Wine in brief

26 January, 2007

Wine writer Hugh Johnson was awarded an OBE in the Queen's New Years Honours List for his services to winemaking and horticulture. He is best known for writing the annual Pocket Wine Book series and as co-author o f The World Atlas of Wine. Johnson will receive his honour from the Queen on Feb 9.

The annual trade tasting of Austrian wines will take place on Feb 22 at the Institute of Directors in London. Feiler-Artinger, Lenz Moser, Heidi Schröck, the Opitz Winery, Schloss Gobelsburg and Gernot & Heike Heinrich are among some 80 exhibitors. To find out more visit or call 0207 411 3825.

Laurent-Perrier Champagne will be sponsoring a garden at this year's Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show. Jinny Blom has agreed to design the garden, which will be based on the theme of reflection and the journey of life. Laurent-Perrier has also been picked as the official Champagne for all three RHS flower shows this year. Laurent-Perrier managing director David Hesketh MW said: "Since we started working with the RHS and Chelsea Flower Show nine years ago, we have seen consistent year-on-year sales growth across our range ."

Antonin Rodet, the Mercurey-based Burgundy wine group, has acquired a wine brokerage business and estate in Nuits-Saint-Georges. Maison Dufouleur Père & Fils has become part of the 132-year-old group, marking its return as one of the region's leading wine houses. As part of the deal, Rodet took on Dufouleur Père & Fils's 10.5ha Domaine Barbier estate. The Domaine Guy Dufouleur estate was not included , but it has signed a contract to supply the new Rodet-Dufouleur Group. Rodet also added Le Clos de Thorey Monopole's 3ha estate to its business.

The dates for the Italian Trade Commission's first UK generic wine tasting (reported in OLN Jan 12) have been changed. The Dublin event will take place on March 5 and the London tasting is on March 7. The tasting is open to press and trade, by invitation only. For more details, contact Alessandra Bottaro on 0207 7389 0300 or e-mail

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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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