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August 2007


Roto-barrel innovation


   In an age of automation, Fairview winery in South Africa has implemented a "roto-barrel" system that they say will increase the winemakers' involvement in the wine production. Large, stainless steel roto-tanks for fermentation are a familiar sight in big volume wineries, but Fairview winemaker Erlank Erasmus has transformed this concept to a smaller, more handcrafted format. A small "manhole" has been installed in a number of 500-litre French oak barrels, which are housed on specially produced cradles incorporating a set of castors, allowing the barrels to be rotated. The rotation allows the grape skins and juice to be thoroughly macerated. Erasmus says "Being a sealed system ensures better hygiene, while alleviating issues around volatile acidity and oxidation. Another advantage is that it allows the winemaker to leave the wine on the skins for longer, inside the sealed unit." This system has been used for some of the fruit for Fairview's Single Vineyard Shiraz wine Beacon, Jakkelsfontein and Solitude 2007.

Desirable Ornellaia

The "Millennium Collection," a selection of four vintages of the famous superTuscan Ornellaia presented in a wooden chest, sold out immediately when it was released. That success is to be repeated with a "treasure chest" offer consisting of the much vaunted 2001 (now almost impossible to find in the market), and the 2002, 2003, and newly released 2004. The hand-carved, solid oak case contains 12 bottles, three of each vintage, and only 600 will be available. Both case and bottles are individually numbered. The cases will be distributed by John Armit. Contact +44 (0)207 9080600, or email info@armit.co.uk.
 

Campo Viejo's Kitchen suppers


   Campo Viejo of Rioja has worked with Chris Barber, former personal chef to HRH Prince of Wales, to create seven hassle-free suppers. The 'Kitchen Suppers' shopping list and weekly menu is downloadable free from www.campoviejowines.co.uk/kitchensuppers and offers a different meal for every night of the week. Naturally each dish is matched to a bottle from the Campo Viejo range. As a sample of what you will find, an easy to prepare bruschetta is paired with Campo Viejo Crianza 2004:

Gourmet homemade bruschetta with chorizo, artichoke, manchego cheese, roast peppers, tomato and fresh herbs.

Cooking time 20mins Serves 4
1 ciabatta, 1 clove of garlic
100g fresh tomatoes, 50g chorizo
50g baby artichokes in oil, 1 romano pepper
50g sun dried tomatoes, 25g green olives
50g manchego cheese
Oregano, basil, thyme, Olive oil

Carefully slice the ciabatta lengthways into long, thin slices. Brush the slices with olive oil, and rub with a clove of garlic. Chop the tomatoes and simmer for 15 minutes, then sieve to remove seeds and skin. Spread the tomato base onto the ciabatta, and then top the bruschetta with the other ingredients. Top with slices of manchego and herbs and bake in a medium oven for 15-20 minutes. Campo Viejo Crianza 2004 is available from Waitrose, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Oddbins, Asda, Costco, Morrisons and Threshers.

World Duty Free


Many of us enjoy picking up a good bottle at one of the many World Duty Free stores in airports around the UK. Fraser Dunlop has joined airport retailer as head of category for liquor, tobacco, food and Tax Free items. Fraser is now responsible for the development and management of all his category products sold in all World Duty shops in BAA airports. Formerly the Category Manager for Beers, Spirits & Tobacco within J. Sainsbury's, Fraser has had a varied career in many buying roles, inlcuding his early years on the island of Islay, famous for its malt whisky. He is said to have a "long-held passion for quality drinks," and will be using this knowledge to secure exciting product exclusives for World Duty Free.
 

Carbon offsetting in Chile


   Viña Ventisquero is the first winery in Chile with a certification to offset its CO2 emissions. The company has teamed up with UK-based Climate Care, specialists in reducing greenhouse gas emissions on behalf of companies and individuals. Climate Care calculated the direct fossil fuels emissions of Ventisquero’s main business activities to quantify the amount of emissions produced by the company. Export Manager Américo Hernández explains, "The audit on our business activities and emissions related to wine production showed that transportation to the UK released the most CO2 - almost two tons per 40ft container - so this was the first area we targeted." A Climate Care sticker on each bottle of wine will bear witness to the company's commitment to the environment, which forms a key part of the winery's mission.

English Wine Awards


The awards ceremony for the English & Welsh Wine of the Year Competition 2007 took place at the end of July. The judges - all Masters of Wine - awarded 8 gold medals, 13 silver and 61 bronze. The trophy for 'Wine of the Year' went to Camel Valley Vineyard for their sparkling rosé, 'Cornwall' Pinot Noir 2004, which also gained the trophy for Best Sparkling Wine. Chapel Down won two trophies for their Bacchus Reserve 2005 - Best Wine of Other Year's Vintage and Best Single Varietal Wine. Best Red Wine was awarded to a single varietal 2004 Pinot Noir from Sandhurst Vineyard.
 

Mumm's new Prestige Cuvée


   Champagne Mumm has created Cuvée R. Lalou. The first vintage, from 1998, will be in market from September 2007 available on allocation only to selected independent retailers (RSP: £100). Produced only in the best years, it is a vintage blend of grapes sourced from up to twelve of the very best 'Lieux Dits' within the Mumm vineyard. These are situated within the Grand Cru villages of Verzy, Verzenay, Bouzy, Mailly-Champagne, Aÿ, Ambonnay, Avize and Cramant. For each vintage of Cuvée R. Lalou, the cellar master Didier Mariotti will choose only those lieux dits that he considers to have produced the most outstanding and distinctive quality grapes. For the 1998 launch vintage, only seven lieux dits were selected. Chris Seale, Head of Champagnes at Pernod Ricard UK, comments: "Following more than a decade of very hard work on wine quality across the G.H. Mumm range, confidence in the brand has been restored and the time is now
right to unveil a new cuvée to 'crown' the portfolio. This launch is not about creating a new 'super brand' Champagne. The focus for Cuvée R. Lalou is firmly on the quality of the wine."

Make your own wine


Budding wine enthusiasts are being offered the chance to make their own wine at a French vineyard. Montpellier Resort, a hotel and golf complex in the south of France owned by Solihull businessman Stephen Goldstein, has teamed up with wine specialists Vino Tempo to provide wine-making seminars and visits to local vineyards. Located in the heart of the Languedoc-Rousillon region, the resort is to host workshops for guests where, under the watchful eye of expert wine makers, they will be able to make their own blends from a variety of base wines such as Grenache, Syrah and
 
Mourvèdre to bottled as their own creation. For further information, please contact: +44 (0)121 713 2277