Tue, 08/18/2020 - 14:34

After difficult negotiations, the Champenois have agreed to cut their production. James Lawrence has the story.

After weeks of difficult negotiations, the Champagne industry has agreed to set a maximum yield for the 2020 harvest.

Mon, 08/17/2020 - 13:27

An Australian dealer receives a mysterious fax detailing rare wines languishing in a Georgian cellar. Jeni Port interviews John Baker to find out what happened next.

It was the stuff of myth and legend. During World War II, Joseph Stalin, fearing a German advance on Russia, arranged for valuable art and riches – including a magnificent cellar of wines, some said to have once belonged to Tsar Nicholas II – to be dispersed to far flung corners.

Mon, 08/10/2020 - 11:17

Port producers are turning to technology to help them produce their wines this year. Richard Woodard has the story.

Treading grapes by foot is a centuries-old feature of producing some of the highest-quality Ports of Portugal’s Douro Valley – but this traditional practice is the latest casualty of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fri, 08/07/2020 - 11:53

Germany’s top sparkling wines were honoured at an online ceremony this week.

There are two things about German sparkling wine that are astonishing: the first is how good they are, as sparkling wine quality has taken a leap forward in the past few years. The second is how few people know this outside Germany.

Fri, 08/07/2020 - 11:28

A new report from Wine Intelligence confirms that wine sales in China have fallen. There are, however, some market bright spots.

This year was never going to be a good one for wine in China. In late 2019, long before the Covid-19 pandemic was even a cloud on the horizon, industry observers like Ian Ford of Nimbility were noting that the market had stopped growing and was due to flatline for at least another 12 months.

Thu, 08/06/2020 - 14:18

Spain’s tourism sector has been hit hard by Covid-19 and now Rioja has another problem on its hands. James Lawrence reports.

Winemakers in Spain’s Rioja region are facing a dramatic loss of tourism income in 2020, as the number of Covid-19 cases continues to rise.

Fri, 07/24/2020 - 10:53

Spain’s media are reporting that an international ring of conspirators was uncovered by Spanish authorities earlier this month. Their crimes include adultering wine and spirits. 

Six people were arrested for wine fraud in Castilla-La Mancha and Madrid in mid-July, for criminal activity that may have been worth up to €100m.

Fri, 07/24/2020 - 09:23

Wine is under plenty of stress right now, between taxes, falling exports and the loss of the on-trade. At least modern winemakers don’t have to contend with the supernatural. Jeff Siegel reports.

Think it’s difficult getting wine to market these days, given everything from taxes to tariffs? At least you don’t need protection from the Benandanti – good witches who would stop the bad witches from using your wine barrels or wine glasses as their toilets.

Wed, 07/22/2020 - 14:24

The properties of Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) have new technical directors.

Château Lafite Rothschild, the renowned First Growth wine estate in Pauillac, has a new technical leadership, as do its sibling properties of Château Duhart-Milon, Château L’Evangile and Château Rieussec.

Fri, 07/17/2020 - 11:02

As the market for noble sweet wine declines, winemakers in places as diverse as Tokaj and Sauternes are experimenting with dry wines. James Lawrence reports on the latest chateau to experiment with dry wines.

Château Climens has become the latest property to market a dry white from the Sauternes appellation.

According to estate owner Bérénice Lurton, 55,000 bottles of the new style, called Asphodèle, were made in 2019. 

Thu, 07/09/2020 - 10:09

Thorvald, a robot equipped with ultraviolet lamps, is slaying fungus wherever it goes. James Lawrence says this could be a game-changer for viticulture.

An international consortium of scientists and manufacturers have pioneered a revolutionary treatment for fungal diseases common to agriculture.

Mon, 07/06/2020 - 12:07

A four-day trip to Hungary is up for grabs, thanks to the 2020 Hungarian WebWineWriting award, now open for entries. If you’re a wine writer, read on for details of how to enter., an independent online publication about Hungarian wines, has launched the third edition of its popular online wine writing contest.

Mon, 07/06/2020 - 11:39

The US market has seen sales of canned wines exploding, as consumers can’t get enough of them. This has led to a slowdown in the supply of the cans. Jeff Siegel reports.

Drink Bev, a California canned wine producer, has seen its volume increase eight-fold over the past several years. Which should be a good thing, right?

Fri, 07/03/2020 - 11:14

EPI Wine & Champagne Division has bought a majority stake in Napa Valley’s Folio Fine Wine Partners.

EPI Group, one of France’s major luxury companies, has bought a majority stake in Napa importer Folio Fine Wine Partners.

Wed, 07/01/2020 - 12:17

In an historic move, Philipponnat has announced that it is creating an online sales portal. Other Champagne houses are also creating direct-to-consumer sites. James Lawrence reports.

Leading Champagne brand Philipponnat has unveiled plans to create an online sales portal.