Head of the fourth largest wine business in California, and its biggest landowner, Fred T Franzia, who died on September 13, aged 79, was a spectacularly divisive character. Robert Joseph considers both sides of the story.
In 2021, thirsty US wine drinkers popped 69% more Champagne corks than the previous year. Some of that dramatic increase can be attributed to the impact of Covid on 2020, but sales are still growing and, as Sarah Philips McCartan reveals, France’s iconic fizz is not the only beneficiary of this trend.
The Institute of Masters of Wine publishes the questions candidates for membership have had to answer in 2022 - and the wines they had to taste. Robert Joseph considers the exam, and whether wine professionals with no interest in becoming MWs might still benefit from giving it some thought.
The Rioja classification system has tradition and determines marketing. Ever cheaper Reservas, however, are causing criticism and fueling doubts about the traditional model. David Schwarzwälder reports.
Will Penfolds decision to launch super-premium French, Californian and French-Australian and California-Australia blends under its own label inspire others to follow its example? Robert Joseph reports.
The South African wine industry had an especially tough time during the pandemic, with challenges including restrictions on exports as well as domestic sales. Rico Basson, managing director of Vinpro, a non-profit company that represents close to 2,600 South African wine producers, and Maryna Calow head of communications at Wines of South Africa, speak frankly about the industry today.
Alentejo’s big sustainability efforts are starting to provide a competitive edge for wine producers who have obtained third-party certification from their WASP (Wines of Alentejo Sustainability Programme) membership. Barnaby Eales reports.
When he is not focusing his attention on his invasion of Ukraine, the Russian president and his entourage take a particular interest in wine. Last year, laws allowing domestic wine to be described as shampanskoe on official labels while Champagne could only be called ‘sparkling wine’ hit the headlines. But, as Sergey Panov reveals, other moves have been far more significant.