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Wine News

Heatwave risks vines in Europe, but England’s vines enjoy the sunshine

Record temperatures were recorded in Paris, Germany, Belgium and Netherlands as the current heatwave continues to damage vines in France.
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Record temperatures were recorded in Paris, Germany, Belgium and Netherlands as the current heatwave continues to damage and kill vines in France.

The UK broke its own 2003 record of 38.5°C, hitting 38.7°C in Cambridge, near some of the UK's best Bacchus vineyards. But in France this is the second heatwave in a month and it has taken its toll on the vines.

Ten days ago, France was already in the grip of a heatwave and vineyards in Hérault, in the Languedoc-Roussillon area, and Gard in the Rhône, had seen temperatures reach more than 45°C in the shade, and some have reported burn damage to grapes. President of the Hérault Chamber of Commerce, Jérôme Despey, who is also a winemaker, said: “Temperatures reached such levels that the vines appear to have been blowtorched, literally grilled. Grapes were burned and the leaves dried out.” He estimated that 60-80% of his temperature tolerant Carignan grapes where particularly badly damaged.

No reports are available yet for this week's heatwave, but more losses are expected.

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New UK Prime Minister Boris Johnston escalates Brexit, as the industry continues to stockpile.

Boris Johnson has stepped up plans for a no deal Brexit, with the wine industry investing £5m into stockpiling.
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New PM Boris Johnson has stepped up plans for a no deal Brexit, with the wine industry investing £5m into stockpiling ahead of the 31st October. The cost of warehousing has increased by 60-80% according to a new Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA) report.

The report shows that 85% of WSTA members in the wine and spirit trade are investing staff time and company money on preparations for a no-deal Brexit.

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Winners announced for the Wine GB Awards 2019

The Wine GB Awards recognise the best UK producers and with 254 wines were entered there were 39 Gold medals, 53 Silver medals, 124 Bronze medals awarded and a total of 19 trophies announced.
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The Wine GB awards recognise the best UK producers and with 254 wines entered there were 39 Gold medals, 53 Silver medals, 124 Bronze medals and a total of 19 trophies announced this week.

The star of the show was Langham Wine Estate in Dorset, which scooped four trophies, including Top Sparkling and the highest accolade in the competition, the coveted Supreme Champion trophy for its Blanc de Blancs Reserve NV. The Kent region did very well winning the most trophies (seven) of which four were won by Chapel Down and three by Gusbourne Estate. Gusbourne also scooped the highest number of Gold medals in the competition.

A Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Chris Foss, recently retired Head of Wine Studies at Plumpton College, who founded the department 31 years ago.

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Cork producer Amorim guarantees its sparkling wine corks are cork-taint free

All of Amorim’s NDtech corks are tested for cork taint and claim to give a guarantee that there is no detectable amount.
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Cork producer Amorim has announced that its NDtech corks for sparkling wine are entirely free of cork taint.

All of Amorim’s NDtech corks go through testing for Trichloroanisole (TCA), the damp cardboard faulty smell responsible for cork taint and the company is giving a guarantee that there is no detectable TCA in the corks.

Amorim is the world largest cork manufacturer, based in Portugal. Their testing system was rolled out for still wines in 2016 and by 2020 they intend to eradicate all TCA in all of their corks.

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After a low world vintage in 2017, 2018 sees a return to normal wine production levels

World wine production has bounced back after a frost hit 2017 vintage with Italy the world's largest producer.
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World wine production has bounced back after a frost hit 2017 vintage with Italy the world's largest producer in 2018. Production around the world rose according to the latest figures from Organisation of Vine & Wine (OIV) ahead of its annual congress, in Geneva, Switzerland.

Total world volume rose by 17% to the highest levels since 2000, with many countries such as Italy, France, Spain and Chile all seeing growth of over a third.

The current top countries by production are:

Italy 54.8 mhl
France 48.6 mhl
Spain 44.4 mhl
US 23.9 mhl
Argentina 14.5 mhl
Australia 12.9 mhl
Chile 12.9 mhl
South Africa 9.5 mhl
China 9.1 mhl

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US wine distributors in legal fight to open nationwide shipping

Four new legal cases are filed to force open US interstate shipments rules after US supreme court ruled outlawing discrimination in wine shipping last month.
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Four new legal cases are filed to force open US interstate shipments rules after US Supreme Court ruled outlawing discrimination in wine shipping last month.

The lawsuits filed in Indiana, Kentucky, New Jersey and Texas are to allow wine shops to ship to customers in those states even when the shops are located in another state.

The US byzantine wine system came about at the end of prohibition. As part of the agreement to end prohibition it was agreed that alcohol could not be shipped between different states, effectively leaving each state to create their own rules.

Over time this agreement has been watered down, and last month the US Supreme Court made a decision in Tennessee Wine & Spirits Retailers Association v Thomas. In that case, the Supreme Court said that states must treat in-state and out-of-state alcohol businesses the same.

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