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Portman Group names and shames

Published:  23 July, 2008

Six complaints made by the public concerning drinks products were upheld last year by The Portman Group, the organisation that promotes responsible drinking and marketing.
In its annual report, the group's chairman, former Met Police Commissioner Lord Condon, said: Unlike last year, when the theme of "sexual success" dominated the complaints, this year saw a return to a more eclectic mix of complaints against a wider range of provisions to the Code [of Practice].'

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Moshos leaves Petaluma

Published:  23 July, 2008

Con Moshos, a winemaker at famed Australian producer Petaluma for 25 years, is leaving the comp`ny to take over the reins at Eden Valley winery Mountadam.
Moshos's departure follows that of the estate's founder, Brain Croser, who gave up his consultancy role there last year. Petaluma was taken over by the Lion Nathan wine group in a hostile takeover in 2001.

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Discovery Wine launch

Published:  23 July, 2008

Two former divisional directors of New World wine importer Vinoceros, Anthony McIndoe and Ray King, have launched a new wine company, Discovery Wine, based in Manchester.
The new business, backed by corporate finance house Ballard Campbell & Partners, is currently building a portfolio of New World wines that meet the particular need of independent wholesale and retail sectors, as well as developing a range of own brands aimed specifically at the multiple sector'.
King added: We are already developing a range of quality entry-level wines that will hit the market in early spring.'

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Bibendum to distribute Lion Nathan in Europe

Published:  23 July, 2008

Bibendum Wine has created a new business, Bibendum Wine International, to manage distribution for a number of wine brands in Europe.
A key partner in the new set-up is Lion Nathan, which shares a joint venture with Bibendum in the UK. The new company will be run by Lars Venborg, who is a former commercial director of Michel Laroche.
Bibendum MD Dan Jago said: There are products, skills and processes that the UK industry can successfully offer to other distributors in Europe, and we intend Bibendum to be at the front of this integration.'
Lion Nathan MD Peter Cowan added that the new venture will create a very efficient and effective export management structure'. Lion Nathan brands include St Hallett, Petaluma and Knappstein from Australia, Wither Hills from New Zealand, and Oregon-based Argyle.

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A little more conversation

Published:  23 July, 2008

How do you get consumers and the trade talking about a 50,000-case brand with next to no above-the-line marketing budget and without the help of an expensive PR agency? Nick Dymoke-Marr of Orbital Wines managed it, for the cost of 100 bottles of wine (+ p&p). And all by the power of the blog.
First, some numbers. At the last count (in December 2005) there were 26 million blogs - short for weblogs, a kind of interactive online diary - in the world, with 85,000 new ones being created each day. And the number of blogs devoted to, or mostly involving, wine? Just 56 worldwide, according to http://wineblogwatch.arrr.net. At least one part of the wine world isn't faced with a glut.

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Jurisprudence or blind man's buff?

Published:  23 July, 2008

Guilty or not guilty. Happily, that is neither the question nor the answer for the Grand Jury Europen (GJE). As it sips, swirls and spits its way through the evidence presented by more than 150 anonymous vinous witnesses, it may well consider cases of assault, breach of contract, deception, extortion, fraud, negligence, price-rigging and treason, as well as mitigating circumstances such as crimes passionnels and diminished responsibility. But its decisions will not be rendered in a stark one- or two-word verdict. Rather, they will take the form of a summary, with charts and graphs and scores out of 100. As such, some will find them harder to accept than others.

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Thresher Group offers employees a franchise

Published:  23 July, 2008

Thresher Group is offering franchises on several hundred' of its 2,000 shops, with its 12,000 staff getting first chance to get involved.
On the back of positive Christmas trading figures, up 15% on December last year, chief executive Roger Whiteside said the move was a strategic step for the business that will enrich our own expertise in the drinks retail sector by mixing it with local knowledge and the flexibility of our franchisees'.

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Chile's award winners

Published:  23 July, 2008

Karen Gilchrist, a consultant at Matetic Vineyards, receives the Best Wine of Show prize from Michael Cox, the UK director of Wines of Chile, for the 2004 EQ Syrah. The wine took the top award in the 3rd Annual Wines of Chile Awards, held in Santiago this month. Best-value red went to 2004 Falernia Fundacon Carmenre/Syrah, and the best-value white was 2005 Valdivieso Reserve Sauvignon Blanc. The judges included Simon Woods, Joe Wadsack and Peter McCombie MW. Cox said: Chile now truly is a one-stop shop for the modern, discerning wine lover.'

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Quality Drinks Awards

Published:  23 July, 2008
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Restructure at Pernod

Published:  23 July, 2008

Pernod Ricard has streamlined its management structure, with four major regions defined and four main brand owners.
The regions are: Pernod Ricard Europe (excluding France), led by Thierry Billot, which boasts a 33% share of net sales; Americas, headed by Michael Bord; Asia, led by Philippe Drano; and Pacific, run by Laurent Lacassagne.
The brand owners are: Chivas Brothers, led by Christian Porta; Martell Mumm Perrier-Jout, run by Lionel Breton; Ricard SA, with Philippe Savinel at the helm; and Pernod SA, headed by Pierre Coppr.
Patrick Ricard said that the reorganisation would simplify the group's structure.

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Nolan joins Argento from Cellar Door

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Argento Wine Company (AWC) has appointed Amelia Nolan as its general manager.
A graduate of the University of Adelaide and Roseworthy College, Nolan joins Argento from Constellation Europe, where she worked in marketing and sales for the Cellar Door division. She has also been brand manager for Hardy's.
AWC MD Dan Jago said: I am delighted that we have got someone of such a high calibre on board - this is just what the Argentine category needs. With Amelia's leading brand experience and international outlook, we are very positive about Argento's future.'

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Icon Estates boss replaces Carson at Constellation

Published:  23 July, 2008

Jon Moramarco, the president and CEO of Icon Estates in California, has replaced Christopher Carson at Constellation Europe.
A 12th-generation winemaker, Moramarco joined Canandaigua Wine Company in 1999, and then Icon in 2003. He is on
the board of directors of Winegrowers of Napa County and is a past chairman of the American Vintners Association.

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Don't miss out on the 04s

Published:  23 July, 2008

Despite, or perhaps rather because of, the plethora of 2004 Burgundy tastings in London last week, a consensus on the quality and style of the vintage was slow to emerge, raising questions among tasters as to whether the sampling of still-unfinished wines was even more treacherous than usual. All those who tasted the wines early last year agreed that the wines have benefited enormously from levage, including exceptionally long malolactic fermentations, but that they have often tightened up when bottled as samples.

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Ex uno plures: Robert Parker and the Grand Jury Europen

Published:  23 July, 2008

The questions have often been asked, with growing urgency, over recent years: who can rival and who will succeed Robert Parker as the dominant influence in the world of fine wine? The answer, almost certainly, is nobody - at least no individual - to which many, though not all, will heave a sigh of relief.
One doesn't have to subscribe to a cometh the hour, cometh the man' theory of history to recognise that Parker was a dedicated, talented individual in the right place at the right time. In all likelihood, nobody else will be able or willing to devote himself or herself so single-mindedly to the task; nobody else will have the resources, financial or physical; nobody else will have the sheer stamina. Moreover, Parker announced in 2003 that he intended to carry on for another 10 years.

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Pernod Ricard ditches Scotch

Published:  23 July, 2008

Pernod Ricard has sold three of its whisky brands to Campari: Glen Grant single malt, Old Smuggler and Braemar. The
90-million sale was a condition of Pernod Ricard's takeover of Allied Domecq.
The company's priority' whisky brands are The Glenlivet and Aberlour.

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Burgundian strategies

Published:  23 July, 2008

Reflecting the UK's status as the largest export market for Burgundy, and the only major one where all the key sales statistics were up after the 2004-2005 campaign, the BIVB fielded many of its highest ranking officials for its well attended annual trade tasting in London on 12 January. BIVB president Michel Baldassini, vice-president Bernard Hervet, and president of the communications commission Jean-Michel Aubinel told Harpers of the progress being made with the rewriting of the appellation regulations (to be completed by the end of this year) and the new generic marketing campaign launched last November.

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Stellar packaging

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Starpack Awards, acknowledging the best in packaging, takes place on 5 July at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London.
New categories this year include best flexible plastic innovation, best inclusive pack, and best shelf-ready pack,
along with some people-based awards to recognise the importance of packaging professionals, young and old.
Entries should be sent, by 1 March, to Rachel Brooks, Awards & Starpack Coordinator, The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining Incorporating IOP: The Packaging Society, Stamford Regional Office, Willoughby House, 2 Broad Street, Stamford PE9 1PB.

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Celebrate all things Pinot

Published:  23 July, 2008

A conference honouring all things Pinot Noir-related is to take place early next year.
Pinot Noir 2007 will be held in Wellington, New Zealand, from 31 January to 3 February, and will feature tastings, consumer workshops and debates.
Speakers already confirmed include the Daily Mail's Matthew Jukes, Pierre-Henry Gagey of Louis Jadot, Australian viticulture lecturer Dr Peter Dry and French wine writer Michel Bettane.
For more information, or to register, go to the website: www.pinotnoir2007.co.nz

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Alcohol risks explained

Published:  23 July, 2008

The effect that alcohol has on the body will be discussed at the AIM (Alcohol in Moderation) 2006 Forum.
The event, to be held on 8 March at the Wine and Spirit Education Trust HQ in London, will feature three speakers and will cover subjects such as the role of genes in drinking behaviour, and cardiovascular advances.

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Tribute to ex-OLN editor Denis Clark

Published:  23 July, 2008

The sad loss of Denis Clark, former editor of Off Licence News, came as a bitter personal blow at the end of last year. Besides being the leading trade press journalist of his generation, he was great fun to work with.
Under the hard-man exterior was a warm, generous heart, and while he never suffered fools gladly, he was ever loyal to his staff, had a wicked sense of humour and at times showed great courage in his defence of the trade against the unscrupulous.

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