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Pennell gives up acting

Published:  23 July, 2008

Maxxium UK has appointed Huw Pennell, 44, as MD with immediate effect. Pennell, formerly marketing director at Maxxium UK, has been acting MD since August 2005.
Pennell held previous marketing roles at Allied Domecq plc, Scottish & Newcastle and Rmy-Cointreau, one of Maxxium's four shareholders. He joined Maxxium UK as marketing director in 2002.
Stirling-based Pennell will report to Richard White, executive board director of Maxxium Worldwide in Amsterdam.

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First wine from new white' Cabernet grape launched

Published:  23 July, 2008

The world's first table wine to be made from the Cabernet Cygne Blanc variety - a new variety of Cabernet' that produces white grapes - will hit the UK later this autumn.
The wine, so far produced only in tiny quantities, is made by Port Robe Estate near Mount Benson, South Australia, and will be distributed by Australian Wineries. Graham Cranswick-Smith, a shareholder and director of Port Robe Estate, told Harpers: We haven't got much of the wine so far - only 67 cases of the 2005 - but we are expecting to produce around 1,000 cases of the 2006 and build up from there until we are producing up to 50,000 cases. We have planted around 100 hectares (ha) so far, but we have space to plant around three times that amount.

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Beadles looks forward

Published:  23 July, 2008

Jeremy Beadles, the new chief executive of the Wine and
Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), has set out his vision for a
new, more dynamic WSTA that has a higher profile with Government' and a positive effect directly on our members' bottom line'.

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Absolut sales rise

Published:  23 July, 2008

Sales of Absolut Vodka reached nine million cases in 2005, making the brand, owned by Swedish state monopoly Vin & Sprit, the third-largest global spirit brand. This represents a 9% volume increase over 2004.
Much of the growth was attributable to a sales drive outside the United States, which remains Absolut's major market. Non-US volumes grew by 18%, with Mexico, the fastest-growing market, showing a 67% increase.
There were also double-digit volume increases in a number of European, Latin American and Asian markets. Sales in the key American market grew by 2.4% despite intense competition.
The V&S Absolut Spirits arm, which includes Plymouth Gin and Cruzan rum, enjoyed a 13% rise in operating profit. Overall, operating profit at V&S Group grew by 27% to 131m.

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Pernod and Fortune closure

Published:  23 July, 2008

The dismemberment of Allied Domecq by Pernod Ricard
and Fortune Brands, the US consumer goods giant, was completed at the end of January. Under the terms of
the deal, the French group acquired Allied Domecq in its entirety for 7.4bn last August but had agreed in advance to sell on four major brands to Fortune for 2.8bn.
The four brands - Canadian Club whiskey, Courvoisier Cognac, Sauza Tequila and Maker's Mark bourbon - have now been transferred to Fortune and join Jim Beam in its transformed portfolio, which catapults the group into fifth position in the world spirits league.
The former Allied brands were initially valued at 2.8bn, but following more detailed calculation of their financial contributions, an additional payment of just under 200m will be made from Fortune to Pernod Ricard in March.

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The Interview: Sandra Liddell, Restaurant manager, Brian Maule at Le Chardon d'Or, Glasgow

Published:  23 July, 2008

How did you get into the wine business?
I trained as a croupier and travelled the world doing that for six years. When I came back, Glasgow was European City of Culture, and it was such a fabulously buzzy place to be. I asked my friend Gordon Yuill [former matre d' at Rogano] if he had any work for me, and he gave me a job working in the caf.

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Three men, a dog and global domination

Published:  23 July, 2008

Generally speaking, you should be wary of anyone who begins a sentence with In the old days'. Usually, they'll be talking about bygone eras when the bobby on the beat would give unruly youngsters a swift clip around the ear, or when footballers were real men, kicking a laced leather ball around a mudbath, cheered on by flat-cap-wearing hordes of working-class folk.

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Bowie leaves Fells

Published:  23 July, 2008

Victor Bowie is leaving his position as chief executive of Fells after 22 years with the company. Colin McKenzie, hitherto director of finance of the company, is appointed to the position of chief executive of Fells with immediate effect. The company would like to thank Victor Bowie for his many years of dedicated service, in particular to the development of the Port market in the UK,' the company said in a statement.

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Sorry we missed you

Published:  23 July, 2008

Many wine writers and people in the trade will remember Decanter magazine's successful 2003 tribunal appeal against Customs duties levied on bona fide samples for tasting analysis. These same observers may have assumed that the case - which made a splash in The Times - had rectified a previously confusing situation regarding the right to free receipt of tasting samples.

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Magyar moments

Published:  23 July, 2008

Hungarian wine annual tasting
When? 7 March, 11am-4pm
Where? The Royal Opera House, London
On show: 260 wines from 27 wineries
Contact: Neil Gooch, RGS Group;
tel: 01892 664 855

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The Interview: Nicolas Angelina, Operations manager, Volt Lounge, London

Published:  23 July, 2008

What made you open this style bar?
It was something the next generation of the family wanted. When the Antouns first came to London, after 25 years of running restaurants in Paris, they chose Hobart Place for the classical style of Lebanese dining. Then the Mango Tree took over next door; there was an empty space between that and Noura, so they thought, Why not something new?' For us, Volt means electricity, energy!

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Bacardi moves to Dewar's

Published:  23 July, 2008

Bacardi UK is to assume the distribution of its Dewar's brand portfolio from United Brands.
Sophie Bowers, marketing manager for Dewar's, said: United Brands has done a terrific job in reintroducing the brand to the domestic market, and we have been delighted with the feedback we have received from the trade. However, our longer-term plan had always been to integrate the Dewar's brands into the Bacardi portfolio, where the brands will benefit from wider support.'

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With Ryman reason

Published:  23 July, 2008

I'm not sure that I'm the right person to write this piece. Arthur Miller would have handled it so much better: the steps that take someone in this direction rather than that, the consequences piling up, the unavoidable dnouement. But Miller is dead, and in any case I doubt if Harpers could have afforded him. So here I am.

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Due South

Published:  23 July, 2008

This year's ViniSud will be the biggest yet. More than 1,500 producers are expected in the south of France, along with 32,000 visitors.
ViniSud is essentially a shop window for the entire Mediterranean. And while the majority of exhibitors are French-based, the event also showcases the following countries: Italy, Spain, Portugal, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Greece, Israel, Lebanon, Cyprus, Malta, Turkey, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Macedonia.

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Lanson sale edges closer

Published:  23 July, 2008

The purchase of Lanson International by Boizel Chanoine Champagne (BCC) is all but complete.
Former Marne & Champagne employees Bruno Paillard and Philippe Baijot, the two largest shareholders in BCC, look set to end up running the company they used to work for, once the French competition authorities have approved the deal as expected. And the enlarged company will be the second-biggest producer in Champagne after Mot Hennessy - a position Lanson International had ceded to Vranken Pommery last year.

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Jago leaves Bibendum

Published:  23 July, 2008

Bibendum's joint managing director Dan Jago - one of the best-known members of the UK wine trade - is leaving the company he joined 15 years ago.

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Regionality not the solution'

Published:  23 July, 2008

Focusing on regionality alone is not going to solve Australia's problems in the UK market. That was the stark message taken away from a seminar conducted at last week's Australia Day tastings in London, where a series of influential trade figures debated the subject: Australia - Brand Champion or Pantomime Villain?'
With a panel comprising everyone from producers and brand owners to retailers and the press, definite conclusions were, unsurprisingly, thin on the ground. But one subject on which everyone did agree was that Australia has some serious problems in the UK market.

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Clare Valley climate uncovered

Published:  23 July, 2008

A number of Clare Valley producers have explained how their region's climate is varied enough to grow both Riesling and Shiraz.
At a tutored tasting held at London's Australia House last week, Jeffrey Grosset of Grosset Wines explained that decades of weather data on the region were next to useless and claimed that ex-Petaluma boss Brian Croser once said that this was because the weather station in Clare was on a concrete slab behind the post office'. More recent data, Grosset added, showed the weather to be cooler than previously recorded, but the new weather data say that it's not hot enough to ripen Cabernet, but it's too hot for Riesling, so both reports are flawed'.

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New face at Wine Australia

Published:  23 July, 2008

Kirsten Moore has been appointed as Paul Henry's replacement as the regional manager for the UK and Ireland at generic body Wine Australia. Moore, born in Australia, has experience of both the UK off- and on-trade channels and, most recently, worked in a buying role at contract-catering giant Compass Group UK.

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Berkmann keeps it in the family

Published:  23 July, 2008

Berkmann Wine Cellars has appointed the son of the company's chairman and founder, Joseph Berkmann,
to its board.
Rupert Berkmann, 26, has now joined the company on a full-time basis after spending time working with Negociants International in Australia. He will be working in the London office learning all facets of the family business'.
I have lived and breathed the Berkmann Wine Cellars philosophy all my life. I now stand as part of the team, with the aim of continuing to deliver excellent service and outstanding quality wines to the UK. Our goal is to be the best wine merchant in the UK.'

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