News in brief

25 January, 2008

Maison Louis Latour has bought Beaujolais producer Henry Fessy. The acquisition will leave Fessy in charge of the business but allow it to use Latour's global export resources. Maison Louis Latour chief executive, Louis-Fabrice Latour, said: "For centuries, the Beaujolais region has produced some outstanding wines and, despite current difficulties in some areas, we believe that the region has a great future."

Chilean wine company Casa Lapostolle has appointed Berkmann Wine Cellars sole distributor in the UK. The agreement starts with immediate effect. Agencies director Louise Perry-Sanderson said: "Casa Lapostolle fits perfectly with the overall Berkmann portfolio of premium family-owned wine companies, putting quality at the heart of everything they do."

Andrew Peace Wines has been signed up as a sponsor of the 2008 Engage Super Rugby League. The deal includes placement of pitch-side advertising boards for the Australian wine brand at 15 Super League matches. Andrew Peace, who launched a range of wines in Tetra Pak cartons in the UK last year, is also planning to launch a consumer website later this year.

FirstCape has opened a new production plant in South Africa to respond to growth in demand for the brand in the UK and Europe. The Simondium facility near Franschoek includes two high-speed bottling lines and a central blending cellar with specialised winemaking facilities.

H&H Bancroft has renamed its Cairnbrae New Zealand wine range Wild South. Until now, the two names have been used for the same wine for different markets, but will be distributed under one from the 2007 vintage. A spokesman said: "It has been done to make things clearer."

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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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