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Inside Wine (Mar 21st, 2019)

1. Vintage Wine Estates purchased Laetitia Vineyard and Winery in the Arroyo Grande AVA. The nearly 2,000-acre property is the latest acquisition for VWE, which purchased Qupé, Alloy Wine Works, and Clayhouse Wines in the past few years. The company plans to make Laetitia the center of their Central Coast production and operations.  — WINE INDUSTRY INSIGHT

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2. Imbibe spoke with Isabelle Legeron MW, founder of the RAW Wine fair, about the state of natural wine. Legeron notes there’s a rising interest by both trade and consumers; she thinks chefs in particular understand the correlation between low-intervention wine and fresh ingredients. She cautions that some winemakers, however, are trying to make “natural” wines but don’t necessarily follow the guidelines for what she deems is natural winemaking. To that point, she is pondering eventually creating formal criteria for the category. — IMBIBE

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3. Bordeaux wines had a tough time in 2018, citing a decline in both exports and domestic supermarket sales. The biggest pinch was felt in the Chinese market; exports decreased by 31% in volume and 22% in value. However, Hong Kong remains strong for the French region, and exports by value to the U.S. also grew by 21%. — VITISPHERE

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4. Detroit Vineyards will open Detroit’s first tasting room and winery in 60 years. Founded by University of Michigan business professor emeritus Claes Fornell and winemaker Blake Kownacki, the winery will operate out of an old ice cream factory. Grapes are sourced primarily from the western part of the state but the duo does cultivate two acres in the city proper. — CRAIN'S DETROIT

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5. While it’s generally accepted that hangovers have negative effects on a person’s mood — not to mention physical well-being —a survey of college students found undergraduates incorporate the hangover into their expectations of a night out. The subjects, all studying at a university in England, said group commiseration is actually part of the bonding experience. — INVERSE

6. In an interview, Jancis Robinson reflected on her impressive career and achievements, but noted that she sometimes still feels like an outsider. — CLUB OENOLOGIQUE

7. With the quality of Austrian wine on the rise, here are some producers and wines to be on the lookout for. I would also add Rudi Pichler, Hochrain Gruner Veltliner, Wachau and Fred Loimer, Gemischter Satz Mit Achtung, Niederösterreich to the list; I just tasted with them at Prowein and the wines were fantastic. — WINE-SEARCHER

8. Insta-coffee maker Keurig and Ab InBev are moving forward with their plans for a Keurig cocktail machine. After a pilot launch in St. Louis, the Drinksworks apparatus will roll out to several more markets. — CNBC

9. Wine Spectator takes a look at five trendy diets that allow you to drink wine. Some, like the Mediterranean diet, stem from cultures where wine is a part of daily life where others, like keto, might require a bit more planning (and willpower). — WINE SPECTATOR

10. It’s all in the details: Punch explores how different recipe descriptions yield better cocktails, especially with super-simple tipples. — PUNCH

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Inside Wine is written and curated by Shana Clarke. Shana is a freelance journalist and regularly contributes to a variety of consumer and trade publications, including Wine Enthusiast, Playboy, HuffPost, USA Today’s Eat Sip Trip, and SevenFifty Daily, among others. Follow her on Instagram at @ShanaSpeaksWine and see more of her work on www.shanaspeakswine.com.

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside); Susmita Baral (senior editor at Inside, who runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram); and David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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