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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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Australians get a taste of The Oval

Published:  23 July, 2008

Liberty Wines used its latest portfolio tasting at The Brit Oval - the first wine company to use Surrey County Cricket Club's facilities - to launch a number of new projects and agencies from Australia (despite the Oval being the venue for England's dramatic Ashes victory).

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Delibo wine launched

Published:  23 July, 2008

James Fleetwood is bringing together his existing wine businesses - Xavier Wines and Fleetwood Wines - under one roof, operating from a converted pigsty in Oxfordshire'.
The name of the new company, Delibo Fine Wines, is taken from the Latin word delibare meaning to taste'.
Delibo will be the agent for the Xavier range from the southern Rhne, along with boutique brands from the Languedoc and Champagne Jacques Picard. Fleetwood said that New World wines will also be added to the portfolio very soon'.

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Paul Cluver appoints new agent and launches Slowine

Published:  23 July, 2008

Seckford Agencies has been appointed the new agent for Paul Cluver.
Managing director Paul Cluver said: We are very pleased to be joining Seckford Agencies; it is a specialist distributor with a strong association with South Africa.' The new 2003 Pinot Noir and 2004 Chardonnay have just been released.
Paul Cluver Wines is also launching a new range of wines called Slowine, retailing at 6.99 to 7.99 (Chenin/Sauvignon, Pinot Noir Ros, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon). The labels depict a tortoise, symbolising the principles of the Slow Movement.

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New company celebrates

Published:  23 July, 2008

Bespoke wine club Quintessentially Wine has marked its first Christmas with an average order of 16 a bottle, excluding Champagne.
The highest single order for wine came in at 11,000, and MD Chris Orr said: When you look at how the high-street wine stores are struggling, especially with the recent demise of the likes of Unwins, it is encouraging that we've had such a positive response to our service.'
Launched in November 2005, Quintessentially Wine is part of Quintessentially, the world's leading private members club', with interests in golf, spas, and restaurants.

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Sales director appointed

Published:  23 July, 2008

Whyte & Mackay has appointed David Brown as sales director for the UK on-trade.
Brown was formerly commercial director at Belhaven Pubs and has also worked as marketing director at Caledonian Brewery, and as UK sales and marketing manager with Allied Domecq Spirits and Wine.
Whyte & Mackay group managing director Bob Brannan said: We are delighted that David will be joining us. It is an exciting time for us as we relaunch our brands, and David's vast experience will be very valuable to the whole team.'

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Bottle Green gives birth to Twin Vines

Published:  23 July, 2008

Bottle Green hopes to cut through the maze of wine language with the launch of Twin Vines.
The six-wine range features three varietals, each with an Old World and New World version: Chardonnay from France and Australia, Merlot from France and Chile, and Zinfandel from Italy and California. The wines, which all retail at 4.99, were blended by Bottle Green wine director Nick Butler and senior winemaker Mark Nairn.

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WSTA demands action

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has called upon the Government to change the way wines and spirits are taxed in the UK.
In its 2006 Budget Submission, the association - representing more than 200 UK producers, importers, wholesalers and retailers - has devised a list of demands that it claims are essential to maintaining a trading environment where responsible business can survive'.

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