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The Interview: Steve Edwards, Group food & beverage service manager, ABode

Published:  23 July, 2008

How did you get into this business?

I was in the RAF for seven years, in a catering squadron, and when I left I planned to go home to Sydney. But I had a house in Torquay that I wanted to sell first. In the interim, I needed a job and I spotted an ad for a general assistant at Gidleigh Park Hotel. I had never heard of Gidleigh and had no idea about Relais & Chateaux or Michelin stars. I remember driving down this narrow, winding road and coming round the last corner to see this mock-Tudor mansion embedded in the hillside. Paul Henderson, the owner at the time, is a former US marine, so we spent most of the interview discussing my time in the service. He took me on and I ended up staying until 2002.

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Diageo says Smirnoff is a girl's best friend

Published:  23 July, 2008

Diageo is offering Smirnoff vodka drinkers the chance to wine one of 10 one-carat diamonds worth 10,000 each, in a promotion beginning next month.

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Dom Prignon gets signed up

Published:  23 July, 2008

A bottle of 1996 Dom Prignon - signed by all the surviving members of the victorious 1966 World Cup team - will go under the hammer at Sotheby's in London next month.

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Majestic boosts Chilean range

Published:  23 July, 2008

Majestic unveiled 70 new listings at a recent tasting of its summer collection - a larger addition to the range than usual. The two sectors to be given the most attention were Chile and Italy, with the former showing growth and the latter receiving a partial overhaul.

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Logistics Supplement 2006

Published:  23 July, 2008

At a time when oil prices, security costs and retailer demands are hitting record heights, companies in all parts of the supply chain are having to be more efficient than ever. Finding the best route from A to B has never been more important.

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Katy HulstoneManager, The Elephant

Published:  23 July, 2008

What made you set up shop in Torquay?
Simon, my husband and the head chef, went to school round here, and his family live in Paignton, the town next door, so we know the area. People have this image of Torquay, but it's not like Fawlty Towers any more.

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Sleeping beauty

Published:  23 July, 2008

Last month, a press release arrived at Harpers Towers declaring that the recruitment process was under way to find a UK director for Wines of Argentina's London office. This will be a challenging appointment,' it said. They're not wrong.

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Grace and flavour

Published:  23 July, 2008

If the worldly trials of the drinks industry ever get you down, a trawl through the entries relating to religion (Bible, Eucharist, Religion) in the Oxford Companion to Wine could prove to be a tonic. Whatever your spiritual persuasion - Christian, Jewish, pagan - here you will find succinct reminders of the central role that wine has played in myriad aspects of Western spiritual and psychic development ever since Noah planted the first vine in Genesis.

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Beadles positive about Treasury mission

Published:  23 July, 2008

Jeremy Beadles, the chief executive of the Wines & Spirit Trade Association - together with a committee of senior wine trade members - is to draw up alternative mechanics for imposing wine duty rises after a positive meeting with senior Treasury officials on 1 March.
Beadles commented: The Treasury seemed prepared to listen, and accepted that the current system is effectively a tax on margin. It is up to us now to put together a report that proves our arguments and provides a workable alternative to the current system. From their point of view, how duty increases are introduced is not important as long as they receive the same amount of revenue. What they will not accept, of course, is a fall in the total duty take.'
Beadles added that the report will take at least six months to put together. This is a long-term project'.
The seven-man committee includes Christopher Carson, the chairman of Constellation Wines Europe and Mike Paul, the managing director of Western Wines.

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France under one roof

Published:  23 July, 2008

France Under One Roof
Wednesday 22 March
The Nursery End Pavilion,
Lord's Cricket Ground, Wellington Road,
London NW8 (North Gate Entrance)
10am-5pm
For more details contact Jane Hunt MW on 01451 831682; janehuntmw@aol.com

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Nyetimber sold for 7.5M

Published:  23 July, 2008

Nyetimber Vineyards, widely seen as one of the UK's finest sparkling wine producers, has been sold to a UK-based Dutch venture capitalist for an estimated 7.5 million.
The buyer, Eric Heerema, told Harpers he was taking a very long-term view' with the project, and definitely will not compromise the quality of the product'. He said: Every aspect of the business will be looked at, from the vineyards to the winemaking to the bottling with a view to increase quality.'
The current winemaker, Dermot Sugrue, has been retained, with Christopher Varley, a management consultant, appointed as interim general manager. Heerema will take on the position of chief executive on a part-time basis.

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Rmy sells brands to ex-director

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Rmy-Cointreau group has sold its portfolio of Dutch and Italian liqueur and spirits brands, including Bols and Galliano, to a former director of the company and a Dutch private equity firm.

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New agency for Latour

Published:  23 July, 2008

Louis Latour has been appointed agent for Rhne producer J Vidal-Fleury.
The company, which is more than 220 years old, produces wines from the northern and southern Rhne, and is planning a new winery in Ampuis.
Louis Latour MD Alexander Nall said: J Vidal-Fleury will become a valuable asset in our portfolio, enabling Louis Latour to widen distribution and complement the existing agencies from France and the New World.'

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Pernod buys out Tia Maria

Published:  23 July, 2008

Pernod Ricard has tied up a loose end of its takeover of Allied Domecq and at the same time improved its distribution network in Canada.
The French group is buying Corby Distilleries' 45% share in Tia Maria, one of the brands it gained from Allied, in a transaction that also involves Corby taking over the management of Pernod Ricard's business interests in Canada. Corby is owned 46% by Pernod Ricard.
As part of the deal, Corby will have exclusive rights to market Pernod Ricard's brands in Canada for 15 years. It will also acquire global rights outside Canada for Lamb's rum and Canadian rights to Seagram's Coolers. Corby's payment for these rights, valued at Can$105 million (52m), will be met by ceding its stake in Tia Maria to Pernod Ricard.

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Consumer edge to Port campaign

Published:  23 July, 2008

The 2006 generic Port campaign will see numerous sampling and tutored tastings held across the UK.
Examples will include the York Festival of Food and Drink, the Emsworth Food and Wine Festival and the Wine Show
in London. Trade seminars will also be held for catering colleges.
Paulo Pinto, international marketing coordinator for the IVDP, said: The new approach to the campaign follows extensive consumer research conducted in the latter half of 2005. The research highlighted the need for continual education of the consumer with regard to Port, with particular focus on key styles, flavour profiles and usage.'

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Portman to downsize, Drinkaware boosted

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Portman Group, the industry watchdog that promotes responsible drinking, is to be downsized, and split into two organisations.
The group will continue to advise on policy, and its Code of Practice that lays down guidelines for drinks companies and retailers will stay in place. However, its charitable arm, The Drinkaware Trust, will take precedence and be run as a registered charity as before.

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Champagne Supplement 2006

Published:  23 July, 2008

The future of Champagne and its wines may be about as clear as the vins clairs on this cover: not very. But we can all continue to influence it by never touching the stuff - faon Lily Bollinger, of course: except when we're happy or sad, alone or in company, with or without food, or thirsty.

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Sutton calls for greater responsibility

Published:  23 July, 2008

The drinks trade has no commercial interest in having customers senseless with alcohol or seeing pictures of legless people in newspapers or on television, said Barry Sutton, chairman of the Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).
Sutton was speaking at the AIM (Alcohol in Moderation) forum on Alcohol and Health Current Evidence, Future Trends which was held at the International Wine and Spirit Centre in London on 8 March.

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Flagship Coro' Fetzer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Fetzer Vineyards is launching its contribution to the Mendocino Coro project at the generic California tasting on 23 March. The project is a collaboration between nine Mendocino wineries to create a series of ultra-premium wines distinctive to the area.
The 2002 Fetzer Coro Mendocino is a Zinfandel/Syrah/Petit Sirah/Grenache blend, and is expected to retail for 20 per bottle in the UK.
The Coro Alliance has stipulated that Coro wines must use fruit solely from Mendocino and that Zinfandel must be the largest part of the blend, among other rules.

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Quality Drink Conference 2006 Delegate information

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Retail Division at Nexus Media Communications is delighted to introduce the first Quality Drink Conference, taking place on the morning of the prestigious Quality Drink Awards 2006.

The Quality Drink Conference WHAT PRICE QUALITY? will provide a mix of thought-provoking presentations, case studies and question-and-answer sessions.

Download a request form here to attend the conference or receive further information.

Alternately, email Sue Colyer on sue.colyer@nexusmedia.com

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