John Townend, chairman of Hull-based wine merchant the House of Townend, celebrated 50 years in the trade at an anniversary lunch at the Willerby Manor Hotel on Nov 6, where he was joined by past and present colleagues, family and friends. In his speech, Townend described his time with the company as "a fantastic roller coaster over half a century". He added: "It has been for me lots of fun and excitement, meeting people at home and abroad in this wonderful wine trade, the friendliest of businesses."
Whyte & Mackay has
become sole distributor for Pinky vodka in the UK. The Swedish vodka, infused with violets, rose petals and strawberries, is available through Whyte & Mackay representatives or the customer helpline 0141 249 6211.
All go at Merrydown
Merrydown Cider is mulling releasing 33cl plastic bottles in the off-trade. The company created the crown-capped bottles to sell Merrydown Gold at festivals, and managing director Chris Carr said they could interest supermarket buyers because they are lightweight and smaller than glass bottles, so more could fit on shelves. Merrydown has also developed a
Made With Love
strapline and logo which will feature on shelf barkers and cash and carry POS materials, as well as in the on-trade. Carr is working with wine writer and broadcaster Joe Wadsack to match Merrydown with food in preparation for a campaign next year.
Low-alcohol Fairtrade wines
Origin Wine is launching what it says is the first Fairtrade low-alcohol wine range from South Africa. Fairhills is a joint venture between the Stellenbosch-based company and 10 producers of the Du Toitskloof co-operative in the Rawsonville area. The†four-strong range consists of Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Shiraz and rosť, each with 9 per cent abv (rrp £4.99). Origin Fairhills
Spritzer is also being rolled out to the UK.
MP pressures for change
Hendon MP Andrew Dismore is urging the government to put pressure on the European Commission to allow reverse osmosis and spinning cone technology to be used in the production of low-alcohol wines. The MP tabled an early day motion on Nov 7 saying the methods "present no threat to consumer health" and would give consumers more choice. Under current EU wine laws, wines made using these methods cannot be sold in the UK.
Moves to help homeless
The Drinkaware Trust is joining homelessness charity Crisis to help cut alcohol misuse among homeless teenagers. The responsible drinking charity is sponsoring the Crisis Consequences project which will see musicians such as Supergrass, The Enemy, Paul Weller and Graham Coxon come together to record a one-off music track and perform live at a charity gig in Camden next March.