Russia: Moscow is to ban sales of vodka between 10pm and 10am, according to reports.

Bushmills master distiller Colum Egan has announced the names of the nine contenders who will represent their countries in the international finals of its competition.

Beam Global Spirits & Wine is to push its Maker’s Mark brand in travel retail. A new campaign, created to enhance the travel experience, aims to raise awareness for Maker’s Mark amongst passengers and encompass advertising, in-store education, secondary displays and exclusive travel retail gift packs.

Bacardi Limited has appointed Stefan Bomhard to the role of regional president of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). He is to be responsible for this area’s commercial operations.

Carlton & United Breweries and Asahi Breweries have extended a long-term exclusive licence for Carlton to sell and market Asahi Super Dry in Australia.

UK: Constellation Europe’s Banrock Station brand is to launch special edition wines to help preserve the British bee population.

New Zealand/UK: NZ based ready to serve cocktail company VnC is to launch in the UK. The company has signed a distribution deal with Whyte & Mackay to launch into the UK market.

Highland Park has launched the third bottling from the distillery’s Orcadian Vintage Series - a 1970 Vintage.

UK: Russian Standard Vodka has launched an on-pack music promotion. Consumers will have the chance to win free tickets to music gigs as part of the Russian Standard Vodka Originals brand campaign.

Bruichladdich to make gin

03 August, 2010

Islay: Bruichladdich distillery has started to produce gin. The Islay distillery, usually associated with peaty whisky, began making its first batch of gin today (3 August).

Mount Gay rum has launched a new 'rare cask selection', called 1703.

An attempt by AB InBev  to register the Budweiser trademark  as a Community Trade Mark within the EU has been rejected by the European Court of Justice.

Stock Spirits has launched a 21 year old  single malt Czech whisky. The company believes it to be the only Bohemian single malt in the world.

Bacardi has announced two new board directors, Francisco V Carrera-Justiz and Theodore C Walker, who were elected at the company’s AGM in Hamilton, Bermuda.

Beam Global Spirits & Wine, the premium spirits business of Fortune Brands has announced plans to divest three of its German-market local brands. Kuemmerling bitters, Fûrst Bismarck korn/schnapps and Jacobi 1880 brandy are to be sold to Henkell & Co, the second largest distributor of wine and spirits in Germany.

Graham Beck dies

28 July, 2010

Graham Beck, the name behind one of South Africa’s best-known wine brands, has died aged 80.

Diageo has signed up rock band Killers frontman Brandon Flowers to help celebrate Guinness’s Arthur’s Day.

Pernod Ricard has created a new brand company for its wines and made several organisational changes to its overall structure.

The Alliance des Crus Bourgeois du Médoc in Bordeaux is to release the official list of new properties classified as ‘Cru Bourgeois’ on Sept 15.

LVMH has appointed a new CEO for Maison Moet et Chandon.

Pernod Ricard has announced the disposal, by its subsidiary Domecq Bodegas, of Spanish wine brands Marqués de Arienzo and Viña Eguίa. The sale also includes the related Bodega and 358 hectares of vineyards and lands.

As part of a previously-announced review of its wine operations, Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines has announced that it has sold its Barton & Guestier Bordeaux business to French Wine concern Castel Freres SAS. The sale includes brands, inventory and land, including Chateau Magnol.  The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

A collaboration between Peter Oberleithner (design, photography) and Karl Mayer of the Education and Research Centre for Viticulture and Pomology (technical texts), this new book is a detailed and beautifully photographed examination of how a wine is produced, beginning with the propagation of a vine and ending with bottling.

Diageo has announced the winner of its global bartender competition World Class. Erik Lorincz from the Connaught Bar at The Connaught, London, was crowned champion at a ceremony in Athens, Greece.

Not content with adding one new whisky to an award winning range, Angus Dundee Distillers has released three new expressions of its Glencadam Highland Single Malt.

South African premium winery Journey’s End has seen a huge upturn in sales in the first half of 2010, reporting sales growth of 500% over the period.

July 13, London: Dom Pérignon chef de cave Richard Geoffroy has presented the champagne’s latest vintage, from the much-heralded 2002 harvest, alongside the new Oenothèque Collection 1996 Dom Pérignon release.

Travel Retail: Pernod Ricard has revamped the packaging for its Ballantine’s blended Scotch whiskies. The revised prestige range first appeared on shelf in Asia Duty Free and includes Ballantine’s 17 Year Old, Ballantine’s 21 Year Old and Ballantine’s 30 Year Old.

An arbitration panel has said that the combination of Anheuser-Busch and InBev did not violate the investment agreement between Anheuser-Busch and Mexican drinks giant Grupo Modelo.

US: Diageo has launched two new flavours for its Smirnoff vodka brand – mango and peach.

Following a 2009 announcement that it would be moving its non-vintage and vintage cuvées to brown bottles, Roederer has started to roll out Brut Premier in brown bottles.

Diageo has appointed Gavin Pike to the role of global brand director for Johnnie Walker. Pike is currently marketing and innovation director, with Diageo’s venture, Brandhouse Beverages, in South Africa.

Central European Distribution Corporation (CEDC) has announced that it has decided not to pursue the acquisition of Ukrainian vodka company Nemiroff.

The makers of Sheep Dip whisky have launched a gin.

Spain/Portugal/Italy: Diageo has launched two ready to serve cocktails. The J&B Manhattan is to sell for €9.99 (70cl) and will roll out across Spain’s off-trade this month.  J&B blended scotch whisky is mixed with cherry and cranberry flavours as well as citrus and the product has an ABV of 14.9%.

David Stewart, The Balvenie malt master, has crafted a 40 year old single malt scotch whisky, aged in sherry casks and refill hogsheads. A batch of 150, hand numbered bottles of The Balvenie Forty will be available at selected travel retail outlets in the world’s leading airports, from July 2010.

Chivas Brothers is relaunching its Aberlour Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky range, upgrading packaging to bring a consistent premium look to the 12, 16 and 18 Year Old bottlings, alongside top-end A’bunadh.

US: Diageo has launched a range of brightly coloured flavoured vodkas called Ursus. The products feature a label that changes from white to blue when chilled in a freezer.

Diageo has redesigned its Smirnoff 21 packaging. The new bottles have launched in the UK and will roll out across the world from August.

UK: Alcohol awareness charity Drinkaware has found that more than half (53%) of parents who plan to provide their 16 and 17 year olds with alcohol for a week long summer holiday with friends will give them five or more bottles of spirits or wine.

The southern Rhône village of Rasteau has been granted its own appellation contrôlée (AOC), backdated to include the 2009 vintage.

Dutch beer Grolsch has announced a partnership with British Airways and has opened a bar in one of the airline’s lounges in Terminal 5.

The 2010 Drinks International Millionaires research has been compiled. Based on sales volumes for 2009, this year saw a record number of brands on the list – 162.

Pernod Ricard UK has launched a bartender networking and knowledge sharing website.

According to the Scotch Whisky Association more than 5 bottles of scotch are shipped to France every second.

Estonian alcohol producer AS Liviko has acquired 50% of a Japanese alcohol import and distribution company.

In its 250th anniversary year, Champagne Lanson is changing its corporate identity in the UK, renaming its operations Lanson International UK.

The Edrington Group has appointed Matthew Turner as brand controller for Highland Park.

The results of the English & Welsh Wine of the Year Competition are in. 

A record number of medals were awarded across the style categories by a judging panel of five Masters of Wine, chaired by Susan McCraith MW.  According to the organisers, results showed the quality of the 2009 vintage, particularly in the dry white and still rosé categories. Sparkling wines were consistently impressive.

The 2010 New Zealand grape harvest totalled 266,000 tonnes, 19,000 tonnes smaller than the 2009 crop and in line with the pre-harvest forecast.

Comment

Dominic Roskrow

Three gins that are a real gas

A few years ago, just after the british government had deregulated the gas industry, I spoke to a marketing director tasked with targeting pubs and clubs.

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