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Champagne ambassador

Published:  23 July, 2008

Cambridge wine educator Anthony Stockbridge has become the first ever UK finalist selected to represent the country in a competition to find the European ambassador for Champagne.

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20th Salon des Vins de Loire

Published:  23 July, 2008

The 20th edition of Salon des Vins de Loire will be held 6-8 February 2006 at Angers Parc Expo - not 30 January-
1 February as previously advertised by the organisers.

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Portugal must go regional, says Sogrape's Salvador Guedes

Published:  23 July, 2008

Portugal must play to its strengths - indigenous
grape varieties and regional differences - if it is to
succeed as an exporting wine nation, according to Salvador Guedes, president of the country's largest producer, Vinhos Sogrape.

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Hanging On

Published:  23 July, 2008

The most exciting grape grown in South Tyrol, at least among its reds, is the Lagrein, a variety found only there and in the adjacent hills of northern Trentino. Scholars differ about the area where the Lagrein grape originated. Some say it comes from the Vallagarina area, which is a valley south of Trento. This theory finds some support in the name of the variety, since Lagarino is the Italian name for Lagrein. Others believe it first appeared near Gries in the area of Bozen, where Benedictine friars of the Muri convent have cultivated it since 1600. But most scholars agree that the real origin
is Lagaria, a Roman coastal area near the Ionic Sea, or Greece, where lagaros means hanging grape, which in south Italy became lagarinum.

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Undrinkable, or Unsinkable?

Published:  23 July, 2008

What is it about RTDs that people seem to have such a problem with? It's been a good 10 years since the Hooch and Two Dogs alcopop' stigma hit the category, and yet the blame for any alcohol-related problems is still often placed at the RTD door. On top of this criticism, the sector has had to contend with a year-on-year decline and a constant assertion from the trade that RTDs have had their day. Is this really fair? In spite of all the negativity, new brands and alternative versions of established brands are continuing to hit the shelves at speed - there's even talk of Diageo introducing a whole new range of RTDs to the UK market. Are these the activities of an industry that's about to pop its clogs?

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Selling bee

Published:  23 July, 2008

John Hoskins MW owns the Old Bridge Hotel in Huntingdon, a large, red-brick building on the edge of town. The A14 clatters by noisily at the foot of the garden, but poplars are beginning to cover up the concrete girders, and the south-facing terrace looks instead in the direction of the River Ouse, which flows gently by. It's a pleasant place to sit on a summer's day, and people are attracted by the wine list, too, in a part of the country bereft of decent selections. Hoskins has five major suppliers - Liberty, Noel Young, Morris & Verdin, Amps Fine Wines and Lay & Wheeler - and has remained loyal to them. So you'd think these merchants would be falling over themselves to conduct business properly with Hoskins, especially since he also has three pubs in the area.

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Sicily sends a sixth of its 2004 production to the stills

Published:  23 July, 2008

Of the two million hectolitres (hl) of wine that Italy was allowed to submit for crisis distillation' by EC regulation number 1530 (dated 21 September 2005), Sicily has put in a request for more than half the total, or 1.1 million hl.

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Best joins United

Published:  23 July, 2008

Steve Best has joined United Wineries as a UK national account manager.

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Italian harvest 2005: difficult from north to south'

Published:  23 July, 2008

Overall, 2005 has been a difficult vintage from north to south,' stressed Alberto Antonini, winemaker of the Matura group. The key factor to getting the best out of this vintage was good vineyard management.'

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Spirits industry signs agreement with HMRC

Published:  23 July, 2008

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has signed a memorandum of understanding' (MOA) with the two leading UK spirits trade associations designed to cement cooperation in dealing with spirits fraud.

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Diageo blows out Montana

Published:  23 July, 2008

Diageo surprised both the wine trade and city analysts last week by declining its option to buy Pernod Ricard's New Zealand brand Montana for 320 million.

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Five left in for Lanson

Published:  23 July, 2008

The sale of Groupe Lanson, formerly known as Marne
& Champagne, has moved another step closer with the 15 companies originally declaring an interest now whittled down to a short list of five.

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Truter shows FAITH

Published:  23 July, 2008

Beyers Truter, the owner and winemaker of South Africa's Beyerskloof winery, has lent his name and support to a new initiative that aims to tackle one of the Cape's most serious issues - alcohol abuse during pregnancy.

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Pop stars happy to strike a pose

Published:  23 July, 2008

Pencil-thin novelty act The Cheeky Girls livened up the Nicolas Feuillatte One Fo(u)r launch party at hot London club Movida last week. The Romanian twins (real names Monica & Gabriela Irimia) were more than happy to pose for photographers to mark the launch of the range, which comprises a Brut NV and a ros, both in 200ml bottles. Meanwhile, the great and the good of AOR turned out for the Q Awards at London's Grosvenor House Hotel, sponsored by Chilean brand PKNT. Bands such as Coldplay and The Charlatans were at the ceremony, and all the guests received goodie bags containing PKNT wristbands and yo-yos.

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Roussillon targets Scotland

Published:  23 July, 2008

Roussillon has set its sights on the Scottish market, holding its
biggest UK trade tasting this year in Edinburgh.

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Yquem gets mixed up

Published:  23 July, 2008

Despite the success of the 2001 vintage of Sauternes legend Chteau d'Yquem - which was released earlier this month,
with the first tranche selling out in hours and prices on the secondary market already at more than 3,000 a case - eyebrows may have been raised on the Gallic side of the Channel after a UK bar included the 1999 vintage of the wine in its 22 Emperor cocktail.

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Wolf Blass celebrates Ashes Test success

Published:  23 July, 2008

Wolf Blass, the FGL-owned Australian wine brand, is claiming an unprecedented level of success after its sponsorship of the summer's Ashes Test series, part of a four-year sponsorship for the Test match grounds. A spokesperson for Wolf Blass said that, up to and including the fourth Test at Old Trafford, the equivalent advertising value to ABC1 males' was 3.75 million, with an equivalent PR value' of 3 million. This represents a return on its investment of 1:15.

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New festive campaigns

Published:  23 July, 2008

Diageo and Freixenet have both announced new advertising campaigns in time for the Christmas period.

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Going Deutsch

Published:  23 July, 2008

I think UK consumers are absolutely ready for German wines. In fact, they already prefer them - they just don't know it yet.' With these bold words, Nicky Forrest of Phipps PR puts the
case for a Teutonic revival. Phipps was appointed UK agent for the German Wine Institute in 1998, and Nicky has been directly involved ever since. Yet, given a history of year-on-year decline and margins cut to the bone, as well as the level of ingrained prejudice among consumers and the trade, she and her company face one hell of a challenge.

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The new dynamic duo

Published:  23 July, 2008

When Warren Adamson was starting as an apprentice in worsted spinning at Feltex Yarns in New Zealand, Fernando Ferr was graduating from the Universidad Catlica Argentina with a business administration degree.

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