Franciacorta, Italy’s Premium Sparkling Wine

By Liz Palmer

What and Where is Franciacorta?

Franciacorta is a sparkling wine from the Province of Brescia, Northern Italy with DOCG status. It was first referenced as Franzacurta in the Eighth Book of Brescia in 1277. Guido Berlucchi produced the first Franciacorta in 1961, and during 1995 the sparkling wines of Franciacorta were awarded DOCG status. This tells you that Franciacorta has some history but it’s is a very young wine appellation and it has some serious merit.

Franciacorta’s layered geological formations boast complex microclimates. The wines are defined by both a sub-Alpine and Mediterranean-type climate due to the proximity of Lake Iseo.

The wines are produced using the Méthode Champenoise, or ‘Traditional Method’, in which the second fermentation takes place in the bottle, using a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Bianco grapes This gives the wine more yeast contact, and results in a drier wine with biscuit and brioche notes creating a long finish.

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to visit this beautiful wine region and here is an overview.

I visited Ca’ del Bosco and was fortunate to see the harvest and quality control taking place.

Founded in 1969, is an icon of Italy’s Franciacorta region. The winery’s state-of-the-art cellar, unique in Franciacorta, has allowed the winemaking team to produce the best wines possible and with the highest quality. Their wines have collectively earned 41 “Tre Bicchieri” awards by Italy’s Gambero Rosso, since 1998, the second-highest awarded winery in history by the publication.

Here is my video of what we saw on our tour.

Wines Tasted:

Vintage Collection Saten
Tasting Notes: silky smooth, soft, and well-rounded

Cuvee Prestige
Tasting Notes:  a well-balanced wine, fresh and crisp

Vintage Collection Brut
Tasting Notes: structured, full-bodied, intense and persistent.  

Other Wines In The Region

On my second day, I visited the co-op of  Cantine La Pergola. This winery is certified organic and uses a small percentage of sulfite.

Founded in 1979, Cantine La Pergola is made up of 45 members, 30 of which confer grapes, and control 80 hectares of vineyards, 90% of which are organic: with the annual production reaching 300,000 bottles (50% certified organic).

Wines Tasted:

VALTÈNESI DOC CHIARETTO – SELENE (2016)
Note: This wine is known as the “wine of the first night” because it is literally produced in one night.
Tasting Notes: beautiful floral notes; well balanced; light elegant wine

La Pergola Lugana
Tasting Notes: soft floral notes, excellent balance some hints of jasmine

La Pergola – Eos (2012)
Note: autochthonous grape varietal Groppello (cultivated 1300) with small percentages of Marzemino, Barbera and Sangiovese.
Tasting Notes:  bright ruby red; aroma and taste recall spices, herbaceous notes, and minerals and persistent almond aftertaste

La Pergola – Brol (2010)
Notes: Aged 18 month in second-hand oak barrels; limited production (5000 liters per year)
Tasting Notes: Red fruits with some spice notes; high acidity

In addition to producing delicious local wines, Cantine La Pergola also produces olive oil and organizes bike tours.

 Azienda Agricola Ricci Curbastro. This winery is quite historical with a history of 17 generations. The owner, Mr Cubastro introduced me to the soon-to-be 18th generation, his eldest son.

The most impressive aspect of this vineyard is that it is one of the few family-owned in the region. I also toured their museum which incorporated historic winemaking tools. Cubastro winery owns 32 hectares of vineyards and has created solar energy panels that help run and maintain the winery. The next step for this winery is to convert all of their production to organic.

Wines Tasted:

Franciacorta Brut
Note: blend of 60% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Blanc, 10% Pinot Nero
Tasting Notes: Light, easy to drink, hints of floral notes

Franciacorta Rose Brut
Note: This salmon pink wine is perfect for the nice warm summer day
Tasting Notes: Light; refreshing, hints of floral note

Sebino IGT Bianco ZeroNote: No preservatives or chemical treatment
Tasting Notes: Nice minerality and freshness; good balance

I also visited Azienda Barone Pizzini, the first organic winery in the Franciacorta region. Silvano Brescianini, General Manager and Vice President of the Consortium provided us with a tour and details about the winery.

We started our session watching a video about the historical aspect of the winery. The video can be viewed here. The most impressive aspect of this winery is how organized it is and how the facilities are arranged. Is it no surprise that this winery is a Biodiversity award winner! They produce 70-80 different types of wines.

Wines Tasted:

Golf 1927 Franciacorta Docg
Tasting Notes:  Nice mineral and floral notes with delicate notes of honey; elegant,
creamy and fresh – well-balanced

 Satèn Franciacorta DOCG Edition 2014
Note: name familiar to the word “silk”
Tasting Notes: Some nice citrus notes, with pressing minerality

Rosé Franciacorta DOCG 2013 Edition
Tasting Notes: Pinot Noir is transformed into hints of rose petals in the glass; The structure and balance of this wine are interwoven in a lingering tension between its rich flavor and acidity.

I had lunch at Agriturismo Corte Lantieri with a menu dedicated to Franciacorta Festival and the area’s traditional food.

Thereafter I went to Azienda Guido Berlucchi , a beautiful medieval-looking vineyard. Berlucchi has been producing certified organic wine since 2016. It took the winery about four years to fully convert to organic wine. And today, it is known as the largest producer of wine in the region I was happy to learn that the sparkling Berlucchi 61 Brut Franciacorta wine that I tried can be found at LCBO / Vintages (Ontario, Canada).

http://www.lcbo.com/lcbo/product/berlucchi-61-brut-franciacorta/514323#.WsK1ErYrIWo

VINTAGES#: 514323

Wines Tasted:

Palazzo Lana Saten (2008)
Tasting Notes: refined notes of apple and pear, with an appealing acidity and firm structure, along with delicious, crisp notes of fruit.

Berlucchi ‘61 Brut
Tasting Notes: fragrant notes, crisp with hints of apple and pear and citrus, with a long finish

Berlucchi ‘61 Saten
Note: 100% Chardonnay
Tasting Notes: hints of citrus fruit, some tangy acidity, full and firm structure

The last winery I visited was Azienda Agricola Mosnel which was located in the open and fresh area of Franciacorta where the grapes are exposed to a lot of breezes coming off of the alps. The grapes will ripen a week earlier here than other areas. In this vineyard, 20% pinot blanc is harvest more than other regions and wineries due to climate region.

If you are ever in the Franciacorta region, visit the vineyards mentioned and also check out theFranciacorta Festival September 2018.

Shadi Yazdan and Liz Palmer

LIZ PALMER IS GUEST SPEAKER AT CHARLES STEVEN TRENHOLME’S IMPORTING WINE, BEER, SPIRIT FOR PLEASURE & PROFIT SEMINAR

Liz Palmer At Wine Event
Liz Palmer speaks at Importing Wine for Fun and Profit Event

Liz Palmer attends Charles Steven Trenholme’s Importing Wine, Beer, Spirit for Pleasure & Profit Seminar on Saturday June 3th, 2017 (Toronto, Ontario as a guest speaker. Liz discusses her journey from wine journalist to award winning Author. She goes on to speak about her upcoming champagne workshops which are commencing this fall at The Fine Wine Reserve, and her wine Tourism company “Global Wine Holidays” with the first trips starting 2018 in to the Champagne Region, Cognac and Bordeaux.

About Liz Palmer

Liz Palmer is a well-respected wine journalist since 2004 and has an international reputation as a critic and judge. Liz has had the pleasure of interviewing and tasting with some of the industry’s leading winemakers, professors and personalities.

Liz Palmer’s articles have appeared in national and international magazines. She is one of four founding international hosts for #ChampagneDay 2011-2017; she has served as a judge for the 2013-2017 Global Traveler’s Wines on the Wing airline wine competition (New York); 2014-2017 Michelangelo International Wine Awards (South Africa) 2014-2017; and for The Stevie Awards for Women in Business (New York) (2014-2017).

Her Memberships include: Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada, Circle of Wine Writers (UK) – Circle Committee, International Federation of Wine and Spirits Journalists and Writers (FIJEV); Wine Century Club (NYC), and The Fine Wine Reserve.

2017 Awards:

Liz Palmer’s first book, “The Ultimate Guide To Champagne” has received the National Award for the best French Wine Book at the Gourmand World Awards 2017 and has been accepted for the 2017 Taste Canada Awards [Culinary Narratives Category] with winners being announced October 2017. On April 7th, 2017 she was awarded the title of “Dame Chevalier” of the Ordre de Coteaux de Champagne at an official ceremony in Paris.

About Steven Trenholme’s Importing Wine, Beer, Spirit For Pleasure & Profit Seminar

MORNING SESSION
Where to find new and interesting wines, spirits and beers
How to start your own successful import agency

Determining the best strategy for new product development
How to negotiate with suppliers
Marketing channels – which are the best for you and your suppliers
Opportunities as a Consignment and/or Private Stock Agent
Employment opportunities in the beverage alcohol industry
A light lunch will be served.

AFTERNOON SESSION
How products are priced
Agent commissions and promotional allowances
Ordering samples
Dealing effectively with the LCBO
Selecting the right products for today’s market
How the LCBO selects products and how to increase your chance of success
Vintages – a lucrative market
Determining the best strategy for a new product launch
Working with LCBO wine consultants – how to find an sales support at store level
Working with the media
Other provincial markets: Privatization, Options & Opportunities

CHAMPAGNE LANSON RELEASES SPECIAL SLEEVES FOR WIMBLEDON

Champagne Lanson
Champagne Lanson

With Wimbledon fast approaching Champagne Lanson has released special promotional items.

Champagne Lanson has been a longtime sponsor for Wimbledon and special for 2017 Champagne Lanson is promoting its 75cl Black and Rosé Labels with special sleeves imitating the iconic Wimbledon courts, with white lines and labels.

Champagne Lanson travel retail director Olivier de La Giraudiere said: “We have been a key partner of The Championships, Wimbledon since 1977.  It is an event that we are very proud to be a part of.  This is one of the highlights of our year in terms of sales, so it is a very important time for us as it helps boost sales of our wines throughout the vital summer months.”

“The new pouch designs look great and encourage collectability year-on-year, which delights our loyal customers as-well-as helps to attract new customers wanting to try Champagne Lanson for the first time. We are positive that the promotion will be successful and we are looking forward to seeing the results over the next few months.”

The promotional sleeves will be promoted in Dubai during June and at London City, Luton, Brussels and Frankfurt Airports in July. The White label bottle will also be on show at Frankfurt.

TORONTO-BASED AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR LIZ PALMER NAMED A DAME CHEVALIER IN THE ORDRE DES COTEAUX DE CHAMPAGNE, PARIS

MetroActive Columnist Liz Palmer gets international recognition.

In case you missed it, our very own Liz Palmer has been further recognized for her international skills as a critic and judge.

MetroActive is proud of all of our members and we will help you promote you and your good work around the world. Contact your community sponsor or email us at info@metroactive.org for our assistance.

————-

Toronto, April 18, 2017 – Liz Palmer was inducted as a Dame Chevalier de Coteaux de Champagne April 7, 2017. The black-tie award ceremony and dinner took place at Ministere des Affairs Etrangers, Paris, with over 300 members of the Ordre, guests and honorees which included restaurateurs, sommeliers, and personalities from the world of politics, media, stage and music.

About Liz Palmer

Liz Palmer is a well-respected wine journalist since 2004 and has an international reputation as a critic and judge. She has had the pleasure of interviewing and tasting with some of the industry’s leading winemakers, professors and personalities.

Her articles have appeared in national and international magazines. She is one of four founding international hosts for #ChampagneDay 2011-2017; she has served as a judge for the 2013-2017 Global Traveler’s Wines on the Wing airline wine competition (New York); 2014-2017 Michelangelo International Wine Awards (South Africa) 2014-2017; and for The Stevie Awards for Women in Business (New York) (2014-2017).

Liz’s memberships include: Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada, Circle of Wine Writers (UK), International Federation of Wine and Spirits Journalists and Writers (FIJEV); Wine Century Club (NYC), The Fine Wine Reserve, Les Dames d’Escoffier (President – Toronto Chapter), and The Ordre de Coteaux de Champagne.

Liz Palmer’s first book, “The Ultimate Guide to Champagne” has received the National Award for the best French Wine Book at the Gourmand World Awards 2017.

Liz continues to support the wines of Champagne through workshops in Toronto and champagne tourism.

Liz Palmer states:

“I am deeply proud to be honoured by the most notable Champagne fraternity in the world.  I would like to sincerely thank Michael Drappier, former Commandeur of the Ordre, and Philippe Manfredini of Champagne J. de Telmont for trusting and believing in me.”

“This evening not only celebrates Champagne but also demonstrates the importance of its name, its history and its tradition, which is unparalleled anywhere else in the world.”

“I’m so happy that my family from London, Canada and France could join me and witness this extraordinary event!”

The evening followed a strict protocol, with an induction ceremony, followed by a champagne reception, then an elaborate celebratory dinner.

The trumpets sounded to announced the arrival of members of the Council, who took their place at a long table in the front of the room. The inductees were called individually to the members of the council and their career achievements were cited. Pledges were sworn, medals were bestowed and Champagne was sipped. The ceremonial pomponne is a long silver stylized antique Champagne glass.

About The Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne

The Ordre Des Coteaux De Champagne, one of the most notable Champagne fraternities in the world, is driven by celebrating the wines of Champagne and their diversity. Membership of the Ordre is granted exclusively to selected wine experts, professional restaurateurs, sommeliers who have contributed significantly to the commemoration and development of Champagne.

During the mid-17th century a group of aristocrats at the court of Louis the XIVth, namely: Mortemart, Ollonne, Brousse and the satirist Saint-Evremont, founded the Ordre. They were wine connoisseurs and particularly fond champagne from the three “coteaux” (hillsides) Ay, Avenay and Hautvillers. Hence the name given to this association “Ordre des Coteaux”. It disappeared shortly before the revolution. Around1956 a group of “champenois” led by Roger Gaucher and Francois Tatittinger decided to revive the “Ordre des Coteaux”. Taittinger, Laurent-Perrier, and Mumm were among the founding members.

There are three ranks in the Ordre Des Coteaux De Champagne Chevalier, Officier and Chambellan.

 

Websites:

http://www.ordredescoteaux.com/english/index.php

http://www.liz-palmer.com/

 

Media enquiries:

French and English

Florence Auffret, Communications Specialist

florenceauffret16@gmail.com

VINEXPO ANNOUNCES MAJOR NEW YORK EXHIBITION MARCH 5-6, 2018

Vinexpo New York will feature two days of business meetings, tastings, conferences, master classes and networking events.

The leading international exhibition for wine and spirits professionals is bound for the U.S. with Vinexpo New York, March 5-6, 2018. Produced in association with Diversified Communications, the show is expected to host exhibitors from all wine-producing regions around the globe to the world’s largest wine-consuming market – a distinction the U.S. has held since 2010. Show organizers aim to propose a new type of event for the wine and spirits industry, which will be adapted to the fast-evolving US market. Vinexpo New York will be open exclusively to the national trade. Targeted visitors are importers, distributors, retailers, brokers, e-commerce, on-trade buyers and sommeliers.

Held in the Javits Center’s 45,000-square-foot, glass-enclosed River Pavilion, Vinexpo New York will feature two days of business meetings, tastings, conferences, master classes and networking events. Its exhibition will showcase the newest wines and spirits introduced to the U.S. market.

“The time is right to bring Vinexpo to the U.S. market, which leads the world in wine consumption and whose influence only continues to grow,” said Guillaume Deglise, CEO of Vinexpo, which has held bi-annual exhibitions in Bordeaux since 1981 and has expanded into Asia since 1998, with shows in Hong Kong and Tokyo. “Vinexpo New York will present American buyers with an unmatched opportunity to experience, on their own turf, wines and spirits from international markets, including a number of products that have never before been available in the U.S. market.”

“We’re excited to combine forces with Vinexpo to bring the international world of wine and spirits to New York – the trade capital of the U.S.,” added Mary Larkin, Executive Vice President of Diversified Communications. A leading international media company based in Portland, Maine, Diversified produces trade events across the globe for a wide range of industries.

A catalyst for international wine and spirits business, France-based Vinexpo draws thousands of exhibitors and tens of thousands of buyers, importers, sommeliers, distributors, retailers and other qualified professionals to its exhibitions in Bordeaux and Asia. Its June 2017 show in Bordeaux will be no exception, with as many as 2,300 exhibitors and 48,000 trade visitors from 151 countries expected to descend on the city’s Parc des Expositions, June 18-21.

Vinexpo New York attendee registration will open in September 2017. For more information, visit www.vinexponewyork.com.

About Vinexpo
Founded in 1981, Vinexpo is the world’s leading show for wine and spirits professionals and a partner for the wine and spirits industry worldwide. Vinexpo is held in Bordeaux in odd-numbered years. Since 1998, Vinexpo Hong Kong (formerly known as Vinexpo Asia-Pacific) has taken place in even-numbered years, and in 2014, Vinexpo expanded to the Japanese market with the debut of Vinexpo Tokyo, also held in even-numbered years. The two have become key exhibitions of the industry in Asia. Before each exhibition, Vinexpo commissions studies on industry-specific issues and presents the findings in conferences around the world. Since 1999, it has produced a world market study with a five-year outlook, as well as a variety of trend reports. For more information, visit www.vinexpo.com.

About Diversified Communications
Diversified Communications is a leading international media company providing market access, education and information through global, national and regional face-to-face events, digital products, publications and television stations. Diversified serves a number of industries including: technology, seafood, food service, natural and organic, healthcare, commercial marine, and business management. Based in Portland, Maine, USA, Diversified has divisions in the Eastern United States, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.

HOW TO READ A CHAMPAGNE LABEL

Champagne labeling laws differ from other parts of France because the entire region falls under a single AOP, the protected term ‘Champagne’ and the wines are categorized according to styles rather than designations. Here the status of the producer is more important than the vineyard sites.

To distinguish between the numerous different styles, Champagne labels use a range of terms as described below.

* Level of sweetness:
o Ultra Brut – Bone dry or very dry
o Brut – Dry
o Sec – Literally dry but has higher sugar level than Brut
o Demi-sec – Medium dry
o Doux – Sweet

* Non-vintage: A Champagne made from a blend of wines from different years.

Some Champagne houses may use up to hundred reserve wines from previous years to produce a consistent house style.

* Vintage: A champagne made from a single year’s harvest. The label must show the year of the harvest.

* Blanc de Blancs: This term on the label means that the Champagne has been produced entirely from white grapes, in other words, Chardonnay.

* Blanc de Noirs: Refers to Champagne made from black grape varieties (Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier).

* Rosé: This is often made by blending a little red wine with whites.

* Grande Marque: Means ‘Great Brand’. A producer may use this term but according to AOP rules does not guarantee quality or any style.

* Cuvée de Prestige: These are the top-of-the-range releases from the Champagne houses and may come with a vintage on the label. Some examples include ‘Dom Pérignon’ from Moët et Chandon, ‘Cristal’ from Louis Roederer and ‘La Grande Dame’ from Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin.

* Marque d’Acheteur: Means ‘Buyer’s Own Brand’. These are often seen on Champagnes sold within a retail or supermarket chain that sells them using their own brand name.

Apart from these there are other non-mandatory terms that may appear on the label that specify type of Champagne producers, maturation time etc.

wine-searcher.com

CHAMPAGNE AFFECTED BY CHARDONNAY SHORTAGE

During the London launch last week of Dom Ruinart 2006 and Dom Ruinart Rosé 2004, Ruinart’s Chef de Cave, Frédéric Panaïotis said that supply was now being constrained by the amount of Chardonnay grapes it could source for the house – a specialist in Blanc de Blancs Champagnes.

“Everything is going well but my boss would be happier if we could get more Chardonnay grapes,” he began.

“Chardonnay is still less than 30% of the planted area in Champagne, and the price is not cheap for Chardonnay grapes, while buying vineyards is not easy, so we have to grow slowly: demand is faster than the growth we could have, but we are used to it,” he added.

Frédéric Dufour, the president & CEO of Ruinart, said that the supply of Chardonnay was limiting growth for the house, describing the grape as a “precious raw material” in Champagne.

“The hardest grape to get is Chardonnay, because even if you have Pinot Noir, you need Chardonnay, and Chardonnay is the least planted grape [in Champagne],” he said.

He then commented, “And for great Chardonnay you need chalk, and certain slopes, and the quantities of Chardonnay produced can be tricky – the grape is fragile because it blossoms early; so great Chardonnay is the most challenging to get.”

He also recorded that, despite the shortage, no more Chardonnay is being planted in Champagne, commenting, “Everything that can be planted to make good Chardonnay has been planted.”

Having observed that “everyone is after good Chardonnay,” he stated, “Good Chardonnay is the most precious raw material in Champagne today.”

Of the 34,000 hectares of vineyards in Champagne today, approximately 10,000ha are planted with Chardonnay, an area that has gradually risen almost 30% over the past 20 years.

Chardonnay is the least planted grape in Champagne, with more than 13,000ha devoted to Pinot Noir, and around 11,000ha given over to Meunier.

Ruinart is a specialist in Champagnes made from Chardonnay: Its ‘R’ de Ruinart NV contains a minimum of 40% Chardonnay; its Ruinart Blanc de Blancs is 100% Chardonnay, sourced predominantly from Premier Cru vineyards, while the Ruinart Brut Rosé is typically 45% Chardonnay and 55% Pinot, of which 18% is red wine.

Meanwhile, the prestige cuvée Dom Ruinart is made entirely with Grand Cru Chardonnay, predominantly from the Côte des Blancs (70%) and the remainder from the Montagne de Reims. And the Dom Ruinart Rosé has the same basis as the blanc, to which 15%-20% red wine (Pinot Noir from Verzenay and Verzy) is added.

The suggested retail prices for the current releases from Ruinart are as follows:

Dom Ruinart Blanc 2006 – £140.00

Dom Ruinart Rosé 2004 – £200.00

HEIDSIECK’S “CHAMPAGNE CHARLIE” IS MAKING A COME BACK

Under EPI ownership, Charles Heidsieck is planning to resurrect its prestige cuvée called Champagne Charlie, which was axed in 1985 when Rémy Martin bought the brand.

Champagne Charlie was launched with the 1979 vintage, and was named after the founder of the house, Charles-Camille Heidsieck, known as Champagne Charlie.

According Stephen Leroux, “Champagne Charlie will come back”… “We have made the wine, but it won’t hit the market for 5-6 years.”

Explaining why the prestige cuvée was discontinued, he said that Rémy stopped producing Champagne Charlie in 1985 after acquiring the house because the group included Krug, which was prioritized as the top-end Champagne in the stable.

“There was Krug, Charles Heidsieck and Piper [Heidsieck], and Krug was the prestige Champagne, Piper the commercial one, and Charles was supposed to be the niche and good-value Champagne, but there was no focus on it,” he recalled.

While Krug was sold to LVMH in 1999, Charles and Piper were acquired by EPI in 2011, under the new owner both houses have been undergoing a repositioning as the company, which is 100% owned by the Descours family, is bringing the houses back to their former glory.

But for those unable to wait for the rebirth of Champagne Charlie, Leroux said that the house is releasing historic vintages of the vintage-dated prestige cuvée from its cellar.

“In the meantime we are selling some of the old Champagne Charlie from five vintages, ’79, ’81, ’82, ’83 and ’85, and this will be under an oenoteque concept in very small quantities.”

The price of these late releases, some of which have already been disgorged, will range from £300 to £600 per bottle, according to Leroux, who also said that all late-releases direct from the Charles Heidsieck cellars would, from this year, receive a special label.

“We are coming up with new labelling for our older vintages, so whether it is Champagne Charlie, Blanc de Millénaires, or Royal Cuvée, there will be new packaging for these wines, which will be released in tiny quantities,” he said. (Charles Heidsieck released a Royal Wedding Cuvée to celebrate the marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in July 1981).

 

LCBO INTRODUCES NEW “SWEETNESS DESCRIPTORS” FOR WINE

Liz Palmer

LCBO is launching a new “sweetness descriptors” program starting April 29.  This program will provide useful tasting information to assist consumers when purchasing wine.

The new program will replace the current sugar code numbering system, which currently indicates wines as being a “0”, “1” or “2”…

This program, a first for LCBO, will consists of two elements. The first is a science-based descriptor system that reflects on how dry or sweet a wine tastes. There are five sweetness descriptors:

Extra Dry (XD) – No perceived sweetness, clean crisp acidic finish.
Dry (D) – No sweetness perceived, well rounded with balanced acidity
Medium (M) – Slight sweetness perceived
Medium Sweet (MS) – Noticeably sweet
Sweet (S) – Distinctively sweet

The second is a listing of the actual sugar content as  “grams of sugar per litre”. Both of these elements will be displayed on the redesigned bin tags located on store shelves, and in-store signs.

Initially, the sweetness descriptors and sugar content information will be used for all LCBO table wines, however, only the sugar content information will be available for LCBO non-table wines including sparkling, dessert and fortified wines. The program will also be extended to include all VINTAGES and VINTAGES ESSENTIALS wines as new releases are issued.

The sweetness descriptors initiative is part of “Wine Shopping Made Easy”, a promotion designed to help customers shop for wine in new ways and make shopping simpler. This promotion will be in all 622 LCBO stores across the province from April 29 to May 26.

‘Bag Lady’ Anya Hindmarch wins Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year 2012

British luxury designer, Anya Hindmarch has been announced winner of The Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award 2012. Anya beat stiff competition from finalists Helena Morrissey of Newton Investment Management and Ruth Rogers, founder and chef, of the hugely successful River Café in London.

Drawing upon her natural passion for accessories and design, Anya started her business at the age of 19. Since then, she has spearheaded the business growth from her first retail outlet, an intimate first floor shop on London’s Walton Street, to fifty seven shops worldwide, including a London flagship on Sloane Street and a Tokyo flagship in Aoyama, with a New York flagship opening in the New Year.

In 2009, Anya Hindmarch was awarded an MBE in recognition of her contribution to the British fashion industry. Two years later in 2011, she became a UK Trade Ambassador as well as becoming a Non-Executive Director of the British Fashion Council. She is also a trustee of both The Royal Academy and The Design Museum and a Governor of The University of The Arts. Her support of the next generation of British entrepreneurs, most notably through the Government’s ‘Start Up Britain’ campaign was also cited by the judges as a key reason as to why she was awarded the prestigious accolade.

Anya’s commitment to be a socially responsibly business was also welcomed by the judging panel, most notably for the charity promotion, ‘Be a Bag’ project and her ability to inspire change by making it fashionable not to use plastic bags with her iconic ‘I’m Not A Plastic Bag’ campaign, launched in 2007.

Also noteworthy was her 2009 launch of Anya Hindmarch Bespoke. This launch was perfectly timed as consumers increasingly sought investment pieces that were unique, beautifully crafted and personalised. The Bespoke collection is for both men and women and allows customers to personalise their pieces with hand written messages and drawings that are embossed into the leather by Craftsman based in the Pont Street store.

“It is the greatest honour to win the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman award in its 40th year. It is a very real compliment to be deemed to share some of the qualities of Veuve Clicquot herself who was clearly a brave and pioneering woman but also to even be considered amongst my fellow finalists, Helena Morrissey and Ruthie Rogers who are both brilliant businesswomen and lovely people.”  Anya Hindmarch

“We are delighted that the judges have selected a winner who fully embraces the spirit of the Award and can provide inspiration for the next generation of female entrepreneurs in the UK. In a year that British fashion has never been under the spotlight more, Anya has proven that commercial triumph alongside pursuing a responsible business is more than achievable and it is wonderful to see such a shining example of business success.” Christina Jesaitis, Senior Brand Manager, Veuve Clicquot

In addition to receiving a silver trophy shaped as a La Grande Dame bottle and a case of La Grande Dame 2004, Anya Hindmarch will take part in the Veuve Clicquot International Women of Influence Forum at the Veuve Clicquot Maison in Reims in October 2012. This event will gather previous winners from across the globe for a unique occasion to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Award. The winner will visit the Manoir de Verzy and the House’s vineyards, where she will have a vine baptised in her name recognising her legacy and life-long relationship with Veuve Clicquot.

Liz Palmer