By Jim Budd – Tim Atkin MW, the award-winning wine columnist and Decanter contributor, is moving to The Times newspaper. Atkin’s first column will appear on Thursday 4th March, as part of a new weekly slot in the Times‘ new Thursday food and drink supplement.
His weekly wine recommendations will continue in the Observer until the end of March, when he will leave the Sunday paper. Atkin has written for the Guardian newspaper group since 1989, first for The Guardian and then, since 1993, The Observer. As part of their relaunch, the Observer reduced Atkin’s column to two wine recommendations.
decanter.com understands that The Times contacted Atkin just over a week ago. Atkin said: ‚It’s a bit of a wrench leaving the Observer after 17 years but I’m delighted to be involved in the Times‘ new supplement.‘ Jane MacQuitty’s column will continue in Saturday’s Times.
Mike Froud in Cape Town – The most expensive Pinotage in the world has just been launched – from South African estate Kanonkop. The renowned Stellenbosch farm’s Black Label 2006 is priced at R1000 (£83) a bottle excluding delivery costs, with 600 bottles already sold out and the remaining 400 coming onto the market in March at a price yet to be set.
Kanonkop owner Johann Krige said the 2007 will be released in September this year and the 2008 in March next year.
By 2012 the Kanonkop Black Label Pinotage 2012 will be sold in November of the same year, prior to release while still in barrel. ‚En primeur, Bordeaux style,‘ Krige said, adding he was confident a secondary market can be developed.
According to Krige, the Black Label has ‚more body, more structure‘ than the property’s industry benchmark, a Pinotage that has grown into an 80,000-bottle brand. From 57-year-old vines, it’s ‚a big wine‘ but ‚less typical Pinotage‘ than the 2007 vintage of the established, somewhat sweeter version that will sell for R190 a bottle from March. R1000 a bottle puts it among the highest price tags for South African wines on release.
The highest price for a current-release South African red at source is R1200 per bottle of the 2006 Rust en Vrede ‚1694‘ blend – around £100 a bottle before shipping. The next priciest Pinotage is the Ashbourne 2005 from Hamilton Russell Vineyards, retailing in Cape Town for R424 a bottle.
Kanonkop Black Label 2006 is available from www.cybercellar.com and www.wadebales.com.
French wines under the Sud de France umbrella brand doubled exports to China last year, to around 10m bottles. The brand, which is used by AOC and vins de pays producers and traders in the Languedoc Roussillon, was established in 2006 to promote exports.
Languedoc’s regional council opened an office for Sud de France in Shanghai in November 2007.
“We don’t think the brand would have made a breakthrough in China as quickly as it has if it hadn’t been for this office,” a spokesperson for Sud de France told just-drinks today (26 February). “There is no reason why the growth in our exports to China shouldn’t continue in a similar vein to last year in 2010.
“The Chinese market is maturing and while it’s good quality vins de pays which continues to be the main category in demand, AOCs are now gaining a foothold too,” the spokesperson said.
just-drinks.com editorial team – Charges related to an oversupply of wine in New Zealand have dragged New Zealand Wine Co into the red for its fiscal half-year. New Zealand’s wine industry is being „severely tested“ by an oversupply of wine, New Zealand Wine Company warned yesterday (25 February).
The firm reported net losses of NZD646,000 (US$447,000) for the six months to the end of December, compared to profits of NZD1.28m in the same period of 2008. Lower grape prices, as a result of oversupply, forced the group to lower the value of vineyard assets and take a NZD1bn charge in the half-year. It wrote down a further NZD375m to reflect a fall in the value of financial assets and lower grape prices directly. Continue reading „New Zealand Wine Co sinks to half-year losses“
„Wine blogging is the attention-seeking barking of lonely poodles,“ says Ron Washam.
Few wine bloggers would be surprised to hear him say it. Washam uses his own blog, Hosemaster of Wine (hosemasterofwine.blogspot.com), to skewer the industry in general and wine blogs in particular. If your mouse scoots to your browser’s close box while reading a wine blog, Washam may be the blogger for you.
Washam may rip into the wine blogosphere, but Hosemaster is a sign of how mature the wine blog world has become: Hecklers don’t show up inside tiny communities. Comprehensive lists mention 500 English-language wine blogs, with 200 others in Europe. There are no doubt hundreds more.
Depending on how you define it, wine blogging has been around for a decade or so. Wine importer Joe Dressner has maintained a bloglike site since late 2000. Food bloggers often incorporated wine in their sites. But those were small blips; today, wine bloggers have annual conferences in both the United States and Europe; many are convinced that „traditional“ wine criticism is dead and that they are the avant-garde. It’s not hard to find comments about „the Ivory Tower glossies“ that use phrases such as „dinosaurs.“ Continue reading „As wine blogs mature, what’s the impact?“
South Africa will probably harvest 1.24 million tons of wine grapes this year, 6.5 percent less than in 2009, the producer group said in its third estimate of the crop in an e- mailed statement today. Wine stocks of producers and private cellars will fall to 253 million liters at the end of this year from 337.2 million liters (89 million gallons) at the end of 2009, the report said.
Lucy Shaw – For the first time, the British are drinking more South African wine than French, the latest figures show. Sales of South African wine grew 20% by volume to 12.27m cases in the 12-month period ending 23 January this year, according to AC Nielsen. This is compared to a 12% decline in French wine sales to 12.26m cases.
South Africa is now fourth in wine by volume sales in the UK, behind Australia, California and Italy. ‚In 1994 our producers wouldn’t have dreamt of selling more wine to the UK than France‘, said Jo Mason, UK market manager for Wines of South Africa.
‚The wine landscape has changed completely and the quality of wine from South Africa is up there with the best in the world.‘ In 2009, global exports of South African wine reached nearly 400m litres. www.decanter.com
Nach längerem Leiden verstarb im 81. Lebensjahr der Pionier des Süßweines. Er begann mit knapp einem halben Hektar Weingarten.
Alois Kracher sen. verstarb in der vergangenen Nacht
In der Nacht auf Mittwoch ist der Illmitzer Winzer Alois Kracher im 81. Lebensjahr verstorben. Erst vergangene Woche war er mit dem Verdienstkreuz des Landes Burgenlandes ausgezeichnet worden. „Mit dem Tod von Luis haben wir einen ganz großen Weinpionier verloren“, sagt ein 75-jähriger Kollege aus Illmitz. Obwohl die Familie mit ihren Weinen einen Erfolg nach den anderen einfahren konnte, sei Kracher sen. stets am Boden geblieben. „Er hat nie seinen Erfolg heraushängen lassen. Er war bescheiden, blieb immer am Boden und vor allem war er immer hilfsbereit“, so der Kollege. Und wichtig dabei: Auf ihn war Verlass. Auf seine Meinung wurde gezählt. Er wusste, wovon er sprach.
Auch wenn sein Sohn Alois jun. – er verstarb 48-jährig im Jahre 2007 – im Rampenlicht stand, war Alois Kracher sen. derjenige, der die Weingärten hegte und pflegte. Und den Grundstein legte für den Erfolg der Krachers. „Ohne ihn wären wir vielleicht nicht so weit gekommen“, meint Enkelsohn Gerhard Kracher.
Mit weniger als einem halben Hektar begann Alois Kracher sen. die Weinwirtschaft. Heute bewirtschaftet Gerhard gemeinsam mit seiner Mutter Michaela mehr als 25 ha. Und fast bis zum Schluss stand Alois Kracher in den Weingärten. Er wusste, was zu tun war. „Der Großvater mit dem langen Gedächtnis und der intimen Kenntnis der Weingärten und des Terroirs.“ Dem ist nichts hinzuzufügen. http://kurier.at/nachrichten/burgenland/1980869.php
By Giles Fallowfield – Worldwide Champagne shipments fell by nearly 10% in 2009, according to new figures. Statistics released by the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC) show that a total of 293m bottles of Champagne were shipped in 2009.
This is down 29.64m bottles (9.1%) on the 322.64m bottles shipped in 2008. Shipments to markets outside Europe, principally USA and Japan, fell 25.1% from 55.75m to 41.76m bottles. Within Europe, shipments dropped by 15m bottles. The UK, Italy and Spain were the worst affected markets. Continue reading „Sharp fall in Champagne shipments“
Maggie Rosen – Counterfeiters have released 400,000 bottles of fake premium Fitou AOC wine onto the Chinese market. The wine is purportedly from Mont Tauch, a respected Languedoc co-operative which has been selling wine in China since 2007. Recently reports that its wine was being sold at very low prices began to circulate.
From 20 January to 5 February, BEM’s Wine MBA welcomed in Bordeaux their ninth 2010-11 Wine MBA class, whose Mentor is François Lurton.
On several accounts the 2010-11 vintage is exceptional:
– The international scope of the program is one of its main assets. This year again, the 14 Wine MBA participants represent 10 different nations: 3 are from the USA, 2 from Canada, 2 from the UK,1 from Brazil, 1 Italian, 1 Russian, 1 Argentinean, 1 from Chile, 1 from Portugal and 1 from France. As usually, the strong presence of Anglo-Saxon participants proves that the program is indeed recognized as a reference for high potential wine executives.
– Following the signature last November of a partnership agreement with Hong Kong University Space, and for the first time in the program’s history, 11 participants from the 21-participant Hong Kong cohort were present in Bordeaux for their first session of courses. Continue reading „A new 2010-11 vintage for the Wine MBA“
Jane Anson in Bordeaux – The former owner of Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is about to formally open Glenelly, her South African estate. May de Lencquesaing, who sold Pichon Lalande in Pauillac to Champagne Roederer in 2007, bought the 65-hectare Glenelly in 2003.
The official launch has been delayed until the sale of the 2008 vintage, which is the first to use grapes grown entirely on the Stellenbosch estate. A new winery was completed in 2009. When it bought the property, Roederer became 15% shareholder in Glenelly, but following some distribution issues over the wine, de Lencquesaing became the sole owner in December 2009. Continue reading „Ex-Pichon owner opens Stellenbosch estate“
Fetzer – „The Earth Friendly Winery“ präsentiert neue Ausstattung auf der Pro Wein Nachhaltigkeit rückt in den Mittelpunkt der Markenkommunikation.
Das namhafte kalifornische Weingut Fetzer Vineyards lanciert zur Pro Wein 2010 in Düsseldorf eine neue Ausstattung für die gesamte Weinkollektion. Die Veränderungen des bisherigen Erscheinungsbilds sind deutlich und verstärken die Aussage über das weitreichende Umweltbewusstsein von Fetzer. Die Bezeichnung „Vineyards“ wird ersetzt durch „The Earth Friendly Winery“. Auf die Bezeichnung „Valley Oaks“ wird zugunsten aussagekräftiger Angaben verzichtet. Diese verdeutlichen die Erfolge, die dank der nachhaltigen Ausrichtung erzielt wurden. Continue reading „„Neues auf der Pro Wein““
Adam Lechmere – New Zealand is making more good value Pinot Noir than any other country, Matthew Jukes says on the publication of his third Classification of New Zealand Pinot Noir. Jukes, one of the UK’s best-known wine critics, and Australian wine journalist Tyson Stelzer have published the classification for the last three years.
Awards are based on an average rating of the five most recent vintages. Entire ranges are tasted, but it is the producers‘ estate wines which set the standard, not the most expensive reserves or single-vineyard wines. Only three wineries have been awarded five stars: Felton Road and Mt Difficulty from Central Otago, and Ata Rangi from Martinborough. Continue reading „New Zealand Pinot ‚world’s best value:‘ Matthew Jukes“
Rebecca Gibb – Deep discounting by Champagne producers is ‚very dangerous‘ if the region wants to maintain its long-term health, a senior Champagne academic has said. The Champagne region anticipated selling just 265m bottles in 2009 but outperformed expectations, announcing /www.decanter.com/news/294658.html“> sales of 295m bottles two weeks ago.
But Dr Steve Charters, Professor of Champagne at the Reims Management School told decanter.com those figures only appeared so healthy because of deep discounting in the domestic market. ‚Sales in France have held up well because you can can now buy it at less than 10 euro in the supermarkets. If your response to a crisis is to reduce prices that is very dangerous,‘ he said. Continue reading „Champagne discounting will damage image for years“
The South African wine industry’s annual contribution to the economy grew to R26.2-billion or 2.2% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2008, a new study finds, confirming the substantial growth in the industry and its economic impact since 2003.
According to a study conducted by Conningarth Economists for the South African Wine Industry Information and Systems (Sawis), when the previous study was done to measure the wine industry’s macro economic impact on the economy in 2003, the industry’s annual contribution was R22.5-billion. Continue reading „SA wine industry ‚driving jobs, GDP‘“
By Maggie Rosen – Twelve members of the Languedoc wine industry have been found guilty of selling adulterated Pinot Noir to E&J Gallo. A French tribunal found the group guilty of selling the equivalent of 18m bottles‘ worth of blended wine labelled pure Pinot Noir to Gallo.
The court sentenced the defendants – executives from cooperatives, trade bodies, a well-known merchant from negociant Ducasse and conglomerate Sieur d’Arques, the major culprit – to fines of up to €180,000 (£156,600) and suspended prison terms of up to six months.
The wine, sold to Gallo between 2006-2008, was bottled for the company’s Red Bicyclette brand, which retails for around $7 (£4.60). Pinot Noir was mixed with lower priced Merlot and Syrah – resulting in an overcharge of up to twice the market value per hectolitre of the lower priced wine. Continue reading „Gallo suppliers sentenced in fake Pinot case“
Source: Stuart Todd – French wine exports have fallen back to year 2000 levels, according to France’s overseas economic development agency, Ubifrance. Value exports declined by 19% to EUR5.5bn (US$7.5bn) in 2009, while volumes fell 9% to 12.5m hectolitres, Ubifrance said this week.
Export revenues fell 28% for Champagne and 23% for Bordeaux and Burgundy wines. French wine exports to the UK, France’s premier market, fell 23% to EUR325m and by 19% in volume. But, Ubifrance reported “encouraging signals” in the final quarter of 2009 and continued growth in China during the year.
“While the downturn in exports has affected all categories of wines, vins de pays and table wines are faring better than AOCs which have been hit hard,” it added.
Chris Mercer – Wineries and merchants in southern France have been found guilty of duping buyers, including E&J Gallo Winery, into purchasing fake Pinot Noir wine at inflated prices. Ringleaders of the mass fraud operation were given suspended prison sentences and fines by a court in the French city of Carcassonne yesterday (17 February).
Wine merchant Sieur Arques, a supplier to E&J Gallo Winery, must pay back EUR180,000 (US$244,000), the largest fine handed down by the court. Sieur Arques was one of several local businesses, including wine merchant Ducasse and cooperative Montblanc, who passed off cheap wine as Pinot Noir between 2006 and 2008. By selling the cheaper wine at inflated prices, it is estimated that those involved made an extra EUR7m. Continue reading „FRANCE/US: E&J Gallo a victim in mass Pinot Noir wine fraud“
Der deutsche Weinmarkt blieb im vergangenen Jahr von der Wirtschaftskrise weitgehend verschont. Wie das Deutsche Weininstitut (DWI) auf der Basis von GfK-Erhebungen mitteilt, ist der Umsatz mit Wein in Deutschland 2009 bezogen auf alle Einkaufsstätten (Lebensmittelhandel, Discount, Fachhandel, Winzer) erneut um 1,2 % gestiegen.
Bereits 2008 und 2007 stiegen die Umsätze hierzulande um 2,2 % bzw. 1,2 %. Der Weinabsatz war im vergangenen Jahr allerdings mit einem Minus von 1,5 % leicht rückläufig. „Wir hatten 2009 insgesamt gesehen einen recht stabilen Weinmarkt. Dazu beigetragen hat sicherlich auch die nachgewiesene Verlagerung des Außer-Haus-Konsums in Richtung In-Haus-Konsum“, kommentiert DWI-Geschäftsführerin Monika Reule die aktuelle Weinmarktsituation. Continue reading „Leichtes Plus im Umsatz, leichtes Minus im Absatz Neueste Zahlen: Stabiler Weinmarkt 2009“
Sigi Hiss – Trento/Köln, 17.02.2010 – TRENTINO WINE ON TOUR 2010 – die Roadshow der charaktervollen Trentiner Weine und Grappa – macht am 8. März in Zürich Station. Von 14 – 18 Uhr steht das Baur au Lac ganz im Zeichen der Trentiner Weine. Im Anschluss daran findet von 19 – 20 Uhr das Afterwork-Wine-Tasting mit dem international gefragten Spumante TRENTODOC Metodo classico in der Lounge des Restaurants Totò statt. Continue reading „8. März Baur au Lac/Zürich – Trentino Wine on tour 2010“
Richard Woodard – A San Francisco court has upheld an award of US$30m to the former CEO and ex-winemaker of Joseph Phelps for their share in the renowned Napa winery. But the 18-month court battle is set to continue after the company signalled its intent to appeal against the decision of San Francisco Superior Court Judge Peter J Busch.
Former Joseph Phelps CEO Tom Shelton died at the age of 55 in July 2008, leaving his wife, Laurie, and five children. Two months later, an arbitrator awarded him more than US$12m, and US$11.85m to winemaker Craig Williams, for their share in the winery.
However, Joseph Phelps contested the decision, arguing that incorrect standards of law and evidence had been used. The sum has now risen to US$30m, including more than US$2m in attorneys‘ fees and interest accruing at 10%. Forrest Hainline, attorney for Shelton and Williams, said of the most recent court decision: ‚Tom Shelton and Craig Williams built the Phelps winery and reputation. ‚I am pleased with the award, but saddened that Tom did not live to see justice done, and disappointed that Joseph Phelps and his cohorts continue to try to resist justice being done.‘ www.decanter.com
Richard Woodard – Traditional wine-producers like France must bolster their domestic markets as well as pursuing exports, according to a wide-ranging new report. At the same time the ‚New New World‘ – led by Brazil, India and China – will become competitors as well as future markets.
The warning comes from France’s team of foreign trade advisors the Comité National des Conseillers du Commerce Extérieur de la France (CNCCEF), which says countries currently viewed as future growth markets will become threats as well as opportunities as they develop their own wine industries. Continue reading „New threat to France: the New New World“
Baden-Baden – Das Weinland Südafrika präsentiert sich am Gemeinschaftsstand der Wines of South Africa (WOSA) mit 50 Ausstellern. Der deutsche Markt ist für die Exporteure mit einem südafrikanischen Gesamtimport von knapp 71 Millionen Litern nach England der wichtigste Absatzmarkt. Aufgrund des gesteigerten Bekanntheitsgrads und der zunehmenden Beliebtheit beim deutschen Konsumenten sind auch kleinere Erzeugerbetriebe daran interessiert, den Kontakt zu Importeuren und importierenden Fachhändlern zu stärken. Continue reading „Südafrika & Pro Wein 2010: Starke Präsenz der südafrikanischen Weinwirtschaft“