European wines hit by US tariff increase
The US has announced plans to hike up tariffs on a wide range of products from Europe, including wines from France, German, Spain and the UK.
The World Trade Organisation will allow the US to impose the ad valorem tax of 25% on numerous products, in order to raise US$7.5 billion following subsidies given to aerospace group Airbus by EU members at the expense of US company Boeing.
Wines under 14% alcohol and in containers under two litres will be affected by the tariffs, which are still subject to revision and could yet be increased. Wines over 14% are protected by a loophole in the law, but are already subject to higher US tax brackets anyway.
While the new tariffs have been met with concern from many quarters, they are at least not as high as the 100% tariffs President Trump had previously threatened on social media.
Climate change blasts Champagne harvest
Global warming is responsible for the loss of around 10% of Champagne’s harvest this year, according to the Champagne Bureau.
Most of the damage was caused by heatwaves in June and July, when temperatures topped out at 42.9°C, scorching the crops. Earlier in the year, frosts also destroyed a proportion of grape buds.
The average temperature in Champagne has risen 1.1°C over the last 30 years, prompting growers to turn their attention to more sustainable practices, as well as develop more resistant grape varieties.
Nonetheless, the Champagne Bureau expects volumes to exceed an average of 10,000 kg per hectare on average – enough to meet market demand.
Oenophiles encouraged to share their best wine pictures
Wine lovers with a knack for photography are being encouraged to share their best wine-related pictures ahead of International Wine Photography Day on 13th November.
Amateurs and professionals alike are invited to share their wine-related photos on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag #WinePhotographyDay. Entries can include anything from grapes to a glass of wine, as well as images of people involved in winemaking, or places such as cellars and vineyards.
Those that enter are in with a chance of winning £1,000 and an Errazuriz Don Maximiano Founder's Reserve Commemorative Magnum (150cl), signed by Eduardo Chadwick. Finalists will be invited to a Champagne Taittinger reception at the Mall Galleries in London.
Wine club collapse prompts major fine wine sell off
More than 4,000 bottles of fine wine will be sold off after a well-known UK wine business goes into liquidation.
Lincolnshire company 3D Wines – one of the country’s top wine clubs – went into voluntary liquidation on 23rd September. The firm specialised in high quality French wines made by smaller, boutique vineyards.
The wines – valued at a total £80,000 – will go under the hammer in an online auction ending on 10th October.
Auctioneer Paul Cooper said: “3D’s edge was that as well as stocking the famous names, they went off the beaten track to find and forge links with smaller winemakers who might be quite obscure but were producing superb wine.
"The auction reflects that. There are wines going under the hammer that even wine buffs will never have seen on general sale – because 3D bought the entire vintage for wine club members."
The sale comprised 350 lots, and will be managed by auction house Eddisons.