Suppliers’ estimation of supermarket own-labels is slipping, OLN's exclusive Wine Report poll of UK agents and distributors has revealed.

Independents remain the sector with the biggest potential for wine suppliers – but they are no longer seen as the unmitigated success story they were a few years ago, according to OLN's exclusive Wine Report poll.

Uco Valley producer Bodegas Salentein is targeting the UK independent trade after celebrating the 40th harvest of its legendary chief winemaker.

Liverpool fan Kevin Clarke said he wasn’t too upset after his team suffered a 6-1 drubbing in the match he commentated on as a prize for winning Carlsberg’s People’s Pundit campaign.

Scotch whisky distilleries broke visitor records in 2014 by attracting more than 1.5 million whisky fans, according to the Scotch Whisky Association.

Jägermeister is spending £1 million on a summer marketing campaign that will see the brand represented at seven music festivals across the UK.

Bibendum PLB has raised more than £75,000 for military charity Help for Heroes by donating £1 in every bottle sold of its Wines for Heroes range.

Thatchers has launched a premium cloudy cider brand called Somerset Haze in time for the summer spike in cider drinking.

Mentzendorff said there is a “thrilling energy” in South African wine after bolstering its portfolio from the rainbow nation with Hamilton Russell Vineyards.

Tesco is teaming up with the There’s a Beer for That campaign for a promotion pairing beer with BBQ foods.

Sales of branded Champagne grew 4.7% to £196 million in the UK off-trade in 2014 as shoppers opted for famous names ahead of retailer exclusives.

Off-Piste has released an international varietal-led wine range called Most Wanted.

Supermarket range culls were “necessary” and “overdue”, according to wine information company IWSR.

North South Wines has boosted its range for cash and carries, a key market for the new agency.

Booker has agreed a £40 million deal to buy the Budgens and Londis brands from Musgrave.

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association claims it has saved the industry £350 million in the past 18 months through its campaigning.

Detailing calorie content on labels of beers, wines and spirits is a 20th century solution to a 21st century obesity problem, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.

Tesco has teamed up with Marston’s and the Campaign for Real Ale to launch a bottle-conditioned golden ale.

Copestick Murray is set to promote its I Heart wine brand at summer festivals this year in a branded VW camper van.

Free Run Wines has launched Mr Peel’s Manavista, a pink grapefruit-flavoured aromatised wine-based drink.

Tesco is drastically reducing its wine range to arrest haemorrhaging sales as the discounters’ growing dominance forces sweeping changes across the big supermarkets.

South Africa’s golden run of consecutive growth in the off-trade has come to an end as sales dropped 3% in volume and 1% in value to £525 million (Nielsen, year to February 2015).

Waitrose claims the boundaries between the off-trade and the on-trade are blurring as shoppers enjoy lingering over a glass of wine and a deli board in its busy supermarkets.

Accolade Wines is upping spend on its flagship Hardys brand and setting its sights on further expansion to strengthen its global coverage.

Cambridgeshire craft gin maker Ely Gin has opened a shop in the historic town’s centre. Director James Clark had been eyeing the space for several years as he ran a stall in Ely market square selling his range of fruit-flavoured gins.

Schemes restrict beautifully crafted products like premium cider

Leading suppliers and trade associations have added their weight to OLN’s campaign against controversial Reducing the Strength schemes by demanding action from the European Commission.

SAB Miller has snapped up Greenwich-based brewer Meantime as the trend that sees the world’s largest beer suppliers buying out their craft counterparts continues.

Bulmers is set to give away 5,000 pairs of trainers in an on-pack and social media promotion.

Asda has slashed the price of its exclusive label Champagne to £9.97 as the wine wars heat up ahead of the summer months.

Pernod Ricard is exploring the possibility of releasing white and rosé Campo Viejo into the UK market after its Tempranillo became the UK’s leading red wine SKU.

Sainsbury's has announced Elizabeth Newman will replace Andy Phelps as its head of BWS.

Independent beer merchant Clapton Craft is opening a second store in London after hailing the impact of the craft beer revolution on sales.

Bargain Booze and Wine Rack owner Conviviality Retail has seen takings grow in the past year, it has announced in a trading statement.

English wine producers have reported a record harvest for 2014 that will flood the market with 6.3 million bottles.

Buckingham Schenk is releasing two 8.5% abv fruit wines in flip-top bottles and hopes to win over new consumers to their “sexy kitsch”.

Eakin: building up east London presence

Independent off-licence chain Bottle Apostle has opened a fourth store in the former athlete’s village that housed competitors during the 2012 London Olympics.

Swedish fruit cider supplier Kopparberg has launched a £5 million marketing campaign as it seeks to overtake Bulmers as the UK’s most popular cider brand.

Gerard Michaluk’s war on the “village idiots” of Ayrshire rages on after vandals caused £1,000 worth of damage to the site where he is building the Arran Brewery’s sake brewery.

The Conservatives are the wine trade’s best bet in the general election, an OLN poll of suppliers has found.

Belgium’s largest independent brewery is launching its beers in the UK for the first time.

Surrey brewer Hogs Back has launched a 5.4% abv IPA called Hopping Hog.

Scottish brewer Innis & Gunn aims to raise £3 million to build a brewery line by launching a “mini-bond” investment scheme.

Waitrose has reported a 177% annual increase in English wine sales and now claims to account for three bottles in every five sold in the UK.

Sagar: journey to become the destination drinks company

Kingsland has snapped up wine and spirits supplier Bottle Green as it continues on its journey to becoming a one-stop shop for the retail trade.

The Responsibility Deal is teetering on a knife-edge and the drinks industry faces a series of tough battles after the general election, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.

Brookfield Drinks has won a listing at Asda stores across Scotland for its 4% abv Kestrel pilsner after the retailer reported strong sales of its 5% abv lager.

Scottish brewer Innis & Gunn aims to get drinkers’ rocks off with a bottle-conditioned beer called Hot Rocks that takes inspiration from ale brewed in the Stone Age.

Eric Hereema at his Nyetimber estate

Dynastic whisky-producing family the Grant-Gordons head the wealth league in Scotland with a £2.15 billion fortune, according to the new Sunday Times Rich List.

There is still time to buy tickets for the rooftop garden party hosted by drinks trade charity The Benevolent after the London Wine Fair on May 20. 

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Bestway could take Bargain Booze back to its roots

Sir Anwar Pervez didn’t earn a place on The Sunday Times Rich List without spotting a good bargain – and in the fallout from the monumental collapse of Conviviality he’s got one in both name and spirit with the acquisition of Bargain Booze.

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