In Brief

14 November, 2008

Pernod Ricard recruits outsider

Pernod Ricard has appointed a chief executive from outside the Ricard family for the first time in its 76-year history. Pierre Pringuet, currently Pernod's deputy chief executive, will replace Patrick Ricard, who has led the group for more than 30 years. Ricard will maintain his position as chairman.

Festival Wines shuts shop

Organic wine merchant Festival Wines has shut its Brighton shop to concentrate on its wholesale operation. Owner Ben Walgate opened a shop selling only organic and biodynamic wines, plus local organic beers, in November 2006. But the business, which was using the shop as its office, outgrew its tiny premises and moved its warehouse to Chichester, West Sussex. Walgate said the retail operation wasn't able to sustain itself alone, and it closed in April.

WSTA denies heavy metal claim

The WSTA has calmed fears raised by media reports that wines contain harmful heavy metals. A study reported in Kingston University's Chemistry Central Journal found that many table wines from around the world contained potentially toxic metal ions. The WSTA said: "Wine sold in the UK has to comply with European legislation governing ingredients and the winemaking process and UK food safety legislation. "

Glenfarclas backs the races

Glenfarclas Scotch Whisky is sponsoring five cross-country steeplechases between now and March. Any horse that remains in the same ownership throughout the five races will be eligible to race at Cheltenham for double prize money.

Chalié selected by Sir Cliff

Chalié Richards has been appointed distributor for Sir Cliff Richard's Portuguese wines Vida Nova and Onda Nova. The Vida Nova range includes a rosé, Aragon és/Syrah/Trincadeira/Alicante blend (rrp £7.49)

and a Reserva Syrah/Aragon és blend (rrp £10.99). Onda Nova is available as a rosé and a Syrah (rrp £7.99). The wines are made at the Adega do Cantor (Winery of the Singer)

in the Algarve.

BrewDog chief bound for BBC3

James Watt, managing director of beer company Brew Dog, is to star in a new BBC3 series - The Last Millionaire - competing against 11 other entrepreneurs as they attempt to make money from scratch in six cities around the world. "This was a good challenge .

The BrewDog ethos of being edgy, creative, and making opportunities out of situations that others don't spot served me well," Watt said.

Tendler heads up Miller sales

Miller Brands UK has appointed Darren Tendler as sales director following Nick Miller's


to managing director. Tendler, who joined Miller Brands in 2006 as director of sales for the off-trade, will take up the role with immediate effect.

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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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