Ed more than just froth and bubble

Ed more than just froth and bubble

Ed Carr, Accolade Wine’s long term sparkling winemaker, is a one-man industry. He clearly produces the finest most internationally styled wines in Australia – and perhaps in Australasia. Ed consistently wins the majority of the show circuit’s Methode Champenoise trophies and last week won the National Wine Show Trophy for Best Sparkling Wine…again, reports In My Community.

Lebanon builds momentum (Lebanon)

Lebanese producers hailed an “exceptional vintage” for 2011, as they advanced their campaign to develop the UK market in a series of tastings last week. Summing up trade reactions from a tour which took place in Manchester, Bristol and London, Lebanese-based wine writer Michael Karam said: “People are beginning to recognise that Lebanon deserves a place in the wine constellation.” Although the majority of the flagship wines presented at the tastings remained Cabernet or Syrah-based blends, Karam highlighted interest from the UK trade in some of the newer styles coming through, reports The Drinks Business.

Historic Mawson bottle could fetch $15,000

The hardy Antarctic expeditioners from almost a century ago would pass the long, polar nights by smoking and playing cards for chocolate bars, and usually with a glass of port in hand. Now, decades after such provisions made life bearable for Sir Douglas Mawson’s band of pioneers, a new value is set to be established for a bottle they left behind. The 92-year-old bottle of port made for Mawson’s 1929 expedition is expected to fetch around $15,000 when auctioned at a dinner this week, reports Nine News.

Egg-shaped wine tanks whet appetite (Italy)

As iconic and seductively curved as the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Mo., the egg-shaped wooden fermentor displayed by Bordeaux-based master artisan Joseph François may be the image many visitors will retain of SIMEI 2011. Inundated with interest in his work, Foudrerie Francois directeur general Laurent Lacroix struggled to find time to respond to questions concerning the enological benefits of this unconventional design, reports Wines & Vines

Series of surprises at annual wine awards (NZ)

Nothing in life is without surprises, wine shows included. Well, in this case not any old wine show but the most prestigious of the many held each year in this country – the Air New Zealand Wine Awards. The first of those surprises at this year’s show was, for the fourth year in a row, the dominance of Pinot Noir in the medal count. The second was the trophy-winning wine; the third the champion wine of the show; and the fourth the dismal failure of Hawke’s Bay’s much-vaunted Syrah to gain traction with the judges, writes Warren Barton in The Southland Times.

Aussie wines thrill at inaugural wine school

Wines from Down Under were described as “thrilling” and “exciting” at yesterday’s first Australian Wine School in London. Speaking at the event, Tim Atkin MW said: “Australia is more exciting today than at any point in my life as a wine writer.” Atkin was joined by commentators Andrew Jefford and Nick Stock to discuss Australia’s soils, geology, climate as well as viticultural and winemaking developments, before conducting a tasting of Australia’s signature wines. The event was held by Wine Australia, reports The Drinks Business.

Bureau warns of high fire risk later this week

The Bureau of Meteorology has warned of a high risk of fire across the state later this week. The warning comes after more than 40 properties were destroyed when fire ripped through the Margaret River area last week. The Bureau of Meteorology says the southern Gascoyne and central west will be the worst affected areas in the state, but residents in the Wheatbelt and south of the state should also be wary. Bureau spokesman Neil Bennett says the conditions will be similar to those during the Margaret River fires, reports ABC News.

Rare release

When you purchase a bottle of Penfolds newly-released 2008 Bin 620 Cabernet Shiraz you are purchasing a time capsule, according to chief winemaker Peter Gago. That’s because the first make of the wine hasn’t been released to the public since 1966. The small volume made Bin 620 Cabernet Shiraz, sourced from Penfolds grapes in Coonawarra, was released this month in Shanghai. Gago said Penfolds only released extremely limited batches of rare special bin wines from exceptional vintages, and only then when the quality of the flagship Grange and Bin 707 are not in any way compromised, reports The Barossa & Light Herald.

Wine scientists focus on sensors (Italy)

During the second day of SIMEI, the world’s largest winemaking trade show, experts discussed the growing use of sensor technologies in all phases of winegrowing. Jean Louis Marty of Université de Perpignan, France, began with a general talk summarizing sensor advances in precision viticulture as well as data collection in the winery cellar. Stanley Best from the Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agropeduarias of Chile detailed experiences in precision viticulture in Chile, and Marco Vieri of the Univerità di Fiorenze discussed control of vineyard processes, reports Wines & Vines

Record-breaking month at Accolade Park (UK)

Bristol’s Accolade Park bottling plant has hit a new height this month with the dispatch of 1.2 million cases in a single week. The state-of-the-art facility, owned by Accolade Wines (formerly Constellation), is currently operating Monday to Sunday to meet orders ahead of Christmas and has already beaten last year’s busiest week by 30,000 cases. It has also broken a record in terms of production at the plant by transferring as much as 20.7m litres of wine into bottles and bag-in-box in one month, during October, reports The Drinks Business.

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