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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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Blighted by the lights?

Published:  23 July, 2008

Light is well known to promote chemical changes in foodstuffs. Brewers have known about light's flavour impact on beer for years. It's widely reported that the product goes skunky' when it's exposed to light - even just in the time it takes you to nurse your beer on a lazy summer afternoon.
Beer developing off flavours in the presence of light was noted as long ago as 1875, which is why, until the marketeers got involved, almost all beer was bottled in dark glass, amber having been found to be the best at filtering most of the harmful wavelengths.

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Washington drive

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Washington Wine Commission (WWC) has teamed up with key independent retailers to drive Washington wines into the UK market.
Independent specialists Noel Young Wines and Philglas & Swiggot have both taken on a portfolio of Washington wines, having worked closely with WWC over the past 12 months to identify wines suitable for the UK independent sector.
The resultant listings will be supported by a series of promotional activities aimed at increasing consumer awareness. The activities will include mixed-case offers, educational consumer mail-outs and winemaker tastings.

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Aiming for moderation: Intelligent Drinking

Published:  23 July, 2008

The system of units of alcohol is confusing and misleading, and young people should drink fewer units of alcohol than older people, according to leading experts in the field of nutrition, preventative medicine and hepatology (liver disease).
The seminar was organised by AIM (Alcohol In Moderation), the independent organisation for communicating the responsible drinking message' and encouraging informed debate on alcohol issues. Hosted by the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and sponsored by Waitrose, it was held on 8 March at the International Wine and Spirit Centre in London.
Keynote speaker Curtis Ellison, chief of the Evans Section of Preventative Medicine and Epidemiology and Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, told the seminar that any alcohol in moderation was beneficial when it came to chronic heart disease. Research also showed that there could be a 40% reduction in heart attacks and strokes and a 30% reduction in diabetes.

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The Interview: Nigel Franks, Proprietor, Darroch Learg Hotel & Restaurant

Published:  23 July, 2008

Was it a bit of a shock swapping life as an accountant in Edinburgh for that of an hotelier in Aberdeenshire?
Oddly enough it was, which surprised me because I had watched my parents doing it for 27 years and arrogantly thought that it wouldn't be that difficult. It's surprising how difficult, and how tiring, it is.

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Waitrose responds

Published:  23 July, 2008

Waitrose has said in a statement that the letter it sent out to suppliers ahead of the Chancellor's budget (see Harpers 10 March, page 3) does not ask suppliers to bear the cost of the duty. It simply asks them to think in advance about how they would like us to treat their ranges and to initiate discussions with buyers'.

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In brief

Published:  23 July, 2008

Du Toitskloof to Mellish
The Du Toitskloof winery of Rawsonville has appointed Nick Mellish (who used to be agent for Moselland) as its UK agent.
Du Toitskloof is looking to make significant inroads into the UK, concentrating on multiple operators, in the 4.99-5.99 range.
The Du Toitskloof winery is a co-operative of 20 growers who have 675 hectares in total, producing in the region of 12,000 tons of grapes, across all the usual grape varieties.

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One World launches

Published:  23 July, 2008

Chali Richards has launched its first new brand after being reborn as the wine division of Halewood International.
One World, due for launch next month, will encompass wines from around the world, and will launch initially with Orange Street from South Africa, and Ocean Point from Australia. Orchid Boulevard from Argentina is due to be added later in the year.

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Chilean X factor

Published:  23 July, 2008

Chilean specialist WineXcel has revamped its portfolio.
New wineries include Casa de Maule and Korta. It also boasts Matetic EQ Syrah, recently voted Best Wine in Chile at this year's Wines of Chile Awards, and Altosur Malbec from Finca Sophenia, Argentina.
And, after six years spent working in Chile, Susie Walker has returned to the UK to handle sales and marketing for the company.

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Symingtons buy Rio Torto estate

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Symington family has acquired Quinta do Bom Retiro Pequeno - a 46-hectare estate in the premium Rio Torto valley area - and will be adding it to its Warre's Port stable of properties.
The estate was bought by the Serodio family in 1935 and has contributed a significant amount of wine to every declared Warre's vintage since. It also contributes to the Warre's Bottle matured LBV.

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HwCg to handle Evans & Tate distribution

Published:  23 July, 2008

HwCg has gained full control of distribution for the Evans & Tate Wine Group in the UK.
The deal also includes the acquisition of a winery in Mildura, owned by Evans & Tate, by Neqtar, which in turn owns HwCg.
At this year's LIWSF, HwCg will host a major relaunch of the Barramundi brand, and will reposition Evans & Tate as a Western Australia specialist.
HwCg MD Guy Young said: We are delighted to be entering into this partnership with Evans & Tate. At HwCg we are now in a position where we can access good-quality Australian wines across regions, varietals and price points.'

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First-ever Veuve Ros

Published:  23 July, 2008

Champagne house Veuve Cliquot has released the first NV Ros in its history. The company says that the new product epitomises the famous Cliquot style - exhibiting a softness, roundness and freshness combined with depth, intensity and strength. A Pinot Noir-dominated blend, the Ros comprises 12% of red wines, as well as around one-third of reserve wines of up to nine years old. A spokeswoman for the brand said that the popularity of the ros market was one reason for its introduction, adding that no additional advertisement campaigns were likely.

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High hopes for 2006 vintage

Published:  23 July, 2008

by stuart peskett
The 2006 vintage in Argentina has been described as the best on record.
Jos Gil-Fournier, MD of the O Fournier group, said that the latest vintage for the Uco Valley in Mendoza will be the best vintage we've ever seen, even better than 2002'.
Roberto de la Mota, chief winemaker at Terrazas de los Andes, told Harpers that December and January were warmer than normal, February a little fresher, and
March is perfect' so far.
He said: For Terrazas, 2006 will be
much better than 2005. For the reds,
we will probably have the same
concentration as 2005, with excellent balance and acidity.'
Expectations are also high in New Zealand, where the crop is expected to increase from 142,000 tonnes in 2005, to between 165,000 and 185,000 tonnes.

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DRC breaks records

Published:  23 July, 2008

A new world record price for a single case of wine was set in New York last week.
At an auction at Christie's on 2 March a six-magnum case of 1985 Romane-Conti fetched $170,375 (97,365) or just
over $14,000 a bottle. In a mammoth $2.5 million sale, an unprecedented five other lots broke the $100,000 barrier, and 88% of all lots exceeded their pre-sale high estimate.
The most expensive bottle of wine ever sold, however, remains a 1787 Chteau Lafite, which reached $160,000, at Christie's London in 1985. A bottle of 1787 Chteau d'Yquem sold for $100,000 in February.

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Benchmark California

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Wine Institute of California has once again selected the
14 wines that represent the best of California in the 5 to 10 price category.
UK director John McLaren commented: This is our third year of Benchmark Wines and some trends begin to emerge, particularly in the impressive consistency of some wineries' entries. There is a pleasing spread of wines from large and small wineries and we look forward to unveiling the range at our annual tasting in London on 23 March.'
This year's list includes wines from Beringer, Fetzer, Gallo, Ravenswood and Hahn.

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Waitrose puts the squeeze on

Published:  23 July, 2008

Waitrose - widely regarded as the most benign of the multiple retailers - has asked its wine suppliers to prepare to absorb any duty increase in the Chancellor's budget or see their on-shelf price points rise.

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Diageo spends 8.5M on fruit-drink launch

Published:  23 July, 2008

Despite falling sales for its flagship ready-to-drink (RTD) brand Smirnoff Ice, Diageo Great Britain is hoping to inject new life into the sector with an alcoholic fruit-drink aimed at the older consumer.

Much in the same way that wine is made from grapes and cider from apples, Quinn's is made using only fruit. We believe the fruit ferment concept will revolutionise the 5pm to 8pm drinks occasion,' said Steven White, innovation marketing manager.
Quinn's has an ABV of 4% and will be available in three flavours: mango and passion fruit, raspberry and blueberry, and orange and tropical fruits. The brand will be launched in
250ml bottles with a 700ml format expected to be available from September.
Quinn's has an off-trade RSP of 1.50 and an on-trade RSP of 2.75. It is expected to sit in the RTD fixture in off-trade accounts.

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Pinot Grigio (and USA) girl

Published:  23 July, 2008

It's official. Men are from Mars and women are from Venus when it comes to choosing wine. In my role as research director at Wine Intelligence, I presented new research insights at a Women of Wine event on 2 March in London entitled Women as wine consumers'.

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