In brief

17 October, 2008

South African wine brand First Cape has unveiled packaging carrying the badge of the British & Irish Lions.

The Brand Phoenix range is the official wine of the 2009 Lions tour to South Africa. Lions chief executive John Feehan said: "As the first ever wine sponsor of the Lions and with wine the largest sector of the liquor category, the effect should be very powerful."

Moët Hennessy UK has launched the first Argentinian Petit Manseng from Terrazas de los Andes, Afincado Tardio. Only around 8,000 37.5cl bottles are available, targeted at restaurants and top-end wine merchants, priced £15.99.

Patriarche Wine Agencies has launched an upper-end range of wines from Hahn Estates in Monterey County, California - the winery behind the successful Rex Goliath and Cycles Gladiator brands. Hahn SLH is named after the cool-climate Santa Lucia Highlands AVA and includes a Pinot Gris 2007, Chardonnay 2006, Syrah 2006 and Pinot Noir 2006, priced £18-£23.

Languedoc-Roussillon producer Bessi ère has added a Syrah/Pinot Noir wine to its Signature Daniel Bessi ère Vin de Pays d'Oc range. The wine is expected to retail at £4.99 in the UK market. Bessi ère handles UK sales direct from France.

Fields, Morris & Verdin ha s taken on the UK agency for wines from Chianti Classico producer Castello di Ama. FMV managing director John Hutton said: "The wines are a true and outstanding expression of terroir and Sangiovese, and fit wonderfully well with our philosophy and the rest of our portfolio."

A new agency has been set up to import wines from the US state of Virginia to the UK. New Horizon Wines will import wines directly from nine wineries across the state

and will offer a programme of luxury "wine lifestyle" tours of Virginia and Washington DC.

Nomacorc has launched Classic+

- the next generation of its Classic synthetic wine closures - in Europe, following

its introduction in the US earlier this year. The company claims the new closure has 25% lower

oxygen transference rate than its predecessor,

is easier to take out of the bottle and has a better carbon footprint.

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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
total a

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Is blended Scotch overshadowed by single malt in retailers?

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