Scotland’s most northern mainland whisky distillery at John O’Groats gets green light

3rd March, 2020

A Scottish couple have been handed close to £200,000 to build a whisky distillery at John O’Groats.

Derek and Kerry Campbell secured £198,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE)

A new micro Scotch distillery is set to open in John O’Groats in 2021, after planning permission was secured for a 32,670 square foot facility which will house a distillery, visitor centre and bonded warehouse.

Husband and wife team Derek and Kerry Campbell secured £198,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to bring the John O’Groats distillery to life. 

It will become Scotland’s most northernly mainland whisky distillery, thanks to its location near to the coastline. The project will also offer a new tourist attraction to the coastal outpost, as well as creating six new jobs in its first year, including a Master Whisky Maker and Visitor Centre Manager.

The distillery will have the capacity to produce up to 60,000 litres of whisky each year and will be the first Scotch whisky distillery in John O’Groats since 1837. 

Keith Muir, HIE’s head of business growth for Caithness and Sutherland, said, as well as producing a brand-new whisky, the new site “will enhance the area’s wider visitor offering, notably around the North Coast 500.”

“All of this encourages visitors to stay in the area longer, which benefits all local businesses and communities.”

More whisky producers are creating visitor centres and tasting experiences at their distilleries to boost revenues. Spirits giant Edrington spent £140 million on a new distillery and visitor centre for its Speyside Scotch brand The Macallan, which went on to win the 2019 RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award last October.

Diageo has invested heavily in new facilities around Scotland. In April, its Scotch brand Johnnie Walker submitted plans to enhance the “visitor experiences” at its Cardhu and Clynelish distilleries.

Argyll & Bute Council planners also approved an application from Diageo in October to fully restore the buildings of the ‘lost’ Port Ellen distillery, which was originally opened in 1824, and construct a new still house.

Andrew Mowat, manager at the Seaview Hotel in John O’Groats, said the development of Scotland’s most northerly distillery is “really exciting for the area”, and also complements plans for a mill and brewery that are under way.

“It will also help increase dwell time in John O’Groats,” he said, “attract more visitors, increase employment and utilise a currently undeveloped site.

Muir also welcomed the improvement it will make to the look and feel of John O’Groats’ current tourist attraction offering end of the road attraction, “bringing a long disused site back into productive use.”

Founder Kerry Campbell said: “With a longstanding interest in the whisky industry, I began to truly appreciate quality Scotch whisky around 12 years ago and since then have developed a growing passion for Scotland’s national drink.

“We believe the whisky we will produce will be unlike that from any other distillery, due to our coastal location in John O’Groats and the impact the local climate will have on our spirit as it matures.

Flicker of hope for fine wine in February

3rd March, 2020

February saw the Liv-ex Fine Wine 100 index experience the faintest flicker of a rise, despite grim prevailing market conditions.

Despite the start of Brexit negotiations (the outcome of which remains uncertain) and the on-going spread of the Covid-19 outbreak, the benchmark Liv-ex index rose 0.22% last month after what has been a long and disappointing stretch.

Liv-ex reported that Italy and Champagne were the main drivers of the market, while Bordeaux and Burgundy drifted.

As reported last month, the decision in the US not to apply universal 100% tariffs on EU wines caused a bounce in US trading which provided a fillip to the market.

The 14 Italian wines in the Liv-ex 100 rose 1.3% on average, with Gaja’s 2013 Sperss and the 2015 Masseto being the best performers, up 6.3% and 4.9% respectively.

The Champagnes on the list rose 0.7% on average with the 2009 Dom Pérignon rising 5.9%.

Despite Burgundy drifting overall, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti’s 2014 Richbourg and Domaine Leflaive’s 2015 Puligny Montrachet Clavoillon rose 14.3% and 8.9% respectively – the best performers.

Armand Rousseau’s 2016 Chambertin Clos de Beze wa the month’s worst performer, meanwhile, seeing its price slip 11.7%, while the 2015 Screaming Eagle, François Lamarche’s 2015 Grande Rue, the 2010 Léoville Poyferré and 2005 La Mission Haut-Brion were also big fallers.

Asahi proposes sale of beer and cider brands in bid to seal $16bn Carlton deal

3rd March, 2020

Japanese drinks giant Asahi has offered to divest brands it would acquire through purchasing Carlton & United Breweries, including Stella Artois and Strongbow, in a bid to appease competition regulators.

Carlton & United Breweries (CUB), the Australian subsidiary of brewing powerhouse AB InBev, currently owns beer brands including Stella Artois and Beck’s. The Australian company also has rights to the Strongbow brand, which in other countries is owned by Dutch brewer Heineken.

Asahi, which announced its intention to acquire CUB for AU$16 billion in 2019, has offered to divest these brands, as well as CUB’s Little Green and Bonamy’s cider brands, to satisfy regulations.

It follows the publication of a preliminary report on the proposed deal by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in December last year.

In this report the ACCC expressed concern that a combined Asahi-CUB would control the Somersby, Strongbow, Mercury and Bulmers cider brands, which together account for around two thirds of cider sales in Australia.

The commission said they were concerned that the acquisition “may lead to higher cider prices”. It also was worried that the growth of Asahi in Australia, via the purchase of CUB, would mean that it would no longer act as a competitive constraint on the two largest beer companies in the country: Lion and CUB.

The ACCC has now opened a consultation after Asahi’s offer to divest brands to approved companies. Interested parties have until 18 March 2020 to make a submission.

ACCC chair Rod Sims stressed that Asahi’s actions and the opening of the consultation “should not be interpreted as a signal that the ACCC will ultimately accept the undertaking and clear the transaction”.

“We are following our usual practice of publicly consulting on a proposed divestment package,” he said. “We are seeking feedback from industry participants on whether the divestment package will be sufficient to address the competition concerns.”

A statement from Asahi said the company welcomed the opening of the consultation, and that it had been “working closely” with the ACCC and has proposed undertakings which address the its preliminary concerns.

Chairman of Asahi Beverages, Peter Margin, added: “We understand and respect that the ACCC must undertake a thorough process to ensure that the deal does not reduce competition and is in the interests of consumers. Asahi’s acquisition of CUB is a significant one and we have always expected that the review process would take some time.”

Read more: 

FULLER’S SELLS BEER AND DISTRIBUTION BUSINESS TO ASAHI FOR £250M

Diageo marks International Women’s Day with equality pledge

3rd March, 2020

Drinks giant Diageo is marking International Women’s Day by asking each of its 28,000 employees to state how they will help accelerate gender equality in the workplace.

“Good allies are those who don’t just have good intentions, but who are making a positive impact”, Belinda Brown, Diageo’s global audit and risk director for Europe & Africa

As part of the company’s commitment to championing inclusion and diversity at work, Diageo has asked each of its employees to make an #EachForEqual pledge.

Diageo will be running series of events and panel discussions linked to the ‘each for equal’ theme, examining how employees can be allies for gender equality.

“I am proud to see Diageo employees around the world pledge to be ‘each for equal’. This pledge is about each and every one of us using our voice and our influence to create change, challenge stereotypes, fight bias, and broaden perceptions,” Mairéad Nayager, Diageo’s chief HR officer, said.

The firm will also be releasing a series of candid video interviews with female Diageo employees from around the world working in a variety of roles.

In the videos the women share their career journeys and experiences of contributing to a culture of inclusion, offering advice on how to be an agent for change.

“By sharing your achievements others can feel inspired – you could be an example, or you could spark an idea. I find that very powerful,” Cristina Diezhandino, Diageo’s Scotch category director, said.

Belinda Brown, Diageo’s global audit and risk director for Europe & Africa, added: “Good allies are those who don’t just have good intentions, but who are making a positive impact and are taking action.”

For the second year running Diageo is partnering with Creative Equals to support programmes in London, New York and Mumbai that will help women to return to work in the creative industries following a career break.

Diageo has been ranked as the top company globally for gender equality by Equileap, and as the second most diverse and inclusive workplace by Refinitiv.

An encouraging 44% of Diageo’s board and around 40% of Diageo’s executive committee are women, and the business is working towards targets for its global senior leadership team to be 40% female by 2025.

Thus far, Diageo has supported over 400,000 women through initiatives like hospitality skills training and supporting female entrepreneurs.

International Women’s Day takes place on Sunday 8 March.

ProWein 2020延期举行

3rd March, 2020

德国杜塞尔多夫展览公司发出声明中指決定延遲多個在欧洲贸易展覽會,包括ProWein 2020。在与所有相关合作伙伴密切协调下,该公司将定出最新贸易展览日期,以确保活動能够安全地进行。

主办方表示,在评估了欧洲新冠病毒的情况之后,加上几家主要参展商的不确定性,因此他們根據德国政府的建议推迟了展会。

杜塞尔多夫展览有限公司首席执行官Werner M. Dornscheidt道:“我们的客户,合作伙伴和员工都信任我们。除了我們能专业處理重大国际活动的,当我们为了參加者安全而做出紧急應對决定时,他们仍繼續信任我們。”

杜塞尔多夫市市长暨杜塞尔多夫展览有限公司监事会主席Thomas Geisel说:“这决定对所有有关方面而言都不是一件容易的事。但是鉴于病毒不断发展的情況,目前杜塞尔多夫展览有限公司及其客户也傾向需要延遲活動。”

主辦方目前正在商討举办展览的新日期。

盘点2020年值得到访的国內酒展

3rd March, 2020

在新冠肺炎影响下,今年春季的活动已相继取消或延迟。以下这些酒展是目前于本年度仍会照常举行,请紧贴我们网站获取最新消息。

Interwine China
5月21-23日,中国进出口商品交易会展馆

广州春季Interwine仍然是华南地区最重要的展览之一。该展会已营办了15年,声称拥有中国大陆最大的中国葡萄酒进口商网络。去年,为期三天的展览面积为50,000平方米,吸引了1,175多家参展商以及50,000多个专业观众和团体买家参加。

世界散装葡萄酒展览(WBWE Asia)
5月29日至30日,烟台国际博览中心

WBWE亚洲版于2019年首次亮相,将于今年五月重返烟台,这城市正是中国最重要的散装酒入境口岸。

TopWine China 2020
6月3-5日,北京国家会议中心

北京TopWine China是中国北方最大的葡萄酒和烈酒国际贸易展览会之一,为全球品牌提供了一个了解中国市场的平台。去年,据报道该展会吸引了10,885名参观者。

VinChina 2020
7月3-5日,烟台国际博览中心

该展览也被称为烟台国际葡萄酒博览会,据称是中国最大的葡萄酒博览会之一,展览面积达30,000平方米。去年的展会吸引了来自22个国家58个葡萄酒产区的500家公司,其中包括中国的10个葡萄酒产区。

TOEwine
9月18日至20日,深圳会展中心

第三年举办的TOEwine是代表着“Taste of Excellence(卓越口味)”的缩写,旨在向中国消费者推广创新的葡萄酒风格。去年,该展会共接待了14456名参观者,涵盖了高级餐饮业以及公司和高级俱乐部的高端消费者。

Vinexpo上海2020
10月21日至23日,上海世博展览馆

继去年首届上海版酒展大获成功后,Vinexpo上海今年将继续成为中国葡萄酒和烈酒界的重要活动。去年,活动展示了来自40个不同地区的260家参展商,以及高水平的品酒会和讲座。

Wine to Asia 2020
11月9日至11日,深圳会展中心

由Vinitaly与中国糖烟酒展览会(CFDF)的联合主办方Pacco Communication合作主办的“Wine to Asia”是针对亚洲专业买家的全新展览会。由Vinitaly主导,该节目希望在亚洲建立出全意大利风格的宣传活动。该活动在启动阶段预计将有400家参展商参加。

ProWine中国
11月10日至12日,上海新国际博览中心这个老牌品牌将于今年秋天在上海再次举办其第七届活动。去年,为期三天的活动吸引了来自37个国家或地区的820位知名葡萄酒生产商和展销商,展览面积增加了10%,而参加人数为20,640,比往年增加了9%。

VINEXPO香港酒展将改于7月举行

3rd March, 2020

早前在Vinexpo巴黎酒展期间,我们已获得最新消息指香港酒展有机会因为新冠肺炎影响延期至7月举行。现时主办方已宣布正式将原定于5月举行的酒展延迟至2020年7月8至10日假香港会议展览中心举行。

作为亚洲最重要的其中一个酒展,业界清晰表示Vinexpo Hong Kong应重新安排日期以减低健康和安全风险,但仍然希望保留在2020年上半年度举办,为参展商和与会人士提供洽商交流的机会。

Vinexpo行政总裁Rodolphe Lameyse强调:”我们对于能为这个紧密联系的社区提供服务感到很高兴,这让我们能够准确了解业内的需求。我们正在尽一切努力,令重新安排的2020年度Vinexpo香港酒展成为亚太地区不容错过的活动。”

不少公司已确认会在新展期参展,同时亦将有很多国家和地区的与会代表出席,除了已多次参加的智利、阿根廷、南非和法国主要葡萄酒产区外,乌拉圭、黎巴嫩和叙利亚亦会首次派出代表参加。

Emiliana Organic Vineyards酒庄亚洲出口经理Guillermo Beltramín表示:”Vinexpo香港酒展延期至7月,对业界而言是一个好消息。毫无疑问,Vinexpo香港酒展对各界正期盼着的经济反弹将会是最强力的支持。”

Borie Manoux酒庄主席指出:”Vinexpo Hong Kong是亚洲区内的重要商贸活动,因此我们对于活动的推迟安排表示欢迎。我们将可与客户重新建立联系,有助推动年底的销情。”

本届Vinexpo Hong Kong将首次设立”Be Spirits”烈酒与调酒专区,该专区刚于上月举行的Vinexpo Paris巴黎酒展上登场。在香港展会上,大会亦将举办一系列更精彩的研讨会、专业试酒班和品酒会,并会继续设置”WOW!”专区(”World of Organic Wines”有机葡萄酒世界),展出多款有机或生物动力法认证的葡萄酒。

邦瀚斯最新威士忌网上专场成功吸引年轻威士忌藏家

3rd March, 2020

邦瀚斯发布最新威士忌网上专场拍卖会成绩,表示近40%竞投者为新客户,而40岁以下竞投者占逾30%。

这场网上威士忌拍卖会于2月15日至22日举行,搜罗180件拍品,包含来自备受追捧的日本和苏格兰威士忌酒厂,价格低至3,000港元,目的为吸引年轻的威士忌爱好者。

邦瀚斯葡萄酒及烈酒部亚洲区总监林安泰表示::“近年我们观察到市场上多了新进收藏家:过去两年,我们全球威士忌拍卖中每5个投标者中就有1个是新客户。”

这场按新进威士忌藏家品味而策划的网上专场,吸引了亚洲以至国际收藏群体的回响,当中近40%竞投者为新客户,另外40岁以下竞投者占逾30%,包括有20多岁藏家参与,足见年轻一代的踊跃参与。

这场拍卖会总成交额为604万港元,日本威士忌的成交率高达85%。成交焦点拍品有轻井泽- 1968 – 50年- # 6223 – 黑命の水(成交价为471,200港元)以及轻井泽- 八代- 1971 – 37年- 八代窑(成交价为347,200港元),为拍前估价逾四倍。

苏格兰威士忌的走势仍肯然强。麦卡伦莱丽 – 72年水晶瓶以930,000港元成交,而黑波摩 – 1964(第2版)则以186,000港元成交。

七名全新葡萄酒大师登场

3rd March, 2020

葡萄酒大师协会宣布来自五个国家的七位最新出炉葡萄酒大师,目前世上累积的MW总数达396名。

最新成员为:刘琳MW(法国)、Vaness Conlin MW(美国)、Elizabeth Kelly MW(英国)、Pasi Ketolainen MW(芬兰)、Curtis Mann MW(美国)、Beth Pearce MW(英国)和Ross Wise MW (加拿大)。

成功通过考试并完成研究论文后,候选人现在可称自己为葡萄酒大师或MW,并且必须遵守研究所的行为准则。

MW数量在全球分布持续增长。拥有最多MW的头六个国家为澳大利亚、法国、德国、新西兰、英国和美国。

刘琳 MW


刘女士来自中国杭州,现在居住在法国卡奥尔。在从事葡萄酒行业之前,她曾任职投资顾问的工作。在不酿酒、不评酒、不写酒或不教酒的时候,她还喜欢绘画、烹饪、制作陶器、采蘑菇和园艺。

Vaness Conlin MW


Conlin居住在纳帕谷,在那里她是葡萄酒零售电商Wine Access的负责人,在加入葡萄酒行业之前,她是一名专业歌剧歌手,并获得了音乐硕士学位。在搬到纳帕之前,她曾在纽约市的葡萄酒商店和酒吧工作,在纳帕工作过的酒庄包括Arietta Wines和Dana Estates。

Elizabeth Kelly MW


Kelly在获得数学物理学学位后加入了葡萄酒行业。在2013年加入Marks&Spencer之前,她曾在Oddbins和WSET工作,现在她为英国葡萄酒买手和产品开发。

Pasi Ketolainen MW


最初担任侍酒师,2003年完成WSET文凭后,Ketolainen进入了多家芬兰葡萄酒进口商的销售和产品管理领域。他于2019年开始在Viinitie Oy担任商务总监。

Curtis Mann MW


Mann拥有19年的贸易经验,他的职业生涯始于纳帕谷,在加州大学戴维斯分校攻读MBA学位后,他担任Trinchero Family Estates的品牌经理。自2013年以来,他在连锁超市Raley’s工作,担任其酒精和饮料总监。

Beth Pearce MW


Pearce是Majestic Wine的买家,大学毕业后到访新西兰,促使她于2010年加入了专业零售商的管理培训计划。在文凭学习期间,她获得了Derouet Jameson奖学金。

Ross Wise MW


Wise最初来自新西兰,现在是加拿大不列颠哥伦比亚的欧肯那根谷的酿酒师和葡萄培植员,2009年移居加拿大(最初移居安大略省,2016年移居卑诗省)。他现在是Black Hills Estate Winery的酿酒师和Andrew Peller酿酒厂的高级酿酒师。他是一个“多产”的酸种面包制作师。

London Wine Fair ‘going ahead as planned’ as coronavirus disrupts global trade show calendar

2nd March, 2020

The London Wine Fair will still go ahead “as planned” in May as trade shows around the world have been pushed back to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus).

(Photo: Anthony Upton)

The London Wine Fair is set to attract thousands of professionals from the wine, spirits, beer and cider industries to London’s Kensington Olympia exhibition hall between 18 and 20 May.

The organisers said they are working closely with the venue, Olympia, and we will “continue to follow advice from the Government, the Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England”, in a statement on the event’s website posted on Monday (2 March).

The news comes after Messe Düsseldorf said it was postponing a series of trade fairs set to take place in the exhibition centre, including ProWein, Wire, Tube, Beauty, Top Hair and Energy Storage Europe. The group said it will “promptly discuss alternative trade fair dates in order to guarantee planning can reliably proceed.” A number of shows have also been cancelled altogether in China, while the dates for Vinexpo Hong Kong and ProWine Asia in Singapore have also moved to later this year.

Some European wine businesses have threatened to pull out of trade tastings in the UK. The number cases in Italy has jumped to 655, including 17 deaths, and the Italian government was forced to quarantine 11 towns last week until 6 March, including 10 in Lombardy, and also Vò, meaning residents aren’t able to leave until at least 6 March. The total number of cases across the country has risen to more than 2,000, and the death toll has risen from 18 to 52, according to the most recent official reports in Italy.

LWF said in a statement: “We recognise the increased uncertainty that coronavirus may be causing. This situation will remain under review and we will continue to provide regular updates.”

“As you will be aware, the UK risk level for coronavirus has been increased from low to moderate. However, the risk to individuals has not changed and remains low. At this point in time London Wine Fair 2020 will be going ahead as planned.”

In an effort to contain the situation, organisers have said there will be extra hand sanitisers available on site, plus a small stock of masks and individual sanitisers that will be available on request, although attendees are encouraged to bring their own.

All Olympia London employees and service partners have also been provided with health information, as per World Health Organisation, NHS and UK Government guidelines.

Anyone who is due to attend London Wine Fair and believes they could have contracted the virus is being encouraged to stay indoors, whether at home or their hotel, and contact the NHS on 111.

Attendees travelling from outside of the UK might not be able to call 111. The alternative number is 0300 020 0155.

More information is available on the LWF website.