Give South its due

12 January, 2007

Wines from Texas, Tennessee and North Carolina will be showcased in the UK's first southern US tasting.

The Jan 25 event in London has been organised by the Southern US Trade Association to promote wines from up-and-coming American regions.

Wineries taking part include Childress Vineyards, Shelton Vineyards and Duplin Winery , of North Carolina; Beachaven Vineyards and Stonehaus Winery , of Tennessee; and Haak Vineyards & Winery, Paris Vineyards, Texoma Winery, Llano Estacado and Flat Creek Estate , Texas.

Increased production of wine in the southern states is partly due to the decline of traditional agricultural sectors.

Texas is the fifth largest wine-producing state in the US - behind California, Washington, New York and Oregon - as vines have replaced cotton and grain crops. In North Carolina, land previously used for tobacco production is now used to grow wine grapes, and the state now has 60 wineries, double what it had in 2002.

The tasting will take place at Strictly Hush in Mayfair from 11.30am to 3.30pm and is open to members of the wine trade and media by invitation only. To attend call Madeleine Waters on 01225 832237.

Wine in brief

Jackson Wine Estates International has appointed John E Fells its UK agent in a move to expand distribution across its portfolio. James Tookey will oversee the business in the UK. Tim Matz, president and managing director of Jackson Wine Estates International, said: "It was a natural choice for us as Fells not only has an excellent reputation but also a complementary portfolio of premium and, most importantly, family-owned wines."

Discovery Wines has added a South African Ruby Cabernet and Chenin/ Colombard to its entry-level Diamond Bay range. The wines, exclusively available to the independent sector, retail for 3.99. Joint director Anthony McIndoe said: "Our objective was to develop a pair of quality entry-level wines that were soft and approachable and would appeal to a broader spectrum of wine drinkers, which this category does not always achieve at this level."

The WSET has appointed Julian Brind MW chairman , taking over from Keith Garrard on Dec 7. Brind has worked in the wine industry for 43 years, and was made head of buying for BWS at Waitrose in 1995. He became a Master of Wine in 1970 and was chairman of the MW panel of examiners for 10 years.

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