North South Wines has appointed Kim Wilson as its new managing director.

Borough Wines & Beers has reported 19% year-on-year sales growth on the back of a strong ecommerce performance and two new store openings.

Morgenrot is giving its customers a real mouthful with its latest launch from New Zealand’s Hawkes Bay.

Great Wines Estates will now represent Voyager Estate across the UK, where it will focus on independent wine shops and the premium on-trade sectors for the wines, which are produced in Australia’s Margaret River region.

The Benevolent has launched its new mental health awareness campaign #NotAlone, which aims to encourage members of the trade to speak freely about mental health issues within the workplace, creating a stigma-free environment.

Boutinot is now working with north-eastern Italian producer Cantine Riondo, becoming the exclusive agent for wines targeted at the UK multiple off-trade.

Think Brands has launched a grapefruit-based drink, which can be used in a range of cocktails.

Broadland Wineries owner Mark Lansley has cooled talk of turnover growing to £100 million in two years after the sudden departure of chief executive Paul Schaafsma.

Koshu of Japan has announced the date for its 8th annual trade and press tasting; the event is due to take place on 14 February at 67 Pall Mall in London. 

Balblair has unveiled the limited edition second release of its 2000 vintage and the third release of its 1991 vintage.

Paul Schaafsma is leaving Broadland Wineries after four months as chief executive to start up his own business.

Tom Oldham

Seedlip has announced plans to launch a portfolio of new brands with the hire of former Belvedere Vodka head of spirit creation, Claire Smith-Warner.

Brewdog has extended the investment deadline for its latest Equity for Punks crowdfunding programme and upped its target to a maximum of £50million.

Fentimans has overhauled its image with a rebrand costing £1.2 million.

Tesco has reconfirmed its place as one of eleven Gold Corporate Patrons in WSET’s partnership programme, which includes supermarkets, drinks producers and distributors.

Conviviality has announced it is reshaping its leadership team in order to “bring decision making closer to the customer”.

Halewood Wines & Spirits is extending its Liverpool Collection by bringing back its limited edition, ultra-premium Rose Petal Gin following the drink's first appearance in 2016, which the producer hailed as “a resounding success”.

Wines of Germany has seized upon Wine Intelligence research suggesting the average German wine consumer is getting younger and is shifting its marketing focus accordingly.

Low calorie BWS supplier Skinny Brands has secured a £1.5 million cash injection to allow it to roll its brands out across the UK and Ireland.

Bier Huis has added Clover Gin to its portfolio as a UK exclusive.

Diageo has teamed up with Uber Eats to allow convenience retailers across the UK to sell their drinks to online shoppers.

Luscombe Drinks is expanding its flavoured mixer portfolio and giving the full range a new look.  

The Co-op is expanding its vegan wine offering to 100 lines by the end of the year to meet customer demand, with eight new lines launching next month.

Majestic Wine has appointed Joshua Lincoln as retail and managing director of Majestic Retail; it has also announced its Group sales increased by 3.2% for the 10-week Christmas trading period, compared to the same period the year before.

Buckingham Schenk is launching Latis, a new brand from Cahors in France.

Stirling Gin has been given the green light to create the first gin distillery and visitor centre in Stirling.

Pinkster gin is releasing a limited-edition, Cupid-themed bottle in a bid to boost sales in the build up to Valentine’s Day.

Nick Hyde has taken over from James Simpson MW as chairman of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Board of Trustees. Simon McMurtie has also joined the Board.

Industry campaign There’s A Beer For That is switching its focus to lobby against high beer duty in a bid to safeguard the industry’s future.

Alcohol charity Drinkaware is joining forces with Asda to launch a responsible drinking campaign.

A series of celebrations have been planned across the globe for International Scotch Day, which takes place on 8 February 2018.

Drinkaware ambassadors will be in 100 Asda stores across the UK on January 12 to hand out thousands of specially created alcohol assessment scratchcards to shoppers.

Molson Coors has acquired cider producer Aspall, stating its ambitions to turn the brand into the UK’s top-selling premium cider.

Smaller formats are key to driving BWS sales among cash-strapped convenience shoppers in January, according to leading supplier Diageo.

Durham Distillery is to start producing whisky this year to add to its existing portfolio of gin and vodka.

Diageo has launched a new concept for the Amazon Echo Show in the UK to help consumers create cocktails at home.

Berry Bros & Rudd has praised the quality, charm and complexity of the 2016 Burgundian vintage and claims to have an industry-leading offer.

UK consumers spent £36 million on gin in supermarkets during the week before Christmas, which is a 45% increase on the previous year, according to the latest data from IRI.

Aldi has reported strong growth across all categories resulting in its busiest-ever Christmas, pushing its total 2017 UK and Ireland sales over the £10bn barrier for the first time.

Naked Wines is the most popular online drinks retailer when it comes to monthly searches, according to research from search engine strategy firm Inside Online.

Love Drinks has added an award-winning Swedish gin to its portfolio of spirits.

Coca-Cola European Partners has announced it is bringing its premium iced tea brand Fuze Tea to the UK.

The advertising watchdog has given Diageo a rap on the knuckles for releasing a Captain Morgan Snapchat ad that would appeal to children.

Seedlip has added 20cl bottles to its range in single bottle and duo gift boxes for its two expressions: Spice 94 and Garden 108.

EeBria Trade is showcasing a different beer from a unique brewery for each day of January, to highlight Tryanuary’s nationwide Beer Days campaign.

from left: Caspar MacRae and Gary Keogh

William Grant & Sons has announced two changes to its leadership team in the UK and EMEA regions.

Accolade Wines has appointed David White to the role of UK marketing director.

Ian Harris appointed MBE

02 January, 2018

WSET chief executive Ian Harris was appointed an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List 2018 in recognition of his services to the drinks industry.

Rum sales continue to soar

02 January, 2018

Rum sales have soared in the UK over the past five years and broke through the £1 billion boundary in 2017, according to the WSTA.

Gin Lane 1751 has announced ambitious plans to double volume sales through 2018, following a surge in sales last year driven by the popularity of its pink gin variant.

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