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Murdoch moves into wine trade

Australian media tycoon Rupert Murdoch has bought a 6.5ha vineyard in Bel Air, California, for a fee believed to be in the region of £19 million. 

Officers raid Scottish off licences

HMRC officers raided 49 off licences in Edinburgh and seized 5,641 litres of counterfeit booze. 

Portman Group chairman leaves role

Portman Group chairman Seymour Fortescue will step down on 18 June after four years in the role.

Angels swoop to save winemaker

Winemaker Katie Jones has started believing in angels after 2,500 Naked Wines customers came to her rescue when vandals destroyed her entire white vintage.

Wine retailer teams up with cricket legend for exclusive range

Laithwaite’s Wine has signed former England cricket captain David Gower as its new brand ambassador.

Health secretary insists minimum unit pricing is not dead

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt insists the omission of minimum unit pricing laws from the Queen’s speech does not amount to a final nail in the coffin for the planned legislation.

WOSA future in the spotlight

Leading South African producers have urged the country’s generic wine body to review its marketing message and recruit from overseas as the hunt begins for its new head.

Tesco buying team to "speed-date" at LIWF

Tesco is offering visitors to this month’s London International Wine Fair the chance to pitch new ideas to its buying team in a repeat of its “speed-dating” style activity.

OLN party promises guests three tons of fun

Global sensations The Three Tons of Fun have been confirmed as the headline entertainment for the Off Licence News and Origin Wines VIP industry bash taking place at this month’s London International Wine Fair.

Diageo will have new leader within two months

Paul Walsh, Diageo chief executive of 13 years, will step down within two months and hand over power to the firm’s chief operating officer Ivan Menezes.

London Wine Fair will return to Olympia

The London International Wine Fair will return to Kensington Olympia in 2014, with cheaper rates designed to attract exhibitors that have deserted the event in recent years.

Retailers missing £480 million convenience opportunity

Retailers can add £480 million to the convenience channel by improving their spirits ranges, according to First Drinks.

Lambrini to sponsor British Soap Awards

Lambrini is to be the broadcast sponsor of the British Soap Awards which will be screened live on ITV in May.

Macallan unveils its complete 1824 Series line-up

Macallan has released three malt whiskies to complete the line-up of its new 1824 Series.

Off-trade beer volumes stabilised in Q1 says BBPA

Off-trade beer sales stabilised in the first quarter of 2013 after three successive quarters of decline.

New shape for Fuller's beer bottles

Fuller’s has introduced a new-look for its premium bottled ales range, led by London Pride.

Pussy Drinks Ltd rapped by ad watchdog

The firm behind energy drink Pussy has been banned from running an ad that was deemed sexually explicit, derogatory, sexist and degrading to women.

Su Birch to leave Wines of South Africa

Wines of South Africa chief Su Birch has announced she is stepping down after 14 years in the job. 

Leading Rioja brand launches price marked packs

Pernod Ricard UK is launching a £6.99 price marked pack for its Campo Viejo Rioja brand.

Treasury accused of unfairly punishing female drinkers

The Chancellor’s decision to cut beer tax but overlook wine and spirits has unfairly penalised women, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.

Ding-dong over social media

Retailers are being urged to keep tighter controls on the way managers and staff use social media sites after Oddbins landed in hot water over a Twitter post following the death of Margaret Thatcher.

Innis & Gunn urges smaller craft brewers to join forces

Innis & Gunn plans to drive growth in the craft and speciality beer category by helping smaller brewers get their products on to supermarket shelves.

New "weatherproof" Pimm's

Diageo is launching a special-edition version of Pimm’s to inject fresh appeal into the quintessential summer drink brand and sustain sales regardless of the weather.

ACS to fight plans to restrict off licence numbers

The head of the body which represents small retailers has vowed that fighting local restrictions on off-licence numbers will be a key political objective for the year ahead.

Kingfisher joins Heineken UK stable

Heineken will brew, sell and distribute Kingfisher in the UK from October.

Portman Group urges retailers not to stock Laverstroke Farm beer

The Portman Group has urged retailers not to stock Jody Scheckter’s Laverstoke Park Farm Ale and Lager after the former Formula 1 champion ignored the group’s ruling that the packaging must be altered.

JTI in ad campaign row

A row has broken out over the latest ad from JTI in its fight against plain packaging for tobacco products.

VK launches Big Blue

Global Brands is launching a 50cl version of VK Blue into the off-trade.

Weak rand could mean great value South African wines

A leading producer believes favourable currency rates mean South African wines can now beat the likes of Australia in offering “exceptional value for money” at all price points.

Diageo wants to help make your store matter

Retailers can receive tips on issues like range and layout by visiting a new website from Diageo called My Store Matters.

Distell takes over Burn Stewart

South African wine and spirits producer Distell has paid £160 million to buy Scotch whisky firm Burn Stewart Distillers.

Visitor numbers soar at Drinkaware website

Drinks charity Drinkaware said visits to its website received a sharp spike after a story broke suggesting Britons fail to report their true alcohol intake.

South west France wines given UK push

Ninety-three wines selected by The Wine Gang from a south west France tasting of more than 200 wines will be promoted in the UK.

Multiples enjoy large BWS sales growth during March

An early Easter drove a 12% rise in BWS value sales at the major multiples during the four weeks to March 30 (Nielsen, compared to the same period in 2012).

Langley's No.8 gin targets male drinkers

A new gin is being launched into the off-trade aimed at men.

Study predicts drastic changes in world wine map

A new study suggests that Britain could join New Zealand, the Netherlands, China and Tasmania as the world’s foremost wine growing regions by 2050 if climate change continues.

Accolade gains listings for higher tier Australian ranges

Accolade’s plan to increase its presence in the ultra-premium wine market has gathered pace with the news that Majestic will stock its Eileen Hardy Chardonnay. 

Store overturns alcohol sales ban after test purchase sting

A Lidl store has seen a five-day ban on alcohol sales overturned after emerging victorious from a long-running battle with Glasgow’s Licensing Board.

Smirnoff launches TV ad campaign

Smirnoff is returning to TV screens this month as part of a new £2.5 million ad campaign.

Wine suppliers criticise skills of supermarket buyers

Leading wine suppliers have criticised the skills of supermarket buyers, claiming lack of experience is damaging the industry’s ability to trade sustainably as market pressures intensify.

Convenience stores snatch market share

Growth in wines sales through convenience stores is outpacing the rest of the off-trade as the roll-out of supermarkets’ smaller store formats gathers speed and cash-strapped shoppers shun the big weekly shop.

Scheckter rails against Portman

Ex Formula 1 racing driver Jody Scheckter has refused to alter the packaging for his Laverstoke Park beer range despite a ruling from the Portman Group’s independent complaints panel that it could appeal to children.

Focus on taste to aid Champagne

A drop in price promotions and falling own-label sales has led to a 3.3% decline in Champagne as Lanson urged retailers to give shoppers more information about styles and tastes on shelf.

Business as usual after Boutinot buyout

The leader of a team that has staged a management buyout at one of the UK’s best-known wine suppliers has pledged that it will be “business as usual”.

Wine group targets younger adults in bid to become top UK supplier

FE Barber aims to become the UK’s biggest wine supplier by offering retailers a “one-stop shop” and targeting younger consumers with bright bottles, quirky brands and social media.

Teaninich earmarked for new £50m Diageo distillery

Diageo has named Teaninich, near Alness in the Highlands, as the preferred location for a new malt whisky distillery.

New boss at Fuller's brewery

Fuller’s has appointed group managing director Simon Emeny as its chief executive, with effect from July 1.

Aston Manor in £2.5 million orchard investment

Aston Manor has signalled its confidence in the future of the UK’s cider market by investing £2.5 million in 1,000 acres of new orchards in Herefordshire.

Cause for optimism in soft drinks

Glucose stimulant drinks, flavoured water and “cold hot drinks” were the bright spots in the soft drinks market in 2012, according to a new market report from Pepsi and J2O supplier Britvic.

Southern Comfort relaunches TV ad

Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands is relaunching a Southern Comfort TV ad in which a barrel-chested man with a round belly and mob-displeasing swimming trunks saunters along a beach.