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News posted on Wednesday, 9 September 2015

CHAMP Private Equity cleans up on Accolade Wines UK drinks sale
CHAMP Private Equity has had a big win in the United Kingdom, walking away with a six-fold return after the sale of Accolade Wines' 50 per cent share in the UK's biggest drinks distributor to pubs, Matthew Clark. CHAMP's share of the profits of the sale of Matthew Clark is about $200 million, with the other half of the business having been owned by Punch Taverns in the UK. The Matthew Clark business has been sold to another company called Conviviality Retail after a sales process, which delivered a big windfall to Accolade and its 80 per cent owner, CHAMP.

Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Kilikanoon Wines set new partnership
The Sydney Symphony Orchestra announced a new agreement with Kilikanoon Wines to be the official exclusive still and sparkling wine partner of the SSO. The partnership will see Kilikanoon wines from South Australia's Clare Valley served at the SSO Vanguard Series, Salon Series, lectures, lunches and special fundraising events for the next two years. Kilikanoon Wines has a long standing relationship with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra; Kilikanoon Proprietor and Brand Ambassador Nathan Waks is a former Co-Principal Cellist for the SSO.

Vinomofo is getting into the gourmet meal delivery service
Online wine retailer Vinomofo has invested $250,000 in meals delivery business Nourissh, a market which co-founders and joint CEOs Justin Dry and Andre Eikmeier say is exploding overseas and becoming hugely popular in Australia. The two investors, who started Vinomofo in their garage in 2007, see the delivery meals market as a key area of growth for the future of their business.

Penfolds Grange tops global challenge to find greatest wine of the 1970s
It was the wine Max Schubert declared as his greatest triumph. Now, more than four decades later, the legendary Penfolds 1971 Grange has topped a tasting of the world's greatest wines of the 1970s, beating some of France's most famous wine estates on the way. Wines worth in excess of $500,000 were sourced from around the world, at a special event commissioned by European luxury magazine publisher FINE and website tastingbook.com. Judges from nine different countries were on hand to assess and score the wines.

Traditional beer companies are copying craft brewers, but the wine industry isn't interested
Imagine this scenario: You’re sitting at the dark mahogany counter of a craft brewpub. Exposed bulbs are dangling from a thatched roof, aluminium pipes snaking across brick walls to red copper conditioning tanks. The building is a repurposed garage, and the doors open onto the outdoor seating area strung with fairy lights. On the handwritten 20-by-10-foot blackboard, you have more than three dozen choices, but it’s clear what you’re not going to get at a pub like this.

Awesome foursome win gold
An EIT foursome have achieved a first as the only students to win gold in New Zealand’s Bragato Wine Awards. Their medal-winning wine, a 2014 Syrah, was made from grapes donated by C J Pask and grown by company viticulturist Danny van Selm. One of 43 Syrahs entered in the awards, it was judged alongside commercial entries and was one of five golds in its class. “We are looking at international shows now,” Tom laughs of the group’s success.

New Zealand Pinot Noir finds fans in France
More and more French wine drinkers are enthusiastically embracing foreign wines, as shown during a recent tour of France by New Zealand Pinot Noir producers - who also offered a critique of Burgundy for good measure, writes Andrew Jefford in his weekly column. This, I guess, is how the wine world moves forward. It starts, typically enough, with an idea – in this case, from Jérôme Faure, group head sommelier for the Constance Hotels group of Indian Ocean hotels and resorts.

UK wine trade ‘destroying value for volume’
Speaking at the world’s first ever WSET alumni networking event in London yesterday, Enotria chief executive Troy Christensen said there was “an unfortunate continuation of destroying value for volume” in the UK wine trade. Christensen, who was invited to speak at an inaugural gathering for Wine & Spirit Education Trust diploma graduates, accused the trade of using nothing but price to drive volumes, but expressed his optimism for the UK due to the high number of wine professionals in the market and the WSET itself.

Global wine production is shifting its power centre
The global wine industry is seeing a gradual but subtle shift in its power centre. France and Italy were by far the largest and the second largest producer of wine in the world respectively. France produced 46.7 mhl of wine while Italy brewed 44.7 mhl of wine in 2014-2015. This has been the trend for years in the global wine industry. If the wine production in Spain is added to those of France and Italy, the three would account for 47% of the global annual production of wine.

Washington wine harvest fast, furious, fantastic
In a typical year in Washington wine country, hardly any grapes would be harvested by Sept. 4. Maybe a little Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay. But 2015 isn’t a typical year. In fact, it’s tracking to be the warmest vintage in the history of the Washington wine industry. As a result, many wineries already are third of the way through harvest – and it isn’t even Labor Day. “It’s coming in pretty fast,” said Marty Clubb, owner of L’Ecole No. 41 in the Walla Walla Valley town of Lowden. “I’m very enthusiastic about what we’re seeing.”

Asda wins best supermarket for wine at Decanter Retailer Awards
Decanter Retailer Awards judges praised Walmart-owned Asda‘s commitment to creating a diverse and varied wine range with the launch of its Asda Wine Atlas, using the tagline ‘a passport to wine discovery’. This is what sealed Asda’s victory ahead of runner-up Marks & Spencer, even though judges also praised the ‘adventurous spirit’ and high quality of the M&S range. ‘The winner may come as a surprise to some in the room, but it is fully deserved,’ said awards chair Peter Richards MW at the Decanter Retailer Awards ceremony at London’s Connaught hotel last night.

USA Trade Tasting Exhibitor Tables 95% Booked Out
USA Trade Tasting (USATT) has announced that registrations are now 95% sold out. The grand tasting that is planned to showcase international brands that are looking for importers and distributors in USA at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City next March 21 and 22, 2016, has already surpassed its expectations. USATT is a dynamic b2b annual grand tasting and business conference dedicated to connecting suppliers with US importers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers and influential media partners.

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