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Six new Master of Wine, including from Sweden and Denmark

Six very fresh Masters of Wine has just received their diplomas from the venerable English institution. So now there are 384 MW in total. The happy new masters are Edouard Baijot, Nicholas Jackson, Brendan Jansen, Jonas Röjerman, Harriet Tindal and Jonas Tofterup. Congratulations to all of them. Extra special congratulations to Jonas and Jonas. Jonas […]

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Toasting oak barrels with fire at a cooperage

French coopers honours California

The French Coopers’ Association (Fédération des Tonneliers de France) recently held its annual meeting in Napa Valley, California. It was the first time they gathered outside France. That the meeting took place in Napa is not a coincidence. It was the Californian wine industry that gave new life to the French cooperage (barrel making) industry […]

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Grapes in a vineyard in Veneto ready for harvest

Is Prosecco a grape or an origin?

A Prosecco debate rages in both Australia and New Zealand. The big question is whether Prosecco should be considered as being a grape variety or a geographical origin. Up until 2009, Prosecco was the name of the grape with which the sparkling wine Prosecco was produced in north-eastern Italy. But then the Italians changed the […]

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Wine Paris show

Wine Paris, finally Paris has a major wine fair

Paris’ first major professional wine fair, Wine Paris, took place on 11-13 February. Many consider it about time that the French capital hosts a large wine fair. Wine Paris is a merger of Wine Vision and Vinisud. Wine Vision is a fair that made its debut in Paris in February 2018 with exhibitors from France’s […]

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Bottles "sur lattes" in a cellar in Champagne

A wine tour to Champagne like no other!

We will of course have a wine tour to Champagne this fall. If you are a champagne enthusiast then you want to go there sooner or later. There are many ways to do that. Travel on your own. Go with some tour operator, BKWine or someone else. And other options. Everything will be different, you […]

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Vineyards, a winery and mountains in Franschhoek, South Africa

The giant Distell in South Africa is investing in premium wines

Distell is South Africa’s largest wine producer. With brands such as Alto, Nederburg, Durbanville Hills, Plaisir de Merle, Pongrácz, Fleur du Cap, Allesverloren, Zonnebloem, Two Oceans, Drostdy-Hof and others, the company accounts for a not insignificant part of the entire South African wine production. Now all the premium wines of Distell will be managed separately. […]

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Street art, graffiti, in Valparaiso in Chile

Street art to promote Chilean wine in Valparaiso

The mythical Chilean port city of Valparaiso is a fascinating city in many ways, not least thanks to the artistic street art that gives the colourful city even more colour. Now the wine is also represented. In November, a group of talented street artist were asked by some Chilean wine producers to create large murals […]

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Oak barrels with Burgundy wine ageing in the cellars of Chanson, Beaune

Burgundy shows off its best figures

For the lover of statistics and/or the lover of Burgundy wines, we have found a handy and updated summary of all relevant figures concerning the wines of Burgundy, from Chablis to Mâconnais (Beaujolais not included). Burgundy has 84 appellations, which is 23% of all France’s wine appellations. Grapes are grown on almost 30,000 hectares. 50% […]

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Bottles ageing at Champagne Fleury

Champagne inspires German quality sekt

VDP stands for Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweinguter and is a highly respected association of around 200 German top producers with their own set of rules for wine growing and wine making. VDP recently launched a new category of German high-quality Sekt. This new category, VDP Sekt, can, like the still VDP wines, be made in four […]

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"Water", a sign in an old-style grape press in Champagne

California wine: from the time of prohibition until now

For 100 years, the magazine Wines and Vines (formerly called California Grape Grower) has written about Californian wine news. To launch a wine magazine in the United States in 1919, just a few months before the prohibition started in January 1920, may not seem as the smartest of ideas. On the other hand, nobody thought […]

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A snifter glass with brandy

XXO, new category of cognac now official

Cognac has a new category: XXO. In 2017 Hennessy launched a prestigious Cognac which they named XXO. But the authorities were not happy about it as this category of Cognac didn’t exist. Thus, the sale of this particular Cognac was suspended. But Hennessy did not give up and with the help of luxury conglomerate LVMH, […]

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A barrel that has been treated with sulphur

Tea instead of sulphur to protect the wine

A few years ago, we wrote in the Brief about the South African wine producer KWV who had made a wine called Earth’s Essence without added sulphur. Instead, they had used the rooibos plant, known for its antioxidant properties. Continued research in South Africa has now shown that the South African tea plant honeybush also […]

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A vine leaf attacked by mildiou (downy mildew)

Three white fungus resistant hybrid grape varieties approved in Austria

Four new white grape varieties have just been approved for use in Austrian Qualitätswein (quality wine) Three of these are so-called PIWIs, which is fungal resistant crossings. PIWI is a German abbreviation for Pilzwiderstandsfähig (literally fungus resistant). The fourth grape is Goldmuskateller, a regular Vitis vinifera that also has a good resistance to rot. The […]

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A malbec leaf

How eco-friendly is Bordeaux?

A European wine that is organic is easy to identify. You just look for the green EU leaf. If it does not have the leaf it is not organic. But now there are also more and more “sustainability” labels on the bottles in France. However, “sustainable” is different from “organic”. Organics is mainly about the […]

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Cow horn and herbs used in biodynamic wine making

Alsace is leader in Europe on biodynamics (and organic?)

Alsace is the number one biodynamic wine region in Europe. 880 hectares are certified biodynamic. This means that an impressive 5.6% of all Alsace vineyards are biodynamic, a record in Europe. Around 70 growers are certified either with the international certification association Demeter or the French association Biodyvin. All of these producers are also organically […]

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Old grenache vine

Old vines in South Africa, rediscovered and rescued

Older vines give more character to the wine, says Rosa Kruger, a well-known South African viticulturist. She is behind a project called South Africa’s Old Vines Project, which aims at finding old vineyards, vineyards that have often been abandoned. The idea with the project is to give a new life to these old vines. A […]

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Mechanical harvester straddling a row of vines

A new machine harvester for small vineyards

When some people think about machine harvesting, they often imagine big monsters that brutalize the vineyard. It is true that harvesting machines are often big machines, but they can be quite gentle to both grapes and vines. And soon there will be on the market a tiny harvesting machine, suitable for the small producer and […]

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Baccarat glasses in a restaurant

Star Wine List recommends restaurants with good wine lists

Star Wine List is a digital guide to wine bars and wine restaurants in different cities. Currently, the guide covers Stockholm, Gothenburg, Uppsala and several other locations in Sweden as well as Oslo, Toronto and London. And more cities are coming soon. Krister Bengtsson is the man behind this excellent tool. Read about great restaurants […]

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A glass of champagne with bubbles

Henkell, a bubbly giant grows bigger

Henkell Trocken is one of the world’s most famous sparkling wines. The German company Henkell & Co is also the largest producer in the world of sparkling wines since the purchase of Spanish Freixenet in March 2018. Henkell now accounts for 8% of the world market for bubbles and is aiming for 10%. In addition […]

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