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.