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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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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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