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February 2008


Best of Chile

The 5th Annual Wines of Chile Awards have just taken place in Santiago, Chile. The top trophies were awarded to:

Best Wine of the Show & Red Blend Trophy
La Rosa Ossa 6th Generation 2004, Cachapoal
Pinot Noir Trophy
Anakena ONA Pinot Noir 2007, Casablanca

  
Carmenère Trophy
Arboleda Carmenère 2006, Colchagua Valley
Sauvignon Blanc Trophy & Best Value White Trophy
Viña Falernia Alta Tierra Sauvignon Blanc 2007, Elqui
Syrah Trophy
Viña Mayu Reserva Syrah 2006, Elqui
Cabernet Sauvignon Trophy
Gillmore Hacedor de Mundos Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2005, Maule
Other Whites Trophy
Anakena Roots of the Andes Single Vineyard Viognier 2007, Rapel Valley
Best Value Red Trophy
Luis Felipe Edwards Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Colchagua Valley

UK's oldest vineyard for sale

The UK’s oldest producing vineyard on the Isle of Wight, where the first grapes were grown by the Romans, will go under the hammer with a guide price of £800,000 at a Colliers CRE’s auction on 18 February. Adgestone Vineyard in Brading, Near Sandown comprises a 10 acre, gently sloping, south facing site. There are currently nine acres planted with grapes and one acre unused. The winery produces two red, two white and a sparkling wine, attracts 30,000 visitors a year and made a profit of £49,301 in 2005. The production area is in a purpose built underground cellar and winery, above which there is a shop and café. There is also a modern, split level house with four en-suite bedrooms. Three of the bedrooms are currently used for guests. The site still has major potential for growth with less than half
 
of the production capacity of 22,000 litres being used. The property is also fully licensed for on and off site sales of wine and beer. Furthermore it is in an area of outstanding natural beauty with extensive sea views. The auction will take place at The Radisson SAS Portman Square Hotel in London on Monday 18 February. Further information, including copies of the brochure pages and detailed descriptions, can be downloaded from collierscre.co.uk.

Virgin growth


   Online retailer Virgin Wines, now part of the Direct Wines group that also owns Laithwaites and the Sunday Times Wine Club, has reported its best month on record, with like for like sales in December 2007 43% up on the same month the previous year. Rowan Gormley, who founded Virgin Wines in 2000, commented: "The evidence shows that the UK has reached a tipping point, where mainstream consumers are swapping from the high street to the net. Aside from strong sales growth, we sold to our 500,000th customer."


Wine Hotels


A new promotional organisation called Wine Hotels Collection (www.winehotelscollection.com) is bringing together hotels throughout the world with a very specific wine connection. The hotels are mostly smaller boutique hotels situated in vineyards, usually as part of wineries, but might also be hotels with extensive wine cellars, or which are situated on recognised "wine routes" and which have activities related to wine such as tasting facilities and wine tours. The organisation started in Argentina before expanding to Chile, Spain and France, and is currently adding members in Italy, South Africa and the United States.
 

Grands Crus for Grands Amateurs


   From 17th-18th May 2008, the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux is offering wine amateurs the chance to taste like an expert at 'Le Weekend des Grands Amateurs'. This will be the 3rd year that this event has taken place and it enables wine lovers to sample wines from more than 100 great Châteaux, all under one roof. On Saturday 17th May, from 10.30am-5.30pm, the Tasting will take place in the centre of Bordeaux. Wine enthusiasts are invited to spend the weekend tasting wines from over 100 prestigious estates belonging to the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux. Each Château will be presenting both their 2005 and achoice of historic vintages. As well as tasting the wines, there will be opportunity to meet the men and women behind the great wines of Bordeaux and find out more
about their Châteaux. The entry fee for the tasting is 53 euros (for reservations made in advance, and 68 euros on the day. Half price entry is offered to wine professionals and students. In the evening, dinners will be organised at Châteaux in the Médoc, Graves, Sauternes, Saint Emilion and Pomerol regions. The cost of the dinner is 130 euros per person. On the Sunday, visitors will be able to discover the great growths, with personalised tours and tastings in Châteaux in the regions. To book, please contact: amateurs@ugcb.net.

New England Australia


'New England Australia' is the latest Australian wine region to be officially recognised. Executive Officer of the Geographical Indications Committee (GIC), Jock Osborne, announced that on the 23rd January 2008 Australia's newest Geographical Indication was entered into the Register of Protected names. Located within the Northern Slopes zone within the state of New South Wales, its "unique set of climatic conditions and similarities of topography, soil types and climate have earned the region its new status." Universal consensus for its boundaries (unlike the long running boundary disputes that have dogged the zoning of other regions) has meant that
 
the application has progressed relatively quickly. Mr Osborne is quoted as saying "The establishment of the New England Australia GI will enable wine growers in the district to regionally brand and market their wines. The emerging wine industry in this region will have the opportunity to benefit from its new status." Situated near the northern border of the state, the large region encompasses the main towns of Armidale, Glen Innes, Inverell and Tenterfield. The Great Dividing Range extends down its eastern boundaries, and the region is north of the Hunter.