In Brief

13 June, 2008

Girelli steps down

Stefano Girelli has stepped down from involvement in the day-to-day running of Casa Girelli and Ethica - the grouping of eight wineries formed when Girelli was bought by Cantina La-Vis in 2005. Girelli said the decision had been taken "with real regret" although he remains on the board of directors.

Lions share for Diageo

Diageo has announced Guinness and Bushmills are to become commercial partners of the British & Irish Lions Tour of South Africa in 2009. Guinness will be

official sponsor of the 10-match tour

and Bushmills Irish whiskey will be the official supplier. Lee Bailey, Guinness sponsorship manager, said: "A British & Irish Lions rugby tour is always a hugely popular and well-watched sporting occasion in the UK and Ireland. It offers Guinness and Bushmills a fantastic opportunity to build excitement around the games and enhance fan involvement as much as possible."

Scotch helps tourism

Scotch whisky is playing an increasingly big role in Scotland's tourism industry, according to new research by Scotland Whisky, the national whisky tourism initiative. It says 1,233,696 visitors toured a distillery in 2007. This is a 2.6% increase in visitors over the

past three years. Visitors also made an increasingly important contribution to the local economy, with more than £22.4 million spent at whisky

attractions across


- a 17.8% increase over the same period.

Wine site overhaul

Consumer wine website has been given a top-to-toe redesign. Owner Tom Cannavan said the site had been reorganised to make it easier to navigate and make finding information more intuitive. "The new interface is cleaner, efficient and more pleasing on the eye," he added. Wine-pages was one of the world's first online wine magazines when it was launched in 1995.

Government drink tank

The government is planning a specialist squad to help areas with the most drink-related hospital admissions deal with their alcohol problems, according to reports. Health

secretary Alan Johnson is

to unveil a National Alcohol Support Team which will be deployed in the 10 worst-affected towns or local authority areas across England by next March.

Cider's football ads

Intercontinental Brands' St Helier cider is advertising on ITV1 and ITV4 during the Euro 2008 football championship. The company has signed a deal to broadcast 11 30-second ads during the 22-day tournament, which runs until June 29 - including during the final. ICB joint managing director Paul Burton said: "This sponsorship will give a huge boost to our brand awareness, encouraging brand recognition with both new and existing St Helier fans and continue its successful association with football."

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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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