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Wine News

Burgundy installs hail chemical hailstone shield

Burgundy installs hail chemical hailstone shield that pumps silver iodide into the atmosphere to minimise the size of hailstones.
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Burgundy has installed a fleet of 125 generators that expel silver iodide into the atmosphere. The silver iodide is thought to protect the crops against hail. Hail can be a serious threat to Burgundy, with large regular losses in the region.

The generator consists of a cylinder of compressed air, a tank and a combustion chamber surrounded by a cylinder. It has been designed to vaporize billions of molecules of the solution. When fired into the air, it is thought the solution will help reduce the size of the hailstones. It does not stop the hailstones, but does reduce the damage by around 50%. The silver iodide, is thought to be safe to humans according to Thiébault Huber, president of ARELFA (Association Régionale d’Etude et de Lutte contre les Fléaux Atmosphériques en Bourgogne) an organisation looking at the atmosphere around Burgundy.

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A new wine competition “The UK Wine Awards”

The UK Wine Awards is a new wine competition focused on the English and Welsh wines.
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The UK Wine Awards is a new wine competition focused on English and Welsh wines. The results will be announced on the 31st May as part of English Wine Week. Meanwhile in other UK wine news, another 625 acres of vines are expected to be planted over the next few months as vineyards get there new plants into the ground. The million or so new vines will add another 2 million bottles to production when they are in production, supplying both the domestic and growing export industry.
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Bordeaux is gearing up to sell the 2016 vintages but where are the wines likely to go?

We take a look at the sales from Bordeaux exports in 2016. To work out where the 2016 vintage Bordeaux wines are likely to go.
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As the wine worlds glitterati starts to get excited about Bordeaux 2016 en premier campaign, we take a quick tour of where the wines are likely to land up.
The top 5 countries for Bordeaux exports are:

Germany: 5th by volume and 7th by value, like many continental European countries Germany tends to drink the cheaper end of Bordeaux and as with many European countries the volume has been dropping steadily.

UK: 4th by value and 4th by volume. Since 2007 recent high Bordeaux sales in the UK have seen a steady is somewhat uneven decline in sales with 2016 being a 10 year low for Bordeaux sales in the UK.

USA: 3rd by volume and 3rd by value. Sales have been pretty steady since the 2007/8 slump.

Belgium: 2nd by volume but 6th by value, It looks like Brussels like the cheaper stuff. The market has been dropping for a while.

China: 1st by volume and value. China has hit a new high in consumption after a previous high in 2012 was followed by a long deep slump. But this market does appear to be fickle. Recent sales figures for all wines the first two months of sales from China has seen a decline of 7.8% decline compared to the same period last year. How this will affect Bordeaux we will not know until the end of the year when full year sales figures are announced.

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New Zealand Pinot shines in the Drinks Business Pinot Masters

New Zealand Pinot Noir shows a clean set of heels to other Pinot Noir countries as it takes out more Gold and Masters awards than any country.
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The Drinks business has published its Pinot Masters results, and a quick tot up of Gold and Masters awards shows some surprising results. New Zealand is clearly on top in blind tastings while USA and Australia made a good showing. But the spiritual home of Pinot Noir, Burgundy, did not do well at all, scooping just 2 awards.

The top country with 15 Gold or Master awards was New Zealand. The Marlborough region dominated with 7, with Central Otago winning 5. The USA came second with 9 Gold or Master awards, where the results where scattered, although the Californian San Luis Obispo County’s sub region of Edna took home 4 awards. Australia came in third with 6.

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A new book claims the flavours in wine are simply a mental trick of the brain

A new book by Gordon Shepherd claims that the sense of flavour does not come from our mouths but from our brains. So the flavour you taste is dependent upon you age, gender, memories and emotions.
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A new book by Gordon Shepherd claims that the sense of flavour does not come from our mouths but from our brains. As a result the flavour you taste is different to everybody else. It is dependent upon your age, gender, memories and emotions. This is according to Gordon Shepherd in his new book Neuroenology: How The Brain Creates The Taste of Wine.

Flavours are simply chemicals that stimulate certain receptors in the brain. The brain takes these chemical interactions and creates the concept of flavour.

Flavours in the mouth are actually an illusion. The sense of flavour comes from the brain matter known as an olfactory bulb that is part of the brain located between you eyes. Aromas from our mouths travel down our throat up the back to the olfactory bulb which then reacts with receptors. The brain then creates the illusion of flavour in your mouth. According to Gordon, the receptors themselves do not confer the concept of flavour, it is the brain's interpretation of these that create the sense of flavour.
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UK’s Ridgeview introduces Non-Vintage fizz

Vintage fizz is always considered better, but it does not always mean so. Ridgeview has taken a huge decision, is it a good one?
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Ridgeview, one of the UK leading sparkling wine producers, is changing some of its wines from vintage to non vintage, in order to improve the quality. It is generally considered NV wines to be lesser wines to vintage, so the move could be considered a retrograde step. However in Champagne, for example, producers typically blend multiple vintages to improve consistency and help overcome poor years. The move by Ridgeview should bring the same benefits. Ridgeview will continue to produce vintage wines but the core range of Bloomsbury, Cavendish and Fitzrovia (Rosé) will move to non vintage.
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Also this month

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