Uncorkings for 04/05/10

The top 10 industry stories of the week.

California cult winemaker Heidi Peterson Barrett, most famed for making her collectible Cabernet Screaming Eagle, is launching her first ever white wine, a Chardonnay. . .

Britain's Office of National Statistics reported that sales of wine, spirits and beer in the U.K. fell by more than 6 percent last year -- the largest drop in almost 50 years. . .

A measure that would raise the excise taxes on wine and liquor in California has been cleared for circulation by the Secretary of State. Jokes about “seven-buck Chuck” ensued…
(read more on the initiative)

More than 6,000 wine professionals descended on Bordeaux for the annual “en primeur” week. The 2009 vintage received high marks, leading some experts to speculate that prices will be stratospheric, even soaring beyond record highs last seen with the 2005 vintage…Read reviews of the 2009 Bordeaux vintage from Wine Enthusiast’s European Editor Rover Voss here.

Small craft distillers from around the country will gather in Washington, D.C. April 26-27 for the first annual Public Policy Conference hosted by the Distilled Spirits Council…

China became the biggest market for Bordeaux in 2009 – supplanting the U.S., where imports dropped 44% during the past year…

Christie’s International Plc, the London-based auction house, was sued by billionaire collector William Koch for selling counterfeit wine...

Forest fires in California’s Anderson Valley created “smoke-tainted” 2008 Pinot Noirs, vintners say. Many say they are releasing only a small percentage of the 2008 vintage, or are lowering prices. . .

Clos Pegase has appointed Richard Sowalsky as its winemaker. . .

Constellation Brands is selling historic Widmer Winery to a rival business in New York's Finger Lakes wine country instead of shutting its doors.


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