Keynotes for Sparkling WINE Week by Wine Pleasures announced

We’re excited to share that Giampiero Nadali and Liz Palmer will be appearing as keynote speakers at Sparkling WINE Week by Wine Pleasures.

Giampiero, co-creator of Fermenti Digitali (“Digital Yeasts”), will deliver an inspirational session on The Sparkling Wines of Italy from north to south, exploring specific terroirs and production methods.

Liz is a well-respected award-winning author and 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. At Sparkling WINE week she will be presenting Champagne popping out of Covid-19

Also in the 2 day programme will be a talk titled Adventures in Fizz with host Anthony Swift. Champagne, Cava, Franciacorta and Prosecco may dominate the sparkling wine world, but there many other exciting top tier options to consider for import. Anthony will be reviewing the gold medal winners in the annual sparkling wine competition 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World.

Also in the programme and looking to connect with international wine importers are several live interviews with bubble producers from diverse regions such as Champagne, Piemonte, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Penedès and Mendoza.

To view the event programme and register for free here>>

Introducing Sparkling WINE Week Online Trade Fair

On the 1 & 2 July 2020 Wine Pleasures is launching Sparkling WINE Week – an online trade fair aimed at helping sparkling wine producers to pitch to wine importers from around the world when travel is virtually impossible. Event host Anthony Swift explains how it is going to work.

Tell us about Sparkling WINE Week.

As we organise not only B2B Workshops in Spain, Italy and the UK but also we organise two annual Sparkling Wiine competitons – 50 Great Cavas and 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World,  it made sense in these challenging times to look at how to keep wine producers and wine buyers connected and doing business while simultaneously providing useful content to help the wine importer with their businesses. Having just completed Spanish WINE Week and Italian WINE Week in May organising the Sparkling WINE week was an obvious next step.

Delivered in English, the Sparkling WINE Week 2 day programme offers cutting edge professional education opportunities for the wine buying professionals at all levels. Attendees can take advantage of influential, expert led sessions and enhance their knowledge, grow their business and in their profession and be inspired! The programme also contains live interviews with boutique sparkling wine producers to enable wine buyers to make great sparkling discoveries from diverse terroirs in countries such as Argentina, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the UK.

That seems like a good blend of  tools to help both producers and buyers in what is a difficult time. How did Spanish WINE Week and Italain WINE Week go?

Went great!  We had Masters of Wine Fernado Mora and Sarah Jane Evans as keynote speakers for Spain and Richard Baudains and Giampiero Nadalli for Italy and we had an excellent range of boutique wine producers from around Spain and Italy. The event was well attended by wine importers and distributors from Japan to the USA and from Scandinavian countries to Australia. Over a 100 buyer appointment requests were received.

So how will Sparkling WINE Week work? 

Much the same as Spanish and Italian WINE Week but with a greater attendance of wine importers – we are expecting around 500 buyers to sign up for the event.

5 live daily sessions will be run with a program that includes  talks delivered by expert speakers, interviews with producers, and some videos of different regions from around the world.  We’re also providing a tool to set up private meetings between producers and buyers to create new business opportunities.

Sparkling Wine producers interested in participating in the programme can view more info here:

What happens if a buyer signs up but misses a live session?

No problem. If an attendee misses any or all of the live sessions he or she will be able to view a replay whenever convenient. 

How do buyers get involved if they want to participate?

The event is free for wine buyers, distributors, retailers, agents, journalists and bloggers. Buyers wishing to participate in the event should register here:

If you would like to find out any more about Sparkling WINE Week then contact Anthony Swift on or T. +34 93 897 70 48

Sarah Jane Evans MW Keynote Speaker at Spanish Wine Day by Wine Pleasures

We are thrilled to announce that Master of Wine Sarah Jane Evans will be joining us as our keynote speaker for Spanish Wine Day 9 June 2020!

Sarah Jane Evans is an award-winning writer, international keynote speaker, wine judge and Co-Chairman of the world’s largest wine competition, the Decanter World Wine Award.

Spanish Wine Day is a business, educational and networking online for the trade. Sarah Jane will uncork the event with a talk titled: New Wave Spanish whites where she will uncover the treasure trove of Spain’s white varieties. This will be followed by Live interviews with producers from diverse terroirs such as Priorat, Ribera del Duero, Rias Baixas, Rioja and the Penedès just to name a few. Sarah Jane closes the one day event with a seminar titled: Mencía and the Fresh Red Wines of the North-West where she will introduce the new-wave fresh reds of North-west Spain.

Registration for the trade is free and wine trade professional can register at Spanish WINE Day>>

Spanish WINE Week

Join the Online Spanish WINE Week 5 – 7 May 2020 and your industry peers for a free, 3-day online event specifically for wine importers, distributors, the on and off trade and trade journalists.

This summit provides the wine trade with inspiration, business connections & educational content through in-depth live interviews with wine producers, interviews with industry thought leaders, and practical insights on how to cope with the current global conditions. Our goal for this online event is to allow the wine trade to participate, learn and grow together in this time of need – no matter where you happen to be.


The Live stream will start daily at 13.00 GMT +1 (EST 09.00) and ends at around 19.30 GMT + 1 each day.

Day 1: Tuesday 5 May 2020: 14.00 to 19.30

Time & Activity

Session 1

14.00 – 14.10 A Wine Pleasures Welcome
14.10 – 15. 00 Seminar: The Surprising Terroirs & Wines of Spain. Speaker Clara Antúnez
Spanish wines taste different. Spanish grape varieties give flavours that you don’t find anywhere else. The vineyards are planted on rock, on limestone, on volcanic ash, on clay, on sand, or on mixtures of all these. To fashion these raw materials into modern, exciting wines, there is a generation of young winemaker who have travelled the world and learned all there is to know about winemaking. The results are incredibly varied in style, from delicate, low-alcohol whites to the richest imaginable reds, from gentle rosés to the great sparkling wines. It will be an introduction to open your eyes to a new world of very different wines.

Session 2

15.15 – 16.15 Live interviews with wine producers – Atlante (Valle de la Orotava), Mont Reaga (IGP Tierra de Castilla), Vins Familia Ferrer (Cava & Catalunya)

Session 3

16.30 – 17.00 Seminar: Corpinnat – what’s that? Speaker Xavier Gramona

Session 4

17.15 – 18.15 Live Interviews with wine producers – Bodegas Monte de la Reina (Toro), Bodegas Tempore (IGP Bajo Aragón), Hermanos Frías del Val (Rioja Alavesa)

Session 5

18.30 – 19.30 Seminar: Why Spain’s Garnacha is on everyone’s lips. Speaker Fernando Mora MW
Spain is the origin country for the Garnacha grape (aka. Grenache), an underrated variety in the past, however now it takes part in some of the most exciting wines of the country. This grape shows different faces in the vast Spanish country, since it has very high capacity to show the place where it is grown. In this semminar, we will learn about this grape, the different types, the myths, the expressions and the most important characteristics. Garnacha is cool, discover it! 

Day 2 Wednesday 6 May 2020: 14.00 a 19.30 

Time & Activity

Session 1

14.00 – 14.10 Welcome
14.10 – 15. 00 Seminar: Old Vines, Better Wines?. Speaker Fernando Mora MW
If there is a differential fact in Spanish viticulture it is the existing surface under old vines. Unfortunately, European plans, lack of profitability and other factors are decreasing this amazing resource. Are wines coming from the old vineyards better quality? Will there be old vineyards in 100 years? These and other questions will be answered in a precise and fundamental way. Other countries have been classifying and protecting their old vineyards, because they know the qualitative and marketing power of them.

Session 2

15.15 – 16.15 Live interviews with wine producers – Huellas del Tiétar (DOP Vinos de Cebreros), Bodegas Resalte (Ribera del Duero), Clos Montblanc (Conca de Barberà)

Session 3

16.30 . 17.00 Seminar: Cava 2020. A guide to its wines, regions and styles. Speakers Anthony Swift & Juan Manuel Gonzalvo (Judges competition annual “50 Great Cavas”)

Session 4

17.15 – 18.15 Live Interviews with wine producers – Gramona (Corpinnat & Penedès), Celistia (Costers del Segre), Bodegas y Viñedos Milénco (Ribera del Duero)

Session 5

18.30 – 19.30 Seminar: How ecommerce platforms can help the wine trade industry to develop their online sales. Speaker Nico Bour, Head of Business & Marketing Uvinum (Drinks & Co)
eCommerce in the wine business is a reality. With the development of huge ecommerce platforms like Amazon, uvinum/Drinks&co or Vivino , the wine industry (importers, wholesales, etc..) has now access to millions of customers to sell their products online. Let’s talk about the opportunities and some keys to succeed. 

Day 3 Thursday 7 May 2020: 14.00 a 19.00

Time & Activity

Session 1

14.00 – 14.10 Welcome
14.10 – 15. 00 Natural Wines: Why not?. Winemaker Daniel Ramos defines this niche but exciitng wine category and will cover What is Natural Wine, – A trend or a reality, Natural Wine: Why not?, Markets and final consumers of natural wine.

Session 2

15.15 – 16.15 Live interviews with wine producers – Godelia (Bierzo), DOSTERRAS (Montsant), Ferré i Catasús (Penedès)

Session 3

16.30 . 17.00 Seminar: D.O.P. Sierra de Salamanca: the remote realm of Rufete. Speaker Miquel Udina

Session 4

17.15 – 18.15 Live Interviews with wine producers– Bodegas Vegalfaro (Utiel-Requena), Hacienda El Ternero (D.O.Ca. Rioja), Baldovar 923 (Valencia)

Session 5

18.30 – 19.00  Seminar: D.O. Jumilla Wine Region: The Organic High Plateau: Kingdom of Monastrell. Speakers Carolina Martinez Origane & Esther Gonzalez de Paz
Jumilla is an emerging, exciting wine region, pioneer in Organic wines. Jumilla is one of the oldest DOs in Spain, created in 1966, with strong culture on wine making, and millenarian know how. Monastrell is a late-ripening variety, which thrives in the heat and produces wines that range from lively and fruity, to stunningly complex. In many of Jumilla’s vineyards, Monastrell vines remain ungraftedAdd the moutain barriers and a picture starts to emerge … 

Free registration here>>

After 300 harvests, Mas Codina go back to organic roots

Up in the Alt Penedès, watched over by the impressive peak of Montserrat, Mas Codina is a small organic family winery, which maintains very much of a local and traditional feel, growing 40 hectares of red and white grapes. A lazy Saturday morning provided the perfect excuse to pay a little visit to learn about their personal process and sample some of the fruits of their labours.

The house was constructed back in 1681, with grape cultivation beginning some time after that (records are a little patchy so far back in the mists of time!). When wine production first began, it was originally stored in barrels and sold to other wineries in that format, along with harvested grapes ready for processing, but in 1985 the family began bottling their own wine. The business has grown from there, still today growing all of their own vines, and selling some of their grapes on to other wine producers.

Many of their vines are still in the traditional style of freestanding bushes, making the most of the available space, slowly being replaced by the system of row support wires now more widely seen around the world. The different varieties are planted in differing directions to make the most of the sunlight. While around 10% of the crop is harvested by machine in the cooler night-times in August, the rest is all lovingly harvested by hand slightly later in the year as the other varieties ripen, and more helping hands are available assist with the picking.

Seeking to be kinder to the environment, and also following the increasingly popular trend, Mas Codina was certified as an organic producer in 2017, after the required three years’ conversion period. Today, they use no chemicals on their grapes, only certain minerals such as copper and sulphur to help in natural prevention of crop diseases. In place of harmful insecticides, natural hormones are used to discourage moths from destroying the grapes. Old, gnarly olive trees provide a rustic border to the vineyards, and are also used for the production of organic olive oil.

The cellar keeps the bottles cool to allow the Cavas to age and create their complexity, with climate control if needed to maintain exactly the right temperature during the hot summers’ days. The pressing and storage machines are glistening and modern, to maximise the efficiency of production, but as the winery’s unwritten motto says, the quality of the product is down to the grapes and the traditional know how that goes into their growing and cultivation through the year. Good grapes mean a good final product; the machines simply facilitate the process.

The grapes are separated from the twigs, cooled to around 15° to protect the aroma and avoid oxidation, and pressed. Like many grape growers, Mas Codina keep only the finest grapes and the first pressing for themselves, selling off any excess and further pressings to other wineries. Of the wine produced, 70% is cava, and the rest is still wine, both red and white. Roughly 65% is exported, 25% being consumed in the local Catalan region, and 10% being consumed elsewhere in Spain – it seems the rest of Spain has not yet discovered the deliciousness within.

As any good winery visit should, ours ended with a tasting.  Seated around a small round table, the anticipation was palpable – having featured several times previously in the annual 50 Great Cavas competition, it was little surprise that the Cava we tried was delicious, and it was just a shame there was not the chance to try more – rumour has it that the Mas Codina Brut Rosé is especially tasty!

The award winning Cava we tasted on the day was the Mas Codina Brut Nature Reserva 2015

Tim Hall
Travel Blog Writer>>