In Brief

23 March, 2007

Concert push for cider

Scottish & Newcastle UK's Jacques fruit cider has signed a three-year deal with English Heritage to sponsor a series of open air concerts across the UK. Music on a Summer Evening and the Tatton Park Picnic Concerts will feature Lemar, Beverley Knight, Jools Holland, Lulu and Lesley Garrett.

Drinks shop licence row

Rival drinks shop owners in Kent are facing court over an alcohol licence feud. John Maxwell-Jones, the owner of Burgess Stores in Goudhurst, is calling on magistrates to ban a neighbouring farm shop from selling alcohol, saying it has breached a planning condition that 85 per cent of goods should be grown on the farm. Alastair Jessel, of Taywell Farm shop, said most of his alcohol is locally sourced.

"We only sell alcohol from Kent and East Sussex, and stock no national brands. It's a complete personal vendetta but what I think is sad is that we should be fighting the supermarkets - I'm not there to fight a local shop," he said.

Fruit wine range

Fuller's has repackaged a range of country wines it inherited when it took over Hampshire brewer Gales and will release them to the market next month.

The 12 different wines, including Damson, Apricot, Sloe and Blackberry, will come in 75cl screwcap bottles with newly-designed labels showing images of the fruit . They will be priced at £5.99-£6.99. The wines are made by blending grape must with fruit and fermenting them together to 14.5 per cent abv.

New faces at Negociants UK

Fine wine shipper Negociants UK has appointed Penny Champion managing director and Ken Withers national accounts manager. Champion joins from Peter Lehmann Wines where she worked for six years, and Withers moves from Australia where he worked with Negociants Australia in Adelaide and Sydney from 1998 to 2005.

Priorato release for Torres

Torres has launched its first wine from Priorato. Salmos, from the 2005 vintage, is a blend of Spanish and international varieties Garnacha, Cariñena, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, aged for nine months in French oak barrels. The wine will be exported to 35 countries , with 300 cases going to the UK on and off-trades. Suggested retail price will be £13.99.

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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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