Former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan will deliver the keynote address at the World Climate Change and Wine Congress 2011.

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has backed the UK Government’s planned reduction of duty on low-alcohol beer.

Brugal 1888 has been launched at Brugal Island, a rum tasting bar and store situated in Madrid airport.

UK charity Drinkaware has said that tougher action is needed to counter UK binge drinking.

Central European Distribution Corporation (CEDC) is to purchase the global rights for Kauffman vodka.

Cider in Russia

30 November, 2010

Russia could be the next growth market for cider, according to a new report.

Maker's Mark appoints COO

29 November, 2010

Rob Samuels has been appointed to the newly created position of chief operating officer (COO) of Maker’s Mark bourbon, one of Fortune Brands’ premium spirits brands.

Diageo has initiated discussions to take over 50% of Guatemalan rum brand Zacapa.

Stock Spirits Group, the company behind five million case vodka brand Czysta de Luxe, has appointed Credit Suisse as its financial advisor.

Amaretto brand Disaronno has hosted the final of its first Mixing Star cocktail competition in London.

Stock makes new appointments

26 November, 2010

Stock Spirits has made several new appointments to its senior management team.

Berry Bros & Rudd Spirits (BBRS) has added a rum brand to its spirits portfolio.

Chivas Brothers is taking its travel retail aged whisky campaign to the Americas.

Pinot Noir named best NZ wine

26 November, 2010

A Pinot Noir from the Central Otago region has been named Champion Wine at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards.

Jack Daniel’s celebrated the 160th birthday of its founder this month, with the fourth edition of its UK cocktail competition.

Panama grants scotch whisky GI

25 November, 2010

Scotch whisky has been granted geographical indication of origin (GI) in Panama.

Seven of London’s top bartenders did battle at the inaugural Tabasco British Bloody Mary Challenge in Selfridges’ Hix Restaurant & Champagne Bar.

Hennessy goes for Gold

19 November, 2010

UK: Hennessy will mark 54 years of continuous partnership - British racing’s longest commercial sponsorship - at this year’s Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury Racecourse on November 27.

Wine producer François Lurton has said he expects China to become the largest wine producing country in the world.

UK beer brewer Adnams has opened a small-scale distillery, producing vodka, gin and whisky.

Whisky liqueur brand Drambuie has created a cocktail to celebrate the announcement of Prince William’s engagement to Kate Middleton.

The European Spirits Organisation (CEPS) has launched a new five-year commitment to promote responsible drinking.

Spanish wine group Baron de Ley-El Coto has announced the purchase of winery Carbonera-Bergasa as part of a €5m investment in Rioja white wines.

The economic contribution of Europe's spirits industry to the European economy has been revealed in a new report. The report was prepared by Ernst & Young and commissioned by CEPS – the trade body for the European spirits industry.

Australia head hits out

12 November, 2010

Paul Henry, outgoing general manager, market development for the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation (AWBC), has accused retailers of being only interested in “volume and price” and described retailer consolidation and price compression as direct threats to proprietary brands.

Logistics company JF Hillebrand has acquired Lagena Distribution, the Stockholm-based distributors.

The Marie Brizard Belvédère Group hosted 43 bartenders from 27 countries at the 27th International Bartender Seminar (IBS).

The trade has welcomed the Scottish Parliament’s decision to reject minimum pricing. This was the final time in which MSPs could vote to decisively keep minimum pricing out of the Alcohol Bill. The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has consistently argued that minimum pricing would be illegal and ineffective in addressing misuse, whilst significantly damaging one of Scotland’s key industries.

Diageo has launched a new expression of its Johnnie Walker scotch whisky in Delhi duty free. Johnnie Walker XR 21 year old is now available in T3, Indira Gandhi International Airport.

Best Bar in the World revealed

10 November, 2010

A London speakeasy has been named the best bar in the world, according to an industry poll.

The International Spirits Challenge winners were announced at a ceremony in London last night.

China - an important market for scotch whisky – has announced that it will recognise and protect ‘scotch whisky’ as a Geographical Indication (GI).

Laphroaig Quarter Cask has been voted Scotland’s best single malt by The Whisky Shop.

Scotch whisky exports are up 17% compared with last year, with nine of the category’s top ten markets in growth.

Elitemarket.com has created a virtual cellar for online shoppers to view, research and buy single malt scotch whiskies.

Guala Closures, the bottle closure producer, will invest €11m on new machinery following the acquisition of an aluminium printing and cutting facility.

Foster's appoints CFO

04 November, 2010

Foster's Group has appointed Anthony Reeves to the role of chief financial officer (CFO), on a fixed term contract, effective from Monday 8 November 2010.

Ukrainian vodka producer Nemiroff has started producing its vodka in Belarus. Nemiroff has partnered with Minsk Kristall in Belarus, which is part of national food processing company Belgospischeprom.

An Estonian has been named Best Baltic Sommelier after winning the Vana Tallinn Grand Prix 2010.

US spirits company Proximo has entered into a UK distribution agreement with Marblehead Brand Development.

Ukrainian brand Nemiroff has begun producing vodka in the Republic of Belarus.

Diageo has launched its autumn Special Release Series, a collection of single malt scotch whiskies aimed at the world’s top bars and whisky connoisseurs.

Les Compagnons du Cognac, a social enterprise designed to support and protect small and independent producers of VSOP and XO cognac, is about to be launched.

The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) has announced that the ‘Napa Valley’ name has been granted Geographic Indication Status (GI) in India.

Irish whiskey Jameson has launched a new expression in South Africa. Jameson Select Reserve is made from a blend of small batch grain whiskey, not found in any other Jameson expression, and single Irish pot still whiskey.

Pernod sets up wine division

27 October, 2010

Following a strategic review of its global operations, Pernod Ricard has confirmed that its key international wine properties will be grouped and managed under one business – Premium Wine Brands.

Whisky brand Glenglassaugh has announced the release of a limited edition range of single malt scotches named ‘Manager’s Legacy’.

East African Breweries Limited (EABL), a subsidiary of Diageo, has completed the acquisition of 51% of the issued share capital of Serengeti Breweries Limited (SBL). EABL made the purchase from existing shareholders for a total consideration of approximately US$60.4million.

Diageo brand Smirnoff has announced ‘country pairings’ for its global nightlife exchange project.

Two Asian wine experts are to host an introduction to the Institute of Masters of Wine education programme at the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair in early November.

Comment

Hamish Smith

Clooney tunes

Have you heard the one about George Clooney’s four-year-old tequila brand selling to Diageo to the tune of $1bn?

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