Bell’s whisky is launching a bespoke, limited edition ‘Royal Birthday Decanter’ to celebrate Her Majesty’s 90th birthday.

Diageo Reserve has launched a new Pink Grapefruit variant of its luxury vodka, Ciroc, exclusively for the UK market.

Sharp’s Brewery has unveiled a new bottled Special bitter following “incredible demand” for the existing cask version.

The English wine industry should be able to produce 5.06 million bottles on the back of its second-largest harvest in 2015, according to new figures from the Wine Standards Branch.

Copestick Murray has reported record sales and profit for 2015.

Badet Clément plans to mark the inauguration of its new “ultra-high-tech” winery alongside its 20th anniversary celebrations in June.

Meantime Brewing Company has launched national plans for its ‘Make Time For It’ campaign, celebrating ‘time’ as the fifth ingredient in all of its beers.

Jacob’s Creek has brought out promotional bottle neck tags for its wines, offering consumers the chance to jet to the Australian Open 2017.

Ridgeview has confirmed the launch of new vintages from its limited edition range.

Masi Agricola has released its first sparkling Appassimento wine, Moxxé.

Ancre Hill Estates, one of the top Welsh wine producers, has taken the first step towards tripling production by planting 8,000 new Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines on 11 acres of virgin land.

Hattingley Valley Wines has teamed up with The Worshipful Company of Vintners to offer the UK’s first winemaking apprenticeship.

Makulu, the South African wine brand, is launching a rosé-based wine spritzer along with its Makulu Moments campaign; both in time for the key summer period.  

Carling has announced a three-year partnership with the Premier League, running until the end of the 2018/9 season.

Heineken has launched a new campaign for premium lager brand Kronenbourg 1664, starring Eric Cantona.

Bargain Booze, Thorougoods and Wine Rack franchisees should see margins boosted as they benefit from greater buying power after parent company Conviviality snapped up Bibendum PLB for £60 million, according to its chief executive.

Bibendum PLB is gearing up to unveil the latest addition to its portfolio – a Chinese wine from Chateau Changyu Moser XV in Ningxia.

Prosecco has continued its recent record as the star performer of the UK drinks market and sales growth of 34% over the past year is propping up a struggling wine category.

Treasury Wine Estates is on a mission to evolve from a business led by agriculture to a brand-building FMCG heavyweight and Blossom Hill is a perfect fit, according to its managing director.

Fruit cider will never overtake apple as the most popular cider among UK drinkers, according to a leading supplier.

Market leading single malt brand The Glenlivet has broadened its offering with the release of a limited-edition single cask whisky that called Auchavaich.

Kingsland Drinks launched a new range of fusion beverages at this year’s London Wine Fair this week.

There’s a Beer For That has launched the next phase of its campaign through a partnership with Co-operative Food.

Berry Bros & Rudd will be bring the distribution of its premium spirits portfolio in-house from 1 July 2016.

Magners has introduced a new campaign to shake up the apple cider category.

Welcome to our annual rundown of the 100 most influential people in the UK wine trade, spanning retailers, suppliers, lobbyists, writers, marketers and TV stars.

Conviviality Retail, the owner of Bargain Booze, has announced it plans to acquire wine wholesaler Bibendum in a deal worth £60m.

John Smith’s has revealed details of a campaign to drive awareness of its Golden Ale among its target audience.

London-based beer retailer We Brought Beer is set to open its third store in less than two years, while other craft beer specialists have also revealed plans for expansion.

Kleine Zalze is to mark its 20th anniversary this year with investment in a vineyard analysis programme as well as new wine launches.

Strongbow is set to be the Official Partner of Team GB at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Freixenet will be kicking off the summer season with its new Ice Cava, which has been created exclusively for the UK market.

Vestal Vodka is gearing up for a big push into the UK off-trade and beyond, following the appointment of a new brand development director.

Kingsland Drinks, which acquired Bottle Green in April last year, has now completed the strategic integration of the two businesses.

Bibendum PLB Group has been appointed by Cellier des Princes to distribute the Rhone Valley-based producer’s wines across all channels in the UK.

English sparkling winery Ridgeview has announced it will feature in Michel Roux Jr’s series The Craftsmen’s Dinner.

Premium Swedish cider brand Rekorderlig has launched a “pioneering new range” of Rekorderlig Cider Cocktails.

The Real Wine Fair has been branded the most successful in its five-year history with a 25% increase in visitor numbers compared to 2015.

A criminal gang found responsible for selling alcohol illegally in the UK has been jailed for a total of 19 years.

Thomson & Scott, the company behind Skinny Champagne, has now launched Skinny Prosecco, which boasts just 67 calories per glass.

Amathus Drinks has been appointed as the UK distributor for drinks from the Scandinavian distillery Spirit of Hven.

Armit Wines is launching Digby Fine English Non-Vintage Brut to the UK market for the first time at the London Wine Fair, alongside prizes from Savile Row tailor Cad & the Dandy and quintessential English leather lifestyle brand Aspinal.

Borough Wines has extended its drink-in offering to four of its London sites, along with the launch of a new menu of bar snacks and drinks.

Copestick Murray has added wines from Chilean producer Aresti to its portfolio and believes it can help the firm become a major player in the UK market.  

Sherry Wines UK has revealed the winners of last year’s Sherry Festival and it has also released dates for its 2016 event.

Beam Suntory has released the long-awaited Jim Beam Double Oak, which Maxxium is now introducing to the UK market.

CWF, the wine importer and drinks producer, has added three new varietals to its range of 18.7cl PET wines under its Kissing Tree brand.

Kingsland Drinks has unveiled its new carbonation line, which it claims makes it the first and only UK bottler to sparkle wine.

Badet Clément, a specialist in branded varietal wines and AOCs from the south of France, has created three new ranges, which it will launch at the London Wine Fair.

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The shops that stand out from the madding crowd

The judges met last week to sort out the winners in the independent categories of our 2018 Drinks Retailing Awards. The results are top secret until the awards dinner on February 6 but it’s giving nothing away to report that the overall standard of those that will be revealed in the shortlist of finalists in the January issue of DRN is higher than it’s ever been.

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