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Wine News

Decanter Wine Awards see the UK striding forwards

Decanter launched the results of its 2020 Wine Awards, with the UK starting to become a serious contender in the medal haul.
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Decanter launched the results of its 2020 wine awards, with the UK starting to become a serious contender in the medal haul.

Two English estates won best in show - Roebuck Estate Sparkling Classic Cuvee Brut 2014 from Sussex and Kent’s Simpsons Estate for their still Roman Road Chardonnay 2018. The Hampshire region did not miss out, with The Grange’s Pink taking a Platinum award and Chapel down picked up two Platinum awards, the show's highest medal.

England may have had two Best in Shows, but France dominated with 12 Best in Show wines, while Italy picked up 8 Best in Show awards. Australia took 6 awards, while England out-performed New Zealand who brought home just the one.

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Burgundy approves 22 new Premier Cru sites

Burgundian Pouilly-Fuissé has had 22 vineyards approved for Premier Cru from the 2020 vintage.
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Burgundian village Pouilly-Fuissé has had 22 vineyards approved for Premier Cru status from the 2020 vintage.

The 22 vineyards or climates make up 24% of the total vineyard area in Pouilly-Fuissé. The work to have them elevated to 1er Cru started 10 years ago and now only needs the final sign off by the French Minster of Agriculture. The Appellation has been working with the French body charged with managing the AOC system Institut National de l’Origine et de la Qualité (INAO) to create the Premier Crus. These are the first 1er Cru vineyards in Burgundy that are in the large Maconnais sub-region. Pouilly-Fuissé is a wine region right at the bottom of Burgundy and features limestone soils that makes many of Burgundy's top white wines.
The 22 Premier Cru sites are: Au Vignerais, Aux Chailloux, Aux Bouthières, Aux Quarts, En France, En Servy, La Frérie, La Maréchaude, Le Clos de Monsieur Noly, Le Clos Reyssier, Les Chevrières, Le Clos, Le Clos de Solutré, Les Brulés, Les Crays, Les Ménétrières, Les Perrières, Les Reisses, Les Vignes Blanches, Pouilly, Sur La Roche et Vers Cras.

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UK back under partial lockdown with government support for the drinks industry

UK pubs and restaurants will be shutting at 10pm and the government announces new support.
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The UK government admitted this week, that its track and trace system would not be good enough to avoid a partial lock down, with increased restrictions on socialising and going out.

UK pubs and restaurants now have to close at 10pm, with last orders earlier. Restaurants who rely on two sittings in an evening, are likely to only have a single sitting. While pubs who claimed this week that most of their sales where made after 10, will now have to be shut by 10pm.

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has revealed a series of measures to help hospitality businesses including an extension of the VAT cut from 20% to 5%, that will now be in place until 31st March 2021. Bounce Back loans have had their term extended to 10 years from 6, while the Furlough scheme will finish as planned at the end of October. The government will help subsidise wages of workers who are working fewer hours.

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California a blaze as the grapes are being harvested

California grapes are being harvested as the state suffers another intense fire season. Top regions including Napa, Sonoma, Santa Cruz and Monterey counties have been affected.
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California grapes are being harvested as the state suffers another intense fire season, affecting top wine regions including Napa, Sonoma, Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. Thankfully most of the wineries have escaped the worst of the damage with 2 out of the states' 4,200 wineries being severely damaged by the fires according to the California Wine Institute.

Smoke on the skins gets absorbed into the grape and is released into the wine during fermentation creating unattractive smoke, burnt or ash flavours.

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Good news for hospitality industry as insurers forced to pay out on policies for Covid-19

Insurers Hiscox and QBE have lost a case in the High Court meaning that their business interruption policy does cover Covid 19, and they must make payments.
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Insurers Hiscox and QBE have lost a case in the High Court meaning that their business interruption policy does cover Covid 19, and they must make payments.

Hiscox and QBE were taken to the High Court by a group including hospitality lobby group Night Time Industries Association and Insurance broker NDML who specialise in insurance for bars, pubs, restaurants & hotels. The news will help 370,000 policyholders claim business interruption for the pandemic.

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Liberty is offering a wine apprentice scheme

The two year scheme will see candidates move through different parts of London based importer and wholesaler, while they are sponsored through their WSET Diploma.
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Wine importer Liberty Wines is offering a wine apprentice scheme.

The two year scheme will see candidates move through different parts of London based importer and wholesaler, while they are sponsored through their WSET Diploma.

Within the Liberty placement the role will include customer services, marketing support, events, brand management and sales, as well as credit control, supply planning and distribution. During the first year, there is a month in Europe helping with the vintage followed by two months’ vintage in the southern hemisphere during the second year. Applicants should have already passed the WSET L2 with Distinction and ideally have started or passed the WSET L3 course. Applications close on the 9th October 2020.

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