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wine news, July 2010

Tap into Berrys' wine knowledge

Go-ahead retailer Berry Bros & Rudd has announce the release of the latest Berrys' Fine Wine App. Built on the success of 2009's iPhone App, the 2010 release sees numerous enhancements, including compatibility with the iPad. A design overhaul has allowed the application to take full advantage of the larger multi-touch iPad screen, and browsing and navigation have been simplified. New Vintage Charts, Profiles and Ratings and enhanced search functionality adds filtering have been added, and transactional improvements have made it simpler to purchase through the free App. The App takes forward other content including tasting notes from Berrys' Masters of Wine, the Virtual Wine School video tutorials, and full online functionality. Berrys' say the changes make this "a must-have upgrade for all Fine Wine aficionados." Charlie Bennett, Website & Marketing Development Manager at Berrys', says: "The latest version of our App offers enhanced search functionality and brand new vintage charts, vintage ratings and vintage profiles. The ordering functionality has now been enhanced and the latest version of the App is fully compatible with iPads." Download free via bbr.com/app.
  

Stop the bridge campaign heats up

Without doubt Dr Loosen is one of the Mosel Valleys best-known wine names, and their wines in the UK will soon be sporting an eye-catching neck hanger to highlight the ongoing campaign to halt a proposed road bridge planned for one of the most scenic and high profile vineyard areas on the Mosel, directly across the famous Urziger Würzgarten vineyard. The "Bridge Too Far" neck hanger campaign is the brainchild of Nigel Blundell, of Dr Loosen's UK importer, who comments "After visiting the Mosel earlier this year and seeing what a terrible effect this monstrous bridge could have, not only on the ecology but also tourism in the area, I put forward the suggestion of neck hangers to Thomas and Erni Loosen. By putting these neck hangers on the bottles we are bringing the issue directly to the consumers' attention. This is a beautiful and important stretch of vineyard land. We have to stop that bridge." Ernst Loosen's family have been making wine in the Mosel for over 200 years, and he too is said to be extremely concerned about the impact the bridge will have on the vineyards. "The water supply for our vineyards comes from the forest on the edge of the hills," he says. "Building work for the four lane motorway will mean that we will be cut off from the water supply." UK retailers agreeing to carry the neck hangers are Sainsbury's, Waitrose, ASDA, E H Booth Oddbins, Majestic, Direct Wines and Avery's.   

Divino Enoteca

Edinburgh restaurateur Tony Crolla has announced the opening next month of "the most exciting new location for wine lovers in the UK," in the shape of Divino Enoteca, which translates as 'wine library'. Divino Enoteca will feature   
'Enomatic' wine dispensers, and Crolla says this will allow up to 200 of some of the world's finest wines to be sampled by the glass. Sommelier Sebastiano Ingaliso, who has worked in a range of top establishments around the UK and Europe, has been appointed to manage the operation. Tony Crolla said: "People who may have always wanted to try a rare vintage wine but who have been denied because of the cost of a full bottle or difficulty in sourcing the wine, can now do so. We have a simple aim - to be the best enoteca wine bar in the UK." The Enoteca is situated in a historic building in Edinburgh's Old Town and will have an enclosed exterior courtyard "in the style of a summer Italian garden." A selection of fine Italian cheeses, marinated vegetables, olives, salamis and cured meats will be served to complement the wines on offer. A 14-seater wine education room will host wine tasting sessions and wine education courses.

Denbies heading south

Denbies Wine Estate has announced the appointment of Brendan Seal (right) as Vintage Wine maker and Viticulturist. Seal is currently winemaker at Mount Edward Winery in Central Otago in New Zealand. John Worontschak, Operations Director at Denbies says "Brendan's appointment reinforces our commitment to produce truly stunning wines. His New World and European experience will bring a different dimension to the development of Denbies still wine making." Seal's past experience includes spells at Chard Farm in New Zealand and Andre Ostertag in Alsace.
 
With the appointment of Seal to work alongside resident winemaker, Marcus Sharp, Denbies say they are "looking to push the boundaries of still wine making to a different level." Denbies is England's largest vineyard, producing over 450,000 bottles of wine per annum.

10 Green Bottles

Cambridge Wine Merchants are the first UK retailer to import wine in new high-tech PET plastic bottles - and not just any wine, as their first offering is respected grower Joseph Mellot's Sauvignon Blanc 2009. Hal Wilson, owner and managing director of Cambridge Wine Merchants, says "we are always on the lookout for innovation and also for ways to minimize our impact on the environment and our carbon footprint. That's why we didn't
  
hesitate long when we had the opportunity to buy Joseph Mellot's Sauvignon Blanc in this high-tech PET bottle, equipped with UV and oxygen blockers." The bottles are made of a blown plastic material which is said to enable the wine to stay fresh for up to 15 months. A layer of nylon between two PET layers prevents oxygen ingress, so the risk of oxidation is kept to a minimum. The bottle is much lighter than a glass bottle at 58g as opposed to a minimum weight of 480g. The reduced weight means fuel consumption for transport is greatly reduced and carbon emission caused reduced by a claimed 68%. The bottle is recyclable.