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High-tech helps tradition to make Hungary's Tokaj wine

By Krisztina Than TOKAJ, Hungary (Reuters) - The Hungarian tradition of plucking shriveled grapes, sometimes one-by-one, to make pricey, sweet white wine dates back centuries, but growers hope new technology will help them harvest the fruit at its rotten best. Tokaji Aszu wine, which retails in Britain for at least 20 pounds ($32) a bottle, is one of a handful of wines around the world made with fruit affected by "noble rot", induced by the "Botrytis" fungus that shrivels the grapes and concentrates their sugar.

Great Port vintage to wash down Portugal's 2011 woes

By Andrei Khalip LISBON (Reuters) - It was a horrible year of debt crisis and an international bailout for Portugal, but 2011 turned out to be nothing short of a miracle year for the country's best known product: port wine. After a tasting session on Friday attended by dozens of international experts, the crimson-robed Port Wine Brotherhood that counts among its members all major port producers and merchants as well as kings and heads of state, proclaimed 2011 a Vintage Year, the first since 2007.

Yunnan Red, anyone? Chinese wine heads to Europe

For years the Chinese have been buying up wine from Europe, but with domestic wine production predicted to overtake Australia and Chile by next year, Tiana Wu is hoping European drinkers are ready to be tempted by a glass of her "Yunnan Red". "We produce one million cases per year. We're exploring the possibility of exporting," Wu told AFP at Vinexpo in Bordeaux, one of the world's largest wine and spirit fairs.

China's soaring wine consumption slows down: study

China will retain its crown as the world's fastest growing wine consumption market although the rate is tipped to slow significantly after years of explosive expansion, a new study showed Friday. Chinese wine consumption soared by 142.1 percent over the five years from 2007 to 2011, reaching a total of 159.25 million cases or 1.91 billion bottles, the leading wine and spirits trade fair organiser Vinexpo said. Demand has surged in the world's second largest economy in recent years, driven by a rapid expansion in personal wealth as well as growing demand for foreign products.

First wine from Pitt and Jolie's French vineyard to hit Web

NICE, France, March 6 (Reuters) - The first wine to be sold from a French vineyard owned by Hollywood couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie will go on offer this week to online buyers with a thirst for celebrity. The first 6,000 bottles of organic "Miraval Rosé 2012" will be sold on the Internet on Thursday for 105 euros ($140) a case including shipping to addresses in France.

Britain's government sells French wine to pay its drinks bill

By Belinda Goldsmith LONDON, March 1 (Reuters) - Britain's government is selling vintage French wine at around 5,000 pounds a bottle ($7,500) in a bid to make its wine cellar self-funding as part of a national austerity drive and clamp-down on extravagant expenditure. The government wine cellar, located in the basement of Lancaster House near Buckingham Palace, is used to provide wine for foreign VIP guests ranging from royalty to heads of state and prime ministers at 200 or more events a year.

Frozen grapes gathered under stars make Canada's icewine

Malivoire, one of the Niagara region's boutique wineries, picks its icewine grapes by hand. For this annual rite of winter it relies on a corps of more than a dozen volunteers, selected by a lottery, to get the grapes off the vine and crushed at just the right moment.

Frozen grapes gathered under stars make Canada's icewine

* Province of Ontario produces most of Canada's icewine * Canadian specialty costs twice as much as Champagne * Harvest takes place in dead of night By Atsuko Kitayama BEAMSVILLE, Ontario, Jan 22 (Reuters) - In the Ontario town of Beamsville, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of Niagara Falls, a small crowd of bundled-up figures crouched in a moonlit vineyard on a frigid January night, picking a crop of hard-frozen Gewurztraminer grapes.
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