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Wine News

The French prosecute wine producers who have been passing off Spanish rosé wine as French

Around 5 million of bottles of Spanish rosé wine imported into France, have been sold as French wine.
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French authorities have begun prosecutions after finding that around five million of bottles of Spanish rosé imported into France have been sold fraudulently as French wine.

Following a two year investigation to check wines were being properly labelled, it was found around 5 million bottles of wine were potentially sold illegally. One producer already faces fines and possible imprisonment. Of the 179 establishments audited in 2016, 22% were accused of confusing labelling while some were blatantly passing off Spanish wine as French, known as Francisation.

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Marlborough launches NZ's first wine appellation

The new certification was driven by producers and aims to help drinkers identify the top wines from Marlborough.
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Marlborough has launched New Zealand's first wine appellation to be known as “Appellation Marlborough Wine” (AMW). The new certification has been driven by producers and aims to help drinkers identify the top wines from Marlborough.

Appellation Marlborough Wine will mean any wine bearing the certification must have 100% of grapes coming from Marlborough. There will be a limit on the maximum cropping levels and all wineries must be part of a recognised sustainable viticultural programme.
On launch, 36 producers have signed up to AMW. They will pay NZ$1,000 membership and 1% of sales to support the organisation.

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English producers shine at the IWC Awards

Bob Lindo from Camel Valley and Cherie Spriggs from Nyetimber win top trophies at the IWC Awards.
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This week the International Wine Challenge (IWC) announced its trophy winners and other Merchant awards. The Sparkling Winemaker of the Year went to Cherie Spriggs from English producer Nyetimber. It is the first time that the award was won by someone not from Champagne. Camel Valley's Bob Lindo won the Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication to raising the standards of English Sparkling wine. Aldi took home the Supermarket of the Year award, while Lay & Wheeler won the Online Retailer of the Year.

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Penfolds target Napa and Champagne for overseas expansion

Penfolds is shifting the traditional marketing approach to wine with Champagne and Napa reds for the Australian brand.
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The Penfolds brand is targeting Napa for its first overseas expansion, and is planning to launch a Champagne next year. Australian wine producer and Treasury Wine Estate's (TWE) brand Penfolds is to start producing wines in Napa Valley starting with the 2018 harvest and ready for release in 2022.

TWE’s chief marketing officer, Michelle Terry said, ‘These extensions will consolidate Penfolds as a luxury brand that transcends beyond its existing sourcing regions and categories, positioning it for its next chapter.’

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Hong Kong the new wine mecca

This week Hong Kong got two big pushes, one for the drinkers and one for business.
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This week Hong Kong got two big pushes, one for wine drinkers and one for business.

Chinese winery Grace Vineyard was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, raising over HK$406 million (£39 million), the majority of which will be invested in building wine making facilities in Ningxia province, China’s leading wine region.

Meanwhile, UK producer Rathfinny Estate has decided to target Hong Kong as its first export market. Jebsen Fine Wines in Hong Kong will be their distributor.

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2017 Bordeaux En Primeur - the market squeals

With the 2017 Bordeaux En Primeur campaign over, with mixed prices, 2015 vintage is looking good.
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Prices for the Bordeaux En Primeur 2017 vintage were considered to be quite mixed, but in general they amounted to another rise in prices for a vintage of mixed quality. Commentators suggesting why not buy 2015 wines with higher scores at the same price, made selling the 2017 vintage difficult.

Volume sales fell by 60% according to Liv-Ex compared to the expensive but in demand 2016 En Primeur. A range of prices saw good sales among some Chateaux and the 1st Growths were reported in Harpers to have had sold well.

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Also this month

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Wine is mainly sold in 750ml bottles but some producers are putting wine in 500ml bottles to share between two. Do you think smaller bottles are a good idea?