Foster’s Group plans to create separate stock exchange listings for its beer and wine divisions.

US popularity and universal appeal have kept the Irish whiskey market buoyant, according to business analyst Datamonitor.

Carlsberg Group is to sponsor the UEFA Euro 2012. It is the first UEFA Euro ever to be hosted in Eastern Europe. Carlsberg considers the UEFA European Championship its most successful marketing activity for the Carlsberg brand.

Islay malt whisky, Ardbeg is to launch a second edition of Ardbeg Supernova – SN2010 – to be released on May 31 2010. This limited edition release is 40% more peaty than the distillery’s already heavily peated flagship Ardbeg ten years old.

An Austrian bio-dynamic winemaker has produced a wine from the 2009 harvest by fermenting grapes in clay amphorae buried underground.

Research commissioned by the Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) in the UK, has shown a further shift to the off-trade in terms of wine consumption.

US: Foster's Wine Estates has appointed master sommelier Fred Dame as vice president, luxury sales. He will report to Mike Holden, SVP sales. Dame will head-up the selling division for brands including Beringer, Penfolds, Chateau St Jean, Stags' Leap Winery, Etude and St. Clement.

A major scientific study into the storage of wine in different forms of packaging has revealed that the bag-in-box, single-layer PET and small multi-layer PET altered the character of white wines when stored over six months, with oxidation clearly noticeable.

The 2010 global Tax Stamp Forum is to take place in London in June.

The Edrington Group has appointed a new area director for global travel retail.

Diageo’s chief financial officer is to step down. Nick Rose will stand down from the board at the company’s AGM on 14 October 2010.

A 56% increase in exports confirmed Scotch whisky’s growing popularity in Brazil in 2009, according to new figures published by the UK-based Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).

Carlsberg, the official beer of the England football team, has launched its new TV advert in the build-up to this year’s World Cup.

Smirnoff has retained its position as the world’s leading alcoholic drinks brand according to The Power 100, 2010, the annual survey of the world’s leading drinks brands published by brand valuation and strategy consultancy Intangible Business.

Scottish family owned distiller William Grant & Sons has announced the formation of a new wholly owned subsidiary, William Grant & Sons Australia Pty Ltd.

Scotland: The Wemyss family has launched a small batch gin called Darnley’s View. Darnley’s View celebrates the meeting of Mary Queen of Scots and her husband Lord Darnley at the Wemyss family home, Wemyss Castle in Fife, in 1565.

Australian wine brand Wolf Blass is to launch a sparkling rosé wine at the London International Wine Fair.

Red is the most popular choice of wine for Asian women, according to new research.

The Edrington Group has appointed a new brand controller for its newly acquired scotch whisky Cutty Sark.

Ketel One vodka has introduced Ketel One Oranje, an orange flavoured vodka.

Korea: The 2010 Ballantine’s Championship golf tournament has been won by Australia’s Marcus Fraser.

Estonia: Liviko is to become the sole representative of Bacardi-Martini Group’s products in Estonia.

The Spirit of Speyside whisky festival starts this week.

Italian wine producer Guerrieri Rizzardi has announced the re-appointment of Rupert Dean, as international sales & marketing manager.

UK: Stolichnaya vodka has linked up with the Red Bull Air Race World Championship 2010, by supporting defending British champion Paul Bonhomme.

In honor of the 40th anniversaries of both Earth Day and Finlandia vodka, Finlandia is releasing limited edition charity water bottles. The bottles are to feature designs by Finnish graphic designer Klaus Haapaniemi.

Alcohol awareness charity the Drinkaware Trust has issued a response to the Eurobarometer survey on alcohol.

The European Commission’s new Eurobarometer report on attitudes to alcohol misses the bigger picture, according to CEPS and EFRD, the representatives of the European spirits industry.

Scottish beer company Innis & Gunn has received a Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

The South African wine industry has launched a new sustainability seal, as a guarantee of environmentally-sensitive production.

Consumers are returning to premium purchases, according to global drinks giant Diageo.

As part of its ‘Open the Facts’ campaign, SABMiller is encouraging women to make informed choices about drinking.

Nine in ten parliamentary candidates in winnable seats believe pubs are an important part of the British way of life and more should be done to support them, according to a new poll released today by ComRes on behalf of the British Beer & Pub Association.

Cuba: Havana Club rum sales fell by 3.5% in 2009, compared to 2008.

The Tomatin distillery, Inverness-shire, has released three new whiskies - two single cask and one limited edition bottling.

Global exports of scotch whisky reached record levels in 2009 despite the economic downturn in some major markets, according to annual figures published by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).

Australia: Foster’s has appointed a former police officer to its board of directors.

Chivas Brothers has launched a private tour and gin-making experience for its Plymouth gin brand.

United Closures & Plastics (UCP) has developed a new ‘combined aluminium and plastic tamper evident snap-on security closure’, called Orchid.

Amsterdam: Heineken has announced a new 10-year sustainability agenda.

Maxxium Travel Retail is to launch a campaign for its Brugal rum in Heathrow terminal 5.

William Grant & Sons has launched Grant’s 25 year old, a blended scotch whisky. The product will initially be exclusive to travel retail.

US: Pernod Ricard and Russian Standard Vodka have reached a settlement of claims brought by Russian Standard against Pernod Ricard. According to Pernod Ricard, the dispute revolved mainly around the allegations brought by Russian Standard Vodka and Roust Trading Limited pursuant to which promoting Stolichnaya as "Russian vodka" resulted in false advertising.

Diageo is to launch the third batch of its single malt collection whiskies – The Managers’ Choice.

India: United Spirits has crossed the milestone of 100 million cases for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2010.

Maker’s Mark has won a trademark infringement case against Cuervo tequila. A judgment has confirmed that the whiskey’s free-form red wax seal coating is a well-known and valid trademark.

Off trade wine supplier Off Piste has appointed a new chairman. Jerry Lockspeiser, who founded Bottle Green in 1990, is to help guide the business’s strategic development.

UK: Bacardi has launched a new advertising campaign, called ‘Island’. The campaign is part of a £20million marketing spend.

Marian Kopp has been appointed managing director/president of Niederkirchener Weinmacher  – a German wine cooperative located in the Pfalz region - effective April 1, 2010.

Bacardi and Brown-Forman have mutually agreed on distribution arrangements in Europe.

Comment

David Williams

What it takes to be admirable

Voting in this magazine’s redoubtable annual awards for the world’s most admired wine brands has forced me, as it does every year, to think about the subject of wine brands properly for a change.

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