News in brief

01 June, 2007

Australian wine brand Green Point has launched its entire sparkling wine range under crown seal in the UK. The stainless steel cap was introduced to the Blanc de Blanc Z*D and vintage rosé in 2005 and now the winemakers are launching the non-vintage ros é with the same closure. Tony Jordan, winemaker and chief executive of Green Point believes crown seal is the best way to ensure the quality of the wine and avoid cork taint. He said: "We are taking a risk and might find resistance but we think it is making a statement and technically we believe in it."

Sherry producer Williams & Humbert is to run a series of introductions to sherry for trade, press and consumers across the UK in June and July. W&H workers will explain how sherry is made and visitors will get the chance to taste sherries with different types of food. Export director William Craven-Bartle said: "Even people who know a bit about wine are often surprised to see the affordability of sherries you can try."

Thailand's Siam winery - part of the Red Bull company - is launching a Shiraz rosé in its Monsoon Valley range. The wine is being aimed at the off-trade as well as its current growing base of Thai and other Asian restaurants . The whole range is being repackaged with a redesigned, more contemporary label. The rosé is to retail at £9.99-11.99. Grapes for Monsoon Valley wines are grown in "floating vineyards" surrounded by canals in the Chao Phraya Delta south of Bangkok.

Ice Tropez - a blend of rosé wine, peach flavouring and carbonated water - is seeking distribution in the UK. The drink was developed by the owner of a St Tropez bar and winery in response to demand from drinkers in the bar, and has been launched in Tenerife and some of the other Canary Islands. Chairman Carl Tooney visited the LIWSF to introduce the 5.5 per cent abv drink to the UK market.

Montana has launched a sparkling rosé to join the Brut NV bubbly it released earlier this year. The Chardonnay/Pinot Noir blend will sell for £8.99.

François Lurton - whose Domaines Francoise Lurton has split from brother Jacques, who is now looking after their father's Bordeaux estates - has released an Argentinian wine made from the grape formerly known as Tocai Friulano . The grape has had to give up the Tocai name which is protected for Hungarian Tokaji. Gran Lurton White 2006 blends 85 per cent Friulano with 7-8 per cent each of Pinot Gris and Chardonnay . The wine is to retail at around £10 in the UK and is being distributed by Robertson Wine Merchants. The white sits alongside Gran Lurton Red, which has been available for some time.


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Lifting the spirits

I were to sum up alcohol sales over Christmas 2017 in one word, it would be “gin”. At Nielsen, we define the Christmas period as the 12 weeks to December 30 and in that time gin sales were £199.4 million, which means they increased by £55.4 million compared with Christmas 2016. There’s no sign the bubble is about to burst either. Growth at Christmas 2016 was £22.4 million, so gin has increased its value growth nearly two-and-a-half times in a year. The spirit added more value to
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