News in brief

13 July, 2007

Alsace is set to produce its second blended Grand Cru wine from this year. Alsace Grand Cru Kaefferkopf - a blend of Gew ürztraminer and Riesling - is produced from granite and limestone vineyards around Ammerschwihr close to Colmar. The wine - which has been produced for over 200 years - was given Grand Cru status by the INAO in January, after years of negotiations. Around 55 growers and 35 producers/winemakers will be included in the appellation - the 51st in Alsace.

Louis Latour Agencies has appointed Nick McKenzie to its UK sales team. McKenzie will be responsible for London accounts, reporting to sales director Tony Schendel and promoting the agencies' family-run wineries including Maison Louis Latour of Burgundy, McHenry Hohnen of Margaret River, Warwick Estate of Stellenbosch, and J Vidal -Fleury of Rhône Valley.

HBJ has launched a range of Austrian wines from Weingut Steininger to the UK market. Four wines from the 2006 vintage will be launched initially - three Grüner Veltliners and a Riesling Kabinett. All are suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Enotria has appointed Mike Bentley as director of off-trade sales. Bentley was previously at Beringer Blass/Foster's EMEA, with responsibility for multiple grocers and specialist customers. He said: "Enotria's ambition is to become a global supplier of premium wines by building on its traditional Old World strengths and moving further into the New World to provide a truly universal offering."

Bestway is introducing a range of 25cl wines to its Cellar Estates portfolio, including red and white vins de table, Californian white, Californian Ruby Cabernet and Australian Chardonnay. The range 's wholesale price is £6.29 per case of six, with a retail price of £1.69 per bottle. Bestway is offering customers a free case of Australian Chardonnay when they buy four cases. Bestway's wine buyer Omar Ansari said: "The range has been launched in time for the summer trade, when the consumer is keen to take a pack of smaller bottles for picnics ." The bottles, plus POS materials, are available in all Bestway and Batley branches.

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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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Is blended Scotch overshadowed by single malt in retailers?

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