A synchronised sigh of relief was heard right across the Armagnac region last year as the news broke of Donald Trump’s defeat in the US election.

Leading Chilean wine producer Concha y Toro has reported an 8.2% revenue increase in the first three months of 2021.

Lucas Bols has reported an estimated 32% year-on-year decline in revenue for the 2020/21 financial year after widespread on-trade closures and travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Isle of Harris Distillery in the Outer Hebrides Islands of Scotland has signed a new distribution agreement in the US with Misa Imports.

The Teasmith Gin has secured an £80,000 export deal with the biggest  independent wine retailer in the US.

The Bollinger family has announced the acquisition of Oregon-based Ponzi Vineyards which will be its first winery in the US.

BR Distilling Company in Memphis, US, has gained distribution across Texas as part of its rapid domestic expansion.

According to the Champagne Bureau USA, the exports of champagne to the US fell almost 19% in 2020 year-on-year.

Rhum Barbancourt, a family-owned distillery established in 1862, has entered a new distribution deal with MONARQ Group for Latin American and the Caribbean as well as duty free in the US.

While New Zealand has managed the pandemic better than most, a lack of tourism and difficulties with shipping have taken a toll on wine sales. Martin Green reports.

Leading Chilean wine producer Concha y Toro increased net profit by 48.6% to Ch$77,994 million (US$107.4 million) in 2020.

Ghost Tequila has signed a national distribution agreement in the US with Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC) that will see the brand enter four new states immediately.

Terlato Wine Group has announced an exclusive sales and marketing agreement with Champagne Lanson to become effective April 1, 2021.

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States has released a statement praising the ‘great starting place’ created by the senate’s passage of a $28.6bn relief package for hospitality.

Havana Club has launched a Cuban Spiced variant in a bid to bring more millennial and Generation Z consumers into the rum category.

Scotch whisky producers are celebrating after the US government announced it would suspend tariffs on various UK goods for four months.

Kendall Jenner has become the latest celebrity to launch a tequila brand with the release of 818 Tequila on Tuesday 16 February.

Hard seltzer brand White Claw has launched its Mango variety in the UK through supermarket chain Tesco.

Pernod Ricard sales for H1 FY21 have shown an organic decline of -3.9% on the previous year largely due to the ongoing struggles of travel retail.

Diddy, David Beckham and Ryan Reynolds have donated $1 million to several organisations that support the bartending community.

MGP Ingredients has agreed a deal to acquire US spirits company Luxco for a value of $476m in cash and stock.

Ecommerce has broken into markets that barely knew it existed pre-pandemic - and forcasts for the alcohholic drinks sector are very positive. Martin Green reports.

The US spirits industry has applauded the UK’s decision to suspend retaliatory tariffs on American rum, brandy and vodka once it leaves the EU on January 1.

Campari Group has revealed that some of its personal and business data has been compromised after it suffered a targeted ransomware attack.

China has slapped a 212% tariff on Australian wine as diplomatic tensions between the two nations continue to mount.

Leading US online retailer Wine.com has reported a 217% year-on-year revenue increase for the six months to September 30.

Drinks International caught up with Naked Wines’ chief financial officer James Crawford to discuss the firm’s impressive H1 results.

Naked Wines enjoyed 79.6% revenue growth in the six months to September 28 after demand for online wine purchases soared during the lockdown.

UK-based cigar and whisky merchant C.Gars has become the exclusive importer and distributor for Key West First Legal Rum for the UK and EU.

Restaurants and bars in the US added 192,000 jobs in October, according to a new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Marussia Beverages has bolstered its spirits portfolio by taking on two Japanese whiskies from Hatozaki.

Legendary Adelaide Hills winemaker Taras Ochota has died after a long battle with illness.

Eighteen trade associations have joined forces to call for an immediate elimination of the retaliatory tariffs that the US and EU have imposed upon spirits, wine and beer.

Mocktails Brands has appointed Craftwork as its UK distributor in a bid to ramp up sales of its premixed alcohol-free cocktails among British consumers.

Diageo stock enjoyed its best session since March after chief executive Ivan Menezes issued a positive trading update ahead of the firm’s annual meeting.

Templeton Rye has released a limited-edition Caribbean Rum Cask Finish expression into the domestic and export markets.

Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka has been appointed as creative director for SOTO after investing in the premium sake brand.

Diageo will purchase Aviation Gin and several sister brands in a deal worth up to $610 million.

The US government has announced that the existing 25% tariffs will remain on single malt Scotch for the foreseeable future.

The US bar and restaurant industry revived 592,000 jobs across the country in July, according to new statistics from the Bureau of Labor.

Sales of spirits, wine and beer continue to soar in the US off-trade as shoppers shun bars and restaurants in favor of drinking at home.

Lebanese wine producer Ixsir is ramping up its focus on exports after the domestic market was hit by a double whammy of hyperinflation and Covid-19.

A vermouth lover aims to bring finesse and balance to the category with the launch of his small-batch Agora Vermouth.

Chase Distillery has launched a range of gin seltzers in a bid to appeal to health-conscious millennial consumers.

Naked Wines has reported 81% year-on-year revenue growth during April and May as online orders spiked during the coronavirus lockdown.

American whiskey exports to EU have decreased by a third since the bloc imposed a 25% retaliatory tariff in June 2018.

Kevin O’Gorman will take over as master distiller at Jameson producer Irish Distillers after Brian Nation decided to move to a startup in the US.

Zamora Company USA has bolstered its spirits portfolio with the addition of Filipino rum brand Don Papa.

BrewDog has unveiled details of the measures it will take to protect visitors to its bars once they are permitted to reopen.

AB Inbev has warned that Q2 trading will be “materially worse” than the previous three months due to brewery closures and supply chain disruption.

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Nick Strangeway

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