que le Jury 2016 […]

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When in drought: the California farmers who dont water their crops

Dry farming forgoes modern irrigation and, farmers say, produces much tastier crops. In a drought-stricken state, should others follow suit? Theres something different about Will Bucklins grape vines. At first its hard to notice, but a drive through northern Californias Sonoma Valley, past waves of green, manicured vineyards, makes it clear. The black ribbon of […]

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California, Oregon and Washington wines shine at Go West Tasting

At yesterday’s Go West! annual tasting California, Oregon and Washington wines emphasised that wines from west coast of the USA are gaining traction in the UK market. Over 300 wines were poured on site and exhibitors across the board seemed pleased at the venue becoming increasingly crowded over the course of the day. The success […]

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Wine grapes ‘can combat climate change’

The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) is investigating ways to use grape pomace to reduce livestock methane emissions – thought to be a major cause of global warming. Previous studies have shown that grape pomace – a by-product of crushing grapes for wine production – can reduce methane production in the digestive system of sheep […]

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