US: Diageo has launched a Swedish vodka in the US market.

Winemaker and Prosecco brand Follador is launching to the UK market with a portfolio of sparkling and still wines.

London Cocktail Week begins

11 October, 2010

The inaugural London Cocktail Week (LCW) has begun - a seven-day event of shows, pop-up bars, parties, classes and tastings.

Glen Garioch, the 200-year old Aberdeenshire-based distillery, has re-launched its range of single malt whiskies.

Cognac brand Courvoisier has undertaken a global repackaging of its VS label, starting with the UK and US markets.

Sri Lankan spirit Ceylon Arrack has appointed Mangrove as its exclusive UK importer.

US: Bacardi Limited has completed the initial phase of a $250m investment into its scotch whisky brand Dewar’s.

Diageo chief executive Paul Walsh has been selected by the UK prime minister David Cameron to advise on business and economic issues.

Ballantine’s has unveiled its first seasonal limited edition whisky entitled Christmas Reserve.

The United Kingdom Vineyards Association (UKVA) has unveiled new wine schemes for English and Welsh still wines, in line with the wine regime changes implemented by the EU.  A new wine scheme for sparkling wines will be introduced later this year.

SKyy Spirits, Gruppo Campari’s US-based subsidiary, has unveiled a new global ad campaign entitled Skyy Sexy to market its unflavoured vodka brand Skyy Vodka.

Monarq Group is to distribute Tia Maria and Disaronno in the Caribbean domestic and duty free markets.

Brand marketer, The Paddington Corporation, has announced a joint venture with 3 Amigos Tequila to market its range globally.

Langton’s Classification, the quinquennial (occurring every five years) guide to Australia’s best performing and most prized wines, has been published.

Hine launches new cognac

01 October, 2010

Hine Vintage Cognacs has developed a new “high-end” VSOP which will be exclusive to travel retail. The new cognac will be revealed at TFWA Cannes from October 18 -22.

Havana Club International is to launch an ultra premium rum.

Licor 43 targets UK growth

30 September, 2010

Spanish liqueur brand Licor 43 is targeting UK growth, after up-scaling its marketing operations with the appointment of a brand ambassador.

Brugal repackages rum

30 September, 2010

Global: Edrington Group has repackaged its Brugal rum, Añejo. The new design is said to reinforce the brand’s authenticity and reputation as the only rum distilled, matured and bottled in the Dominican Republic.

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) met with the UK Home Office to air concerns over government proposals to change the Licensing Act.

Global drinks giant Diageo has opened the doors of its new £40 million distillery in Speyside, Scotland.

The introduction of a minimum price for alcohol in Britain could see retailers and manufacturers reap £700m in extra revenue.

Champagne Jacquart is to appoint Enotria as its exclusive UK distribution agent from October.

Amrut launches new single malt

27 September, 2010

Indian distiller Amrut has extended its range of whiskies with the addition of a three cask-matured single malt.

Italy/Australia: The Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Consorzio has welcomed a ban on Australian producers using the term prosecco, under new EU laws. The Consorzio has pledged to continue fighting to get the ban implemented in other countries that continue to make prosecco, like Brazil.

McWilliam’s winery has won Best White Wine at the invitation only Tri Nations Wine Challenge. The contest featured wines from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The winery won Best White Wine of Show Trophy and Best Other White trophy for its flagship 2005 McWilliam’s Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon.

UK company First Drinks has appointed Una McCullough as marketing director.

Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard, producers of Jameson, is set to introduce Redbreast 15 Year Old Irish Pure Pot Still whiskey as a permanent expression within the range in key international markets including Ireland, USA, France and Germany.

Scotch whisky distillers have welcomed a vote by the Scottish Parliament Health & Sport Committee to remove minimum pricing from the Alcohol (Scotland) Bill.

The number of brands meeting the criteria of The IWSR’s Elite Brands has fallen from 22 in 2009 to just 10 in 2010. Ukrainian vodka Nemiroff has taken the top spot.

Indian distiller Amrut is to launch its first ‘Intermediate Sherry Matured’ whisky. The product will be a limited edition of 275 cases.

16 September, 2010

Jamaica: J Wray & Nephew, owners of the Appleton Estate Jamaica rum brand, has announced the expansion of several roles within the international division.

Gruppo Campari has signed an agreement to acquire Carolans, Frangelico and Irish Mist from William Grant & Sons for €128.2 million.

The results of the International Cider Challenge 2010 are in. This is the first year of the competition and it attracted over a hundred entries. Drinks International recruited a panel of cider experts to blind taste the ciders, which were then awarded trophies and medals.

Chivas Brothers has launched a winter version of its Beefeater gin brand.

Diageo has launched a new flavour of its cream liqueur brand Baileys.

Champagne Mumm goes gastro

10 September, 2010

UK: Champagne GH Mumm has launched a campaign to reinforce its links with food. The Pernod Ricard brand is to partner selected restaurants as part of a UK-wide marketing campaign to celebrate its traditional links with gastronomy.

Foster's rejects wine offer

10 September, 2010

The Foster’s Group (Foster’s) board of directors has rejected an offer for its Treasury Wine Estates. Foster’s received an “unsolicited expression of interest” from an international private equity firm to acquire the wine assets of Treasury Wine Estates. The proposal involved a cash consideration of between $2.3billion and $2.7billion for 100% of the assets.

Bacardi Global Travel Retail has launched a new expression of its Martini vermouth. Martini Gold is a collaboration between Italian designers Dolce & Gabbana and the Martini brand.

Old Forester has released the 2010 expression of its vintage-dated “Birthday Bourbon”. The drink was released in honour of George Garvin Brown, the founder of Louisville-based Brown-Forman and Old Forester. First launched eight years ago to commemorate Brown’s Birthday on September 2, Old Forester Birthday Bourbon is a limited-edition bourbon which is released annually.

Scottish Labour’s Alcohol Commission has rejected the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) proposal for minimum pricing.

Pernod Ricard Espana has completed the sale of its shares in Ambrosio Velasco to Diego Zamora for a total price of 32.4 M€ in cash.

Foster's CFO steps down

06 September, 2010

Foster's Group has announced that Angus McKay, chief financial officer (CFO) has submitted his resignation and will depart Foster’s towards the end of this year. McKay joined Foster’s in 2004 from Fonterra Australia and was finance director, Foster’s Australia, Asia and Pacific, before taking up the CFO role in January 2008.

Jean-Dominique Comolli has resigned from the board of directors at Pernod Ricard.

International Beverage Holdings is celebrating 49 awards in various international drinks competitions, including 13 awards in the International Spirits Challenge.

The Glenglassaugh Distillery Company has launched a range of “Spirit Drink” products. The aim is to give malt whisky fans the opportunity to sample the evolution of the spirit that will eventually become whisky.

The not-for-profit Amarula Trust has committed to a further three years of financial support to the Amarula Elephant Research Project (AERP) under Prof Rob Slotow of the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Glenmorangie has launched a new whisky in its Private Edition range. The Glenmorangie Finealta, pronounced ‘Finalta’, is Scottish Gaelic for ‘elegant’. It is a recreation of Glenmorangie based on a recipe dating back to 1903.

Diageo has announced the appointment of Lord Mervyn Davies of Abersoch to its board, effective September 1 2010. He is to be appointed as a non-executive director and his responsibilities will include membership of the audit, the nomination and the remuneration committees.

Australia: Former police chief commissioner Christine Nixon has stepped down from the Foster’s Group board.

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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