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Wine News

Budget busting giveaway as UK pub, bar and hotel trade down by half

Britain’s new Chancellor Rishi Sunak opened the financial flood gates to support for the UK economy over fears of Brexit and Covid-19.
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Britain’s new Chancellor Rishi Sunak did an almost 180 degree spin to open the flood gates on spending and support for the UK economy over fear of Brexit and Covid-19.

The Chancellor froze the duty on wine, beer and spirits, while at the same time removing the need for small bars, pubs and restaurants to pay the much-criticised business rates tax that can be higher than rental income from some businesses. To help support many small business in the hospitality sector the government has committed to pay Statutory Sick Pay in full for two weeks for employees. The payments will be accrued from the first day rather than the normal 4 days before the payments start.

The help is against a backdrop of falling business in the hospitality sector due to the Coronavirus pandemic. According to UKHospitality, hotel occupancy had already fallen by 15% and drinking out is down by 7%. But this is expected to worsen with forward bookings down by 50% over the next 3 months compared to this time last year.

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Australia 2019/2020 bushfire season has seen drop of 4% of production

The bushfires that ravaged Australia over the Christmas period are expected to cause a 4% drop in production in 2020, according to Wine Australia.
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The bushfires that ravaged Australia over the Christmas period are expected to cause a 4% drop in production for 2020, according to Wine Australia. The regions closest to harvest are the ones most likely to have significant damage, including Hunter Valley and Canberra.

Canberra is not as famous as Hunter Valley, whose Semillon is one of the earliest harvested grapes in the country which make it one of the most affected regions. Wine Australia claims that South Australia’s Adelaide Hills, which also suffered significant bush fires, may have escaped the worst effects because the cool season had delayed harvest time.

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The most powerful wine brands for 2020

The most powerful wine brands for 2020 have been announced and it is a who’s who of the high-volume world of wine.
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The most powerful wine brands for 2020 have been announced and it is a who’s who of the high-volume world of wine. Australia may have the most powerful brand in the form of Yellow Tail, but otherwise only had 2 brands in the top 10, along with France. The USA and Chile dominate the list with three each.

The full list is below:

10) Mouton Cadet - France
9) J.P.Chenet - France
8) Fontera - Chile
7) Carlo Rossi - USA
6) Gato Negro - Chile
5) Barefoot - USA
4) Jacobs Creek - Australia
3) Gallo Family Vineyards - USA
2) Casillero del Diablo - Chile
1) Yellow Tail - Australia

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New grape varieties continue to be trialled in the New World as growers adapt to a warming world

The New World continues its embrace of new varieties, South Africa has its first commercial crop of Marselan harvested this week while Argentina plants Assyrtiko.
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The New World continues to embrace new grape varieties, with South Africa having its first commercial crop of Marselan harvested this week while Argentina plants Assyrtiko.

Assyrtiko is the white grape variety grown on the windy Greek Island of Santorini. Here the wind dries the grapes, creating concentrated citrus and stone fruit wines with high acidity. In Argentina, producer Trapiche has planted 2 Ha of Assyrtiko on the volcanic soils in Chapadmalal, 200km south of Buenos Aires, one of the few vineyards in Argentina not at altitude.

In South Africa, Marselan was planted in Paarl, one of the warmer areas in the Western Cape where altitude is used to help keep the region cool. Marselan is a red grape variety created in 1961 by crossing Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache. The vine is grown mostly in the Languedoc wine region with some plantings in the Northern Coast of California. It has also become very popular in China. Marselan tends to produce large clusters of small berries that are mid-late ripening. It has strong disease resistance to botrytis, bunch rot and powdery mildew as well as to coulure and mites.

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Global Warming blamed for the 1st failure of Germany not to produce any ice wine.

Germany will not produce any ice wine for the first time for the 2019/2020 vintage after warm weather failed to freeze grapes on the vine.
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Germany will not produce any ice wine for the first time for the 2019/2020 vintage after warm weather failed to freeze grapes on the vine.

The warming weather since 2014 has resulted and smaller and smaller harvest of German Ice Wine. Normally the temperature needs to get to -7°C before harvest begins. However, the temperature never reached this level for the most recent harvest in any of Germany's 13 wine region. This was the first time that no ice wine has been made in Germany.

The German Wine Institute says that another problem for ice wine production has been a shift more into January and February where the temperature is low enough for ice wine production, while the grapes have tended to ripen earlier and earlier. ‘As a result, the period that the grapes have to survive in a healthy state until a possible ice wine harvest is becoming longer.’ claims the Institute.

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Covid-19 lays hammer blow to the trade wine trade shows

Vinexpo Hong Kong, Vinitaly & Prowein, the big wine trade shows, have been postponed due to Coronavirus, while the London Wine Fair plans to go ahead as usual.
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Due to Covanavirus, Vinexpo Hong Kong, Vinitaly & Prowein the big wine trade shows have been postponed, while the London Wine Fair plans to go ahead as usual.

Many of the big wine shows have postponed the date of their events. Vinitaly based in Veneto the Italian epicentre of the European Covid-19 cases has delayed from its original schedule from starting on the 19th April to the height of summer on the 14th June.

ProWein the large German wine fair which was due to open its doors on the 15th March. This has now been postponed, but no new date has been decided on.

Vinexpo has announced that the dates of its Hong Kong wine and spirits show have been moved from late May to early July.

Currently the London Wine Fair which is due to open on the 18th May is currently planning to go ahead. But other smaller events in London such as RAW are being cancelled or postponed.

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Which one of the following do you prefer to drink when going out?