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LVMH buys into Colgin Cellars

Ann Colgin, founder of Colgin Cellars, and her husband Joe Wender, have sold a 60% stake in the Napa Valley winery.

Distell announces new head winemaker

Distell, the leading South African wine producer, has appointed a new head winemaker who is also a marketing specialist.

Zonin1821 moves into hotels

Zonin1821, the major Italian wine producer, has created a wine library concept for boutique hotels, the first being in Edinburgh which opened this week (October 10).

Small New Zealand wine vintage

The 2017 grape harvest has come in smaller than expected, according to New Zealand Winegrowers.

Australian wine turns focus to China

The Australian wine industry wants to exploit the Chinese market after its imports to the US were valued less than that of New Zealand.

UK set to plant 1m vines in 2017

The UK’s wine industry will plant one million vines this year with popularity forcing the industry to launch a new competition in recognition.

Graham Norton wine gets Tesco deal

Graham Norton’s wine brand GN Sauvignon Blanc has been made available in Tesco supermarkets in the UK and Kroger stores in the US.

Accolade Wines CEO Michael East retires

Accolade Wines CEO Michael East has retired following a decision to withdraw the company from an initial public offering process.

Willamette Valley wine auction raises $500,000

Nearly $500,000 was raised at the Pinot Noir Barrel Auction, a trade-only showcase of rare wines hosted by the Willamette Valley Wineries Association (WVWA).

Casella Family Brands takes over Shaw Family Vintners

Casella Family Brands has bought the vineyards, winery, current stock and trademark from Shaw Family Vintners.

WSET Week USA set for May launch

The Wine and Spirit Education Trust will host the first WSET Week USA from May 1-7, 2017.

Torres: The World's Most Admired Wine

Torres has returned to the number one slot in Drinks International’s ‘The World’s Most Admired Wine Brands’ survey.

IBWSS comes to London in 2018

The International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show will return to London in February 2018 for trade professionals to source private and commercial suppliers.

VINEXPO to host Brexit plans in France

VINEXPO will address the key Brexit issues facing the wine and spirits industry at its 2017 wine show in France on June 20.

Future growth lies with the Americas and Asia Pacific

Forecasts for future growth in wine and spirits consumption to 2020 show the Americas and Asia Pacific are the countries to concentrate on, according to recent IWSR research.

Fires in Chile engulf vineyards

Chilean Authorities have confirmed that fires in heavily forested regions of the south of the country have extended to vineyard sites.

Vinexpo launches Explorer initiative

Vinexpo has unveiled a new initiative - Vinexpo Explorer, the purpose of which is to bring wine buyers face-to-face with suppliers in a specific region or country.

Advini buys Lapalu family estates

Antoine Moueix Properties, a subsidiary of the major French wine producer Advini, has announced the purchase of approximately 400 hectares of vineyards on both the right and left banks of Bordeaux.

Vinisud goes annual

Vinisud, the French wine trade exhibition that showcases wines from around the Mediterranean, is going to be an annual event.

Codorníu Raventós appoints new chief winemaker

The Codorníu Raventós group has made Diego Pinilla its new chief winemaker.

Baltazar Sánchez made Santa Rita chairman

The board of of leading Chilean wine producer Viña Santa Rita has made Baltazar Sánchez Guzmán its new chairman. Arturo Claro Fernández has been appointed vice chairman.

Austria's wine exports down

Austria's wine export revenues in 2015 declined for the first time in eight years.

German wine drinkers want to know more

German wine drinkers are becoming more interested in wine, according to a new Wine Intelligence report.

Willamette announces 2017 auction date

Dates for the second Willamette: Pinot Noir Barrel Auction have been announced. The event takes place on March 31 and April 1, 2017

Napa secures protection in Korea and Singapore

Napa Valley Vintners, which represents 525 Napa Valley wineries, has added two more countries, Korea and Singapore, to its list of places that have agreed to respect the Napa Valley name related to the sale and production of wine.

South American vintage update

Both side of the Andes have been affected by untimely rain this year producing one of the most ‘oenologically challenging’ vintages in recent times, particularly in Chile, according to Santa Rita Estates’ director of vitiviniculture Eduardo Alemparte.

New Zealand vintage supports exports

The 2016 New Zealand grape harvest has finished, with high quality fruit being picked across the country, according to New Zealand Winegrowers.

Distell confirms Qhubeka sponsorship

Major South African drinks producer, Distell, has confirmed a three-year sponsorship of the Africa-based Team Dimension Data Qhubeka cycle racing team.

Levels of consumer confusion 'astonishing', says wine industry expert

There is an astonishing level of consumer confusion in an increasingly proliferated wine industry, according to wine consultant Mike Paul.

WSTA announce Britain's wine trade has doubled

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association will announce on Tuesday that Britain’s wine trade has more than doubled in the last decade.

Denbies Wine Estate to exhibit at London Wine Fair 2016

Denbies Wine Estate will be exhibiting at the London Wine Fair 2016 for the first time. 

Nyetimber to launch second Tillington vintage

English sparkling wine brand Nyetimber has announced the launch of its second Tillington Single Vineyard vintage. 

Lifting the bar in South Africa

Only about 8% of wine farms in South Africa make money, according to a leading winemaker from the Rainbow Nation

London Wine Fair 2016 will feature over 400 grape varieties

Organisers from London Wine Fair 2016 have announced there will be over 400 grape varieties showcased at the event.

Kingsland Drinks to showcase new portfolio at London Wines Fair 2016

Kingsland Drinks will showcase a new portfolio at London Wine Fair 2016 this month after completing its strategic integration of two businesses. 

Côtes du Rhône Wines announce rising export figures

Côtes du Rhône Wines exports have increased worldwide due to rising consumer confidence in the quality of the wines, according to the latest figures.

Vinexpo 2016 set to attract 1,300 exhibitors

Vinexpo Hong Kong 2016 is set to attract 1,300 wine and spirit exhibitors from more than 35 countries worldwide to the city’s Convention and Exhibition Centre from 24 to 26 May.

New ranking system for Crémant de Bourgogne

Burgundy producers have approved a new ranking system for sparkling wine Crémant de Bourgogne.

Adelaide, a great wine capital

Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, has become the ninth Great Wine Capital.

Casella announces plans to establish Europe base

Casella Family Brands has announced plans to establish a base in England to better manage its Yellow Tail brand in the UK with a long-term aim to  extend into other European markets.

Accolade announces Mud House sponsorship of British & Irish Lions

Accolade Wines has announced that its recently acquired Mud House New Zeland wine brand is the official sponsor of the 2017 British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand.

The Educator

The Wine and Spirits Education Trust’s Ian Harris is a man on a mission. Disciple Christian Davis catches up with the missionary

Gallo announces UK plans

E&J Gallo, the world’s largest wine producer, has unveiled its plans for supporting its major brands in the UK.

Casillero del Diablo renews Sky Movies

Concha y Toro has announced the renewal of the Casillero del Diablo sponsorship of Sky Movies.

New Zealand wine exports reach record $1.5 billion high

New Zealand wine exports have reached a new record high of $1.54 billion for the 2015 year, up 14% on 2014, according to New Zealand Winegrowers.

Napa wineries drop port

Three winery members of the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) have announced that they are giving up voluntarily the use of port on their fortified dessert wine labels.

BVIB goes for sustainable growth

The Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB) has approved unanimously its Plan Bourgogne 2020 for managing sustainably the wine region’s production potential.

Kumala sponsors Botham’s charity walk in South Africa

Kumala, the leading South African wine brand is the official wine sponsor of Sir Ian Botham’s eight day charity walk across South Africa, dubbed ‘Beefy Walking the Rainbow Nation’.

Napa Valley wins certification mark– the first of its kind in U.S.

The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) has announced that it has obtained a Certification Mark from the US Patent and Trademark Office for the name ’Napa Valley’.

David Williams: don’t discount the discounters

It was during my first visit to Prowein in 2000 that I first came across the idea of discounters.

South Africa wine: tipping point

The South African wine industry has reached a crucial moment, according to the chairman of Wines  of South Africa. Christian Davis got a tip off and was there

Diageo sells Argentinian wine interests to Grupo Peñaflor

Diageo has agreed the sale of its wine interests in Argentina to Grupo Peñaflor.

Prosecco harvest report

Follador, the major premium prosecco producer, is predicting an incredibly satisfying 2015 harvest.

Baltics’ best sommelier is Latvia’s Raimonds Tomsons

The title of the best sommelier in the Baltic States was won last week by Raimonds Tomsons, the head sommelier Vincents restaurant in Latvia.

McKinley Vintners is UK Agent for Champagne Janisson

McKinley Vintners has become UK Agent for Champagne Janisson et Fils.

Ramón Bilbao buys high Riojan vineyard

Rioja producer Ramón Bilbao has bought what it describes as a “dream parcel” of vines in the region, and the winery’s highest altitude owned vineyard to date.

US now largest export market for New Zealand wine

The US has overtaken Australia to become New Zealand wine’s largest export market by value, according to the 2015 annual report of New Zealand Winegrowers.

Mully steps up at Liberty

Specialist wine supplier,  Liberty Wines has added tio its management team with the appointment of Alan Mully as head of operations.

Brown Bros appoints Fells

John E Fells has announced that Brown Brothers, one of Australia’s leading family owned wine companies has appointed Fells as its exclusive UK distributor from September 1.

Berry Bros makes Dan Jago its new CEO

Berry Bros & Rudd has announced the appointment of Dan Jago, Tesco’s group wine director at Tesco, as its new chief executive.

Social media campaign for Cape Wine 2015

Wines of South Africa has launched a new social media campaign in the run up to its Cape Wine 2015 show.

IWC’s great value supermarket wines

Five out of six IWC great value Champions went to supermarket own-brand wines.

IWC superstar winemakers

The International Wine Challenge announced its wine trade superstars at its awards dinner at the Hilton Hotel, on London’s Park Lane last night (July 16)

IWC champion wines

The 32nd International Wine Challenge announced its champion wines for 2015 last night (July 16) in London.

UNESCO recognises Champagne

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee has decided to include the Champagne slopes, houses and cellars on its world heritage list.

Yealands is taken over

Marlborough Lines has agreed to invest NZ$89 million to purchase an 80% shareholding in New Zealand wine producer, Yealands.

Gisborne to host Chardonnay and sparkling wine symposium

New Zealand Winegrowers has announced that Gisborne will host New Zealand’s first Chardonnay and sparkling wine symposium early next year.

Wosa UK launches new sector-specific tasting

Wines of South Africa UK is launching a new event with a trade tasting targeting independent merchants and on-trade buyers.

Accolade Wines to spend £4m on Hardys

Accolade Wines has announced a £4 million above the line campaign for its leading Australian wine brand Hardys, to coincide with its sponsorship of the English and Australian  cricket teams ahead of the Ashes test matches with Australia.

Sparkling wine, spirits and beer drive UK market growth

The UK alcohol market has returned to growth following years of continuous decline, according to the latest WSTA market report. 

Vinadeis: a new wine group

The leading French cooperative wine group, Val d'Orbieu-UCCOAR, has unveiled a new name, Vinadeis, and announced a strategic partnership with France’s number one French agricultural cooperative group.

Maling to leave Villa Maria

Leading New Zealand winery, Villa Maria, has announced that Alastair Maling is leaving after more than 12 years.

Cono Sur is official wine of the Tour de France

Chilean wine brand Cono Sur is the official wine of the legendary road cycle event and one of the world’s great sporting spectacles, Le Tour de France.

Kumala 10,000 prize giveaway

One million bottles of Kumala wine will carry an instant win competition neck collarettes in its 10,000 prize giveaway.

Take a leaf out of Barwell & Jones’s book

London wine agency Barwell & Jones has invited London Wine Fair visitors to come and fix a leaf to a tree on their stand.

Online shopping for wine in Germany is growing

Online shopping for wine in Germany is closing the gap on shops and supermarkets, but regular wine drinkers still by far prefer the real world to the digital one, according to a new Wine Intelligence report.

Napa copes with Californian drought

The state of California is suffering its fourth year of severe drought. The governor has recently imposed the state's first mandatory water restrictions, affecting nearly 40 million people. Farmers, business owners, and residents will be forced to cut their usage by 25%.

Torres: The World’s Most Admired Wine Brand

Drinks International editor, Christian Davis, is pictured presenting DI’s The World’s Most Admired Wine Brand award plaque to Torres general manager, Miguel Torres Maczassek.

The WSET wins Queen’s Award

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) has been awarded The Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2015 in international trade.

Majestic buys Naked and appoints Gormley as CEO

Majestic Wines has shocked the UK wine trade by buying Rowan Gormley’s Naked Wines and appointing him as CEO of the enlarged Majestic.

Question mark over massive Brazilian market

The Brazilian market offers massive potential for domestic and overseas wine producers  – but economic and political pressures could blow growth off course, according to research by Wine Intelligence.

Ribera del Duero and Rueda come together

The two Spanish wine regions have come together to raise awareness of their wines in the all-important US market.

Casillero's Reserva is UK number one Cab Sauv

Casillero del Diablo, the global Chilean wine brand, has announced that its Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva is the best selling Cabernet Sauvignon in the UK off trade*.

Provence produces 1.38m hectoliters

The Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Provence or Vins de Provence has announced the 2014 vintage as 1,385,500 hectolitres across the Côtes de Provence, Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence and Coteaux Varois en Provence appellations.

Alcohol price increases have slowed

The WSTA says new research shows that price increases in the off trade have slowed since the Government scrapped the alcohol duty escalator, cut beer duty and froze duty on spirits in 2014.

Prosecco leads Dutch wine drinkers out of the gloom

The Netherlands is emerging from a long economic hiatus, and is slowly dragging the wine market back into positive territory, thanks in no small part to Prosecco.

Skin Côntact LIVE! raised £10,000 for charity

The Skin Côntact concert last Monday (March 9) at Vinopolis in London raised more than £10,000 for charity, the organisers have estimated.

Wines Unearthed

Wines Unearthed is a new feature at this year’s London Wine Fair. It is dedicated to global wine producers seeking UK representation.

The Queen to name ship with English fizz

The Queen will name the new P&O Cruises vessel Britannia in Southampton, on Tuesday (March 10) with English sparkling wine from Wiston Estate.

Anivan announces approved wines

Anivan de France, the organisation responsible for promoting Vin de France wines, has announced that 112 wines have been selected as its ambassador wines for 2015.

Parker gives up en primeurs

Robert Parker, probably the world’s most influential wine critic, has announced that he is giving up tasting and judging Bordeaux en primeur wines.

Sparkling wine drinking is growing in the US

Sparkling wine consumption in the US is growing, according to a new report from Wine Intelligence.

Australian Vintage reports $4.4m profit for half year

Major Australian wine producer, Australian Vintage has announced half year net profits of AUS$4.4 million, up from $4m, for the half year to December 31, 2014.

Cono Sur is the official wine of the UK Tour de France

Vina Cono Sur, the major Chilean wine brand part of the Concha y Toro stable of brands, is the official wine of the Tour de France in the UK in 2015 and for the following two years.

Management changes at Yalumba

The Australian wine producer Yalumba, which claims to be Australia’s oldest family owned winery established in 1849, has announced senior management changes.

Chapel Down expands

Chapel Down Group plc has announced that it has completed two long term land leases increasing the total under lease by 181 acres to 326 acres (73/131 hectares). 

Pennell goes to Edrington

Maxxium UK’s managing director Huw Pennell is leaving to take up a new job at Edrington, one of Maxxium’s shareholders.

Prowein: space the final frontier

The move to new halls will allow fresh ideas and innovation in the wine sector, according to the Prowein organisers.

New second generation Vinexpo

The 2015 Vinexpo is a turning point. It is the second generation, so says the new CEO, Guillaume Deglise.

Ruinart Ateliers deadline extended

The House of Ruinart says the deadline for applications for its Ateliers Ruinart programme 2015 has been extended to Friday January 23.

Thatcher becomes Direct Wines’ group CEO

Direct Wines has announced the appointment of David Thatcher as group chief executive. Simon McMurtrie steps down on January 19.

Casella completes Peter Lehmann acquisition

Casella Family Brands (CFB), producers of the Australian wine brand Yellow Tail, has announced that it has acquired full ownership of Peter Lehmann Wines (PLW).

UK wine sector splits

A two-class wine market is emerging in the UK as some wine drinkers splash out and others are increasingly drawn to hard discounters, according to new research from Wine Intelligence.

Tescos's Jewell takes Wine Australia role

Master of wine Laura Jewell is leaving Tesco to become Wine Australia’s regional director for Europe including the UK following the untimely death of Yvonne May.

Yellow Tail owner to buy Peter Lehmann

Casella Family Brands, producers of the major Australian wine brand Yellow Tail, is set to buy Peter Lehmann Wines.

Spanish wine comes of age

The Spanish wine industry is finally coming of age, according to an experienced observer and operator.

Asia to remain key for long-term growth

Asia remains the key region for the long-term development of the global alcohol market, according to the IWSR’s latest report.

Les Dauphins and BBC Children in Need

Rhône wine brand Les Dauphins is running a social media campaign in aid of the BBC’s Children in Need charity appeal.

Great Wine Capitals’ winners

The Great Wine Capitals' has announced the winners of its 'International Best Of Wine Tourism' awards.

Wosa opens Hong Kong office

Wines of South Africa (Wosa) has opened a third international office, in Hong Kong.

Crowd funding Chapel Down secures £3.95m

Chapel Down, the market leader in English wines and beers, has completed its equity crowdfunding offer in 24 days by raising the maximum allowable amount of £3.95m and achieving a new world record in the process.

AdVini to distribute Patache d’Aux

AdVini and its Bordeaux house, Antoine Moueix, based in Saint Emilion, have signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Domaines Lapalu, owners of the celebrated Médoc Cru Bourgeois, Château Patache d’Aux.

Kingsland collaborates with Brandphoenix

Kingsland, the specialist UK fillers, packers and bulk wine shippers has added FirstCape and Distell to its South African portfolio, as part of a strategic partnership with wine brand builders, Brandphoenix.

South Africa wine boss optimistic

Despite a challenging year Siobhan Thompson, CEO Wines of South Africa (Wosa) is optimistic that South African wines are on the up.

Santa Rita Estates names Lavados as CEO

Santa Rita Estates (SRE) has announced that the new CEO of the group will be Andrés Lavados, who has replaced Silvio Rostagno.

Seifrieds are fellows of New Zealand Winegrowers

Agnes and Hermann Seifried, from Nelson’s Seifried Estate winery, have  beeen inducted as fellows of New Zealand Winegrowers, one of the New Zealand wine industry’s greatest acknowledgements.

Obituary: Wine Australia’s Yvonne May

The wine trade is in mourning after Wine Australia’s UK/Europe Regional Director Yvonne May lost her battle against Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia and passed away on Friday, aged 53.

Ribera del Duero launches UK marketing campaign

The generic body for the Ribera del Duero wine-producing region of Spain has announced the launch of its first-ever major promotion in the UK.

Bonhams to auction methuselah of Pol Roger 2004

A methuselah of Pol Roger Blanc de Blancs 2004 - estimated at £5,000-£10,000 - is to be auctioned at Bonhams, London on September 11, in aid of the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation. 

APTRA rolls out responsible training at Singapore Changi

The Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association has embarked on a new Responsible Retail Training Programme (RRTP) for DFS staff in stores at Singapore Changi airport.

Harvest in Provence has begun

The harvest has begun, and the 2014 crop looks to be impressive in both size and quality, according to the Conseil des Vins de Provence.

Napa Valley Vintners announces earthquake fund

The Napa Valley Vintners has announced it will donate $10 million to create a disaster relief fund to help the immediate needs of local residents and businesses impacted by Sunday’s earthquake.

Americans spend more on wine

More than a quarter of Americans are spending more on wine in the off premise, according to a new report from Wine Intelligence.

Napa Valley earthquake

The damage from the earthquake that took place recently in California’s premium wine producing region, Napa Valley, is variously estimated at between US$500 million and $1 billion.

Air France-KLM CEO to speak at TFWA Cannes

The Tax Free World Association has announced Air France-KLM CEO Alexandre de Juniac will speak at the opening conference of its Cannes exhibition in October.

Treasury Wine Estates is in play

Treasury Wine Estates is the subject of a bidding war, according to reports from Australia.

Concerns expressed over contaminated wine

Recent research reveals that 59% of French wines analysed contained significant quantities of a particular form of phthalate, dibutyl phthalate, and only 17% did not contain any detectable quantity of at least one of the reprotoxic phthalates.

Diageo GTME announces two appointments

Diageo Global Travel and Middle East (GTME) managing director Doug Bagley, has announced two senior appointments to his Singapore-based team.

WSET launches second phase of Chinese pilot programme

The Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) has announced that the first half of 2014 saw the WSET Level 3 award in wines and spirits being run for the first time in Chinese.

Best sparkling wines in the world

The Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships has announced its medal results of the 2014 competition.

New Porto Cruz facility opens

La Martiniquaise owner of the Gran Cruz, the world's largest producer of port, has announced the opening of a new site with a modern winery and centralised bulk storage.

Trivento to sponsor Premiership Rugby

Argentinean wine brand Trivento has signed an exclusive deal to be an ‘Official Supporter of Premiership Rugby’, in the UK.

Napa harvest begins

The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) trade association has announced that the first of Napa Valley’s sparkling wine producers have begun picking grapes, two days earlier than the start of last year’s harvest.

Krug releases new vintage of Clos du Mesnil

Champagne house Krug has released of a new vintage of its rare single vineyard cuvée, the Krug Clos du Mesnil 2003.

New Zealand premium wine sales soar in the UK

New Zealand wine has become the number two country of origin in the UK market for wine sold over £7, according to the latest Nielsen data (MAT June 21, 2014).

South East dominates UK wine comp

The English & Welsh Wine of the Year Competition, the industry's annual national wine awards, has boasted an unprecedented number of medal winners, with vineyards in south east England dominating.

Benevolent Roof Gardens party raises over £10,000

UK drinks industry figures gathered for the Benevolent Roof Gardens Party last week to celebrate the end of the London Wine Fair 2014. They raised more than £10,000 for their trade charity.

New Zealand wine vintage up 29%

The 2014 New Zealand grape harvest has been completed with high quality grapes picked across the country, according to New Zealand Winegrowers.

Napa Valley auction nets $18.7m

Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) famous auction, the 34th, netted US$18.7 million this year.

London Wine Fair hailed a success

Brintex, organisers of the London Wine Fair, has hailed the reinvented, relocated trade show a success.

Treasury rejects KKR takeover offer

Treasury Wine Estates has rejected an AUS$3.05 billion (US$2.85 billion) takeover bid from Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR).

Russia gets taste for imported wines

Russian consumers are turning to imported wines, especially sparkling wines, as traditional beverages such as vodka and beer decline in popularity, according to Wine Intelligence.

Moët UK Sommelier of the Year semi finalists

The Academy of Food & Wine Service (AFWS) has announced the names of the sommeliers going through to the semi-finals of the Moët UK Sommelier of the Year 2014 following the regional finals held earlier this week in Bristol, two London venues and Stafford.

CA Grands Crus presents its 2013 en primeur Bordeaux wines

CA Grands Crus says it has succeeded in making exceptional terroir-focused wines across its portfolio of Bordeaux estates in the region’s most prestigious appellations, despite a challenging growing season in 2013.

Michael Jordaan to chair WOSA

Michael Jordaan, a 46-year-old venture capitalist and former CEO of South Africa’s First National Bank (FNB), has been appointed chairman of Wines of South Africa (WOSA).

South African wine harvest report

The South African wine industry expects an average sized, good quality wine grape harvest, with exceptional harvests especially in the coastal regions.

Kingsland and Legacy become Kingsland

Kingsland Wine & Spirits and Legacy Wines will now be known simply as ‘Kingsland’, the Manchester-based company has announced.

Pernod hit by unfavourable foreign exchange rates

Pernod Ricard’s net sales for the first nine months of the 2013/14 financial year totalled €6,186 million – down 7% on the same period last year. The company says the results are in line with the first half-year and sales were stable excluding foreign exchange and group structure effects.

Pernod buys Kenwood vineyards

Pernod Ricard has announced the purchase of Kenwood Vineyards in California’s Sonoma Valley from F. Korbel & Bros.

Rioja control board rates 2013 vintage as good

The Control Board of DOCa Rioja (The Consejo Regulador Denominación de Origen Calificada Rioja) has officially rated the 2013 vintage “good”.

Accolade finalises Mud House deal

Accolade Wines has annoucned that it has finalised the purchase of Mud House and Waipara Hills and their assets, from the Mud House Wine Group.

Martini returns to offshore powerboat racing

Martini has announced that the brand is to sponsor Vector, the British powerboat racing team and global manufacturer of high performance powerboats and performance yachts.

Australian wine industry hits the wall

Australia’s wine industry hit the wall in 2013, after 30 years of surging growth, according to the The Australian and New Zealand Wine Industry Directory (WID).

Kingsland appoints Guy Young

Kingsland Wine & Spirits has appointed former HwCg md Guy Young as commercial director.

Consumers like aluminium closure, claims report

An survey of 6,000 consumers, by IPSOS* to discover consumer preferences on wine and spirit closures claims the majority prefer an aluminium closure, over other closure options.

UK chancellor freezes alcohol duty accelerator

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, the UK’s chief finance minister, has frozen the controversial so-called alcohol duty accelerator on spirits and standard cider.

WSTA steps up campaign to end alcohol duty escalator

New figures show pubs in Britain are becoming increasingly reliant on wine and spirit sales, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.

Inaugural AfrAsia Bank Cape Wine Auction

The inaugural AfrAsia Bank Cape Wine Auction 2014 (AfrABCWA), regarded by the organisers as possibly the most extraordinary international wine event ever seen in South Africa, will set a local philanthropic precedent.

Michael Cox memorial service – April 10

The date and timings of the memorial service to celebrate the life of Michael Cox, the former European head of Wines of Chile who died on March 20, will take place on April 10.

California wine exports reach 
all-time high

US wine exports, 90% from California, reached a record high $1.55 billion in winery revenues in 2013, up 16.4% compared to the previous year, according to the Wine Institute of California.

Napa auction raises US$5.9m

The Napa Valley Vintners' (NVV) 18th annual Premiere Napa Valley made history by bringing in a total of $5.9 million, nearly doubling the previous record of $3.1m raised in 2012.

Michael Cox has died

Michael Cox, a well known figure in the UK wine and spirits trade and latterly European director at Wines of Chile, has died.

Rioja reports record-breaking sales

The Consejo Regulador of Rioja (Wines from Rioja) has announced that Rioja sales have reached 277 million litres in 2013, surpassing the all-time record set before the global economic downturn.

Villa Maria buys prime vineyard in Hawkes Bay

The New Zealand owned winery has bought a 41-hectare property in the sought-after Gimblett Gravels sub-region in Hawkes Bay.

China is the world’s leading red wine market

China, including Hong Kong, is now the largest market for red wine, according to a survey commissioned by Vinexpo the Bordeaux-based exhibition company.

New Burgundian chiefs

Claude Chevalier and Louis-Fabrice Latour are the new president and co-president of the Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB), the generic body representing the Burgundy wine region.

WSET wine educators of the year

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust's international Wine Educator of the Year is the Asia Wine Service & Education Centre, Hong Kong (AWSEC).

Sam Neill buys Desert Heart

Two Paddocks, the New Zealand wine producer owned by actor, Sam Neill, has bought a fourth vineyard, this one in Bannockburn.

Espaco Porto Cruz wins wine tourism award

Espaco Porto Cruz, the multimedia exhibition for contemporary Portuguese culture by young artists, has won the Best of Wine Tourism Award for the area of Porto, Portugal.

Napa secures recognition from Australia and Taiwan

The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) has announced that it has secured certification mark protection for the Napa valley wine region in both Australia and Taiwan.

John Ratcliffe to head up Accolade

John Ratcliffe, the former head of Seagram UK and a driving force behind the once innovative specialist UK off licence chain, Oddbins, has been appointed CEO of Accolade Wines.

Concha y Toro excels at climate change awards

Viña Concha y Toro, Chile’s leading wine producer, was named as one of the top three organisations contributing to managing climate change at the annual Chilean ‘Leading Companies in Climate Change Management Awards’. 

US West Coast wine regions join up

The US West Coast wine regions of California, Oregon and Washington State are to collaborate in 2014 for their UK annual tastings. 

Direct sells Virgin Wines

Direct Wines has announced that it had sold its Virgin Wines UK business to the management team.

London Cru rejects French grapes

London’s first ever winery has announced that it has rejected seven tonnes of French grapes due to their poor condition.

Use pubs or lose them

CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale), is calling on British people to use pubs otherwise they will close. It claims 26 pubs close every week in Britain.

Cool drinks brands

There are no alcoholic drinks brands in CoolBrands top 20 ‘A-Listers’ of 2013.

SPI looks to expand more into wine

The SPI Group has announced that that it is looking to grow its global wine portfolio.

Dearie leaves Treasury

Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) has announced that CEO David Dearie, has left.

Two new buyers at Laithwaite’s

Laithwaite’s, the UK subsidiary of global mail order wine business Direct Wines, has two new wine buyers.

New Errázuriz CEO

Viña Errázuriz’ has announced that Andrés Izquierdo is its new CEO, including its Viña Caliterra and Viña Seña subsidiaries.

ProWein fully booked

The organiser of ProWein has announced that ProWein 2014 is already fully booked, six months before the show.

Confident Kiwi wine producers

New Zealand Winegrowers says wine drinkers globally are continuing to buy New Zealand wines.

Treasury reports net profit after tax of AUS$42m

Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) has reported a net profit after tax of AUS$42.3 million for the full year. Earnings before interes and tax (EBITs) stood at $209.2m. Net sales revenue was up 1.9%.

Wiener Gemischter Satz becomes a DAC

The Wiener Gemischte Satz region has become a DAC (Districtus Austriae Controllatus).

WSET student numbers hit new record

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) has announced that latest figures show that worldwide student numbers for the academic year 2012/13, just finished, stand at an all-time high of 48,434, up 12% on the previous year.

London’s first ever winery

A boutique winery is being installed in west London with the intention of processing grapes from the likes of Bordeaux, Languedoc and the Roussillon and making wine from September.

Grosche switches to wine producing

Richard Grosche, joint editor-in-chief of both Meininger’s Weinwelt and Sommelier Magazin, is joining the Reichsrat von Buhl estate winery in January.

London Wine Fair reports strong interest

London Wine Fair organisers Brintex has reported a “decidedly positive response” from existing exhibitors signing up for 2014.

Treasury signs up former England cricket captains

Treasury Wine Estates  announced the signing up of former England cricket captains and Ashes legends Andrew Strauss and Michael Vaughan - on the first day of the much anticipated Ashes cricket series.

Chapel Down raises £4.3m for expansion

Chapel Down, the English winemaker, has secured more than £4.3 million in new equity funding to expand the business and help grow its reputation both at home and overseas.

Riedel and Gaja celebrate 40th anniversary

Georg Riedel and Angelo Gaja – two famous names in the wine world – are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Riedel’s Sommeliers collection in London in September.

Nomacorc unveils an oxygen analyser system

Nomacorc has announced the launch of  what it describes as a “breakthrough next generation oxygen analyser system”.

Peter Lehmann has died

Peter Lehmann, one of the founders and giants of the modern Australian wine industry has died, aged 82

New Zealand recognises Napa

The Intellectual Property Office in New Zealand has issued a Certificate of Trade Mark Registration providing consumer protection against wines illegitimately labelled as Napa Valley.

Fladgate buys Wiese & Krohn stock

The Fladgate Partnership has announced that it has purchased the brand, stocks and vineyard holdings of Wiese & Krohn in a deal that includes stocks of aged tawnies and colheitas dating back to 1863, plus Quinta do Retiro Novo in the Rio Torto Valley in the Douro. 

Zamora appoints Clamens as MD

The Diego Zamora group has appointed Thomas Clamens as its international managing director.

English & Welsh Wine of the Year competition results

The United Kingdom Vineyards Association has announced the results of this year’s English & Welsh Wine of the Year competition.

WSTA reports negativity in UK drinks sector

Total alcohol sales continue to fall according to the latest Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) market report.

New Champagne website

The Comité Champagne (the educational and promotional arm of The Champagne Houses & Growers’ Association) has launched its new official Champagne website: www.champagne.com.

Hall is Hunter Valley Winemaker of the Year.

McGuigan Wines’ senior winemaker Peter Hall is Hunter Valley Winemaker of the Year.

China recognises Champagne

The Chinese government has officially recognised Champagne as a protected geographical indication.

Treasury signs up Wolf Blass for the Ashes

Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) has announced that it has signed up its Wolf Blass brand as partners of Sky Sports broadcast of the next two Ashes cricket series between England and Australia.

India heads for London International Wine Fair

India is to host a generic pavilion at the London International Wine Fair.

Hillebrand seals five year deal with Accolade

JF Hillebrand, leading logistics provider to the global beverage market, has clinched a five year worldwide freight services contract with Accolade Wines, the world’s fourth largest wine producer.

Sauvignon Blanc Day is May 17

This Friday, May 17, is the fourth annual Sauvignon Blanc Day.

South Africa expecting record vintage

The 2013 South African wine grape harvest season exceeded the expectations, according to Vinpro a service organisation for 3,600 South African wine producers.

McGuigan calls for new duty band

Neil McGuigan, recently voted the ‘World’s Best Winemaker (IWSC), wants the UK government to change the banding under which duty on wine is set.

Jancis Robinson receives freedom of the City of London

Master of wine, Jancis Robinson, has been made a ‘Freeman of the City of London’ and an ‘honorary Freeman’ of the Worshipful Company of Vintners.

Valparaiso/Casablanca becomes a great wine capital

Chilean city and wine region,Valparaiso and the Casablanca valley have been voted into the Great Wine Capitals Global Network.

Treasury’s EMEA appointments

Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) has announced two appointments to its EMEA senior management team.

Jacob’s Creek launches wine for Japanese food

Jacob’s Creek, the Pernod Ricard-owned Australian wine brand, has launched a wine specifically designed to complement Japanese cuisine.

Jacob’s Creek launches wine for Japanese food

Jacob’s Creek, the Pernod Ricard-owned Australian wine brand, has launched a wine specifically designed to complement Japanese cuisine.

US: Wine shipped direct to consumer is on the up

The value of direct-to-consumer shipments from American wineries increased to $1.46 Billion in 2012, and was greater than the total value of US wine exports, according to the 2013 Direct Shipping Report released by Ship Compliant and Wines & Vines.

Rioja to spend eight million Euros on promotion

The generic body representing the famous Rioja win-producing region in north west Spain has announced that it is to spend  8 million Euros on promoting its wines this year.

Riverina harvest close to record

The 2013 harvest in the Riverina region of Australia, at 300,000 tonnes, is just 8,000 short of the 308,000 2009 all time record, according to the Riverina Winemakers Association.

First Cape wine heads to Ireland

South African wine brand First Cape has launched in Ireland. 

Henri Krug dies aged 76

Henri Krug, the former head of Champagne Krug, has died, it has been announced.

English wine producers go to ProWein

English Wine Producers, the generic body representing English wine producers, is to exhibit at Prowein for the first time.

US Millennials take to wine

Young professional Americans in the Millennial generation are taking a real interest in wine, according to a leading US wine producer.

Champagne exports 3.4% up by value

The Comité Champagne, which represents Champagne producers, has announced that world exports are 3.4% up by value despite a 4 million drop is shipped bottles.

Champagne exports up 3.4%, UK leads the way

The Comite Champagne, the generic body for Champagne producers, has announced today (March 13) that the world exports have risen 3.4% by value, despite a 4 million drop in shipped bottles.

Austrian vintage down

The Austrian Wine Marketing Board has announced that the total volume of Austria's 2012 wine vintage is 2,154,800 hectoliters, which is well below the long term average.

Laithwaite’s is top English fizz

An English sparkling wine made by the wife and co-founder of Direct Wines*, the world's largest independent wine merchant, has been voted the best English sparkling wine.

Beringer extends PGA to UK

Beringer, the official wine of the PGA golf tour, has extended the sponsorship to include the UK.

Two new WSET trustees

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) has announced two new trustees - Mentzendorff managing director Andrew Hawes and Jonathan Driver who, after leaving Diageo in 2006, has become a global consultant.

Anivin de France hits 88

Anivin de France, the organisation responsible for promoting Vin de France, has announce that 88 wines have been selected to represent the category in 2013.

Maximilian to become Riedel Crystal president

Maximilian J. Riedel is to become president of Riedel Crystal, from July 1.

Lower-alcohol Wines: The Lowdown

There is increasing awareness and demand for low and lower-alcohol wines. Christian Davis checks on who’s doing what

Independent South African wineries highlight quality

Premium Independent Wineries of South Africa (PIWOSA) is the name of a new grouping of like-minded, independent producers which aims to highlight the quality and diversity of South Africa’s premium wines has been launched to raise the profile of Premium South African wine.

WSTA asks the UK Government for help



The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) meets with Economic Secretary to the Treasury today (February 5), ahead of the Budget in March.

McGuigan launches food and wine matching initiative

McGuigan Wines’ Neil McGuigan, one of Australia’s best known winemakers, has launched what he describes as “the ultimate wine and food matching service" with celebrity chef John Torode.

Amcor launches new Stelvin liners

A new range of liners for Stelvin closures for wine bottles have been unveiled today (January 30).

No World Heritage site for Burgundy

Climats du Vignoble de Bourgogne, a lobby organisation for the Burgundy region of France has failed to get the world famous wine-producing vineyards of the region listed by UNESCO as one of its World Heritage sites.

Get Carter for the LIWF

Brintex, organisers of the London International Wine Fair (LIWF), have announced  the appointment of Ross Carter as exhibition director, replacing James Murray who resigned after 10 years in the role.

Sichel results

Bordeaux-based producer and négociant, Maison Sichel has reported that 2012 was the company’s second best year since it was established in 1883.

Cobevco introduces bag-in-box capability

Specialist bottler, Cobevco will be offering ‘bag-in-box’ as part of its beverage filling capabilities from the end of May.

RJ Botha joins Kleine Zalze

Stellenbosch winery, Kleine Zalze, has announced the appointment of Nitida Wines’ RJ Botha, to its winemaking team.

Jacob’s Creek vintage is underway

Orlando Wyndham has announced that the harvesting of the 2013 vintage in Australia for its global wine brand, Jacob’s Creek, is underway.

South Africa’s wine exports hit new heights

South Africa’s 2012 exports reached 417 million litres, the largest amount that the country has exported to date and 10 million litres more than the previous record, according to Wines of South Africa (Wosa) the generic body for the South African wine industry.

Wine Tourism Awards results announced

Wine Country Ontario won Best Generic Wine Body at the Wine Tourism Awards 2013.

South Africa: Riots may not involve wine

Wines of South Africa has said that riots in the Western Cape don't appear to be connected to the wine industry.

Tuscany

With classic regions and the famous Super-Tuscan wines, exports are Tuscany’s life blood. Christian Davis reports

New Zealand Winegrowers appoints marketing manager

New Zealand Winegrowers has announced the appointment of Chris Stroud as its new marketing manager – Europe.

Calls for entries to the International Gamay competition

Inter Beaujolais calling for entries for this year’s International Gamay competition, now in its third year.

McGuigan joins forces with chef John Torode

McGuigan Wines has teamed up with TV chef John Torode to work on a new wine and food matching project that will be announced in the New Year.

In-country representation key to wine success in Asia

Attracting younger wine drinkers and in-country representation is key to success in Asia, says research commissioned by Messe Düsseldorf, the company behind ProWein.

Le Clos announces winner of the ‘Bordeaux Big Eight’

Le Clos, Dubai International's fine wines and luxury spirits duty free outlet,  has announced the winner of the Bordeaux Big Eight promotion which marked the fourth anniversary of the first store opening in Dubai.

Wine tourism is the way forward for the Western Cape

Tourism, not agriculture, is the future for the Western Cape, according to Charles Back, whose Fairview farm is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South Africa.

The best Albariños in the world

The best Albariños in the world are: La Val Crianza sobre Lias from Galician producer Bodegas La Val, Abadía San Campio from Cordorniu’s Terras Gauda and Vinha Antiga from Portuguese co-operative Provam.

One direction for LIWF

Brintex, the organiser of the London International Wine Fair, has announced new initiatives to reinvigorate the 2013 show.

Accolade calls for unity

Accolade Wines has called for unity across the drinks trade in a bid to encourage the UK government to re-think the alcohol duty escalator. The company's WineNation 2012 report claimed tax is having “a crippling effect” across the industry.

Barbera d’Asti Lequilibrio Montalbera 2009

Barbera d’Asti Lequilibrio Montalbera 2009

Rabobank identifies new wine markets

Rabobank, the Dutch bank which focuses on the wine trade, has identified Mexico, Brazil, Poland and Nigeria as future growth markets for wine consumption.

Prix Raisin award to be increased

Bordeaux wine consultant Olivier Dauga has announced that his Prix Raisin award will be increased to include marketing and financial services for the winner in 2013.

Sparkling wine

Susanne Stauß takes a closer look at the global sparkling wine market

Focus on: The Brazilian wine market

Paul Medder, Wine Intelligence's country manager for Brazil, offers the latest on plans to introduce protectionism in the burgeoning Brazilian wine market.

Nordics represent main European opportunities fo growth

Wine producers looking for growth opportunities in Europe should be thinking about Finland, Norway and Sweden, according to a report from Wine Intelligence.

Cape Winemakers’ Guild auction records sales

The 28th Nedbank Cape Winemakers’ Guild Auction recorded the highest turnover ever of R5,739,000*, excluding VAT, with a sellout of all the wines.

New Zealand wine: A vintage vintage

The 2012 vintage is down more than 20% in places, but the Kiwis are happy to try to strike a balance between demand and supply. Christian Davis reports

Cape 2012

You have to hand it to Wines of South Africa. They know how to organise an event. To say Cape 2012 is just another trade show, would be a great injustice and understatement.

Eastern promise

With ProWein 2013 in mind, Thomas Brandl finds out how winemakers in central and south-eastern Europe have made efforts to modernise and become more competitive.

International Wine Challenge results

The International Wine Challenge held is annual bash at the Hilton on London’s Park Lane last night at which all its trophy winners were announced.

Ethical seals to debut at Cape 2012

Wines of South Africa has announced that the first wines to carry South Africa’s new, fully traceable, ethical seal will be showcased at Cape Wine 2012, later this month.

Jubilee celebrations lift gin and sparking sales

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association says gin and sparkling wine sales increased in the UK during the run up to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Austrian Leithaberg aims to put its wines on the map

Leithaberg, one of Austria’s newest DACs, wants to be the Burgundy of Austria.

Blossom Hill gets largest ever advertising spend

Blossom Hill, one of the UK’s most popular wine brands, is receiving its largest ever advertising support, including £2.2m on media alone.

Distell reports 15% revenue growth and 9% sales increase

Distell, South Africa’s leading wine and spirits producer, has reported a 15% growth in revenue for the year to June 2012 and a 9.9% increase in sales volumes across its portfolio of wines, spirits and RTDs in both domestic and international markets.

Accolade to launch Hardys in the Ukraine

Accolade Wines has announced that it is to launch its leading Australian wine brand, Hardys into Ukraine.

Chilean wine

Despite a strong peso, consumers are prepared to pay the price for quality Chilean wine. Christian Davis reports

UK consumers open to untraditional wine packaging

UK consumers' openness to new forms of wine packaging could mean the traditional glass bottle’s stranglehold on the market is relaxed, says Wine Intelligence.

Accolade Wines revamps Echo Falls

Accolade Wines has unveiled a new look for its Echo Falls Californian wine brand in key European markets, including the UK, Netherlands and Spain.

Treasury and Accolade pack for each other

Treasury Wine Estates and Accolade Wines has announced that TWE will pack wine for Accolade in Australia with Accolade will pack wine for TWE in the UK.

Michael Cox is new Vintners' master

Michael Cox has been installed as the 518th Master of the Worshipful Company of Vintners for the forthcoming year.

Wine economist to speak at Nederburg Auction

The organiser of South Africa’s famous Nederburg Auction, has announced that US economics professor and ‘wine economist’, Mike Veseth, will make a keynote speech on Saturday September 29 at Nederburg in Paarl.

Domecq is new Sherry Institute president

The Sherry Institute of Spain has appointed Beltrán Domecq as its new president.

Chinese open to modern wine labels

Chinese wine consumers prefer traditional wine labels but are open to some contemporary designs, according to Wine Intelligence.

International varietals could be the future for Portuguese wine

CEO of Sogrape Vinhos, Francisco Ferreira, has ventured that the planting of further international varietals could help to attract more consumers to Portuguese wine.

The OIV to define dealcoholised wines

The International Orgisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) is to provide definitions for for beverages obtained by dealcoholisation of wine and beverages obtained by partial dealcoholisation of wine.

Lillet Rosé makes UK bow

Maison Lillet has released Lillet Rosé to the UK, its first apéritif launch in the market for 50 years.

South Africa’s flagship wine producer unveils new wine

Vergelegen, one of South Africa’s best wine producers, has unveiled a new wine, DNA.

An evening with André van Rensburg

One of South Africa’s best and certainly most controversial winemakers, André van Rensburg, was in London yesterday for the unveiling of his new wine, DNA.

UK: Holly Valance to be the face of Gallo Moscato

Gallo Family Vineyards has partnered with Australian celebrity, Holly Valance, to publicise its newly launched Moscato wine in the UK.

UK: Wine and spirits price rises double inflation rate

The price of wine and spirits has risen by more than twice the level of inflation, according to the latest WSTA Market Report.

Accolade purchases Ascentia wine brands

Global wine producer and distributor Accolade Wines has purchased Californian brand Geyser Peak and stablemates Atlas Peak and XYZin, together with their assets and inventory, from Ascentia Wine Estates. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Gallo Winery buys Columbia and Covey Run

Californian wine producer E&J Gallo Winery has announced that it has purchased Washington State’s Columbia Winery and Covey Run Wine brands.

President: wine is Georgia's passport to European identity

The president of Georgia has said wine exports are to the benefit of Georgia’s national security and an important element of the country's progress.

Atkin MW and Chester Osborn get Wine Intelligence Business Awards

Wine journalist, Tim Atkin MW and d'Arenberg owner and winemaker Chester Osborn, were both named as recipients of the Wine Intelligence 10 for 10 Business Award.

Concha y Toro commits to Fetzer

Concha y Toro, the largest wine producer in Latin America, is committed to developing and improving the Californian wine producer, Fetzer, which it bought from Brown Forman in March 2011.

Frost damage to Austrian vineyards

The Austrian Wine Marketing Board (AWMB) has reported that a late frost has damaged more than 10% of Austrian vineyard area.

Wine to be packed in cartons in the UK for the first time

Tetra Pak, the world leader in its eponymous packaging, has announced that wine can be packed in its cartons in the UK for the first time

English sparkling slaughtered on The Apprentice

Hands up who was watching The Apprentice last night on BBC?  The teams had to promote awareness of English sparkling wine.

UK: Pernod appoints new wine director

Pernod Ricard UK has promoted Chris Ellis to the role of commercial director of wines, with effect from July 1, 2012. 

South Africa launches new seal to guarantee ethical practice

The South African wine industry has launched a new seal, which will guarantee that the wine has been produced in line with fair labour practices, outlined and audited by the Wine Industry Ethical Trade Association (WIETA), which was established over a decade ago.

Sauvignon Blanc de Loire ambassadors 2012

InterLoire, the interprofessional body for Loire wines has announced that 18 wines from AOC Touraine and Vins de Pays du Val de Loire 2011 vintage have been selected as “Ambassador wines” for the Sauvignon Blanc de Loire project this year.

China looks to sweet red and white wine

The Chinese wine market of the future will feature more white and sweet red wines, according to a report by Wine Intelligence.

McLaren Vale appoints new CEO

The McLaren Vale Grape, Wine and Tourism Association (MVGWTA), the generic body that represents growers in the premium wine producing region in south-east Australia, has announced the appointment of a new chief executive officer.

Brintex optimistic despite LIWF absentees

Events firm Brintex has voiced optimism ahead of this year’s London International Wine Fair (LIWF) and Distil despite the absences of Pernod Ricard, Percy Fox (Diageo’s UK wine division) and PLB.

Le Versant Pinot Noir 2010

At Drinks International we offer impartial news and analysis of the global drinks industry. Here, on Wine Watch we voice our opinions on the wines that have passed through the pages of our magazine and website.

Focus on: The Brazilian wine market

Paul Medder, Wine Intelligence's country manager for Brazil, offers his analysis of the effects of protectionism in the burgeoning Brazilian wine market.

UK budget sees alcohol prices increase

UK: The Chancellor has added another 41p to a bottle of spirits and 11p to a bottle of wine in the latest Budget.

CEDC takes Barefoot to Poland

Central European Distribution Corporation (CEDC) has extended its links with Gallo Vineyards to include the distribution of Barefoot wines in Poland.

WSTA appoints new chief executive

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association, the lead body for the UK wine and spirits sectors, has announced the appointment of Miles Beale as its new chief executive.

Beaujolais primed for new Burgundy AOC

As the third consecutive "great" Beaujolais vintage readies for market and glasses, the talk in the region has turned to another newcomer, the newly formed appellation of Coteaux Bourguignon.

Pernod Ricard UK announces initiative to drive premium wine sales

Pernod Ricard UK has unveiled an initiative titled ‘Building Premium Wine Brands’, to bring growth back to the UK light wine sector.

More than 40,000 visit ProWein

The trade wine fair ProWein attracted over 40,000 visitors, according to its organisers Messe Düsseldorf.

Su Birch of Wines of South Africa wins business award

Su Birch, CEO of Wines of South Africa (WoSA) is the winner of Wine Intelligence’s inaugural ‘10 for 10 Business Award’.

Gifting still driving wine sales in China

Gifting remains the driving force behind wine sales growth in China, according to research by Wine Intelligence.

Accolade launches premium Hardys wine

Accolade has launched a new wine under the Hardys brand at ProWein, Germany.

Laithwaites buys Bordeaux vineyard

Wine merchant Laithwaites Wine has concluded the purchase of Chateau du Bois, a vineyard near the village of Castillon in Bordeaux, France.

Altia post 7.6% net sales growth

Altia, the wine and spirits group that focuses on the Nordic countries, has announced a 7.6% net sales increase to €524.8 million for the year January to December 2011.

Beam rolls out Skinnygirl wine and flavoured vodka

US: Beam has expanded its Skinnygirl range to include wine, a range of flavoured vodkas and a Piña Colada.

Australian Wine

Consumers in Australia’s top two export markets are abandoning its wines for cheaper alternatives leaving producers wondering if Asia will grow big enough to compensate for US and UK declines. By Graham Holter

Patrón Spirits takes XO Café to China

Patrón Spirits International will introduce its XO Café variant to China following an agreement with the Shanghai-based Telford Wine & Spirits.

Austrian wine exports set a record

Exports of Austrian wine by value have exceeded estimates as a result of higher prices and a decline in bulk wine.

Pernod Ricard and Southern strike Washington deal

Pernod Ricard USA has announced the appointment of Southern Wine & Spirits of America as its spirits and wine distributor in the state of Washington.

Michel Roux launches wine

London chef Michel Roux Jr has joined forces with French wine maker Michel Chapoutier to create wines named after Roux’s restaurant Le Gavroche.

Seismic shift in South American wines

There has been a seismic shift in the Chilean and Argentinian wine industries, according to some leading experts.

Australian Vintage recruits major UK multiple buyer

Australian Vintage has recruited the senior buyer of one of the UK’s major multiple retailers.

French wine is the ideal

French wine is the favourite of regular wine drinkers in the UK and China and the second preference in Germany, says Wine Intelligence.

No German ice wine this year

There is unlikely to be any ice wine from Germany this year because of the mild winter north west Europe is experiencing.

Sparkling sparkles in US

US consumption of imported sparkling wine will reach new heights in 2012 due to the increased penetration of prosecco and cava, says Wine Intelligence. 

Glenmorangie Artein added to Private Edition range

The Glenmorangie Company has announced the global launch of Artein, the third release of the Glenmorangie Private Edition range.

Fine wine prices drop 15% in 2011

Fine wine prices fell 15% in 2011, fine wine index Liv-ex has reported.

Findlater to distribute Stolichnaya in Ireland

The SPI Group has announced a new distribution agreement with Findlater Wine and Spirit Group to distribute the Stolichnaya vodka portfolio in Ireland.

Direct Wines reshapes its buying and merchandising team

Direct Wines, the world's largest independent wine merchant with a turnover of £350 million, has announced major changes to its buying and merchandising teams.

Boisset buys Skalli winery

Boisset, La Famille des Grands Vins has purchased the Skalli winery and brands in the Languedoc and Rhône Valley. The financial details were not disclosed. 

Accolade sets its stall out

Accolade Wines has set its stall out, 10 months after Constellation Brands sold off its international wine division to an Australian private equity group.

Penfolds launches Bin 620 in Shanghai

Penfolds has launched Bin 620 Coonawarra Cabernet Shiraz to global markets, the first release of the ‘special bin’ since 1966.

ProWein to be bigger

ProWein organisers Messe Düsseldorf, has announced that next year’s show will be bigger with the opening of an additional hall.

Asia-Pacific to become the fastest-growing alcoholic drinks region over the next five years

International Wine & Spirit Research (IWSR) says that Asia-Pacific will be the fastest-growing region for the alcoholic beverage markets over the next five years.

China falls in love with Italian wine, claims Vinitaly organiser

Veronafiere, organisers of the Vinitaly exhibition, claims China has fallen in love with its Italian wines which were in show at the recent Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair (HKIWSF).

Screw-cap acceptance in the UK has doubled in eight years, says new report

Acceptance of screw-cap closures on wine bottles sold in the UK has risen to 85% of the regular wine-drinking population, according to a report on wine stoppers from Wine Intelligence.

Best Baltic Sommelier named at Tallinn Grand Prix

The Best Baltic Sommelier has been crowned following the Vana Tallinn Grand Prix 2011 in Tartu, Estonia.

Sogrape acquires Stevens Garnier

International wine producer Sogrape has acquired 100% of UK wine agency Stevens Garnier. The company previously owned 38% of Stevens Garnier and financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Comedian has Joly good time in Bordeaux

The Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux (CIVB) has teamed up with comedian Dom Joly to produce a series of videos.

Nick Hyde is the new WSTA chairman

The Wine and Spirit Trade Assoication (WSTA) has announced that Nick Hyde, managing director of Diageo Wines Europe, is its new chairman.

World’s Most Admired Wine Brands is published online

Drinksint.com is now home to the World’s Most Admired Wine Brands magazine supplement, a comprehensive industry poll of the world's best regarded wine. 

English wines have come of age

English wines have come of age – Georg Riedel has chosen suitable stemware for their wines.

Has Prosecco Conegliano Valdobbiadene gained a strong consumer franchise?

The head of the consortium that protects Prosecco sparkling Italian wine from Conegliano Valdobbiadene is to address delegates at the International Sparkling Wine Symposium (ISWS), which takes place at Denbies wine estate in the UK on November 1-2.

DIVA to distribute SA wines

French distributor DIVA (Distribution Internationale de Vins et Alcools) has created DIVA South Africa to market some of the country’s ‘premium’ wines to an international audience.

Nomacorc announces software to match closure to wine type

Nomacorc, the leading alternative wine closure producer, has announced the introduction of NomaSelector, which is software that recommends a closure tailored for a specific wine.

Constellation acquires Ruffino wine brand

Constellation Brands has purchased the remaining 50.1% of Italian wine brand Ruffino from MPF International. 

Effect of deep discounting is on the wane in the UK

Deep discounting on wine by UK retailers may be having less impact on consumer behaviour, according to a new report

CIVB appoints marketing director

The Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux (CIVB) or Bordeaux Wine Council, which represents Bordeaux vine growers and négociants, has announced the appointment of François Jumeau as its new marketing director.

International Wine Challenge awards are announced

The International Wine Challenge announced its winners last night at the Hilton hotel in London

Eleven new masters of wine

The Institute of Masters of Wine has announced 11 new masters of wine.

Accolade launches low alcohol wine

Accolade Wines has launched a low alcohol wine under the Stowells brand. Stowells Light is 5.5% abv and a 125ml glass contains one unit of alcohol and 56 calories.

DI’s Hamish Smith trundles around Murcia to determine whether spirits have ‘terroir’

Consider terroir. I have. It’s a rather haughty unit of French vernacular (which is a haughty way of saying ‘word’) that describes the characteristics geography, soil and climate can bestow upon crops – usually vines. Of course, the word has reach and relevance beyond wine... 

South Korean boost for wine importers

The emerging South Korean market could boost the fortunes of wine importers, according to research by Wine Intelligence.

£75K Château d’Yquem breaks record

A bottle of 1811 Château d’Yquem has been sold for £75,000, setting a Guinness world record.

EPI completes Piper-Heidsieck purchase

Rémy Cointreau has completed the sale of all the shares in Piper-Heidsieck-Compagnie Champenoise to the EPI Group (Européenne de Participations Industrielles).

Pernod sells Georgian company

Pernod Ricard has announced the disposal, by its affiliate Pernod Ricard Europe, of its shares in Georgian Wine and Spirits LLC to JSC Marussia (Georgia).

Laithwaites releases Van Ruiten Old Vine Zinfandel

Laithwaites, the international wine mail-order company, has released Van Ruiten Old Vine Zinfandel 2008 from California.

Labels key to success for selling wine in China

Wine producers looking to export to China for the first time need to get to grips with demands for high-quality packaging and culturally-sensitive labels, according to Wine Intelligence.

How to crack the US market

Entrants aiming to crack the US market need to take a bold approach, according to a wine importer.

New World leads Old in battle of the wine brands

New World brands continue to dominate the global wine sector and now constitute 13 of the top 15 wine brands, according to a recent study.

Bordeaux wine-students to train in London

The International Wine and Spirits Institute (IWSI), based in Bordeaux, is to open an eight-week spirits training programme in London next year.

Brazil emerges as imported wine market

Brazilians are increasingly turning to wine as their beverage of choice, according to consumer research published by Wine Intelligence.

Christie’s raises $11m in 36-hour wine sale

Christie’s has conducted a 36-hour wine auction in Hong Kong and New York, with sales totalling US$11.2m.

Glazer's appoints senior VP

Glazer’s, the Dallas-based wine, spirits and malt beverage distributors, has appointed Jim Oliver as senior vice president of fine wine.

Glazer's appoints senior VP

Glazer’s, the Dallas-based wine, spirits and malt beverage distributors, has appointed Jim Oliver as senior vice president of fine wine.

Ara appoints Jeff Clarke chief winemaker

Jeff Clarke has been appointed chief winemaker at Marlborough’s Ara Wines.

Amorim registers double-digit volume growth

Cork producer Amorim recorded double-digit volume growth in 2010.

Brown-Forman sells Fetzer to Concha y Toro

Brown-Forman has sold its Fetzer wine business to Concha y Toro for US$238 million. The transaction is expected to close in April 2011.

Clink! appoints operations manager

Clink! Wines, distributors to the UK and mainland Europe, has appointed Mariola Martinez as operations manager.

SA: Spirits duty rises by 10%

The South African government has increased excise duty on spirits by 10% and wine by 8%.

Foster’s to demerge Treasury Wine Estates

Foster’s Group has announced a proposal to demerge Treasury Wine Estates at a cost of AU$151m.

Australian wine in discounting dilemma

The Australian wine market faces tough challenges ahead because of a growing reliance on discounting, according to Wine Intelligence.

Former Wine Australia boss joins Wine Intelligence

Former Wine Australia boss Paul Henry is to join wine research company Wine Intelligence as associate director.

NZ: Winegrowers aim for organic

New Zealand: An organic wine group has set a goal for 20% of New Zealand vineyards to be organic by 2020.

Groupe Charlois acquires Winemakers Cooperage

French wine barrel manufacturer, Groupe Charlois, has expanded into the US with the purchase of Winemakers Cooperage (WC) from Treasury Wine Estates.

Brown-Forman looking to offload Fetzer

Brown-Forman, the major US drinks company, has announced a strategic review with a view to offloading its Californina-based wine assets.

Constellation sells its Australian, UK and South African wine businesses

Constellation Brands, hitherto, the world's leading wine company, has announced that it has sold its Australian and UK business, (Constellation Wines Australia and Europe, CWAE), to CHAMP, an Australian private equity group.

Pernod completes sale of Lindauer

Pernod Ricard has announced the completion of the sale, by its affiliate Pernod Ricard New Zealand, of Lindauer and other New Zealand wine brands from Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay together with their inventories and assets.

Bordeaux wine app to launch

Bordeaux Wine Council has announced the release of a mobile phone application called Smart Bordeaux.

Kofi Annan to speak at wine and climate change summit

Former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan will deliver the keynote address at the World Climate Change and Wine Congress 2011.

Pinot Noir named best NZ wine

A Pinot Noir from the Central Otago region has been named Champion Wine at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards.

Chinese wine: the next big thing

Wine producer François Lurton has said he expects China to become the largest wine producing country in the world.

Australia head hits out

Paul Henry, outgoing general manager, market development for the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation (AWBC), has accused retailers of being only interested in “volume and price” and described retailer consolidation and price compression as direct threats to proprietary brands.

Estonian crowned Best Baltic Sommelier

An Estonian has been named Best Baltic Sommelier after winning the Vana Tallinn Grand Prix 2010.

Pernod sets up wine division

Following a strategic review of its global operations, Pernod Ricard has confirmed that its key international wine properties will be grouped and managed under one business – Premium Wine Brands.

Masters of Wine to talk in Asia

Two Asian wine experts are to host an introduction to the Institute of Masters of Wine education programme at the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair in early November.

American wins sommelier world cup in South Africa

Wines Of South Africa’s (WOSA) first Sommelier World Cup has been won by an American.

Pernod sells Lindauer wine brand

Pernod Ricard New Zealand has announced the disposal of its Lindauer wine brand. The company has also announced the sale of several other New Zealand wine brands from Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay together with their related inventories and assets.

Mumm releases 2002 champagne in UK and Italy

G H Mumm has released its 2002 vintage champagne to the UK and Italy.

Coldstream Hills spends $5m on cellar

Treasury Wine Estates brand Coldstream Hills has completed a $5m upgrade of its winemaking facilities

England/Wales: Wine receives geographical recognition

The United Kingdom Vineyards Association (UKVA) has unveiled new wine schemes for English and Welsh still wines, in line with the wine regime changes implemented by the EU.  A new wine scheme for sparkling wines will be introduced later this year.

Australian fine wine classification is published

Langton’s Classification, the quinquennial (occurring every five years) guide to Australia’s best performing and most prized wines, has been published.

Lovedale Semillon scoops top award

McWilliam’s winery has won Best White Wine at the invitation only Tri Nations Wine Challenge. The contest featured wines from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The winery won Best White Wine of Show Trophy and Best Other White trophy for its flagship 2005 McWilliam’s Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon.

Concha y Toro is the official wine of Manchester United

Concha y Toro, the largest wine producer in South America, has announced a deal with the Manchester United for its wine brands to become the official wine of the world famous football club.

Foster's rejects wine offer

The Foster’s Group (Foster’s) board of directors has rejected an offer for its Treasury Wine Estates. Foster’s received an “unsolicited expression of interest” from an international private equity firm to acquire the wine assets of Treasury Wine Estates. The proposal involved a cash consideration of between $2.3billion and $2.7billion for 100% of the assets.

International Beverage wins 49 medals

International Beverage Holdings is celebrating 49 awards in various international drinks competitions, including 13 awards in the International Spirits Challenge.

Pernod creates new company, new region

Pernod Ricard has created a new brand company for its wines and made several organisational changes to its overall structure.

Pernod sells Spanish wine brands

Pernod Ricard has announced the disposal, by its subsidiary Domecq Bodegas, of Spanish wine brands Marqués de Arienzo and Viña Eguίa. The sale also includes the related Bodega and 358 hectares of vineyards and lands.

Diageo sells its Bordeaux wine business

As part of a previously-announced review of its wine operations, Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines has announced that it has sold its Barton & Guestier Bordeaux business to French Wine concern Castel Freres SAS. The sale includes brands, inventory and land, including Chateau Magnol.  The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Montana becomes Brancott Estate

Pernod Ricard has decided to dump the Montana brand name and re-name New Zealand’s flagship Sauvignon Blanc, Brancott Estate.

English and Welsh wine awards celebrate 'world class rosés'

The results of the English & Welsh Wine of the Year Competition are in. 

A record number of medals were awarded across the style categories by a judging panel of five Masters of Wine, chaired by Susan McCraith MW.  According to the organisers, results showed the quality of the 2009 vintage, particularly in the dry white and still rosé categories. Sparkling wines were consistently impressive.

Foster's teams up with Southern Wine & Spirits

US: Foster's Wine Estates has announced long-term distribution agreements with Southern Wine & Spirits in three US markets.

Denmark/Holland: South African wine is a winner

South Africa-based wine company Origin Wine has announced growth in Holland, and Denmark for its brands Stormhoek and Fairhills.

Foster's Group to separate beer and wine

Foster’s Group plans to create separate stock exchange listings for its beer and wine divisions.

Research: consumers spend more on off-trade wine

Research commissioned by the Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) in the UK, has shown a further shift to the off-trade in terms of wine consumption.

Bordeaux study shows wine oxidises in plastic after six months

A major scientific study into the storage of wine in different forms of packaging has revealed that the bag-in-box, single-layer PET and small multi-layer PET altered the character of white wines when stored over six months, with oxidation clearly noticeable.

Foster's to launch sparkling rosé

Australian wine brand Wolf Blass is to launch a sparkling rosé wine at the London International Wine Fair.

Asia: Women prefer red wine

Red is the most popular choice of wine for Asian women, according to new research.

Italy: Guerrieri Rizzardi appoints new marketing boss

Italian wine producer Guerrieri Rizzardi has announced the re-appointment of Rupert Dean, as international sales & marketing manager.

South African wine gets sustainability seal

The South African wine industry has launched a new sustainability seal, as a guarantee of environmentally-sensitive production.

Off Piste appoints new chairman

Off trade wine supplier Off Piste has appointed a new chairman. Jerry Lockspeiser, who founded Bottle Green in 1990, is to help guide the business’s strategic development.

Naked Wines launches advanced bookings

UK wine retailer Naked Wines has launched a new service that allows UK wine drinkers to buy wines for less than they cost at the cellar door.

Chile: Colchagua Valley wineries lose 25 million litres in earthquake

Chile: The Asociación de Viñas de Colchagua and the Colchagua Valley Wine Route have estimated a loss of 25 million litres of wine as a result of the earthquake.

First Cape launches low alcohol wine

First Cape wine is launching lower-alcohol (5.5% abv) extension of its First Cape brand.