News in brief

21 September, 2007

Villa Maria has added three vineyards to its estate to ensure continued production of its Sauvignon Blanc. Founder George Fistonich said he bought the Marlborough vineyards, which had been contracted to Villa Maria, when owner Porta Caeli Vineyards decided to sell. He said: "This will allow us to continue to produce the highest quality Villa Maria Malborough wines to cater for the worldwide appetite for Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc."

Buckingham Vintners has joined forces with Argentinian producer Domaine Vistalba to create a new brand for the UK market. Vińalba is a three-tier range which has an rrp ranging from £5.99-£7.99. Jon Pepper, marketing manager at Buckingham Vintners, said: "We are really excited to have been given the opportunity to create a new joint venture brand which will develop the Argentinian wine category and encourage consumers to trade up."

Les Domaines Paul Mas has released a limited rugby edition of the 2006 Arrogant Frog Ribet Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot to coincide with the start of the Rugby World Cup. The wine features a quirky label showing the Arrogant Frog wearing full French rugby gear in various action poses. It is available through Stratford's Wine Agencies and has an rrp of £5.99.

Bottle Green has announced it is parting company with Argentinian Fairtrade wine producer La Riojana

Co-operative. The seven-year partnership will come to an end on Oct 31 and Bottle Green will no longer distribute the product in the UK.

Wine & Spirit magazine contributor Andrew Jefford has been named Louis Roederer international wine writer 2007 for the second time. The writer, who also contributes to Waitrose Food Illustrated, picked up the award at the Century Club, Shaftesbury Avenue. James Halliday's Wine Atlas of Australia was voted international book of the year and Philip van Zyl won the Ott Award for the John Platter South African Wine Guide. Winners also included John Stimpfig and Hamish Marrett-Crosby.

Australian winery Yalumba is offering a £3,000 scholarship to a second year Master of Wine student. The scholarship includes a flight to and accommodation in Melbourne, where an MW seminar will be held. There will also be an opportunity for the winner to spend a week at the Yalumba vineyard in Adelaide, working alongside the viticulture and viniculture teams. Applicants must submit a 1,000 word essay with their application form by Oct 19. For more details and to download an application visit

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