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Scholarships in honour of Gerard Basset awarded

Two different scholarships were awarded this week. Both in the name of Gerard Basset, the well known and much loved late Sommelier.
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Two different scholarships were awarded this week. Both in the name of Gerard Basset, the well known and much loved late Sommelier.

The first was the 2021 Gerard Basset Travel Scholarship, this £5,000 award is given to two candidates to explore the wine scene. The scheme is the creation of Nina Basset and Romané Basset, along with Ronan Sayburn MS and Tim Atkin MW. Daniel Stojcic of The Raby Hunt in Co Durham is the winner of the main travel prize while a second bursary will go to Josie Phillips of The Macallan Estate in Aberlour.

The second scholarship is the 2021 Golden Vines Diversity Scholarship, designed to help diversity in the fine wine industry which was awarded last week at an exclusive event in London. The two winners of the £55,00 scholarship to study the Master Sommelier or Master of Wine course were American Lawyer Angela Elizabeth Scott, and Dr Erna Blancquaert, a lecturer and researcher in Viticulture at the Department of Viticulture & Oenology at the South African Grape & Wine Research Institute at Stellenbosch University.

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Coravin wine preservation system to open a wine bar in London

Coravin's pop up winery in Mayfair will offer the largest range of 50 sparkling wines in London as well as super premium wines, all served by the glass.
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Coravin, the US wine preservation system, is open a pop-up wine bar in London.

The Pop up Winery in Mayfair will offer the largest range of 50 sparkling wines in London as well as super premium wines, all served by the glass.

Relying on the Coravin preservation system, the new pop up bar will have over 300 bottles by the glass, but you need to get in quick as the bar will be open only from the 2nd November 2021 to the 2nd January 2022.

Wines to purchase and take home will be available in a shop next to the bar.

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Napa and Sancerre harvest, both have big falls in volume but for very different reasons

Napa has a 25-30% drop in volume at harvest due to drought, while Sancerre harvest is down 50% due to frost and rain causing mildew.
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Napa and Sancerre harvest, both have big falls in volume but for very different reasons. Napa has a 25-30% drop in volume at harvest due to drought, while Sancerre harvest is down 50% due to frost and rain causing mildew.

Napa’s drought has dropped production by up to 85% in some areas according to Aron Weinkauf, Spottswoode winemaker and vineyard manager in a report by Decanter magazine.

Michael Honig, president and CEO of Honig Vineyard and Winery in Napa said Sauvignon Blanc yields were around 30% down, with the Cabernet Sauvignon harvest expected to be around 10 to 15% smaller than in a more typical year.

Meanwhile Sancerre, in the Loire Valley, France, was hit hard by the same frost that caused so much damage in the rest of Europe. It was also hit by storms causing moulds and mildew just before harvest, meaning grapes swelled with extra water diluting flavours.

Wines made with careful attention to removing diseased fruit will tend to be green with higher acidity and lower alcohols. With only 50% of normal production, growers who sell typically to tourists should be able to rely on unsold stock from the previous vintage, when sales were heavily hit by the Covid pandemic.

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Prince Charles claims he runs his Aston Martin sports car on English wine & cheese

The fuel that powers his Aston Martin DB6 is mainly ethanol, loved by racing car drivers for its performance and can be created using waste food including English wine & cheese
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The fuel that powers his Aston Martin DB6 is mainly ethanol, loved by racing car drivers for its performance and can be created using waste food including English wine & cheese

It may sound excessive to turn a bottle of English Sparkling wine into bioethanol, but Prince Charles claimed his Aston Martin runs on E85, a fuel that is made up of 85% bioethanol and 15% normal petrol. The bioethanol can be made from of surplus wine among other waste foods and is also often made from corn in the US.

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Huge winery that supplied the Mediterranean 1500 years ago discovered in Israel

The newly found winery from the Byzantine period could supply up to 2 million litres of wine a year.
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A huge winery that supplied the Mediterranean 1500 years ago has been discovered in Israel. The newly found winery from the Byzantine period could supply up to 2 million litres of wine a year, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The winery was the size of a premier league football pitch and included five wine presses, foot treading and fermentation rooms.

As we all know too well at the moment, getting supplies to market is all important, so the site included kilns to produce amphorae (clay jars) to store and ship the wine, a glass works and metal works.

The wines were known as Gaza, or Ashkelon, which were then exported throughout the Mediterranean.

The site has been excavated by archaeologists before a planned expansion of the city of Yavne, which will bury the site again.

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Scientist shows that “no safe level of drinking” claim is incorrect

The incorrect claim made in 2019 purported to show that any drinking was harmful, overturning decades to research showing moderate consumption was actually protective.
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Scientists have shown that “no safe level of drinking” claim made in 2019 is incorrect. The incorrect claim purported to show that any drinking was harmful, overturning decades to research showing moderate consumption was actually protective.

In a paper to be published in The International Journal of Epidemiology written by Sir Nicholas Wald, of University College London, and Chris Frost, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, it claims that The Lancet analysis was flawed.

The UK government changed the drinking guidelines in 2016 before the 2019 study was released, to no more than 14 units of alcohol a week, the equivalent to around 1 and a half bottles of wine, so this new information is unlikely to change anything.
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Also this month

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