In Brief

19 September, 2008

European partnership

William Grant & Sons and Rémy Cointreau have announced a partnership agreement across Europe. In the UK, Grant subsidiary First Drinks Brands will become the distributor for the Rémy portfolio, which includes Rémy Martin Cognacs, Cointreau, Piper-Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck Champagnes, and Mount Gay rum . The UK deal becomes effective on April 1 2009 - immediately after Rémy withdraws from the Maxxium group .

New owner for Palandri

Palandri Wines has emerged from administration with a new name and

owner. The Western Australian producer will now be known as 3 Oceans Wine, after being

bought by Chinese entrepreneur Xibo Ma - previously the second biggest shareholder in Palandri.

Focus on Nottage Hill Constellation has pledged to focus on its mid-priced Nottage Hill brand, despite pressure to push entry-level wines in today's uncertain economic conditions. "The £7.99 price bracket is an important one for us - there's evidence that consumers are still trading up," said corporate oenologist Bill Hardy. The

company's latest TV ad campaign, part of a £12 million investment, will move away from talking about the heritage of the Hardys brand and will instead promote Nottage Hill.

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So, George The Bear is back. It’s hard for some of us oldies to fathom, but there are those under, say, 40 who can’t actually remember Hofmeister and feel the cultural jolt supplied by the return of both the bear and the beer whose marketing campaigns it used to front.

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Is blended Scotch overshadowed by single malt in retailers?

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