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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.

Jack Daniel’s holds fourth ‘birthday’ cocktail competition

Jack Daniel’s celebrated the 160th birthday of its founder this month, with the fourth edition of its UK cocktail competition.

Panama grants scotch whisky GI

Scotch whisky has been granted geographical indication of origin (GI) in Panama.

Bartenders draw swords in Blood Mary challenge

Seven of London’s top bartenders did battle at the inaugural Tabasco British Bloody Mary Challenge in Selfridges’ Hix Restaurant & Champagne Bar.

Hennessy goes for Gold

UK: Hennessy will mark 54 years of continuous partnership - British racing’s longest commercial sponsorship - at this year’s Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury Racecourse on November 27.

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.

Adnams opens spirits distillery

UK beer brewer Adnams has opened a small-scale distillery, producing vodka, gin and whisky.

Drambuie creates royal cocktail

Whisky liqueur brand Drambuie has created a cocktail to celebrate the announcement of Prince William’s engagement to Kate Middleton.

EU spirits producers back responsible drinking

The European Spirits Organisation (CEPS) has launched a new five-year commitment to promote responsible drinking.

Baron de Ley-El Coto buys Rioja winery

Spanish wine group Baron de Ley-El Coto has announced the purchase of winery Carbonera-Bergasa as part of a €5m investment in Rioja white wines.

Sales of European spirits reach £58 billion in 2009

The economic contribution of Europe's spirits industry to the European economy has been revealed in a new report. The report was prepared by Ernst & Young and commissioned by CEPS – the trade body for the European spirits industry.

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.

JF Hillebrand acquires Lagena Distribution

Logistics company JF Hillebrand has acquired Lagena Distribution, the Stockholm-based distributors.

Marie Brizard holds International Bartender Seminar

The Marie Brizard Belvédère Group hosted 43 bartenders from 27 countries at the 27th International Bartender Seminar (IBS).

Scotland: Minimum pricing rejected

The trade has welcomed the Scottish Parliament’s decision to reject minimum pricing. This was the final time in which MSPs could vote to decisively keep minimum pricing out of the Alcohol Bill. The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has consistently argued that minimum pricing would be illegal and ineffective in addressing misuse, whilst significantly damaging one of Scotland’s key industries.

India: Diageo launches 21 yo Johnnie Walker

Diageo has launched a new expression of its Johnnie Walker scotch whisky in Delhi duty free. Johnnie Walker XR 21 year old is now available in T3, Indira Gandhi International Airport.

Best Bar in the World revealed

A London speakeasy has been named the best bar in the world, according to an industry poll.

International Spirits Challenge results revealed

The International Spirits Challenge winners were announced at a ceremony in London last night.

China: Scotch whisky gets geographical protection

China - an important market for scotch whisky – has announced that it will recognise and protect ‘scotch whisky’ as a Geographical Indication (GI).

Laphroaig voted best single malt

Laphroaig Quarter Cask has been voted Scotland’s best single malt by The Whisky Shop.

Scotch whisky exports rise in H1 2010

Scotch whisky exports are up 17% compared with last year, with nine of the category’s top ten markets in growth.

Elitemarket.com launches virtual whisky cellar

Elitemarket.com has created a virtual cellar for online shoppers to view, research and buy single malt scotch whiskies.

Guala Closures to invests €11m after acquiring plant

Guala Closures, the bottle closure producer, will invest €11m on new machinery following the acquisition of an aluminium printing and cutting facility.

Foster's appoints CFO

Foster's Group has appointed Anthony Reeves to the role of chief financial officer (CFO), on a fixed term contract, effective from Monday 8 November 2010.

Nemiroff starts production in Belarus

Ukrainian vodka producer Nemiroff has started producing its vodka in Belarus. Nemiroff has partnered with Minsk Kristall in Belarus, which is part of national food processing company Belgospischeprom.

Estonian crowned Best Baltic Sommelier

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

Proximo and Marblehead strike distribution deal

US spirits company Proximo has entered into a UK distribution agreement with Marblehead Brand Development.

Nemiroff extends vodka production to Belarus

Ukrainian brand Nemiroff has begun producing vodka in the Republic of Belarus.

Diageo releases ‘special’ single malts

Diageo has launched its autumn Special Release Series, a collection of single malt scotch whiskies aimed at the world’s top bars and whisky connoisseurs.

Cognac scheme to support small producers

Les Compagnons du Cognac, a social enterprise designed to support and protect small and independent producers of VSOP and XO cognac, is about to be launched.

Napa Valley enjoys protection in India

The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) has announced that the ‘Napa Valley’ name has been granted Geographic Indication Status (GI) in India.

South Africa/Ireland: Jameson launches new expression

Irish whiskey Jameson has launched a new expression in South Africa. Jameson Select Reserve is made from a blend of small batch grain whiskey, not found in any other Jameson expression, and single Irish pot still whiskey.

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.

Glenglassaugh releases ‘Manager’s Legacy’ range

Whisky brand Glenglassaugh has announced the release of a limited edition range of single malt scotches named ‘Manager’s Legacy’.

Africa: Diageo completes US$60m brewery acquisition

East African Breweries Limited (EABL), a subsidiary of Diageo, has completed the acquisition of 51% of the issued share capital of Serengeti Breweries Limited (SBL). EABL made the purchase from existing shareholders for a total consideration of approximately US$60.4million.

Smirnoff announces ‘nightlife exchange project’

Diageo brand Smirnoff has announced ‘country pairings’ for its global nightlife exchange project.

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.

New SABMiller president for Latin America appointed

SABMiller has appointed Karl Lippert as its new president of Latin America, following the announcement of Barry Smith’s retirement.

Drinks International Travel Retail Awards announced

Drinks International Travel Retail Awards trophy winners were announced during the Tax Free World Association exhibition in Cannes this week (October 19).

American wins sommelier world cup in South Africa

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

Absolut Watkins - a new limited edition is unveiled

The Absolut Company Global Travel Retail threw a swish party in Cannes last night (October 18) to unveil its latest limited edition Absolut vodka.

New York is tough

New York is tough for a small company trying to get its brand listed and stocked in the city, according to the chief executive of Xanté, the Swedish company with the eponymous cognac and pear liqueur brand.

SABMiller reveals lager growth in Africa and Asia

SABMiller has recorded double-digit lager sales growth in its African and Asian markets

Brooklyn Lager launches in India

Brooklyn Brewery, New York’s craft beer company, has launched Brooklyn Lager and East India Pale Ale in India.

Altia buys cognac Renault from Pernod Ricard

Altia has signed an agreement to acquire cognac brand Renault from Pernod Ricard for a cash consideration of €10m.

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

Santa Teresa’s ‘gangster reform programme’ to go national.

The gang rehabilitation programme, created by Venezuelan rum brand Santa Teresa, is being rolled out to the most dangerous districts of Caracas.

Jacob’s Creek campaign to be aired on Dave

Pernod Ricard has agreed a six-month sponsorship deal with UK TV channel Dave for its Australian wine brand Jacob’s Creek.