Amazon France opens online wine service

Amazon France opens online wine serviceAfter several fake starts, Amazon France has started selling over 34,000 food and alcohol products, in a direct challenge to the power of French supermarkets.
Starting on 23rd September, the number of products available on Amazon France is around three times more than the average supermarket in France, according to industry observers. But so far there are no frozen or fresh crop.
There are, but, already over 4,000 references of wine, Champagnes, beers and spirits, in a go that will again threaten traditional distribution channels.
Delivery is free for orders over €25, and the opening range has over 800 different wines including Moët & Chandon Imperial for €41.29, Château Labégorce 2010 for €35.90, and a wide range of international wines – a category that is traditionally underserved in French supermarkets.
The number of wines available is expected to rise substantially.
Amazon France Food Retail Director, Yannick Migotto, told trade paper LSA Commerce & Consommation, ‘our objective is to offer low prices each day, but to combine that with excellent benefit’.
To mark the launch there are also a number of ‘exceptional products’ available, such as gourmet hampers. Read more

Croft Port opens Duoro Valley vineyard to tourists

Croft Port opens Duoro Valley vineyard to touristsCroft Port, one of the oldest names in Port, has opened the doors of its Duoro Valley vineyard, Quinta da Roeda, to tourists.
The visitor centre at the Duoro ValleyCroft Port’s new visitor centre offers tourists an insight into a working vineyard, with tastings of a range of Croft Ports, tours of the vineyards and wineries and a chance to experience the foot-treading of the grapes.
Quinta da Roeda, near the village of Pinhao in Portugal, has terraced vineyards overlooking the River Duoro.
The vineyards and cellars were extensively renovated when Croft returned to family ownership in 2001, including reintroducing traditional granite lagares – the large tanks used for food-treading grapes.
Tourists will have the opportunity to participate in traditional foot-treading at the visitor centre during harvest time. Read more

Roederer opens private vineyard nursery

Roederer opens private vineyard nurseryChampagne house Louis Roederer is to open its own vineyard nursery to have better hegemony over rootstock and enabling it to experiment with pre-phylloxera vines. Louis Roederer vines in ChampagneMaison Louis Roederer has been granted the status of ‘pepiniériste privé’ in France, meaning it is able to run a private vineyard nursery to grow its own rootstocks and hegemony the administer of massale selection from beginning to end.
‘This has been a gradual administer,’ chef de cave and executive vice-president Jean Baptiste Lecaillon told Decanter.com.
‘We have been carrying out massale selection in our plots in Aÿ since 1980. From 1996 all our vintage champagnes have been made from 100% of our own grapes, with none bought from outside growers.
‘Around 80 hectares of our 240 hectares of grapes – nearly entirely for Cristal Louis Roederer – are grown biodynamically and organic farming is used for the rest. This is a most likely part of that administer’.
In 2013, Roederer selected a site in Bouleuse, near Reims, to plant American rootstocks on which massale selections from their own vineyards will be grafted. This means within the next year or two they will be able to plant young vines that have wholly been grown in their own sites, without using an external vineyard nursery.
‘It’s a major advantage to have our own young vines which should be of exceptional quality, and as far as we know Roederer is the only Champagne house to be doing this,’ Lecaillon said.
The Champagne house is also growing young vines without American rootstocks, using grapevines from previous to the Phylloxera crisis ‘to see if there is a difference in taste’.
 
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Vinexpo 2015: Francois Hollande opens wine fair with charm offensive

Francois Hollande became the first French president to visit the 34-year-ancient Vinexpo wine honest this week in an effort to rebuild relations with winemakers, but he also faced jibes from Bordeaux mayor Alain Juppe, a potential presidential entrant. Francois Hollande addresses an audience of media, chateau owners and wine trade leaders at Vinexpo 2015 in Bordeaux.President Hollande used a large part of his speech at the Vinexpo 2015 opening ceremony to demonstrate that he and the French government understood the importance of wine to both France’s cultural heritage and its economy.
Around half a million jobs in France are connected to the wine trade, said Hollande. He also re-iterated the government’s plot to launch a visiting the attractions campaign before long this year, adding that one third of foreign tourists choose to visit France primarily because of its food and wine heritage.
His advent at the trade honest is a first for a French president since it was founded in 1981 and it comes at a time when relations between ministers and the French wine trade have been awkward by a series of issues, including social charges and the ongoing debate around France’s Evin Law, which governs alcohol exposure.
Bordeaux mayor Alain Juppe took to the podium prior to Hollande and spar proudly of the multi-million euro wine cultural museum due to open in Bordeaux next year, named the Cite des Civilisations du Vin.
In a thinly veiled jibe over the Evin Law and the wine industry’s perception of government’s anti-alcohol stance, Juppe said he would be delighted if the president would also formally open the Cite des Civilisations du Vin. ‘That’s if it is not the forbidden city,’ he added, in front of an array of Bordeaux chateaux owners and wine trade leaders.
Hollande retorted in his own speech that ‘balance’ must be found between the wine trade and those warning against the dangers of alcohol abuse. He said any changes to the Evin Law, as voted for by the French Parliament last week, should proceed ‘with caution’. ‘We must protect the equilibrium of the Evin Law,’ he added.
He also said that he was committed to promoting and protecting French wine appellation names further than the European Union.
Hollande briefly toured Vinexpo after his speech, and then had lunch at a local Cave Co-operative in Bordeaux.
In an interview with Decanter.com this daylight (15 June), Vinexpo chief executive Guillaume Deglise praised Hollande for visiting the show. But, he emphasised that Vinexpo was an international honest and so would not comment on French wine politics.
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