Australia has long been head and shoulders above the other wine producing countries in UK volume and value sales, but sales have finally started to dip slightly. The only top 10 countries of origin in growth – New Zealand, Argentina and Chile – all have a higher average bottle price than Australia, so it is arguably time for the industry to come together to drive value into the Australia category to preserve its long-term health.

More than 250 wines will be poured at the Wines of Germany trade tasting at the Hospital Club in London on May 9.

A leading cider producer has challenged the anti-alcohol lobby over the unsubstantiated claims it has been making about white cider in the national media.

Lanchester Wines has bolstered its sales team in a bid to re-establish itself as a quality supplier and target numerous trade channels with “boutique bulk” wine.

One million vines are being planted across England in 2017 to meet soaring demand for homegrown bubbly and still wines from grapes such as Bacchus and Pinot Noir. That is enough to fill Hyde Park, and the names of the producers planting the vines gives cause for excitement. 

Australian winery Oxford Landing has launched a premium tier called Marty’s Block to honour the estate’s long-serving vineyard manager.

Spanish wine sales can return to growth in the next year thanks to its diversity and ability to compete at both ends of the market, according to a leading importer.

Morrisons' wine buying manager Andrew Ingham is leaving the retailer to take over as category manager for wine at Greene King.

Majestic ran a blind tasting exercise with 1,100 shoppers and found that 66% preferred its new Majestic Loves range to supermarket wines of a similar price.

Sogrape has strengthened its bond with UK distributor Liberty Wines by purchasing a minority stake in the business.

Oxford battled to victory over bitter rivals Cambridge in the Boat Race yesterday and the winners celebrated by spraying jeroboams of Chapel Down all over each other.

Tesco has been named the brand most associated with Brexit in the wake of a feud with Heineken that saw the supermarket delist 22 of its SKUs.

The first episode of wine podcast A Glass With featured pop superstar Pink, and producer Richard Hemming MW has revealed they became friends after she followed him on Twitter.

OLN’s resident MW Richard Hemming is teaming up with wine personality and all round jolly good fellow Olly Smith for a new podcast.

Sainsbury’s has completed its biggest wine range review in years after seeking to answer shoppers’ desires for more unusual styles, make the fixture easier to navigate and simplify pricing. 

Prosecco sales are forecast to grow 17.3% to 8.3 million cases by 2020 and Brits’ insatiable thirst for the Italian sparkler will prop up an otherwise declining category.

Fine wine specialist Friarwood is putting the focus firmly on retail and e-commerce as it celebrates its 50th birthday this year.

Peter Bowen started the business in 1967, when he began importing top Bordeaux direct from the châteaux and supplying the UK on-trade.

Heineken is launching a 0% abv lager under its eponymous brand in response to the growing consumer trend for moderation.

Treasury Wine Estates has appointed Tom King as managing director for Europe after Dan Townsend sadly passed away.

The soaring popularity of gin and fruit cider has been cemented as the Office for National Statistics including the drinks in the virtual basket it uses to measure inflation.

Treasury Wine Estates’ European managing director Dan Townsend has sadly passed away.

The Rothschild Collection will make its London Wine Fair debut this year and a special invitation-only tasting will see one bottle of 2010 Chateau Lafite opened.

The UK’s leading gin retailers, bar operators, wholesalers and communicators were honoured for their hard work in making it the UK's most exciting and trendiest drinks category at our third annual Think Gin event this week.

The cider industry took a battering in the Chancellor’s March Budget and warned the decision will threaten the health of several British businesses.

Southern belles

27 February, 2017

The Languedoc-Roussillon region produces 16 million hl per year, making it bigger than Australia, Argentina, China and Africa in terms of output.

Independent wine merchants can taste wines from small producers encapsulating what modern Portugal does best when they visit SITT next week.

Independent wine merchants can bolster their spring and summer ranges by choosing from an eclectic array of interesting and nuanced wines at the upcoming SITT events.

The case for cutting spirits duty was taken into the heart of Westminster today when the Scotch Whisky Association met Jane Ellison MP, financial secretary to the Treasury.

Independent wine merchants looking for new wines offering a point of difference can feast their tastebuds on Croatian orange wine, Slovenian sparkling wine and many more undiscovered gems at SITT.

Scotch whisky has enjoyed a reversal of fortunes in the UK market and demand is now soaring among British drinkers, Government figures have revealed.

Millar (centre) clutches the Vintners' Cup

Jason Millar is the proud new holder of the Vintners Cup after posting the best score on the WSET Level 4 diploma course in 2016.

Liberty Wines has bolstered its portfolio with the Sogrape range as part of an ongoing effort to make it “as de-list proof as possible” amid the consolidation gripping the trade.

Virgin Wines capped a strong 2016 by enjoying its best ever Christmas trading period and partly attributes its success to winning over younger adults.

Hallgarten Druitt said it grew turnover by £1.8 million in the past year but profit fell £1 million due to the sterling’s plummeting value.

Scottish wholesaler Inverarity Morton has finalised its offering after a three-year merger process and is now targeting indies in England as it marches southwards.

Branson with his creation

The creator of non-alcoholic spirit Seedlip is gearing up for a host of new listings for the brand, as well as a pipeline of NPD, following the success of the original two variants launched in 2016.

Cabrières benefits from volcanic soil

Crush Wines has experienced such high demand for its Bijou rosé that it has been forced to expand out of its Cabrières heartland and source grapes from other appellations.

Coco Rocha celebrates International Scotch Day

Today is International Scotch Day, created by Diageo to showcase Scotch whisky’s diversity and versatility and broaden its appeal among different demographics.

Lidl, Waitrose and Sainsbury's were among the retailers honoured at the Drinks Retailing Awards as leading lights from across the drinks trade converged on The Dorchester on Tuesday night.

The dreaded Dry January turned out to be something of a damp squib as sales of beers wines and spirits grew 2.1% in the four weeks to January 28, making it the best performing FMCG category.

Chilean producer Santa Rita Estates has joined the Conviviality revolution by signing a UK distribution deal with PLB.

Booths enjoyed 4.3% sales growth on its own-label wine in December after overhauling the range and championing premium wines and classic regions.

The family that created Kumala and turned it into a leading brand in the UK is targeting the UK with a new bulk wine supply business.

Gladwin: beer with a bite

Majestic Wine has demonstrated its continued focus on the beer category by giving a national listing to organic Scottish brewer Black Isle.

Diageo said sales in Great Britain “were broadly flat” in the second half of 2016 as global sales rose 4.4%.

Michèle Haddon has taken over as managing director for Sopexa UK and Ireland after Anne Burchett left the business in late 2016.

Online retailer Virgin Wines grew sales 15.4% in the run up to Christmas, making it the best festive trading period in its history.

Concha y Toro believes it now owns more hectares under vine than anyone else on the planet, with 9,194ha in Chile, 1,142ha in Argentina and 468ha in California. It is a colossal player in the wine world, dwarfing all other South American producers, and its largest market is the UK.

Vinexpo is targeting 10 leading UK buyers to be part of a 100-strong annual buying trip taking in some of the most unheralded but progressive regions.

Drinks trade charity The Benevolent has appointed industry veteran Tom Yusef as chairman following the completion of Dan Townsend’s successful two-year tenure. 

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COMMENT

Rosé tinted glasses

I was asked recently what I thought the biggest change had been in wine fashion in the past five years. My answer was unequivocal: sales of pink wines. From being a niche that expanded and contracted with the sunshine, rosé has subtly but steadily become a stalwart of many merchants’ ranges, with Provence firmly at the top and asked for by name.

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