News in brief
New Zealand Winegrowers has reported a record grape harvest for 2007, with an 11 per cent increase on last year's yield. However, the harvest of 205,000 tonnes may not be enough to meet "strong demand" for New Zealand wine, according to NZW chief executive Philip Gregan. "With wine exports for the 10 months to the end of April up 31 per cent over last year, we had been hoping for an even larger vintage. Compared with those numbers, a crop just 11 per cent up on last year is inevitably going to mean continuing supply constraints for many wineries, and frustrations for customers," he said.
Barrel Booze has relaunched its Gordons Bay wines under screwcap. Pinotage and Chenin Blanc are supplied in Burgundy bottles, which feature label art by Kay Wiseman. The wines come from South Africa's Western Cape and take their name from Gordon's Bay, a resort town in False Bay. Retail pricing for the range starts at £3.99 for the blends and £4.99 for the varietal wines. Barrel Booze is offering a "baker's dozen" on the Pinotage and Chenin Blanc all this month.
Chilean wine producer Caliterra is sponsoring the Allotment of the Year competition for the second year running. The contest, run by the National Allotment Gardens Trust, will run from August 13-19 and aims to promote awareness of allotments through five categories. Caliterra brand manager Rupert Lovie said the wine brand, which means "good earth", is well placed to sponsor the event: "This annual celebration of the quintessentially English pastime of allotment keeping is the perfect parallel to our own agricultural obsessions," he said.
Michael Broadbent MW has been appointed honorary president of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, with effect from Aug 1. His first official role will be to preside over the WSET's first graduation ceremony for diploma graduates from 2007. Broadbent has over 50 years' experience in the wine industry. His previous positions include senior director at Christie's auction house, president of the International Wine & Food Society and honorary member of the Académie du Vin de Bordeaux.
Louis Latour has appointed Rebecca Fraser as marketing manager. Fraser has nine years' experience in the wine trade, was previously brand manager for McKinley Vintners and has also worked for Oddbins. She is also a committee member of Women of Wine UK. At Latour, she will work on accounts including Maison Louis Latour, McHenry Hohnen, Craggy Range
and J Vidal Fleury.
Drinks merchant VC Vintners has been sold to Paul Scott and Jessie Glover of The Beer Wagon in Lowestoft. The company will keep its name, and remain in Lowestoft.