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News posted on Friday, 19 December 2014

McGuigan UK’s 5th biggest wine brand
Australian wine brand McGuigan has grown to become the fifth largest selling wine brand in the UK according to the latest figures from Nielsen. The brand has enjoyed 14.6% year on year growth in the UK and 53.7% 12-week growth, making it the UK’s fastest growing wine brand in the last quarter. “This is fantastic news for our brand and it is something we couldn’t have achieved without our loyal McGuigan customers in the UK,” Neil McGuigan, chief executive of McGuigan’s parent company, Australian Vintage, said. This August, AVL signed a long term distribution agreement with the wine and spirits arm of China’s largest food manufacturer and trader, COFCO.

Australian wine Giant Steps moves to Liberty Wines from OW Loeb
Yarra Valley’s Giant Steps wine has shifted its UK distribution from OW Loeb to Liberty Wines. Liberty Wines already distributed the firm’s Innocent Bystander wines to the UK market and says it wanted to “consolidate” distribution here by bringing Giant Steps to the same place. The Giant Steps wines will be available through Liberty from January 2015 – on show at the firm’s annual tasting on January 21 and at the Australia Day tasting on January 27.

Global wine trade goes under the microscope in new Rabobank report
Giant wine bladders, thirsty Chinese and American consumers and growing demand for premium wine have been the most significant forces in the wine industry over the last five years, according to Rabobank researchers. And in the future they're predicting drops in production from 'new world' countries like Australia, New Zealand and some in South America.

Smidge Wines announces new distribution in NSW
Smidge Wines announced a new distribution agreement with Combined Wines and Foods of New South Wales yesterday. Founded in 1972 by Ninel Molinari, the company has become one of the largest distributors of Italian wines and liqueurs in Australia. It expanded into food in 1992, Australian wines in 1994 and expanded its spirit range in 2010. Combined Wines and Foods has an Australia-wide distribution network and has a customer base of most major wholesalers and retailers, as well as direct distribution to restaurants, liquor stores, clubs, food service companies, delicatessens, supermarkets and function centres.

FUN FRIDAY: The ultimate wine and spirit lover's gift guide
Take the drudgery out of holiday shopping with our gift ideas recommended by stores around the world. Gift guides are a seasonal standby in the publishing trade, so it was always on the cards that we were going to leap enthusiastically onto the bandwagon along with everyone else. Rather than give you our ideas, we reached out to some of the world's most exciting wine stores to come up with a few suggestions. What follows is what we can confidently describe as the best wish list for the wine (and spirit) lover in your life this year.

Sports hit back at advertising rule proposals
New Zealand's biggest sports teams including the All Blacks, the New Zealand Warriors and the Black Caps say proposed changes to alcohol sponsorship and advertising would threaten the sustainability of their codes at nearly every level. The biggest impact would be on grassroots clubs which depended heavily on funding from liquor companies, sporting bodies said after the release of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship's report yesterday.

International wine enthusiasts coming to Queenstown
One of the world’s premier wine events returns to Queenstown next year, bringing together international wine enthusiasts from across the globe for a special celebration of Central Otago Pinot Noir. The two-day ‘Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration’ is now in its 11th year, and is featuring up to 40 Central Otago winemakers and 200 other wine enthusiasts. It’s a unique occasion where guests share experiences and philosophies with local winemakers, taste the wines, visit their vineyards and sample the very best cuisine the area has to offer.

French prohibitionists aim to spoil the wine party
An anti-alcohol group in France could make the country an international laughing stock by demanding ridiculous limitations on wine marketing. Lobbyists from ANPAA, an organization described by French magazine Le Point as "prohibitionist", have their sights set on altering the country's laws to prohibit any reference to enjoyment of wine on any publicity and that may include wine labels.

Winery investigated for allegedly selling diluted red wine
A winery in Yangmei, Taoyuan County was under investigation on Thursday for allegedly selling Australian red wine diluted with a locally-made version to distributors and supermarkets, reaping illegal profits. The Taoyuan District Prosecutors Office said that Universal Distiller Product Co. had sold various kinds of red wine, labelled as imports, to distributors, including hypermarket and convenience store chains.

Saving rare winegrapes from extinction
For more than five years now, one of the world's foremost grapevine geneticists and a dedicated team of volunteers have been working to save an unwanted half-acre vineyard from destruction. Why? Because four of the grape varieties planted in this parcel in Switzerland's mountains are incredibly rare and historic. In 2010, Swiss winemaker Josef-Marie Chanton, a pioneer in grapevine preservation, contacted his fellow countryman and grapevine geneticist José Vouillamoz about a terraced vineyard in Switzerland's Haut Valais region.

FUN FRIDAY: Worried about wine staining your teeth? Try Winestraws
Jenny LaFever was searching for a way to keep her teeth white while drinking red wine, and she came up with a new solution. It’s never pretty when you come home from a holiday party and look in the mirror only to realize you have red wine stain teeth, and even worse, that unattractive rim of red around your inner lips. Horrified, you wonder why no one told you, and how long were you talking with stained teeth. This is why many partygoers forgo their favourite reds and stick to white wine at parties. But now Californian Jenny LaFever has a solution.

Australian wine Giant Steps moves to Liberty Wines from OW Loeb
Yarra Valley’s Giant Steps wine has shifted its UK distribution from OW Loeb to Liberty Wines. Liberty Wines already distributed the firm’s Innocent Bystander wines to the UK market and says it wanted to “consolidate” distribution here by bringing Giant Steps to the same place. The Giant Steps wines will be available through Liberty from January 2015 – on show at the firm’s annual tasting on January 21 and at the Australia Day tasting on January 27.

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