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Henners launches multi-vintage sparkling wine

Published:  05 February, 2013

East Sussex-based English sparkling wine producer Henners has announced a new multi-vintage concept that is to form a major part of its portfolio from 2016.

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WSTA urges government to end duty escalator

Published:  05 February, 2013

The Wine & Spirit Trade Association is to meet with economic secretary to the Treasury in a bid to make a case for an end to the alcohol duty escalator.

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Liberty Wines lists its first Tasmanian producer

Published:  05 February, 2013

Liberty Wines has been appointed as the exclusive agent in the UK and Ireland for Dawson & James from Southern Tasmania.

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Hallgarten Druitt strengthens senior management team for growth

Published:  05 February, 2013

Hallgarten Druitt has poached two new senior members for its management team from major competitors as part of its continued strategy to improve and deepen its level of service across the on and off-trades.

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ACS chief slams Sir Terry Leahy's high street claims

Published:  05 February, 2013

Former Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy's comments on this weeks' BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs that some high streets are "medieval" has brought a strong reaction from the small retail groups.

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John Shearlock reports from the Pinot Noir NZ 2013 conference

Published:  05 February, 2013

John Shearlock from the Drinking Well heads to New Zealand to uncover the world-class Pinots on show at the Pinot Noir NZ 2013 conference.

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Home Office criticised for leaving minimum pricing questions unanswered

Published:  04 February, 2013

The Wilson Drinks Report has criticised the Home Office for leaving a number of qustions unanswered prior to the consultation relating to the practicalities of implementing minimum unit pricing.

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Name change for Grupo Codorníu

Published:  04 February, 2013

Grupo Codorníu has changed its name to Bodegas y Viñedos Codorníu Raventós as it looks to draw attention to its broad portfolio of products and heritage.

TextGrupo Codorníu has changed its name to Bodegas y Viñedos Codorníu Raventós as it looks to draw attention to its broad portfolio of products and heritage.

 

As well as producing the UK's third best-selling sparkling wine brand by volume, the company sells wines from premium Spanish regions to independents. These include Viña Pomal in Rioja, Raimat in Costers del Segre, Legaris in Ribera del Duero and Scala Dei in Priorat.

 

Bodegas y Viñedos Codorníu Raventós is also the UK agent for New Zealand producer Invivo and Australia's Thorn-Clarke.

 

The company owns eight wineries in Spain and one each in Argentina and the US, as well as over 2,500ha of vineyards.


"Our new name also reinforces our winemaking heritage and family roots. Established in 1551 as a winemaking company, Codorníu became intrinsically linked with the Raventós family in the 17th century when the Codorníu heiress Anna married into the Raventós winemaking dynasty," a spokeswoman said.

 

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Douglas Blyde on a taste of Croatia at Cuthbert Pub & Kitchen, Brighton

Published:  04 February, 2013

Pacta Connect's Trevor Long and Judith Burns, enthusiastic importers of quality Croatian wines from Umag to Pula and also Slavonia and Dalmatia, invited Harper's to taste a tailored menu of British food and Croatian wines at The Cuthbert, Brighton. An Enterprise Inn with appealingly quirky decor by landlady, Susanna Searle, which evokes a 50s street party, was reopened after a year's closure by a young trio. This also includes Searle's partner, Robin Koehorst, an Anglo-Dutchman and late starter to professional cooking from age 28 (now 35) and Dave Mothersill.

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Sales up as PLB sets sight on indies and on-trade

Published:  04 February, 2013

Wine importer PLB Group has reported a double-digit rise in sales after increasing its distribution and selling a greater range of products to existing customers.

Wine importer PLB Group has reported a double-digit rise in sales after increasing its distribution and selling a greater range of products to existing customers.

 

Sales were up from £121.9m to £141.7m in the year to 31 August 2012, according to results filed at Companies House. Pre-tax profits fell by 20.8% from £605,672 to £479,751 after administrative expenses rose from £7.5 million to £8.1 million.

 

"The growth has been achieved despite a relatively flag market and has been due to increasing the distribution of its products and building on the range and sales of products to existing customers," finance director Simon Fredericks said.

 

Attracting and retaining major branded wine suppilers would continue to be a focus for the company as it looks to develop sales in the convenience and on trade sectors, he added.

 

Last week PLB announced five appointments to its specialist division, which is focused on the independent and UK on-trades sectors.

 

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Fiona Sims heads to Istanbul for the Dom Pérignon 2002 launch

Published:  04 February, 2013


I am led in silence to a white curtained tasting booth. On the Philippe Starck-designed table is a Riedel glass of rosé Champagne. There is also a spittoon - though I don't hear any spitting coming from the other nine occupied booths, just the odd sigh. And there is a view of the Bosphorus, glittering in the sunlight through the former sultan's palace window. Welcome to the launch of the Dom Pérignon's rosé vintage 2002 in Istanbul.

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Bibendum adds "iconic" Penfolds label to portfolio

Published:  01 February, 2013

Bibendum Wines has been appointed distributor for Treasury Wine Estate's Penfolds label.

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Bibendum Wines has been appointed distributor for Treasury Wine Estate's Penfolds label.

 

Bibendum will distribute Penfolds Bins, Icon and Luxury Wines as well as its on-trade exclusive range of Penfolds Cellar Reserve wines and Penfolds Bin 2 from this month.

 

Matthew Clark had distributed Penfolds in the UK until four years ago, when TWE moved to a number of regional distribution arrangements.

 

Andrew Shaw, Bibendum's head of buying said: "Penfolds are a terrific addition to the Bibendum portfolio. We have always been very strong supporters of Australian wines and couldn't pass up the opportunity to distribute one of the country's most iconic names. "

 

A number of back vintage wines will also be made available to Bibendum under the agreement.

 

Bibendum will include a range of Penfolds wines at its annual tasting on Wednesday February 6.

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Berry Bros to supply Jamie Oliver's Union Jacks

Published:  01 February, 2013

London-based independent wine merchant Berry Bros & Rudd has announced it is to supply wine to Jamie Oliver's new restaurant concept, Union Jacks in Holborn, Covent Garden, Chiswick and Winchester.

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Lebanese wine exports reach new high

Published:  01 February, 2013

Exports of Lebanese wine to the UK leapt by 33% to $4.3 million (£2.7 million) last year according to new figures released by Lebanese Customs.

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Retailers raise a glass to Comic Relief

Published:  01 February, 2013

From today online retailers, supermarkets and off - licences will donate a proportion of their sales to help disadvantaged people in the UK and Africa as part of Wine Relief 2013.

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From today online retailers, supermarkets and off - licences will donate a proportion of their sales to help disadvantaged people in the UK and Africa as part of Wine Relief 2013.

 

A total of 87 specially selected wines will be sold by Laithwaite's, Majestic, Naked Wines, Virgin Wines, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Oddbins and Selfridges in the run up to Red Nose Day on Friday March 15, with 10% of the retail price going to Comic Relief.

 

The event was created by Jancis Robinson MW, and has raised £4 million since 1999. "Most of us add wine to our weekly shop, so it makes sense to pick up a bottle that's part of Wine Relief. It's about making the choice to choose a bottle that leaves a good taste in your mouth, not only because it's a great wine, but more importantly because you're helping to raise money for Comic Relief at the same time," Robinson said.

 

TV presenter Claudia Winkleman suggested holding a retro wine and cheese tasting party to raise money for Comic Relief. "Cheese and pineapple on a stick in one hand and a glass of wine in the other, sounds like the perfect night in," she said.

 

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Australian Vintage to build on its branded wine offer in UK

Published:  01 February, 2013

Australian Vintage is teaming up with MasterChef's John Torode as it looks to strengthen its position in the UK branded wine market, both through its core McGuigan portfolio and new product launches.

TextAustralian Vintage is teaming up with MasterChef's John Torode as it looks to strengthen its position in the UK branded wine market, both through its core McGuigan portfolio and new product launches.

 

Torode is to work with Australian Vintage's chief executive Neil McGuigan on a collection of 50 recipes, which can be downloaded using QR codes on the back labels of any McGuigan wine. A dedicated website will then offer recipe ideas based on the wine the QR code has come from and their dietary preferences.

 

Julian Dyer, Australian Vintage's head of UK and Ireland, told Harpers that thanks to the quality of UK bottling, it is now able to bottle its iconic McGuigan Black Label brand in the UK for the first time. It is also launching McGuigan Black Label Reserve to the independent sector.

 

"McGuigan Black Label is the heart and soul of the company so it is crucial for us that it is being bottled in the UK," he stressed.

 

Black Label, he said, is vital in helping to push the premium Australian brand category up to and potentially beyond £9.99.

 

Dyer told Harpers: "This gives us an opportunity to stretch the phenomenal success we have had with the McGuigan brand and encourage more people to trade up."

 

He added: "You have to look to trade people up by £1 or £1.50 at a time. If you think you can get them to spend £3 to £4 more then you are kidding."

 

Australian Vintage is also looking to use its strong position in the UK to increasingly grow more business across Europe. Its close ties with UK bottlers, for example, means it can offer bulk shipping savings to distributors across Europe. "We treat bottling in the UK as an extension of our own winery," said Dyer.

 

But, equally, it remains "absolutely committed" to the UK, its number-one export market. Dyer said it was also vital it developed products for consumers who sill want to buy wine below £5.

 

These developments include:

 

  • Continued roll-out of its £3.49, 5.5% abv Vinni sparkling Moscato-based brand into supermarkets and convenience with new Blush and Black variants
  • A new range of 5.5% abv wines featuring a white, red and rosé under its new low-alcohol umbrella brand name Summer Light, first introduced, alongside Summer Time, in Australia
  • Bubblique, a sparkling flavoured wine proposition at 8.5% abv and "well below £10".

 

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Price gap between own-label and branded wines to narrow

Published:  01 February, 2013

Soaring supply prices could be good news for branded wines as the price gap is set to reduce between own labels and big brands, according to Rabobank.

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Northern Restaurant & Bar Top 50 - call for entries

Published:  01 February, 2013

The Northern Restaurant & Bar show is calling for entries for its second annual NRB Top 50 awards, which recognises and honours 50 individuals from influential hospitality operators based in the north of England.

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Video: John Torode and Neil McGuigan on their food and wine matching double act

Published:  31 January, 2013

Why have celebrity chef and co-host of BBC's MasterChef, John Torode, and Australian Vintage winemaker, Neil McGuigan become a food and wine matching double act?

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Jenny Mackenzie on the Neil McGuigan and John Torode food and wine matching link-up

Published:  31 January, 2013

The Neil McGuigan and John Torode Recipe Collection, which was launched earlier this week in London, promises to be an "innovative, interactive" wine and food matching concept with the aim of "approachability, affordability and accessibility".

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