Asia Pacific Wine and Spirit Institute helps industry professionals with online learning during social distancing

APWASI launched this week 20 online wine and spirit certification courses in 26 languages. The newly released programs include the world’s first certified courses in “Icewine”, “Wines of China”, “Caviar” and “Truffles”.

The APWASI (Asia Pacific Wine and Spirit Institute) board unanimously agreed to move the launch forward to offer support to those in the airline, cruise line, hotel and hospitality industry who are facing uncertain, challenging and life-changing situations because of the global pandemic.

APWASI will be making the important Wine Essentials 1 Course complimentary and other courses qualify for special pricing. The program goals are to allow people to be more productive, acquire new knowledge and get certified during this period at home that many are experiencing.

In 2018/2019 there were over 100,000 wine and spirit students globally undertaking courses from various wine bodies. The wine and spirits market is explosively dynamic and experiencing generational, global and dramatic taste changes. APWASI’s mission when developing these career courses was to combine required fundamental theory and practical skills required for the workplace.

Industry experts were consulted to ensure APWASI courses had the impact and relevance to enable course graduates to be seamlessly and more easily absorbed into new career positions. As a non-profit organization, APWASI wants ensure the courses can be delivered globally and at scale.

Dr. Clinton Lee, Executive Director APWASI said, “It is imperative students have the choice now of a condensed route to attaining new skills with the flexibility to further upgrade those skills during their career. Not only are work skills important but so are cultural awareness levels. I was adamant that APWASI courses incorporate cultural awareness and we have done that. As a lifelong student myself, I can share through my own experience, that lifelong learning is the only way forward.”

APWASI developed a holistic approach for their students, from start to career, by developing strong strategic alliances with pivotal partners in the field. APWASI strategic alliances include Quini (http://www.quiniwine.com), a respected, established online wine tasting software company. Students can taste wine and record professional-grade tasting notes with ease, anywhere, anytime and recall them at the touch of a button. Students can also take online language study components through APWASI’s strategic partnership with Rosetta Stone Language. “Studying Italian wine and language just became much easier,” said Dr. Lee. APWASI students will also be able to keep up-to-date online with the wine industry through our highly valued APWASI strategic partner, Wine Spectator magazine.

Students will be able to access APWASI strategic partners, including global recruitment agencies geared to focus on APWASI graduates, to assist in placement during and after their course completion.

Roger Noujem, CEO of Quini, said, “Global industry requires talent that is digitally savvy in cross-functional areas of business. Going well beyond being personally knowledgeable about wine, for example. It is skills related to bringing automation ideas to the workplace that have now become more important than ever in the wine and hospitality sectors. With the new depth of education, certifications, virtual environment and partnerships that APWASI has crafted, we see a paradigm shift that QUINI is exceptionally proud to help advance and stand shoulder to shoulder with APWASI on.”

For further details: http://www.apwasi.com.

The Rémy Cointreau Group solidarity act to fight COVID-19

Rémy Cointreau releases the following statement last week –

Solidarity actions to fight the epidemic continue at our various sites. We are proud to share the local and spontaneous mobilization of our employees to help healthcare professionals. Their actions reflect our values: Terroir, People and Time.

As all alcohol-related logistics are subject to strict safety and taxation rules, all around the world, the Rémy Cointreau Group is happy to provide its expertise, as a response commensurate with the challenge. Therefore, alcohol donations and hand sanitizer production have been quickly set up and will continue over the long term.

 In France, every production site is mobilized

In France, the Group organizes donations of neutral alcohol (> 96°) and ensures a direct delivery to the users, in the areas we know best: Cognac (Rémy Martin & Louis XIII); Angers (Cointreau); Isère, land of the Domaine des Hautes Glaces; and finally, Paris. More than 10,000 liters of neutral alcohol has been sent to 13 hospitals, central pharmacies and local companies with urgent needs, in four different regions. We would like to warmly thank the Cristal Union cooperative, our supplier, and our forwarding partner Hillebrand, who graciously assisted us in the logistics of the operation.

Rémy Martin has responded to the call from the Houses of Cognac Syndicate which has set up a regional operation to produce, bottle and distribute a hydro-alcoholic solution, with the help of health professionals, elected representatives and the Qualyse laboratory. Rémy Martin has contributed 850 liters of wine alcohol (UNIFAB, now approved by sanitary rules) to this effort. GPs, pharmacies, retirement homes and personal care services in Charente and Charente-Maritime will beneficiate from this donation.

Since March 21th, our production site in Angers also supplies the Angers Faculty of Pharmacy with neutral alcohol (300 liters/day). Since the beginning of April, the objective -shared with the liquorist Giffard- is now to produce a ready-to-use hydro-alcoholic solution, in 2 or 5 liter containers, distributed to the local hospital, which is in charge of its redistribution to other actors in need.

In Europe, donations of alcohol and production of hydro-alcoholic lotion continue

In Scotland, teams at the Bruichladdich distillery are working hard to prevent any outbreak on the small island of Islay that would put enormous pressure on the already limited resources. Hand sanitizer with an alcohol content greater than 60%, then 80% -in accordance with the WHO formulation advisesis distributed to hospitals, emergency services, nursing homes and places where people interact, such as shops.

Although Greece has coped very well with the pandemic yet, the House of Metaxa has pledged to cover the needs for alcohol of the 13 hospitals taking care of coronavirus patients. Up to 35,000 liters of alcohol will be shipped all over Greece over the next three months, to support healthcare professionals working on the front line.

 A direct collaboration with American hospitals

In the United States, our Westland distillery directly contacted hospitals in the Seattle area to send 500 liters of finished WHO-formula sanitizer out the door. The volunteer bottling teams work every day with the challenge of keeping the stations completely separated from each other. They anticipate outputting 400 liters per day, 7 days per week, starting the week of April 6, supported by one of their main suppliers who has generously donated 60 tons of malt to produce ethanol.

PROSECCO DOC: March data confirms a positive trend in line with the Consortium’s forecast before Covid-19

As of April 1, 2020, the available production of Prosecco DOC amounts to 2,217,000 hectoliters and, if necessary, an additional amount of 550,000 hl, which was stocked during the 2019 vintage as a reserve, can be added and bottled to face increased demand.

The current situation is therefore in line with the long-term estimates elaborated by the Consortium before the health emergency caused by Covid-19, and the reserve stock of Prosecco DOC will allow it to cover the demand of the market till the next harvest, should the production suffer a slowdown.

“At the moment, we are aware of the dramatic situation of some realities,  particularly those producers with a short supply chain and those who do not operate with mass retailers. As a consortium, we want to express our solidarity and availability to evaluate possible solutions, but I don’t feel the need to generalize these situations to the whole denomination” states Stefano Zanette. “I am very concerned about the rumors spread by some industry operators, who paint exaggerated scenarios for the sole purpose of ticking commercial conditions to their advantage, creating damage to our whole system. These speculative actions are particularly deplorable, especially in the situation we are experiencing.”

Zanette states it clearly, “the situation is under control and the data confirms the expected trend; tapping into the stored reserve stock is a remote hypothesis at the moment: in a logic of long-term safeguarding of value, that wine will be made available only in the event of an actual need for the denomination and certainly not to favor the speculative actions of some operators.”

“In regards to the 2020 harvest,  fertility is expected to be lower than the average of the last 10 years and many variables could still happen from now to September, such as late frosts or hailstorms.”
“It should also be considered that the main objective to aim for in a situation like this is market stability and the Consortium has all the legal tools to intervene and pursue market it.”

In other words, the Prosecco Doc Consortium, considers it to be premature to adopt restrictive measures to both the 2019 and 2020 production offers. However, if the situation does not get better in the next few months, they will intervene immediately and are ready to do so.

The Consortium Prosecco DOC appreciates the efforts made by the Mipaaf (Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies), regions and trade associations to handle this crisis. They are trying their best to provide market solutions and retrieve resources, considering the possible decline of the overall wine consumption in Italy due to the Coronavirus. It’s necessary to take measures to financially help those companies who were most affected by the coronavirus outbreak and, furthermore, to limit the products that are superfluous in the market. Hopefully such proaction will support valuable output and decrease less valued wine productions on a regional basis.

Finally,  regarding promotion and enhancement strategies, under these circumstances,  the responsible authorities should design financial tools to allow wineries and consortia to have the necessary liquidity to invest after the Covid-19 emergency is over, when those who will arrive first and will operate with greater momentum and energy will prevail among others.

For more information regarding Prosecco DOC, visit www.casaprosecco.com

Ashes & Diamonds Winery in Napa opens a drive-thru

A winery in California’s Napa Valley has opened a drive-thru service with complimentary caviar when you purchase a case of wine.

Last month, California’s wineries, breweries, bars, restaurants and taprooms were asked to close as governor Gavin Newsom imposed a lockdown across the state to slow the spread of coronavirus.

This naturally is a hammer blow to the value of the country’s wine sector. California makes around 81% of all US wine and is the world’s 4th leading wine producer, according to the California Wine Institute. The state’s wine sector employs roughly 325,000 people, while the 23.6 million tourists who visit California wine regions spend around US$7.2 billion last year.

Thankfully, the measures only apply to tours, tasting activities and events. Wineries are now adapting to the new rules by offering pick-up and delivery services, but some are going the extra mile to stand out.

Ashes & Diamonds winery, located in the Oak Knoll district of Napa Valley, is using booking platform Tock to open up a delivery and drive-thru service to supply locals with the high-end wines in its portfolio and is throwing in caviar as a gift.

Customers can opt for either delivery or drive-through, and reserve a specific time slot, between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m to order a package that includes Ashes & Diamonds wines as well as snacks such as focaccia, locally made cheese and caviar.

The winery’s prices range from US$45 for a 2017 vintage white wine made with Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillion, to $125 for a 2016 vintage Cabernet Sauvignon.

Also, customers who order at least three bottles of wine will get an additional bundle of food, which includes Focaccia, Rancho Gordo bean dip, house-made pickles and locally produced cheese. Those who order at least six bottles will also get a portion of trout roe, and only those who splash out on a 12-bottle case will be given a complimentary 1oz serving of caviar.

On the other side of the pond, in Nottingham UK Castle Rock brewery has also opened a drive-thru service allowing customers to stock up on 5lr, 10lr or 20lr polypins, alongside cases of bottled beer and mini kegs of its session ale.

Craft beer giant Brewdog, meanwhile, has also turned a large portion of its UK bar network into drive thru stations. The brewer has set up a new app, called Hop Drop, which allows people to select their nearest Brewdog bar, choose the beers and food they want to take away, and adding 30% off all orders as an extra incentive.

Sources:  Drinks Business and California Wine Institute

Stella Artois (Canada) launches “Rally for Restaurants” gift card program to help local restaurants and bars hit hard by COVID-19 crisis

In an effort to bring Canadians together to support local restaurants and bars during this difficult time, Stella Artois announced today “Rally for Restaurants,” a gift card program that provides local establishments with immediate financial relief.

Stella Artois is rolling out “Rally for Restaurants” a global initiative in 10 different countries. It is open to all bars and restaurants across Canada in an effort to stimulate the industry. The program encourages Canadians to buy a gift card that they can use at their local favourites upon re-opening, or to use now for takeout. As an added incentive, Stella Artois will add an additional $10 to the value of every gift card purchased which will go directly to restaurants, bars and pubs.

“Local restaurants and bars are the heart of communities and a much-loved part of our social lives,” says Todd Allen, VP of Marketing at Labatt Breweries of Canada. “Many of these establishments have had to close down during the COVID-19 emergency, while others are trying to get by on take-out. It’s an extremely challenging period and we want to offer as much support as possible.”

How it works – Restaurants sign up to be part of the program at www.rallyforrestaurants.ca

• A consumer purchases a gift card for a local restaurant, bar or pub $25/$50
• Stella Artois adds an additional $10 to the value of the gift card
• The establishment immediately gets the money

Through the initiative, Stella Artois is aiming to empower Canadians to get involved and help support their local restaurant during a difficult time and as part of that, Stella Artois will donate $250,000 to participating restaurants, pubs and bars in a joint effort to help preserve the future of the industry.

“We’re hoping that Rally for Restaurants will not only help restaurants and bars in the immediate term but will also help safeguard the future of the industry and inspire Canadians to join our efforts by purchasing gift cards over the weeks to come. We hope that all Canadians across the country unite to champion their favourite ‘local’ and help secure the future of the hospitality industry,” says Allen.

For more information to sign up or purchase a gift card, visit www.rallyforrestaurants.ca.

Visit www.stellaartois.com