Wine in brief

01 June, 2007

Waitrose will be running a summer fizz showcase from June 4 to July 3. Discounts of up to £5 will be offered on selected bottles of sparkling wine and Champagne for the whole month. The supermarket will also be giving discounts on wines from New Zealand and Argentina.

Chianti producer Piccini has launched what it says is Italy's first 3-litre bag-in-tube for its Piccanti Rosso di Toscana. The orange tube has a rope handle which distributor PLB said makes it look like a designer handbag. "We think it could become the new Italian must-have accessory," said brand manager Paul Shelton. Piccini recently appointed Antonella Conti as its chief winemaker.

PLB is introducing a two-tier range of German wines from Riesling producer Moselland. D:vine is targeted at women and has a QbA Rheinhessen blend at £3.99 and a QbA Riesling and Pinot Grigio at £4.99. Brand manager Paul Shelton said: "We wanted to strip away the old baggage associated with Germany and create something fresh that would give the market some excitement again."

Buckingham Vintners is expanding its Red Heart range of wines with high levels of antioxidants, which are believed to be good for the heart. The wine was launched last year with a Cabernet/Petit Verdot blend from Australia, and the distributor is now adding Red Heart Italy 2006 - a Lambrusco/Merlot/Sangiovese table wine - and Red Heart Chile 2006

Cabernet Sauvignon with a little bit of Petit Verdot and Carmenère, to the range.

Total production for English and Welsh wine for the 2006 vintage was 3 .3

million bottles - the third-highest volume since production records began. There was also an increase in vineyards from 793ha to 923ha, and an increase from 350 to 362 vineyards over the same period.

Chilean wine producer Luis Felipe Edwards has added organic wine range Rosa Blanca, from the Colchagua valley, to its portfolio. LFE has

8ha of organic grape production , seven of which are Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Carmenère. " The UK market can expect more organic wines from LFE," said Lewis Jones, marketing director of UK agent D&D Wines International.

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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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