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. 

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. 

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What makes wine special

Reaching the 50th instalment of Hemming’s Way is hardly the biggest milestone, but I don’t need much of an excuse to pour myself a glass of champagne before getting dressed. It’s a better reason than I had for all 49 other instalments, anyway. Not that that stopped me.

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