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Vincor snubs Constellation

Published:  23 July, 2008

Constellation Brands has thrown in the towel after Vincor International shareholders rejected repeated hostile takeover bids.
Constellation Brands' chairman and CEO Richard Sands said that it was unfortunate' for Vincor shareholders, and added that the company would now move on to other priorities'.
Mark Hilson, chairman of the special committee of independent directors of Vincor, said he was gratified that shareholders have supported our recommendation that Constellation's offer was inadequate, opportunistic and should be rejected'.

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Happy anniversary

Published:  23 July, 2008

Time and place
New Zealand Annual Trade Tasting 2006
Lord's Cricket Ground, London NW1
Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 January
10am-5pm
Contact Alison Power at New Zealand Winegrowers
020 7973 8079

Event info
This year's tasting will feature a selection of gold medal-winning wines from the Air New Zealand Wine awards, while central varietal tables will focus on aromatics, red blends and Syrahs. On Tuesday 17 at 3.30pm, a seminar titled New Zealand Syrah - New World Fruit and Old World Structure', looking at viticultural and vinicultural influences and Hawkes Bay's dominance with Syrah, will be held in the Lord's Media Centre. Speakers include Steve Smith of Craggy Range, Kate Ormond of Te Mata, Anna-Barbara Helliwell of Unison, and Ronan Sayburn, executive head sommelier at Gordon Ramsay restaurants in London. Call Alison Power on the above number to reserve your seat.

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The Macedonia massive

Published:  23 July, 2008

Macedonia is a country that people aren't quite sure about: it could be part of Greece or Turkey; it could be independent; it could be one of those confusing Balkan states. In many ways, Macedonia is all of these things, or at least it has been at some point in its history. At the moment it's independent and has been so since its peaceful secession from Yugoslavia in 1991. This is important, because the years since then can be seen as a make-or-break period for the country, and nowhere is this more relevant than in the realm of wine production.

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Majestic reacts in fizz price war

Published:  23 July, 2008

Half-price Champagne deals have become even more widespread in the run-up to Christmas, with nearly every major off-trade retailer involved and prices under 10 for a single bottle commonplace.

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Waverley HQ damaged in oil depot explosion

Published:  23 July, 2008

The headquarters of WaverleyTBS was left badly damaged after the Buncefield oil depot explosion in Hertfordshire on Sunday morning.

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The sommelier crew

Published:  23 July, 2008

A new trade association run by sommeliers has been set up.
Sommelier Cru organises monthly tastings, with forthcoming themes including Shiraz vs Syrah', Botrytis and Late Harvest Wines' and Understanding Biodynamics'.
For more information, contact MD Coz Kampanaos on 020 7792 2424 or via e-mail at Coz@sommeliercru.com

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New distribution for Foster's

Published:  23 July, 2008

Logistics giant JF Hillebrand has joined forces with South Australia transport and warehousing company Mackenzie Intermodal to handle logistics for Foster's Wine Estates (FWE).
The joint venture, Mackenzie Hillebrand, will arrange for
all packaging materials to be delivered from Adelaide to the various FWE sites, and then for the wine to be packaged and palletised ready for shipping.

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Going Forth

Published:  23 July, 2008

Forth Wines has been appointed as sole distributors for Chteau Routas, named as one of Robert Parker's favourite wine producers in Provence.
The full range of Routas wines will be launched in the UK market in March; in the meantime, the 2002 Wild Boar Red (90% Cabernet Sauvignon/10% Carignan), 2004 Coquelicot (85% Viognier/15% Chardonnay) and 2001 Cyrano (100% Syrah) are available now.
The full range of Routas wines is available from the Circus Caf Wine Shop in Edinburgh or online at www.circuscafedirect.co.uk

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David Waddington, Manager, Bistrotheque

Published:  23 July, 2008

What was it like growing up on a small farm in Yorkshire?
I was around livestock all the time, putting straw in their beds, but I was never cut out to be a farmer. The brutality is difficult to understand when you're a child, and farming is a tricky business now. A lot of estates have yet to recover after foot and mouth, and it really decimated the area round my folks. The landscape went from being filled with cattle, to fields containing long grass and not much else. It lingers longer in smaller communities because things tend to move more slowly.

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On-trade summit launched

Published:  23 July, 2008

Centaur Conferences International has put together
a two-day On-trade Summit for 28 February and 1 March next year. The summit, which is designed to help attendees enhance and develop their knowledge of driving on-trade footfall', will feature a session on technological innovation alongside retailer and supplier discussion panels, featuring speakers from Spirit Group, Punch Taverns and Enterprise Inns. For more details, log on to www.ontradesummit.com

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Thresher seeks ale fame

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Thresher Group is backing British beer with its latest Famous for Ales campaign. From 6 December, more than 800 of the group's stores will feature local ales, with 56 different ales sourced to cover the campaign. Each of the stores involved will stock four of the ales produced within its region, with the ales sold on a permanent four-for-6.49 mix-and-match offer.

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Campari splashes out

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Campari Group has bought 100% of the Teruzzi & Puthod winery of San Gimignano for e12 million. Teruzzi & Puthod, formerly the property of Enrico Teruzzi and Carmen Puthod,
is the largest in the San Gimignano area with 194 hectares, 90 of which are planted to vines. Their principal wines are Terri di Tufi and Vernaccia di San Gimignano. Turnover last financial year was over e4 million, 80% of which came from exports. The Campari portfolio already includes Sella & Mosca of Sardinia and Enrico Serafini of Piedmont.

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Wines of Argentina confirms UK office opening

Published:  23 July, 2008

As reported in Harpers in September, Wines of Argentina has confirmed that it will open its first-ever UK generic office
in London in the second half of next year.
MD Fernando Farr said: The generic office will bring us closer to our key export market, where we also hope to maximise our potential by implementing a strategic, targeted, consumer-driven campaign.'

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Wither Hills moves to Bibendum

Published:  23 July, 2008

Leading Marlborough estate Wither Hills is moving distribution to Bibendum, joining the rest of the wines of its owner Lion Nathan.
Previously distributed by Charles Hawkins & Partners, the winery produces Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc under the stewardship of Brent Marris.
Bibendum managing director Dan Jago said: We are obviously delighted to now have Wither Hills in the Bibendum fold. Brent Marris has already established a significant platform of sales in the UK, primarily in premium specialists and independents, and we plan to rapidly extend this awareness into the on-trade.'
Marris commented: An excellent foundation has been laid over the past five years by Charles Hawkins & Partners. Wither Hills' further growth can now be facilitated by Bibendum's management and sales team, who have huge strength in the UK trade.'

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Corks blamed for early Burgundy oxidation

Published:  23 July, 2008

Two years ago, rumours began to circulate that many of the top 1996 white Burgundies seemed to have suddenly oxidised. A couple of friends asked me if I had encountered any bad bottles. I hadn't, but I opened a few from my cellar: no problems. I was lucky. At first, it seemed to be only the 1996s causing concern, but as time went on, it became obvious that there was a problem, and it was widespread.

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Tanners snaps up Platt

Published:  23 July, 2008

Shrewsbury-based independent wine merchant Tanners Wines has stepped across the border into Wales for its latest acquisition: Terry Platt Wine Merchants.
Tanners has bought the entire share capital of Llandudno-based Terry Platt, which has been supplying hotels and restaurants since 1962 and is currently the IWC Welsh Wine Merchant of the Year. The day-to-day running of Terry Platt will not be changed, however, with MD Jeremy Platt continuing to head up the company, and the entire Platt staff will continue in the company's Llandudno headquarters.

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U-turn on pension investments

Published:  23 July, 2008

UK wine merchants were dealt a nasty surprise this week when Chancellor Gordon Brown announced that fine wine investments would not be subject to tax relief when included in Self Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs).

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SA winery owner killed

Published:  23 July, 2008

The owner of South African winery Veenwouden was shot dead last week in what appears to have been a family dispute.
Deon van der Walt, 47, who was based in Switzerland, and a highly successful opera singer, was found with a gunshot wound to the chest at the estate, which is outside Paarl. The body of his father, Charles, was found nearby, with a gunshot wound to the temple.

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Drink the best from the writers' cellars

Published:  23 July, 2008

Harpers has teamed up with wine trade charity The Wine and Spirit Trades' Benevolent Society to offer readers the exclusive chance to bid for a case of fine wines selected by
a panel of leading journalists from their very own cellars.

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Shaw's eponymous range

Published:  23 July, 2008

Former Rosemount winemaker Philip Shaw is to launch an eponymous range of wines at next year's Australia Day Tastings.

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