Himmaleh Spirits, India’s first traceable distillery focused on artisanal spirits, today announced the launch of its first product, Kumaon & I - a provincial dry Gin that celebrates the unique terroir and rich flavours of Uttarakhand’s Kumaon region.
With a strong focus on farm-to-bottle and sustainable sourcing, Himmaleh Spirits is a family-owned and independent artisanal spirits distillery founded by Ansh Khanna and Samarth Prasad. The company aims to encourage consumers to drink better by shaping not just a legacy of spirits but also a legacy of social and environmental responsibility. Its hyperlocal approach drives it to work only with botanicals from Uttarakhand, fostering sustainable progress for the region.
About Kumaon & I – India's First Provincial Gin
A careful curation from the house of Himmaleh Spirits, Kumaon & I is an all-natural Himalayan dry Gin made from fresh Himalayan spring water. It embodies a unique selection of 11 regional botanicals that are slowly distilled at source for 9 hours, to extract the maximum flavour and lend a distinct texture to the spirit. Among its standout botanicals are Timur, a berry-like Szechuan pepper that infuses a delightful fusion of fruitiness and spice, and Black Turmeric, cultivated at an altitude of over 10,000 feet, endowing it with an extended growth cycle and a richly concentrated flavour. This is complemented by coriander seeds and two distinct citrus fruits – Galgal, a local citrus variety, and Kinu, which introduces nuanced sweet undertones.
Label & Bottle Design
The logo and bottle design draw inspiration from the traditions and culture of the Kumaon community. The black circles symbolise the circularity of sustainable farming, while the lines embody the commitment to traceability through local sourcing and the dedication to the ‘farm to bottle’ ethos. The colours (white and red) trace their roots to Aipan, a local hand-painted art form drawn on a smooth surface of wet ochre mud (Geru), which is red. A white paste (Bisvar), made by grounding cooked rice in water, is used by women to draw patterns on this surface.
Ansh Khanna, Co-Founder of Himmaleh Spirits, said, “Having witnessed the incredible wealth of natural resources in India, we decided to delve deeper into using a hyperlocal approach to spirit production. We are thrilled to introduce Kumaon & I, India’s first premium provincial Gin crafted from unique Himalayan botanicals like Timur and Black Turmeric, along with local citrus fruits like Galgal. These ingredients create an earthy essence and an unmistakable mouthfeel that encapsulate the flavours of Uttarakhand.”
Current Availability: Rs 2,700 (Uttarakhand), Rs 2,896 (Goa), RS 3000 (Gurgaon)
(Excerpt from a release)
Chisinau, Moldova – September 25, 2023 – The Republic of Moldova is once again gearing up for the 22nd edition of National Wine Day, an extraordinary wine celebration event in Eastern Europe. Traditionally held on the first weekend of October each year, this year's festivities are scheduled for October 7th and 8th. Wine of Moldova is preparing to host a remarkable showcase featuring a record-breaking lineup of over 90 wineries, ranging from well-established producers to a burgeoning number of boutique wineries. "Our Wine Wins Over the World" is the chosen theme for this year's Moldova's National Wine Day, echoing the remarkable international recognition that Wine of Moldova has garnered in recent years. It encapsulates a decade of remarkable achievements and revolutionary successes in the global wine arena since the launch of Moldova's wine country brand, "Wine of Moldova. A legend alive."
Over the past 10 years, Moldovan wines have made significant strides in quality, propelling us to become the most awarded country in Eastern Europe at international competitions. Moldova proudly claims the title of the "World's Best Red Wine," a testament to our dedication and craftsmanship. Moldovan wines have received record recognition at international competitions, amassing over 6,000 medals.
On October 7th and 8th, the Great National Assembly Square will undergo a stunning transformation into a vibrant wine city. This gathering will unite winemakers, oenologists, wine connoisseurs, and industry professionals, alongside enthusiastic tourists from all corners of the globe. More than 90 dedicated winemakers will proudly come together under the banner of Moldova's renowned wine brand, "Wine of Moldova”, to showcase their exceptional vinous creations. The event will also feature a prestigious award ceremony recognizing outstanding figures in the wine industry, a diverse program of captivating artistic and cultural performances, the "Wine School" dedicated to educating consumers on responsible wine consumption and nurturing wine culture, as well as tailored tours and exclusive programs at Moldova's wine-rich oenotourism destinations. With National Wine Day typically attracting around 100,000 attendees, including local residents, tourists, and industry experts, this year's celebration promises to be even more remarkable as it marks the 10th anniversary of Wine of Moldova.
(excerpt from a release)
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
East Side Distillery, Goa-based craft spirit company, announces a prestigious win for its latest venture, Portal Gin. Portal Gin has bagged the prestigious Silver Award at the 2023 Asian Gin Masters held in Hong Kong. This remarkable achievement follows in the footsteps of DOJA Gin, the world's first Indo-Japanese Gin, also crafted by ESD, securing the same accolade at the highly regarded Asian Gin Masters in 2022.
Portal is a London Dry Gin, meticulously crafted using an array of botanicals including juniper berries, coriander, lime, orange, angelica root, thyme, liquorice root, black pepper, green cardamom, and ginger root. Each botanical is intricately measured and blended to achieve the perfect symphony of flavours, culminating in a gin that stands unparalleled in terms of both taste and quality. As a result, this gin exudes a harmonious and refreshing profile, possessing a complexity and sophistication that belies its remarkably affordable price point.
Reflecting on this win, Victor De Benito, Head Distiller & Global Brand Ambassador, East Side Distillery and Member of the Gin Guild said, "Our journey at East Side Distillery is about more than just creating beverages; it's about creating experiences. Each bottle we produce is a fusion of tradition and innovation, encapsulating the rich tapestry of global influences that inspire our craft. This win reinforces our belief that quality should be accessible to all, and Portal Gin, with its intricate botanical blend, is a testament to that vision.”
( Excerpt from a press release)
HAMILTON, Bermuda- -Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held international spirits company in the world, announced today the completion of a transaction that makes the family-owned company the sole owner of ILEGAL Mezcal®, a leading super premium artisanal mezcal.
The transaction follows a successful relationship in which Bacardi partnered with ILEGAL since 2015. The super premium plus mezcal category is growing at a fast pace and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 16% over the next five years according to IWSR. Between now and 2027, the agave category – which includes both mezcal and tequila – is expected to be the sixth largest category globally, and it recently overtook American Whiskey to become the second largest category (by value) in the U.S. At 86% of global market share, the United States dominates the super premium mezcal category. (Source: 2022 IWSR).
“We believe that ILEGAL has the credentials to own and lead the super premium mezcal category at a global level. ILEGAL perfectly complements our portfolio and bringing it into our business sets the brand up for even greater growth as mezcal captivates more and more consumers,” says Barry Kabalkin, Vice Chairman of Bacardi Limited.
“Bacardi and ILEGAL have a shared commitment to communities, quality, and environmental sustainability that we will build upon together as we look to invest for the long term. As a family-owned business for seven generations, we are always building for the future to maintain the legacy that is Bacardi,” says Mahesh Madhavan, Bacardi Limited Chief Executive Officer.
ILEGAL, recognized globally for its lifestyle branding, also prides itself on being a responsible and sustainable business. They work with fourth-generation maestros mezcaleros in Santiago Matatlán, Oaxaca, Mexico. ILEGAL Mezcal is double distilled in small batches using 100% Espadin agave. ILEGAL Mezcal is 100% natural and uses no artificial colors, yeasts, flavors, or additives. It is certified as artisanal mezcal by the Consejo Regulador del Mezcal (CRM).
John Rexer created ILEGAL in 2006, after years of working with small distillers in Oaxaca to make mezcal for his bar in Guatemala. John’s goal has been to bring the finest artisanal mezcal to a global market. He has worked closely with the distillers in Oaxaca to create sustainable jobs, and to be a positive force in protecting the environment and preserving local culture. John will continue to guide the vision of the brand.
“We are excited about the next stage of the journey,” says John Rexer. “Success for ILEGAL goes beyond seeing more of our bottles on shelves; it’s about building our business the right way. We will always be committed to artisanal production, the Oaxacan community, and our core values. Being a part of Bacardi will bring ILEGAL to a larger audience while maintaining our commitment to sustainability and growing the business responsibly.”
ILEGAL Mezcal is available in Joven, a full-bodied agave flavor with a light smoke; Reposado, aged six months in medium-charred American oak; and Añejo, aged to taste for 13 months using a combination of new and used American oak, medium char barrels.
(Excerpt from a release)
Notable South Australian estate Two Hands Wines and fine wines importer Wine Park hosted a tasting of Australian Shiraz, featuring the estate’s finest styles from vineyards across Barossa Valley, Mclaren Vale and more. Two Hands Wines proprietor Pierre-Henri Morel and Wine Park head Vishal Kadakia co-hosted the tasting with Mumbai’s leading restaurateurs, retailer and media in attendance. Morrel took participants through an elaborate tasting of seven wines featuring the estate’s Picture Series and the highly rewarded Bella’s Garden as well Two Hand’s top wine, Holy Grail. The Two Hands Wines tasting was held on August 28 at Four Seasons Mumbai.
Pierre-Henri Morel introduced the Two Hands wines by laying an emphasis on the estate’s philosophy, saying that, “Two Hands has always focused on the highlighting the regional identity of the Shiraz grape in the Barossa Valley and across South Australia. We do this by crushing grapes from specific regions so as to capture the unique regional styles like Barossa and Mclaren Vale. We also believe in nurturing the vines and the soil with an organic approach in the vineyard.” Morrel believes that the wine is foremost made in the vineyard : The vineyard is the champion. That is where the magic happens.
The seven wines tasted were:
Two Hands, Angels' Share, Shiraz 2020
Two Hands, Brave Faces, GMS 2020
Two Hands, Gnarly Dudes, Shiraz 2020
Two Hands, Sexy Beast, Cabernet Sauvignon 2022
Two Hands Wines Bella's Garden Shiraz 2021
Two Hands Tenacity Old Vine Shiraz 2022
Two Hands Holy Grail Shiraz, 2021
Wine Park founder and head Vishal Kadakia said on the occasion, “Our journey with Two Hands has been very rewarding, more so because I believe Wine Park has help build the local niche that enjoy premium quality Australian wines. And Two Hands is right up there with the best. I was an admirer of Two Hands wines for a long time, having tasted them back in US several years ago. I was also impressed by how Two Hands featured 13 times in the last 20 years in the Wine Spectator Top 100.”
(Excerpt from a release)
Although conditions were somewhat turbulent at times, the course of the year to date has fuelled high expectations for this year’s vintage. According to estimates, the harvest volume is expected to be around 2.3 million hectolitres. The course is set for another successful year for Austrian wine. Alongside a good quality of wine, this success can also be explained by the positive export trends and the affinity that Austrians have with their country’s wines.
Johannes Schmuckenschlager, President of the Austrian Winegrowers´ Association, expects a promising 2023 vintage. “Following a climatically turbulent and challenging season that was marked by severe storms, we are forecasting a wine harvest of around 2.3 million hectolitres – slightly lower than the volume of the previous year. Nevertheless, we are expecting a very good quality of wine. With this year’s growth cycle having been characterised by alternating spells of rainfall and hot weather, the perfect course has been set,” reported Schmuckenschlager at a press conference in Vienna this week.
Chris Yorke, CEO of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board (Austrian Wine) also responded positively to the forecast for the 2023. “With yet another excellent vintage, the course is set to continue the successful growth of Austrian wine – international markets included. Despite the difficult situation over the past few years, our vintners managed to grow export values in 2022. On the domestic market, the release of Sturm [Ed.: partially fermented grape juice from Austria] marks the start of a key sales period for the wine industry. Austrian Wine is supporting this with a focus on revenue-boosting areas, such as wine tourism, the promotion of high-quality Riedenwein (single-vineyard wine) and Reserve wine for the festive season, and the Sekt Austria concept,” Yorke said.
Very changeable weather throughout 2023
To date, the weather in 2023 has been positive. The year kicked off with a very dry winter, followed by a mix of warm and cool days in March. April was remarkably cool, yet the second half of the month brought very welcome rainfall. The rather cool weather caused relatively late budding of the vines, at the end of the month. This was very good news, however, given the threat of late frost at this time of year. Fortunately, the cooler temperatures in early May did not cause any late frost damage either – a risk that persists in the vineyard until mid-May. The warmth of the vegetation period that began in the second half of May led to strong growth of the vines.
Blossoming began in mid-June in most wine-growing regions. “This late onset, compared to previous years, is viewed positively by the wine industry because a later blossom also means a later start to the ripening period – going more into autumn – when more moderate daytime temperatures and somewhat cooler nights can be expected. This generally leads to more harmonious wines with a well-balanced sugar-acid ratio,” explained Schmuckenschlager. Flowering progressed very well in most regions. Poor flowering conditions were extremely localised, unfortunately resulting in coulure.
The first hot spell of the year began at the end of June and lasted until the beginning of August, with temperatures largely staying above 30 °C. “Contrary to winemakers’ fears, drought damage was fortunately kept at bay – in contrast to the previous year – due to the ground having been well-supplied with water during the preceding falls of rain. Just a few young vineyards were adversely affected by the prolonged dry period. Precipitation at the beginning of August managed to refill the drained water reserves and was particularly important considering that the ripening period was about to start,” Schmuckenschlager added. The second heatwave of the year, which similarly saw temperatures in excess of 30 °C, enabled the ripening process to advance very quickly. Further precipitation was recorded at the end of August, which is especially important for the grapes to ripen fully.
Schmuckenschlager is hoping for nice, dry weather over the next few weeks to ensure that everything is in place for a very good vintage.
(Excerpt from a release)
Premium alcohol range on the rise despite global cost of living crisis, says Euromonitor International expert
Premium alcohol brands have continued to grow and sell in the face of the global cost of living crisis, reveals a Euromonitor International expert. Spiros Malandrakis, Head of Alcoholic Drinks at leading market research firm Euromonitor International, said that from champagne to ultra-premium English gin and from Tequila to prestige Dark Rum all the way to non-alcoholic spirits and aperitivo-embracing bitters, premiumization remains firmly in the spotlight. “This is premiumisation against all the odds. Aspirational momentum is overcoming the cost of living crisis. In fact, iconic segments that are now intricately associated with aspirational consumption and increasingly higher end offerings are among the top sales performers,” said Spiros.
The purchase of premium wines, spirits and non-alcoholic alternatives by consumers during the steepest inflationary spirals in modern history reflects the diverse range of consumer behaviours and motivations that exist within a population. For many consumers indulging in premium products is seen as a way to enjoy occasional luxuries or as a form of escapism. The consumption of premium wines and spirits can also be viewed as a status symbol or a reflection of personal taste and sophistication. Some consumers are willing to allocate a portion of their income to maintain their desired lifestyle, impress others and demonstrate their social standing or expertise in the field of wines and spirits.
Spiros said: “The inexorable march towards ever more premium offerings has been a key theme and driver for the alcohol industry for decades and there is no category that remains impervious to the trend’s relevance and long-term appeal. As one of the steepest inflationary spirals in modern history places extraordinary pressure on drinkers’ discretionary incomes, the premiumization mantra is being put to the test and the results are proof of how solidly embedded it has now become. Contrary to expectations and parallels to previous recessionary cycles, there are no significant signs of sustained or heavy trading down - at least not just yet!”
(Excerpt from a release)
Heineken (brand value up 10% to USD7.6 billion) has overtaken Corona Extra (brand value up 6% to USD7.4 billion) to become the world’s most valuable beer brand. Despite the inflationary pressures being faced by consumers, beer brands continue to see brand value growth. Further, Heineken also ranked second in terms of brand strength.
Every year, leading brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance puts 5,000 of the biggest brands to the test, and publishes over 100 reports, ranking brands across all sectors and countries. The world’s top 50 most valuable and strongest Beer brands are included in the annual Brand Finance Beer 50 2023 ranking.
Asahi isn’t bitter, earning world’s strongest beer brand title with a AAA+ rating
Asahi (brand value up 11% to USD2.8 billion) is the world’s strongest beer brand, earning a brand strength index score of 92.6 out of 100, and a corresponding AAA+ rating. As Japan’s most popular beer brand, regional support has been a key driver in developing brand strength.
Tsingtao and Zhujiang from China giving the buzz with two fastest brand value growth around global beer market
Zhujiang (brand value up 44% to US$680 million) claims the title of beer’s fasted-growing brand, followed by Tsingtao (up 39% to US$2.1 billion). Zhujiang grew this past year, in part, thanks to its improved standing with younger, more price-sensitive consumers. While competitors have opted for price hikes, Zhujiang has maintained stable beer prices, offering a quality, mid-price alternative. Tsingtao’s impressive brand value growth links directly to the brand’s revitalised business model. In 2022, Tsingtao launched over 250 taverns and introduced the brand’s new and immersive customer-centric strategy.
Maintaining the number one spot for the third consecutive year, Moët & Chandon (brand value down 10% to USD1.3 billion) tops the ranking as the world’s most valuable wine brand. Despite a slight decline in brand value, the Champagne champion stays just ahead of the ranking’s second most valuable brand Changyu (brand value up 33% to USD1.2 billion), which climbed two positions in this year’s ranking. Changyu – little known amongst western wine connoisseurs – will be a shock challenger at the top of the wine brand rankings. However, the massive and growing size of the Chinese wine market means that the brand is extremely valuable. Every year, leading brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance puts 5,000 of the biggest brands to the test, and publishes over 100 reports, ranking brands across all sectors and countries. The world’s top 15 most valuable and strongest Champagne & Wine brands are included in the annual Brand Finance Champagne & Wine 15 2023 ranking.
Henry Farr, Associate Director at Brand Finance said:
“Within the Wine & Champagnes sector, Wines have performed better in terms of brand value growth. High-end Champagnes have taken a hit. Difficult growing conditions, reduced availability and price hikes have steered some consumers towards lower-end sparkling wines as an alternative. For those less effected by harsher financial situations, this could be due to not wanting to appear vulgar or ostentatious by indulging in luxury products when others are struggling with the rising costs of living.”
Changyu is the world’s strongest Wine & Champagne brand, rated AAA-
In addition to calculating brand value, Brand Finance also determines the relative strength of brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance. Compliant with ISO 20671, Brand Finance’s assessment of stakeholder equity incorporates original market research data from over 100,000 respondents in 38 countries and across 31 sectors.
Changyu (up 33% to brand value USD1.2 billion) becomes the strongest Wine & Champagnes brand with a BSI score of 83.2 out of 100, earning it a AAA- rating. The China-based brand boasts three consecutive years of brand strength growth.
(Excerpt from a press release)
Australian wine exports declined by 10 per cent in value to $1.87 billion and 1 per cent in volume to 621 million litres in the year ended June 2023, according to Wine Australia’s latest Export Report released today.The decline in value was largely driven by a reduction in exports to the United States of America (US), as lower-priced packaged exports continued to decline. Exports to the United Kingdom (UK) also continued to decline, following the two years of elevated shipments due to pre-Brexit demand and COVID-19 related market impacts.
The latest export results are partially reflective of broader global trends reported by market research firm IWSR, with all wine consumption globally declining 3 per cent in volume in 2022, but premium price segments bucking the trend with continued growth, albeit at slower rates than recent years.Wine Australia Manager, Market Insights, Peter Bailey said that more than half of the decline in Australia’s export value took place in shipments with an average value between $2.50 to $4.99 per litre free on board (FOB), which are generally wines exported in their final packaging and sold in lower priced retail segments.
“Wine consumption in mature markets is in decline, driven by decreases in the commercial price segments. This is impacting Australia’s export performance, especially in the US, as Australia is very exposed to the price segments in decline,” Mr. Bailey said. In comparison to value, export volume was stable as a short-term, supply driven increase in unpackaged wine shipments, especially to Canada, was outweighed by declines in volume to many of Australia’s export destinations.“The growth in unpackaged shipments comes as the shipping challenges of the past couple years have eased, allowing Australian exporters to catch up and ease pressure on inventory,” Mr Bailey said.
The two diverging trends – the supply driven rise in unpackaged wine exports and the demand driven decline in packaged shipments as consumers in traditional markets turn away from wine in lower price segments – meant that exports with an average value below $5 per litre declined by 11 per cent in value but increased by 1 per cent in volume.
“The increase in unpackaged exports and the decline in packaged exports has resulted in the share of unpackaged exports growing by 8 percentage points to a 69 per cent volume share. This has an impact on the overall average value of exports, as unpackaged exports do not include packaging costs and are therefore inherently lower in value,” Mr Bailey said.
Exports above $5 per litre declined by 14 per cent in volume and 9 per cent in value. The markets driving the decline in this segment were Singapore, the US, Canada, and the UK – while growth to Hong Kong was able to offset part of this decline. “According to IWSR, the value of global premium wine sales grew by 2 per cent in 2022, a lower growth rate compared to recent years due to economic and inflationary pressures. Globally, consumers are cutting back on alcohol spending as prices rise for food and other necessities but are choosing to drink less often rather than trade down price segments.”
Australian wine was exported to 117 global destinations during the year, up from 112 in 2022. Sixty-six of these destinations recorded growth in the value of exports during the year, while 51 declined. Exports to Europe and North America both declined during the year. Europe declined by 15 per cent to $556 million, driven mostly by the UK, but 12 of the top 13 destinations in the region also declined in value. North America declined by 14 per cent to $525 million. Exports to Asia declined by 4 per cent to $637 million. There were mixed results across the Asian region, including a decline in exports to Singapore and an increase in exports to Hong Kong, two key trading hubs in the region, reflecting unpredictable market conditions at present. Key emerging markets such as Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam grew in value during the period.
The top five markets by value were:
Luc Belaire has created the World's Largest Bottle of Bubbly*, dubbed "ZEUS," after the supreme ruler of the Greek gods. At 45 liters (the equivalent of 60 standard bottles of Belaire), Belaire ZEUS is the largest bottle of bubbly currently available. Its colossal form stands at more than one meter (3.5 feet) in height and weighs 72.5kg (160 pounds when full, requiring the strength of three people to carry and pour!
Luca Belaire, the brand
Luc Belaire is a premium brand produced in France with the 5th and 6th generation father-and-son winemakers overseeing production of each bottle of Belaire at their Maison in Montagny-les-Beaune, established in 1898. The line includes Belaire Gold, made in Burgundy from a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, alongside Belaire's top-selling cuvée Belaire Rare Rosé, crafted from a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah grapes, Belaire Luxe, an elegant 'blanc de blancs' made exclusively from Chardonnay, and Belaire Luxe Rosé, made from a classic blend of rosé varietals with a unique dosage. Finally, Belaire's Fantôme (French for "phantom") range houses each of its cuvées in a luminescent bottle which lights up at the touch of the button. The latest addition to the portfolio is Belaire Bleu, a limited-edition bottling with a spectacular sapphire color, inspired by the beautiful blue waters of France's Côte d'Azur.
The Make of the bottle:
Belaire ZEUS is a masterpiece of metalworking skill and creativity. The bottle was seven years in the making, crafted by aerospace engineers using a procedure never undertaken before: a process of spin forming, machining, internal coating, powder coating and pressure testing. Its steel form both insulates and protects the wine from extreme temperature and ensures Belaire ZEUS is nearly unbreakable!
Only Two bottles
Extremely limited in production, only two bottles of Belaire ZEUS have been produced. One is filled with Belaire's signature Rare Rosé, a unique French sparkling wine which has become America's No.1 Rosé. The second contains Luc Belaire Luxe, our smash hit demi sec; both are vinted at our winery in the heart of Burgundy. Each bottle of Belaire ZEUS contains an extraordinary three billion bubbles!
Belaire, Celebrities & Celebrations
Belaire's iconic bottles have, until now, been produced up to an impressive 15-liter size, known as a Nebuchadnezzar. The brand's large format bottles have become the go-to for celebrities, influencers, recording artists and athletes across the globe to celebrate career milestones, album launches and championship wins. With its towering form, ZEUS presents an extraordinary photo-op for fans - as such, both bottles will be undertaking a global tour! The tour will start in the U.S., where celebrities, creators and select fans will be invited to lift Belaire ZEUS via a bespoke pulley system, with a prize awarded to anyone strong enough to lift the massive bottle! You can expect to see Belaire ZEUS featured at events, sporting matches and in music videos. The tour's first stop will be at the Luc Belaire office in Manhattan, New York, where friends and fans will have the opportunity to be photographed next to this titanic wine bottle.
The International Wine Challenge, a global wine competition, has announced the results of its 2023 competition. Thousands of wines from over 50 countries were entered into the competition and blind tasted by an international panel of experts last month, with awards going to over 6,000 wines from across the world. Winemaking heavyweights such as France, Australia and Spain topped the table but there were plenty of surprises too, with Netherlands claiming its first Silver medal and countries such as Egypt and Denmark getting their first taste of medal success.
8 Indian wines including 4 sparkling wines emerged winners with Sula Brut Sparkling NV and Source Sauvignon Blanc 2022 bagging bronze medals. 6 wines comprising Sula Dindori Reserve Viognier 2022, Rasa Syrah 2021, J'Noon Red 2021, Noi Sparkling NV, Chandon Brut and Rose NV sparklings won the came out as "commended" winners.
Peter McCombie MW, IWC Co-Chair explained, “An International Wine Challenge medal gives consumers the confidence to be adventurous and try wines from countries that they may not have previously associated with top quality wine. It takes the risk out of buying wine from up-and-coming wine-producing nations such as India, Demark and the Netherlands, which have all been recognised with medals in this year’s challenge.”
Emerging markets in Southeast Asia showed strong growth for Australian wine exports but were unable to offset declining value to traditional markets, where tough conditions continued in the year to the end of March 2023, according to Wine Australia’s latest Export Report released today.
Australian wine exports overall declined by 7 per cent in value to $1.90 billion and 1 per cent in volume to 620 million litres (69 million 9-litre case equivalents) in the year to 31 March 2023. This is 18 per cent below the 10-year average value of $2.30 billion and 16 per cent below the 10-year average volume of 736 million litres.
Wine Australia Manager, Market Insights Peter Bailey said the year-on-year decline in value was largely driven by a decrease in exports to the United Kingdom (UK).
“The UK is still experiencing the decline that we’ve previously reported, which is the result of elevated shipments over the past two years due to pre-Brexit demand and COVID-19 induced changes in consumer preferences,” Mr Bailey said.
“In comparison to value, total shipment volume was relatively stable – with the large decline to the UK being outweighed by volume growth to the United States (US) and Canada, particularly in unpackaged wine, as global shipping conditions continue to improve.
“A positive in the report is that Australia’s diversification into emerging markets is starting to bear fruit, which is beneficial for longer-term stability and growth. Southeast Asia grew strongly at both the commercial and premium ends of the price spectrum, and to key emerging markets including Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Philippines.
“Australian exporters shipped wine to more individual destinations around the world. But it is also pleasing to see that the regional share of export value has remained even; with around a one-third share of Australia’s export value going each to Asia, North America and Europe."
The export results are representative of the incredibly tough conditions for Australian wine globally. The below long-term average performance comes at a time when economic hardship and increased competition from other beverages are impacting traditional markets for Australian wine.
“In traditional markets for Australian wine, the decline in the demand for wine is being felt the most in lower price segments while premium wine is still finding growth, as consumers purchase wine less frequently but are choosing to spend more on each wine product they purchase,” Mr Bailey said.
“This change disproportionally affects Australia, as a large share of exports to traditional markets such as the UK and US are currently in lower priced products, and this therefore impacts export performance. It’s a tough export environment for Australian wine.”
Australian wine exports in all price segments below $10 per litre FOB declined in value in the year ended March 2023. The biggest loss was in exports valued between $2.50 to $4.99 per litre FOB, which were mostly glass bottle exports shipped to the US, UK, and New Zealand. Exports above $10 per litre FOB were stable during the year, staying at $621 million in value and 24 million litres in volume.
In the year to the end of March 2023, Australia shipped wine to 118 destinations – up from 112 in the same period in 2022. The strongest region for growth in Australian wine exports was to Southeast Asia, up 9 per cent to $301 million. Offsetting this growth was a decline in exports to North America, down 5 per cent to $557 million, and to Europe, down 17 per cent to $568 million. European markets are experiencing tough operating conditions resulting from economic challenges and conflict in the region. Northeast Asia also declined, down 5 per cent to $318 million.
The top five export destinations by value were:
Adrián Michalčík, Diageo World Class Global Bartender of the Year 2022, will be embarking on a 10 day tour of Asia to showcase new and delicious ways to enjoy Single Malt Scotch Whisky in collaboration with The Singleton. The tour, which kicks off on Wednesday 15th March, will begin in Seoul before continuing onto Manila, Ho Chi Minh and Taipei with a final stop in Tokyo. The region will be the first to showcase Adrián’s journey with The Singleton, following an exclusive preview at Adrián’s bar, Pier 42 at the Amerikalinjen Hotel, in Oslo at the end of last month.
In each market, Adrián, alongside The Singleton Global Brand Ambassador Ervin Trykowski, will be hosting a series of events, providing local industry with an opportunity to work with the World’s Best Bartender through seminars, cocktail cartography, and guest shifts. Prior to the guest shift, Adrián will be visiting local suppliers, exploring regional ingredients and fresh produce that will be used to inspire a unique cocktail menu to be served that evening, made in collaboration with Adrián, The Singleton, and the bar team.
Alongside the trade events there will also be exclusive ticketed events for consumers, where guests will be invited to enjoy a host of cocktails made exclusively with The Singleton alongside special pairing dishes designed in collaboration with Adrián and inspired by the cultural terroir, pushing the boundaries where mixology and gastronomy collide.
Among Adrián’s successes at the World Class Global Finals this year, he was named the winner of The Singleton challenge for his cocktail, Equality, inspired by The Singleton’s incredible flavour that disrupts expectations about Scotch Whisky, how and who it should be enjoyed by. The Singleton is proud to be supporting Adrián’s journey to make beautiful Single Malt Scotch cocktails enjoyed by the many, not the few.
Adrián Michalčík, Diageo World Class Global Bartender of the Year 2022, says: “I am honoured to partner with The Singleton on this journey to explore the unexpected ways that Single Malt Scotch Whisky can be enjoyed, and to have the opportunity to share these experiences together with the amazing mixology community across Asia. I cannot wait to also explore the outstanding offerings of these great cocktail cities and meet with the bartenders that make it happen.”
The Singleton Global Brand Ambassador Ervin Trykowski said: “The vibrancy of scotch cocktails in Asia is a testament to the region's innovative spirit and enthusiasm for experimenting with new tastes, making it the perfect place for us to bring this unique concept. We’re looking forward to inspiring cocktail lovers in each city to discover a new way to enjoy The Singleton with the Best Bartender in the World.”
In addition to his role as Diageo World Class Global Bartender of the Year in 2022 Adrián is Director of Mixology at the award-winning Pier 42 at the Amerikalinjen Hotel in Oslo, Norway. Adrián has a passion for whisky and in particular whisky aperitif cocktails. He also has a keen interest in the relationship between gastronomy and mixology and combines these passions to carefully balance flavours to create simple yet sophisticated drinks delivered with warm hospitality.
World Class x The Singleton Asia Tour Agenda
15th-16th March - Seoul
17th - 19th March - Manila
19th - 21st March - Ho Chi Minh
21st - 22nd March - Taipei
22nd March - 24th March - Tokyo
(Excerpt from a release)
This March, sip on Sabatini as you welcome the summer! Leading Importer of Wines and Spirits Anggel’s Share takes the team behind the award winning family-owned Tuscan brand Sabatini Gin on a 3-city tour of India. Immerse yourself in the Spirit of Tuscany as Sabatini’s very own Co-Founder Enrico Sabatini and Mattia Lotti – Sabatini’s Global brand Ambassador take you through a gin-filled week filled with refreshing guest shifts and masterclasses across the country to be-GIN summer on the right note from Tuesday, 14th March to Saturday, 18th March 2023 across Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore.
Leading the tour across India is the Italian Co-Founder Enrico Sabatini who will be meeting with guests and introducing them to the first gin that combines classic London Dry Gin distilling techniques with Tuscan botanicals and herbs into a stunningly designed bottle resembling the Tuscan landscape.
Come experience exclusive cocktails created by the global brand ambassador Mattia Lotti specially for the tour made using Sabatini Gin like Sabatini Mule which blends the gin with Lime Juice and Ginger beer topped off with a garnish of sage leaf; Tuscany Negroni which mixes the gin with sweet vermouth, dry vermouth and red bitter liqueur and Beetini’s Knees which mixes Sabatini Gin with Lemon Juice and a honey mix. Gin Lovers, A must try is the Last Word is Sabatini an intriguing creation of Sabatini Gin with Green Chartreuse Maraschino Liqueur and Lemon Bitters beautifully decorated with a Lemon Zest and Maraschino Cherry among other creations you can expect!
SCHEDULE FOR THE GIN TOUR :
Wednesday, 15th March 2023 | 8 PM onwards: Guest Shift by Mattia Lotti at Koko, Mumbai
Thursday, 16th March 2023 | 8 PM onwards: Guest Shift by Mattia Lotti at The Library Bar at The Leela, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi
Friday, 17th March 2023 | 8 PM onwards: Guest Shift by Mattia Lotti at Ophelia, The Ashok, Chanakyapuri
Saturday, 18th March 2023| 7.30 PM onwards: Guest Shift by Mattia Lotti at Daysie – All Day Casual Bar, Bangalore
Coming from the recent success of winning the Silver medal in the World Gin Award 2023 in the London Dry Gin category, Sabatini Gin can best be described as a London Dry Gin with a Tuscan soul. Since 2015, the Sabatini Family has been devoted to developing a unique product that is capable of bringing the best of Made in Italy to the world. In a labor of love for their land, the family’s work transmits the story of the natural beauty of the Tuscan hillside, complete with its scents and incomparable views. Four members of the Sabatini family are responsible for creating the Sabatini Gin - Ugo, his two sons Enrico and Niccolò, and Ugo’s cousin, Filippo.
The Sabatini Gin is a fruit of a perfect union of flavors and aromas, suggestions and history, that of the Sabatini’s who conceived and created it with passion, in love with their land, proud of their origins. There are nine strictly Tuscan botanicals present in Sabatini Gin: obviously juniper, but also coriander, iris, wild fennel, lavender, olive leaves, wild thyme in the Tuscan version called savory, lemon verbena and sage, most of which come from wild plants collected in the gardens of the villa.
“We at Anggel’s Share are thrilled to associate with Sabatini Gin. Our shared commitment to offering gin lovers high-quality handcrafted spirits has made this partnership a natural fit. We’re excited to enhance everyone’s gin experience with Sabatini Gin, and we believe that our collaboration will not only bring a new flavor experience to gin aficionados but also showcase the importance of artisanal craftsmanship in the world of spirits. We look forward to continuing a long and fruitful partnership with Sabatini Gin and can’t wait to introduce gin lovers to the Italian crafts spirits scene” says Vaishali Shah, Partner at Anggel’s Share.
Come sip on Sabatini with us as we welcome the summer together – Tuscan-style!
(excerpt from a release)
The National Barista Championship 2023 (The 21st Edition), hosted by the Coffee Board of India, Speciality Coffee Association of India, and United Coffee Association of India, is being organised from February 14th to 19th at Orion mall, Bangalore. With over 60 stalls offering more than 100 different types of coffee, the audience will be experiencing the largest collection of coffee ever under one banner. This year NBC is powered by Kaapi Solutions as the platinum sponsors along with Nescafe and SCAI (speciality coffee association of India) as the Gold sponsors) as the Gold sponsors for the event.
This year will have around 60 Barista battling it out for the Title of Champion. Making it the biggest tournament in Asia. NBC is a prestigious annual event in the coffee industry where baristas from various regions of India come together to showcase their brewing skills and compete for the title of the National Barista Champion. All the best cafe brands such as Blue Tokai, Thirdwave, Lavazza along with many other speciality coffee brands all over India will participate in this unique event.
This year's National Barista Championship is set to be the most competitive yet, as baristas push the boundaries of what is possible with coffee. A very strong committee has been set up where the volunteers under the guidance of Mr Purnesh DM (President of the Speciality coffee association of India), Mr Vikram Khurana (President United coffee association of India) and Mr Srikanth Rao (Vice President United coffee association of India) who shares the same passion for coffee and have worked tirelessly to put this event together.
The event provides a unique opportunity for attendees to network with industry leaders, learn about the latest trends and techniques in coffee preparation, and sample some of the finest coffee blends from around the world.
"We are thrilled to host the National Barista Championship in Bangalore," said Dr K G Jagadeesha, IAS, Secretary of the Coffee Board. "This city has a rich history and culture of coffee-making, and it's an honor to bring the best baristas from top cafe brands, and specialty coffee brands from all over India to compete here. Last year's event, held at Orion Mall in Rajajinagar, was a huge success with over 10,000 visitors, a multitude of coffee, 40+ stalls, and lively music. We look forward to welcoming both the competitors and the public to this exciting event."
The competition, which will be held over 6 days - 14th to the 19th of Feb. This includes the preliminaries which will happen on the 14th -15th and the 16th post which 18th will be the semi-finals and it concludes on the 19th with the finals. The second day will feature the final round, where the baristas will be judged on their latte art and signature drinks. The winner of this highly regarded competition will then go on to represent India at the World Barista Championship 2023 to held in Athens, Greece.
Delhi's Sidecar is India's Best Bar for 2022. Reclaims #1 Spot in the 30 Best Bars India Annual Ranking
New Delhi, January 18, 2023: South Delhi bar, Sidecar, reclaimed its position as the country's best bar in the 2022 ranking of 30BestBarsIndia, released last night at an awards show at the Le Meridien Gurgaon. Sidecar, which won the top spot in the inaugural 2019 ranking, was pushed to the no. 2 position last year by Bar Tesouro from Goa.
The top 10 positions in the ranking have seen some significant movement and new entrants. Bangalore bar Copitas at the Four Seasons moves up to no. 2, followed by new entrants Home (New Delhi), Lair (New Delhi), The Bombay Canteen (Mumbai), and Comorin (Gurgaon). Four new entrants, Americano (Mumbai), Slink & Bardot (Mumbai), Hideaway (Goa), and The Living Room by Masque (Mumbai), round up the Top 10.
Sidecar also took home the winner's trophy in two other categories, Best Independent Bar and Best Bar Menu. Copitas won the Best Hotel Bar Award, while Comorin Gurgaon was declared the Best Restaurant Bar, and Brewdog, Gurgaon, won the Best Microbrewery/Taproom Award. Santanu Chanda of Home, New Delhi, won the coveted Best Bartender award, while Home also won the Best Bar Team Award. The Bombay Canteen was declared the Best Designed Bar.
The newly introduced award for Best Work in Sustainability was won jointly by two Pune bars, Malaka Spice and Cobbler & Crew. Noted restaurateur Riyaaz Amlani was honoured with the Industry Icon award, while Mumbai's three-decade-old Toto's Garage took home the Timeless Bar Award. Other big winners of the evening include Pune bars Elephant & Co. (People's Choice Award for Best Bar) and TOIT Pune (People's Choice Award for the Best Microbrewery/Taproom).
Among the major cities, Mumbai made the most significant strides in new bar openings and the strength of beverage programs, with 8 bars making it to the Top 30 and four Pune bars taking away awards in individual categories. Cities such as Kolkata and Jaipur also emerged as markets to watch due to the growth of quality cocktail bars and a discerning audience.
30BestBarsIndia's 2022 ranking is based on a jury poll of more than 250 members across the country. The bars were judged on various parameters, including service, design, ambience, bar menu, bartending team, etc. This year, bars also had the option to self-nominate themselves, and 500 nominations were received from 15 cities.
The Top 30 bars in India for 2022 are listed below in order of rank*:
#1 - Sidecar (New Delhi), 2 - Copitas - Four Seasons Hotel (Bangalore), #3 - HOME (New Delhi), #4 - Lair (New Delhi), #5 - The Bombay Canteen (Mumbai), #6 - Comorin (Gurgaon), #7 - Americano (Mumbai), #8 - Slink & Bardot (Mumbai), #9 - Hideaway (Goa), #10 - The Living Room by Masque (Mumbai), #11 - Miguel’s (Goa), #12 - Hoots’ (New Delhi), #13 - Masque (Mumbai), #14 - Cocktails & Dreams (Gurgaon), #15 - The Grid (Kolkata), #16 - Raahi Neo Kitchen and Bar (Bangalore), #17 - Bastian - Worli (Mumbai), #18 - Byg Brewski Brewing Company - Hennur (Bangalore), #19 - Windmills Craftworks (Bangalore), #20 - PCO (New Delhi), #21 - Sanctuary Bar & Kitchen (Hyderabad), #22 - Elephant & Co. (Pune), #23 - AER Lounge - Four Seasons Hotel (Mumbai), #24* - The Library Bar - The Leela Palace (New Delhi), #24* - Whisky Samba (Gurgaon), #25 - Bar Palladio - Narain Niwas Palace Hotel (Jaipur), #26 - Sorano (Kolkata), #27 - Ekaa (Mumbai), #28 - Joseph’s Bar (Goa), #29 - Olterra (Kolkata), #30 -Room Two (Hyderabad).
*Rank #24 is shared by two bars and hence the number of bars total to 31.
Speaking on the occasion, Vikram Achanta, Co-Founder of 30BestBarsIndia, said, “Keeping current factors in mind for every edition, last year we focused on the COVID responsiveness of bars and this year we introduced a new category to promote sustainability in the bar industry. Establishing categories ahead of what the industry is building towards will continue to help raise the standards in the country. This year, the introduction of thematic menus and the usage of more Indian ingredients in beverage programs is inspirational and aspirational. The emerging vibrant bar culture coming out of cities like Pune, Jaipur and Kolkata is also encouraging to see.”
“We are providing a platform for bars across the country to elevate the standards of India’s bar programs. The ranking has become a coveted industry standard, and having five bars from last year’s Top 30 list in Asia’s Top 50 bars is a great testament to our efforts. It’s exciting to see bar teams constantly re-invent and push boundaries – whether it’s by paying more attention to their menus or innovating with ingredients to create hyper localized cocktails,” added Radhakrishnan Nair, Co-Founder of 30BestBarsIndia.
(excerpt from a release)
A new Gin brand from Goa flavoured with juniper berries, cardamom, coriander, oranges, pepper, and cucumber is now on shelves. SOCI is from the House of Good Barrel Distillery Pvt Ltd., a craft liquor platform in collaboration with Living Liquidz and is founded by Mokksh Sani & Lalit Kalani. Talking about the originality behind the name ‘SOCI,’ Lalit Kalani elaborated, “SOCI is all about shedding inhibitions and hence the Garden of SOCI and the serpent symbolise this. We are going for the animalistic vibe and drinks that make you feel alive. The jungle seems to come to life, creatures awakening from their mid-day slumbers, birds beginning to chirp incessantly, all making a move toward the watering hole for a much-needed drink. Shoulders rub, conversations unfold, and most importantly, curious discoveries make their way into the light - the true faces behind the masks are revealed. With that said, SOCI is inspired by the spirit of society, one that seeks and thrives on secrets and curiosity.”
Shedding a light on the inspiration behind creating SOCI Gin, Mokksh Sani said, “Gin, as a category, has been enjoying a steady increase in consumption over the past few years, and young Indian consumers are swaying towards gin because of its versatility. Consumers nowadays are open to experimenting and are constantly looking out for something new and are drawn towards artisanal & craft beverages. With SOCI, we want to offer younger drinkers a great quality liquid that is trendy, non-complicated, and easy to drink. A gin that helps drinkers be themselves - let go of their inhibitions and reveal their true identity to the world.”
(excerpt from a release)
OSTUNI, BR, Italy
Altamura Distilleries, a producer of premium spirits made from the unique wheat of Altamura, Italy will introduce its spirits into the Indian market beginning in January 2023 through a partnership with SS Impex, a New Delhi-based spirits importer and distributor.
"We believe the quality and unique smoothness of Altamura vodka will be very well received throughout the Indian market," said Sharat Agarwal, partner at S.S. Impex, "While our initial distribution will be in the northern Indian states, we intend on quickly expanding to the rest of the nation."
"We view India as one of the most important markets in the world for our brand," stated Frank Grillo, managing director of Altamura Distilleries. "India is the third largest spirits market in the world, with rapidly emerging mixology scene and a strong affinity for Italy and Italian products."
"The Indian market is moving swiftly to appreciate premium liquors and consumers here are seeking a more diverse mixology experience," said Gopal Joshi, Altamura's Market Director for India, "Vodka sales are at the forefront of these trends with sales increasing nearly 30% especially in the premium segment. This is exactly where our vodka is positioned."
"We will be bringing Mixology Master Classes led by some of the most renowned Italian bartenders to India," Grillo commented. "And we look forward to jointly sponsoring some of India's best mixologists to visit Italy and conduct guest shifts at some of the most famed Italian venues."
The Altamura Vodka will be available in the Uttar Pradesh & Uttarakhand regions beginning in January 2023. In addition, Altamura and SS Impex plan to introduce Altamura's London Dry Gin into the Indian marketplace in early 2023.
Based in Ostuni BR, Italy, Altamura Distilleries is what can happen when three Americans decide to act on their lifelong dream of moving to Italy. Our love of warm weather, beaches, and life led us to Puglia, a special region in the south of Italy. Our love of food led us to discover Pane di Altamura, a traditional bread from the Puglia region. And our love of all things distilled led us to realize that an amazing loaf of bread is just an amazing bottle of vodka, gin, or whiskey waiting to happen. We believe that our origin is in Puglia and we are there to live our dream. For more information visit https://www.altamuradistilleries.com/en/
(excerpt from a release)
The forthcoming BBW, which will take place from 6th to 8th February 2023 at Fira de Barcelona’s Montjuic venue, will be attended by around 700 exhibiting companies, 15% more than in 2022, increasing the event’s surface area by 5%. Four months before it’s due to be held, 80% of BWW has been booked, with the participation, among others, of firms such as Protos, Matarromera, Rioja Vega, Recaredo and Freixenet and Designations of Origin (DOs) like Cava, Bierzo and Valderroas.
With more than 60 DOs on display, the fair will promote the plurality and territorial diversity of wine in Spain more than ever before.
Under the slogan Spain, a unique mosaic of soils, BWW 2023 will offer a programme of talks, tastings and food and wine pairings conducted by around a hundred renowned experts, who’ll highlight the great wealth of soils that make up the Spanish winegrowing territory. This geological diversity and the climate make Spain one of the countries with the greatest potential for wine production.
We should highlight the tasting that will bring together four Masters of Wine turned winemakers from different areas of Spain for the first time. These include Norrel Robertson, who’s been producing wines in Calatayud since 2003, Almudena Alberca, the first female Master of Wine in Spain and now a producer in La Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Valdeorras, and Fernando Mora, who owns vineyards in different parts of Aragón. Multi-award-winning sommeliers who have become winemakers will also take part in a joint tasting.
In order to promote the international projection of Spanish wine, the fair intends to invite more than 500 key international buyers with the strategic involvement of ICEX Exportación e Inversiones. These purchasing decision-makers will come from the main importers of Spanish wine, including the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Colombia, Mexico, China, Hong Kong and Poland.
Spain is the world’s leading wine producer and the third largest exporter, according to the data provided by ICEX. In 2021, it exceeded €2,956 million in wine exports and was very close to its record. €3,006 million, reached in 2018.
Another of the major challenges for the sector is increasing domestic demand, which is why BWW 2023 will invite 1,300 key buyers from the domestic market (large-scale retail, wholesalers, specialised distributors, retailers and gourmet stores). A total of more than 8,000 business meetings between the fair’s exhibitors and professional buyers are expected to take place.
The most recent BWW in April 2022 brought together more than 650 exhibiting companies, 60 Spanish Protected Designations of Origin (PDOs) and over 18,000 professional visitors. These included 470 major international buyers from strategic markets, who participated in more than 6,600 business meetings with the exhibiting companies.
(excerpt from a release)
Australian wine exports declined by 1 per cent in volume to 627 million litres and 11 per cent in value to $2.01 billion in the year ended 30 September 2022, according to Wine Australia’s latest Export Report released today.
While the decline is reflective of the tough market conditions over the past two years – including high deposit tariffs on bottled Australian wine imported to mainland China, the impact of the global freight challenges, and the aftermath of changing consumer habits during the COVID-19 pandemic – the figures also reflect that value is starting to stabilise.
Wine Australia Manager, Market Insights Peter Bailey said that the results were mixed in the year ended 30 September 2022, with the increases recorded in some markets offset by declines in others. “As a moving annual total result, the Export Report can demonstrate the performance of Australia’s exports and highlight some growing trends. In this report, we’re seeing the tail end of the decline in exports to mainland China having an impact on the total export figures; this is expected to wash out of the figures by the end of 2022,” Mr Bailey said.
When mainland China is excluded from the data, wine exports to the rest of the world held steady in value, declining by 0.2 per cent to $1.99 billion and increasing by 1 per cent in volume to 622 million litres. There was a decline in exports to the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Singapore, which is a result of the return to anticipated shipment levels. This decline to the UK has been delayed compared to other markets with similar COVID-19 consumption patterns, such as the United States and Canada. Exports to the North America and Southeast Asia regions are showing growth. In particular, strong growth was recorded in exports to the US, Canada, Malaysia and Thailand. Pleasingly, the growth trend in the US and Canada was driven by both ends of the price spectrum; premium wine exports continued to grow and unpackaged commercial exports increased, as shipments of the record 2021 vintage accelerated following a slower than usual start due to global shipping pressures. Furthermore, the number of exporters to the US is at the highest level since 2008 and of the exporters to the US that ship wine at a value of $10 or more per litre free on board (FOB), 75 per cent experienced growth demonstrating that green shoots continue in the market for premium Australian wine. However, while total exports look to be stabilising, the wine sector can continue to expect market fluctuations, as rising inflation and interest rates may put pressure on margins and curtail consumer spending in key markets. On a positive note, over the past few months, the Australian Dollar has depreciated against the US Dollar, which assists Australian wineries to be more competitive in the US.
Australian wine exporters shipped to 118 destinations during the period, up from 111 the previous year. The strongest growth came from North America, up 6 per cent to $604 million, and Southeast Asia (up 15 per cent to $291 million). However, the large decline to Northeast Asia (down 46 per cent to $321 million, driven by mainland China) and to Europe (down 12 per cent to $621 million, driven by the UK’s return to more normal shipping levels) outweighed the growth to other regions.
The top five markets by value were:
Exports to the US increased by 5 per cent in value to $412 million and 14 per cent in volume to 139 million litres. There are several drivers of the growth. One of which is that the volume of unpackaged wine shipped to the US increased by 53 per cent to 68 million litres during the period. The substantial size of this increase is because the Australian 2021 vintage was the largest on record and the shipments of this vintage had been delayed due to the ongoing global freight challenges. In the past few months, shipments of this vintage have intensified.
Secondly, packaged wine declined by 1 per cent in value to $319 million and 9 per cent in volume to 71 million litres. As volume declined more than value, the average value of packaged wine increased by 9 per cent $4.47 per litre FOB. Driving this increase in average value is the decline of packaged commercial wines (mainly the $2.50 to $4.99 price segment) and an increase in exports above $7.50 per litre FOB, up 32 per cent to $71 million.
Wine exports to Canada increased by 10 per cent in value to $190 million and 26 per cent in volume 62 million litres. The largest driver of the increase in volume was growth in unpackaged wine shipments. The volume of unpackaged shipments increased by 44 per cent to 36 million litres.
The increase in total value of exports to Canada was driven by packaged shipments, especially at the premium end. The value of packaged shipments increased by 11 per cent to $156 million while volume increased by 7 per cent to 26 million litres. Shipments valued at $5 per litre FOB and above grew by 18 per cent in value to $122 million, the highest value for this price segment since 2009.
Exports to the UK decreased by 14 per cent in value to $395 million and 12 per cent in volume to 222 million litres. This decline in wine exports to the UK was expected, if somewhat delayed. There were two factors elevating exports to the UK since 2020. Firstly, the Brexit transition period saw an increase in exports ahead of the 31 December 2020 deadline. Secondly, Australian wine holds the number one position in the off-trade – a category that benefitted greatly from the closure of the on-trade during the COVID-19 pandemic, and now, as the on-trade has opened back up, there is a counter-swing in the demand for Australian wine. While this counter-swing occurred much earlier in the US and Canada, another two markets where Australia has a larger share of the off-trade than on-trade, the shift has been much slower in the UK and exports are only now starting to be affected.
Exports to Northeast Asia declined by 46 per cent in value $321 million and by 31 per cent in volume to 35 million litres. The main contributor to this decline was exports to mainland China (down 92 per cent to $21 million) and exports to Hong Kong (down 21 per cent to $163 million). Exports to Hong Kong are returning to a more normal level after an increase in shipments to the market in 2021. Offsetting some of the declines were exports to Japan and Taiwan, which rose by 18 per cent and 13 per cent respectively. Exports to South Korea dropped by 5 per cent in value to $43 million; the decline took place in exports valued below $7.50 per litre FOB (down 44 per cent), while exports above $7.50 per litre increased by 30 per cent.
Exports to Southeast Asia increased by 15 per cent in value to $291 million and 39 per cent in volume to 24 million litres. Several markets increased in value, including Thailand (up 95 per cent to $53 million) and Malaysia (up 55 per cent to $59 million). This growth was slightly offset by a decline in exports to Singapore, dropping 16 per cent to $132 million; shipments to Singapore are also normalising after an elevated level of shipments in 2021 and 2022.
(Excerpt from a release)
GORDON & MACPHAIL RELEASES RECOLLECTION SERIES FEATURING RARE SINGLE MALTS FROM CLOSED SCOTTISH DISTILLERIES
Gordon & MacPhail is unveiling a collection of exceptionally rare whiskies from closed distilleries across Scotland – a new annual series of single cask releases from its revered liquid library.
The ‘Recollection Series’ features a trove of whiskies from distilleries lost to the mists of time, giving enthusiasts and collectors a unique opportunity to enjoy forgotten masterpieces.
From the Private Collection range, personally selected by members of Gordon & MacPhail’s owning family, come a 1982 from St. Magdalene Distillery (Linlithgow), a 1982 from Glen Mhor Distillery (Inverness), and a 1981 from Lochside Distillery (Montrose). All whiskies are bottled at cask strength and non chill filtered.
The whiskies, each matured in Gordon & MacPhail’s own casks, exemplify Gordon & MacPhail’s patient approach to maturation, guided by the principle that ensuring quality is always the key motivating factor. The releases from St Magdalene, Glen Mhor and Lochside distilleries are available worldwide, with other releases in the series available in select international markets.
Stuart Urquhart, Operations Director at Gordon & MacPhail said: “We’re excited to release a series that revives and celebrates the spirit and character of these closed distilleries from across Scotland. Each remarkable expression is vanishingly rare and captures an unrepeatable moment in Scotland’s rich liquid heritage. Having carefully assessed the progress of each spirit down the decades, we feel now is finally the right moment to reveal these landmark single malts. We hope the annual series will excite single malt enthusiasts keen to try something different, and irreplaceable.”
Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection 1982 from St Magdalene Distillery [RSP £2249.99/ $3499 USD]*
The 39-year-old whisky has been matured in casks #2094 – a refill American hogshead – and will be available worldwide.
Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection 1982 from Glen Mhor Distillery [RSP £2249.99/ $3499 USD]*
The 40-year-old Glen Mhor whisky has been matured in a refill Sherry hogshead and will be available worldwide.
Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection 1981 from Lochside Distillery [RSP £3199.99/ $4999 USD]*
The 40-year-old whisky has been matured in a refill Sherry hogshead and will be available across worldwide markets.
*Prices in international markets may vary due to local taxes and import duties.
(Excerpt from a release)
Grey Goose’s “House of Change” is a specially curated multi-faceted series that focuses on providing expertise to bartenders to help them go beyond their bartending skill sets. The program aims to set them on a journey to discover a clear, defined, and purposeful career in mixology. In its effort to give back to the community that has been supporting the brand for so long, Grey Goose is all set to revisit another series of scouting and celebrating India’s behind-the-bar talents. With its fourth edition on the horizon, the ever-evolving “House Of Change” program by Grey Goose will collaborate with the Singapore Tourism Board to create an experience that brings the program to a higher level.
Adtnu Tiwari, Senior Brand Manager, Premium White Spirits, Bacardi India Private Ltd., says, “Grey Goose’s “House Of Change” initiative has come a long way. From a nascent stage to now entering its fourth edition, the program focuses on providing value to the mixology community by strengthening their foundational skills. We aim to propel, encourage, and inspire the creative geniuses behind the bar by setting forth an engaging series of experiences and providing a platform for emerging mixologists. With The Singapore Tourism Board coming on board as a collaborator, the experience will surely be elevated.”
Singapore, known for its lifestyle, events and entertainment scene, was a natural choice for this partnership as it is a treasure trove of vibrant bar and cocktail cultures. The city boasts of some of the top tier bars that have been on the list of Asia’s 50 Best Bars. The partnership with Singapore Tourism Board will scale up this year’s edition, making it bigger than before. With some of the best bars in India enrolling for the program, Grey Goose will appoint mentors across the bar industry that specialize in the trade of Entrepreneurship, Content Creation, Grooming and Styling, Travel and Luxury.
These mentors will impart a few tricks of the trade and conduct masterclasses and training sessions. The second phase of the program will evaluate the candidates through observation of skill sets acquired during the masterclasses. Finally, a selection of 8 bartenders will be rewarded with a trip to Singapore to further ignite their passions and be inspired by their counterparts and mentors from Singapore.
(Excerpt from a release)
The highly anticipated World’s Best Vineyards list is back this October, showcasing the very best of wine tourism across the globe. Now an annual event, this year’s list is to be revealed at a special live event hosted by Mendoza, Argentina on 26th October and viewers from around the world can tune in to view the countdown on YouTube.
The live event will take place at Zuccardi Valle De Uco in Mendoza, the number one vineyard on the list for the past three years (2019 - 2021) and the first vineyard to enter the new ‘Best of the Best’ Hall of Fame. The new ‘Best of the Best’ category will be formed of vineyards that top the annual vote of the World’s 50 Best Vineyards three years in a row and are therefore no longer eligible to be voted on new editions of the list. With the launch of this new category, the World’s Best Vineyards 2022 list will see a new vineyard crowned number one, and will also shine a spotlight on a new highest placed Mendoza vineyard.
This year’s host, Mendoza, had five wineries in last year’s top 50 and is renowned as the main wine producing region in Argentina with more than 150,000 hectares of vineyards and over 800 wineries across the region. As well as this, Mendoza is home to beautiful natural scenery, including rivers and valleys where tourists can enjoy a range of outdoor activities such as horse riding, rafting, sunset mountain biking and zip-lining.
The World’s Best Vineyards annual list highlights the top vineyards to visit globally and aims to promote wine tourism around the world. Each year the list showcases unique vineyards with unrivalled visitor experiences, from modern architectural wonders, UNESCO-protected ancient cellars, and Michelin-starred restaurants to family-run wineries with intimate tours. The Voting Academy consists of over 500 leading wine experts, sommeliers and travel experts and they submit their nominations based on the different criteria that make the best destination vineyard, including quality of the overall experience, ambiance, cuisine, activities, views, staff, and value for money. The results are then collated and converted into the World’s Best Vineyards list.
Andrew Reed, Managing Director Wine and Exhibitions at William Reed, comments: “We are thrilled to be partnering with Mendoza in Argentina for this year’s World’s Best Vineyards list reveal. With five vineyards from the region placing in the top 50 in 2021 it was an obvious choice. Mendoza is a beautiful wine region in the foothills of the Andes surrounded by lakes and full of vineyards - making it the perfect wine tourism destination”.
Dr Nora Vicario, Minister of Culture and Tourism of the Province of Mendoza, says: "In Mendoza you can breathe in wine and a culture unlike anywhere else in the world. It is one of the great wine capitals and the combination of mountains, wine and ever-increasing diversity and innovation makes it a perfect travel destination. We are excited to present Mendoza to the world by hosting this year’s World’s Best Vineyards.”
(Excerpt from a release)
· Offers choice of over 10,000 premium restaurants across India and Dubai
· 40% discount on specific credit cards at hand-picked premium restaurants in India and Dubai
· Customised birthday celebration offers for premium cardholders
Axis Bank, India’s third-largest private sector bank, in partnership with EazyDiner, India’s leading table reservation, food discovery and restaurant payment platform, has announced the launch of Dining Delights, a unique and enriching dining experience for the Bank’s customers. The program will offer a host of benefits such as the option to choose from over 10,000 premium restaurants across India and Dubai, instant confirmation on table reservations, and exclusive offers on dining reservations made through the EazyDiner app.
As per EazyDiner real time data analytics, there has been a surge of ~132% in the number of
customers who prefer to discover and dine-out at premium restaurants, as compared to pre-Covid
times. This significant recovery is led by Delhi NCR, Mumbai and Bengaluru followed by Goa, which is now emerging as a stronger destination since the last two years. Additionally, customers are eating out 3.2 times a month as opposed to 2.1 times a month, pre-Covid, with significant momentum picking up across the country. This new initiative by Axis Bank and EazyDiner is aligned to serve an increasing number of customers who want choice, variety and convenience while dining out, all at one go.
In addition to the exquisite dining experience, Dining Delights will soon offer ‘Celebrations with Axis Bank and EazyDiner’ an exclusive birthday celebration experience for premium cardholders, who can enjoy personalised dining recommendations for their birthday by the culinary concierge at EazyDiner and also avail 50% off on their meal. All arrangements and bookings will be done by the personal culinary concierge. To make it a grander celebration, Axis Bank will offer a complimentary birthday cake or signature dessert.
Axis Bank Dining Delights - Click here and enter an exclusive world of dining privileges.
(Excerpt from a release)
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