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Complexity or a complex?

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Languedoc's quality revolution of the past 20 years is one of the true good news' stories of the French wine industry. From the commercial success of its numerous vins de pays (VdP) varietal wines to the critical success of some of its AOC (and VdP) super-cuves, one of Europe's oldest wine regions this side of the Alps has finally come of age. However, it has also generated its fair share of bad news this year, with stories of the actions perpetrated by disgruntled vignerons - which include numerous public demonstrations, an attack on a tanker of Spanish wine and the destruction of public property - suggesting that not everyone has benefited from the revolution' and that some are increasingly struggling in a world that simply doesn't want their wines.

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Iiiiiiiiiit's showtime!

Published:  23 July, 2008

Under the stewardship of Tim Etchells - managing director of consumer exhibitions and, for 15 years, the man behind the BBC Good Food Show - The Wine Show London landed on the streets of Islington and seemingly conjured 12,000 visitors with a profile that could have been plucked straight from a marketing director's head: relatively young, relatively affluent and relatively interested. Although most exhibitors were disappointed about the level of sales, they welcomed the chance to sample to the type of person that is very hard to reach', as a spokesperson for Brown Brothers put it.

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The Interview: Charlie Young

Published:  23 July, 2008

Is the new bar going well?
I'm really pleased; the first couple of Mondays were quiet, but otherwise it's been filling up. Brett and I will take a few days off as we get settled, but not too many. Most places step back, thinking they've got it sussed after some initial success, and that's where they go wrong.

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Cognac Supplement 2005

Published:  23 July, 2008

The next decade could well mark a turning point for the Cognac industry. The big players and the generic body have realised that they need to update the image of their beloved spirit. More importantly, the three key markets are in growth again and bartenders are getting switched on to the product. And Cognac is a versatile product - one with great heritage and integrity. We hope that this shines through in the 2005 Harpers Cognac supplement.

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PLB in Burgundy

Published:  23 July, 2008

PLB will represent Burgundian producer Antonin Rodet in the UK from 1 January 2006.

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Wine in the afterlife

Published:  23 July, 2008

King Tutankhamun's tipple of choice was red wine, a team of Spanish scientists has revealed, but not just any old Egyptian plonk: it had to be the best Western River red from Year Five' made by chief vintner Khaa.

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Coppola gets Geyserville

Published:  23 July, 2008

Foster's Wine Estates is to sell its Sonoma estate Geyserville to the wine company owned by film director Francis Ford Coppola.
Niebaum-Coppola is expected to take full control of the winery from February 2006.

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Wolf Blass on TV

Published:  23 July, 2008

Fresh from its summer of cricket sponsorship, Australian wine brand Wolf Blass is about to embark upon its first national UK TV advertising campaign.

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First Drink's 18-million Christmas investment

Published:  23 July, 2008

First Drinks is targeting the Christmas period with a total marketing investment of 18 million', supporting both its brands and the retailers.

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Do you drink sensibly?

Published:  23 July, 2008

Two years ago, in a conference centre in Dublin, the drinks industry gathered to discuss what has become, in the context of governmental concern about the rising incidence of binge drinking, one of the major issues facing the drinks industry today: how to market alcohol responsibly and encourage sensible drinking. Spread over two days, the conference attracted top-level executives from all the major global drinks firms and retailers, and it also featured a programme of learned papers from experts on health, marketing and governmental policy. As one might expect at a conference, the first evening was a time for networking, or, in layman's parlance, an almighty bender. And so on the second morning, after surveying a roomful of bleary-eyed, tired and emotional delegates, the first speaker observed wryly: Well, if this is what happens at a conference on responsible drinking, I'd love to go and speak at an event on celibacy!'

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Michigan shipping restrictions collapse

Published:  23 July, 2008

Michigan residents were last week granted full access to
wine from across America, when a federal court judge in Detroit lifted a 20-year ban on interstate, direct-to-consumer shipping.

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Six new MWs enter the fold

Published:  23 July, 2008

Six new members were admitted to the Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW) at its Annual Reception and Awards Ceremony on 2 November, bringing the overall membership to 250.

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Ryanair launches wine club' with Majestic

Published:  23 July, 2008

Majestic Wine Warehouses has teamed up with Ryanair to offer cases of wine over the Internet. Speaking at the launch last week, Lesley Kane, head of Ryanair Direct, said: Go to www.ryanair.com, home of the cheapest flights in Europe and also of great-quality inexpensive wine.'

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Beelgara leaves Hallgarten

Published:  23 July, 2008

Hallgarten's German parent company has invested in an Australian wine company, Berton Vineyards, and has ended its distribution agreement with Beelgara as a result.

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Sir Cliff splits from Fells

Published:  23 July, 2008

Vida Nova, Sir Cliff Richard's Portuguese wine, has moved unexpectedly from John E Fells - which has successfully gained distribution for the wine in Tesco.com and Waitrose - to new company Explore Wine. The decision to move the brand is believed to have been made by the Cliff Richard Organisation.

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LFE moves into San Antonio

Published:  23 July, 2008

Chilean producer, Via Luis Felipe Edwards (LFE) has purchased 162 hectares of land in the Leyda Valley sub zone of the recently discovered San Antonio Valley.
Located 10 kilometres from the Pacific Coast, the new vineyards will be planted predominantly with Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, with smaller plots of Gewurztraminer, Viognier and Riesling. Planting of the first 60 hectares will commence in 2006, with the first harvest anticipated in 2009.

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Cheviot Bridge invests

Published:  23 July, 2008

Australian wine company, Cheviot Bridge, has bought the South-Australian vineyard management company, Kirribilly Group. The listed company will now have the second-biggest vineyard property trust in Australia.
This is an exciting opportunity for Cheviot shareholders, allowing the company to diversify from purely distributing and marketing wines into wine industry asset management,' said Paul Bachelor, chairman of Cheviot.

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Turner Road ad campaign

Published:  23 July, 2008

California wine brand Turner Road is to launch a national consumer advertising campaign that aims to reach more than 10 million target consumers.

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Bruichladdich and Yquem

Published:  23 July, 2008

Islay distillery Bruichladdich has matured its new 2nd Edition' malt in barrels from Premier Grand Cru Class Sauternes Chteau d'Yquem.

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Confusion reigns in trade as Licensing Act deadline looms

Published:  23 July, 2008

With the deadline for the enforcement of the Licensing Act less than two weeks away, confusion still reigns in the trade as applicants continue to receive conflicting advice from the government and local authorities over whether or not they require a licence - and, if they do, what kind they require.
Wholesalers and distance sellers are at the centre of the confusion, and the Wine & Spirit Trade Association claims that it has lost count' of the number of calls it has received asking for advice on the new legislation.

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