Wine in brief

27 June, 2008

Alsace wines grew sales by 7.9% to £5.4 million in the UK in 2007, and boosted volumes 2.4% to 12,800hl. The UK is the sixth-biggest export market for Alsace, which grew its overall volumes by 0.8% to 1.1 million hl

and sales by 3% to S494.2 million last year.

Tuscan producer Castello Banfi has appointed Dante Cecchini as its first brand ambassador for the UK. Cecchini has worked for Banfi for seven years in PR and will now relocate to London to oversee the company's wines in the UK market. Banfi's wines are distributed by Vinum in the UK.

Rhône producer Vignerons des 4 Chemins is launching three rosés in different styles, which come with transparent PVC ice bags to keep them chilled.

Pernod Ricard is releasing 10 limited edition 12-bottle cases of what it says is the world's first tailor-made Champagne - Perrier-Jouët's By & For cuvée - targeted at elite wine connoisseurs. Only 100 cases will be made available around the world, and purchasing customers get a luxury package, including a visit to the brand's private house, where they can discuss customising the cuvée to their particular palate.

Mentzendorff raised £8,000 for the Wine

& Spirits Trades' Benevolent Society in an annual bike ride from Calais to the Champagne region. Retail wine merchant Philip Amps, of Amps Fine Wines in Oundle, Cambs, was among those joining Mentzendorff managing director Andrew Hawes and other employees, principals and customers of the Bollinger Champagne distributor on the ride.

The 2008 Wines of Chile trade tasting will be at the Royal Horticultural

conference centre in London on Sept 9. There will be around 80 stands showing 1,000 wines, with focus tastings on Carmenère, Sauvignon Blanc and 2008 award winners.

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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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