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. 

The UK’s leading retailers, bar operators and communicators were rewarded for their hard work in making rum one of the BWS trade’s most dynamic categories at OLN’s inaugural Think Rum event yesterday.

Liberty Wines has reached an agreement to become UK distributor for Sogrape, whose portfolio includes Mateus rosé, Sandeman port and various ranges from around the world.

Gin sales grew 14.5% to £420 million in UK supermarkets in 2016, making it the best performing spirits category.

BWS sales grew 5.7% over Christmas and drove the FMCG market to its best festive performance in four years (Nielsen, four weeks to December 31, 2016).

Portsmouth City Council has failed in a bid to outlaw Oranjeboom lager and K cider on grounds they promote irresponsible drinking.

BWS sales grew by 5.7% over Christmas, making it the second best performing FMCG category and helping drive the market to its best festive performance in four years (Nielsen, four weeks to December 31, 2016).

Think Rum to maximise profit

09 January, 2017

Rum is currently a star performer in the UK, with sales up 12% in the on-trade and 3% in the off-trade, with independents and c-stores growing sales by 6% (Nielsen and CGA).

María José Sevilla is stepping down as UK director of generic body Foods & Wines from Spain.

Mont Ventoux has a special place in cycling folklore as its gruelling 6,273ft peak has overwhelmed some of the sport’s leading stars during the Tour de France.

Shingadia: "great advice"

Nielsen research shows that 90% of UK households buy alcohol at least once a year, but only 30% buy it from a c-store.

Origin Wines aims to use craft wine, fruit wine, small formats and interesting bottles to demystify wine, attract millennials and reinvigorate the market.

McGuigan Wines is targeting UK independents with wines showcasing regionality, distinctiveness and personality after winning IWSC Winemaker of the Year for a record fourth year running. 

Chivite plots UK comeback

13 December, 2016

Chivite is seeking to re-establish itself as a leading supplier of mid-tier Spanish wines to the UK trade after a cash injection from venture capitalists.

A family making site specific, fruit forward wines is targeting UK independent wine merchants that can hand sell its premium Spanish range.

Delibo Wine Agencies has expanded its portfolio with the addition of the Footprint range from South Africa’s Western Cape.   

The UK’s largest spirits supplier has a new general manager after Charles Ireland took over from Andrew Cowan at Diageo GB.

Cider: ripe for growth

25 November, 2016

Britain has entered the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, the falling apples are ripe to the core and the cider presses are in full flow. Autumn is a time of change and it is easy to become overwhelmed by Keatsian wistfulness as you stroll through the Herefordshire countryside, taking in landscapes brimming with yellow, red and gold and breathing in the sweet scents.

Britain’s two most famous Davids recently visited the Cameronbridge distillery in eastern Scotland – former prime minister Cameron and former England captain, style icon and all-round superstar Beckham. It’s not hard to guess which one caused the off-duty female staff to come into work simply to catch a glimpse. Beckham has regularly been voted the world’s best looking man, while Cameron has been described as a “slightly camp gammon robot… a C3PO made of ham”.

Supermarkets are going all out to drive footfall on Black Friday by offering huge discounts on beers, wines and spirits.

Doing their bit for charity

Drinks trade charity The Benevolent is hosting an inaugural online auction tomorrow to raise money for members of the industry that have fallen on hard times.

Jägermeister has launched a TV ad campaign designed to reach 18 to 34-year-old men in the run up to Christmas.

Luxury retailer Harrods has reported an upsurge in sales of premium port and believes more shoppers now see it as a wine to be enjoyed all year.

OLN discovers how Beer Hawk has become successful enough to feather its nest for the future and its plans to target the retail trade with a variety of beers...

Wine could be the big winner if minimum unit pricing comes into force in Scotland, according to analysis from Nielsen.

The drinks industry can thrive going forwards by championing British products and continuing to work in partnership with government on social policies, according to leading trade commentators. 

Reducing the Strength schemes are on the ropes as the buzz around them has died down and retailers are feeling confident to resist. 

The chief executive of Virgin Wines has urged the wine trade to stop moaning about tough exchange rates and work harder to maintain profits.

Brexit minister David Jones MP has promised he will do everything he can to ensure the drinks industry continues to thrive after Britain leaves the EU.

OLN publisher buys SITT

10 November, 2016

OLN publisher Agile Media has acquired SITT, the leading tasting for independent drinks merchants, from William Reed.

Anne Burchett has resigned as Managing Director UK & Ireland at Sopexa and will leave the company on November 10.

The creators of Coravin have taken over one of the big electronic billboards at London’s Piccadilly Circus to tell passers-by to Stop Screwing Around.

A new team featuring Justin Knock MW, Damien Jackman, Rosamund Barton, Rupert Ponsonby and Sue Glasgow has been assembled to promote Californian wines in the UK.

Pinkster gin has bolstered in sales force and management team following a £1 million crowdfunding drive earlier this year.

The trend that has seen Brits choosing to drink beer at home rather than go to the pub has continued as off-trade beer sales grew 0.3% in volume in the year to September 2016.

Chile has leapfrogged Spain and South Africa to become the UK’s fifth largest wine supplier, while New Zealand and Argentina continue to enjoy surging sales.

The Co-operative has declared that the UK is “stuck in a wine rut” after surveying a thousand shoppers and finding that 52% have been drinking the same stuff for more than a decade.

AB-InBev has reported that it grew UK volume sales “in the low single digits” as it released global Q3 figures showing revenue grew 2.8%.

Aldi and Lidl are the big winners when it comes to attracting millennial shoppers, according to new research from Nielsen.

The National Association of Cidermakers has a new chair and deputy chair after Martin Thatcher’s reign came to an end.

Online retailer Rude Wines has launched a “cheeky duo” of own-label wines from France in a bid to inspire more consumers to choose quality wine.

Britain’s best beer retailers were honoured for their achievements in championing our country’s thriving brewing industry at an awards ceremony at the House of Commons yesterday.

Eighty-five per cent of BWS retailers expect trading this Christmas to be at least as good as last year, if not better.

Adnams has opened a pop-up shop in the centre of Chelmsford in Essex as it continues to expand its retail empire across East Anglia.

Hungarian wine could enjoy a revival in the UK after one leading supplier decided to champion the category through a range of branded and own-label wines.

Online retailer Beer Hawk is hiring 30 new staff and increasing storage capacity 10-fold to capitalise on the UK’s burgeoning love of craft beer from around the world.

More than 200 Bargain Booze and Wine Rack franchisees have seen their loyalty rewarded with shares in the business.

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Looking back to look forward

Wine is a liquid time capsule. Drinking older vintages not only recalls the weather conditions and winemaking styles of the past, it encourages us to reflect upon our own histories. Such reminiscence often inclines towards romanticised nostalgia. Especially after the second bottle. But looking back is a great way of learning about the future.

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