News in brief

06 September, 2007

Playford Ros has become the UK agent for Villa Sandi, a Veneto-based Prosecco specialist. Playford Ros managing director Andrew Firth said: "With the growing interest in Prosecco, we are delighted to be agents for such an exciting brand and look forward to developing this within the UK marketplace."

Spanish umbrella brand Marqués de la Concordia has launched an addition to its Durius range - Durius Natural Reserve. The range - a Syrah, Tempranillo/Merlot and Tempranillo - is produced at Hacienda Unamuno in the Arribes del Duero national park, the largest natural protected area of vines and olives in Europe. Hacienda Unamuno was established in 2001 after being awarded unique status to establish a 70ha vineyard. Two per cent of the profits from every bottle sold will be invested back into local communities.

Portuguese wines are among those on special offer at Morrisons this month. Discounts of up to £2 will be given on selected wines of Portugal between Sept 10 and Oct 7, as well as selected wines from other regions. The supermarket will also be cutting the price of its organic wines by a third from Sept 3 to 16 in support of Organic Fortnight.

Origin Wine has opened a UK office to support a marketing push for Fairhills - its South African and Argentinian Fairtrade brand. The company, which was founded in 2002, works in partnership with Du Toitskloof winery in South Africa and Bodegas y Viñedos Amadeo de Marañon in Argentina. Former Western Wines sales director Jon Woodriffe will head up the UK office. "We plan to expand the Fairhills range into Chile in 2008. We already have excellent distribution in the UK and are very excited to be launching here," he said.

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English wine: a happy harvest for Christmas

All across England and Wales, vineyards are being harvested. Down winding country lanes come armies of welly-wearing conscripts wielding secateurs and buckets, ready to reap the rewards of our vines. Happily they come, their cheeks ruddy with pride. Half an hour later they’re crawling over muddy clods with lacerated hands, drenched in claggy juice and cold sweat, as if ploughing through an endurance race.

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