■ Raimonds Tomsons, head sommelier of Vincents restaurant in Riga, Latvia has been named Best Sommelier of Europe & Africa by the ASI (Association de la Sommellerie Internationale). Piotr Pietras of Poland came second, while Julia Scavo of Romania and David Biraud of France shared third place.
■ Scientists in Germany have pinpointed botrytis cinerea as the most noble fungus affecting wine grapes. Analysing samples of Riesling and Gewürztraminer, researchers found that botrytis was the only fungus that created ‘positive aromatic notes’ in the grapes.
■ Sommelier Gerard Basset has added yet another accolade to the string of letters after his name, as the Organisation de la Vigne et du Vin named him Master of Science in Wine Management. Basset remains the only person in the world to simultaneously hold the Master of Wine, Master Sommelier and Wine MBA titles.
■ Berry Bros & Rudd has opened a new London shop on Pall Mall, following ‘growing customer demand’. The company’s original premises at No 3 St James, occupied since 1698, will be retained for wine consultancy and events services.
■ This year’s Auction Napa Valley raised $ 15.7 million for local charities, with one lot from Colgin Cellars fetching $2.1m on its own. The 37th annual auction was organised by Napa Valley Vintners and chaired by the Coppola family of Inglenook. The charity event also benefited from large-format bottle donations from Antinori and Staglin family estates.
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