Pierre Pringuet, chief executive and vice chairman of Pernod Ricard, has been appointed as the new chairman of the Scotch Whisky Association. He succeeds Ian Curie, the Chief Executive of Edrington who was the chair for the trade body for the past three years. He will remain on the SWA governing council. Peter Gordon, director of William Grant and Sons replaces Mr Pringuet as Vice Chairman of the SWA. Continue reading

Despite Diageo’s announcement to postpone their plans to build a ne £50 million distillery in Alness the Edrington group has announced that construction has begun on £100,000 million distillery and visitor’s centre for The Macallan in Speyside, Scotland. Continue reading

The same French ampelographer , Jean-Michel Bourisquot suggests that there might be more Carmenere planted in China than in Chile ! Addressing a conference in Santiago Chile on 27th November to celebrate the 20 years of recognition of Carmenere he said there were officially classified Carmenere vineyards in China making up 1,353 hectares . However he said there could be as much as 15,000 planted hectares but the grapes still have be officially certified as carmenere. Continue reading

Chile has just celebrated 20 years since it was realised that much of Chile’s merlot was in fact Carmenere. Shipments of vines from Bordeaux, believed to be Merlot, were planted in Chile in the 1800’s in the Alto Jahuel region of the Maipo Valley by viticulturist at Vina Carmen—Chile’s oldest winery. After devastation by phyloxera in the 1850’s throughout Europe it was thought the Carmenere grape was extinct. It was not until 24 November 1994, that French ampelographer Jean Michel Boursiquot identified vines that were previously thought to be Merlot, were in fact Carmenere. These were in Vina Carmen’s Alto Maipo vineyards. The discovery marked what would become one of the most important milestones in the Chilean wine industry. On discovery of the true identity of its vines Vina Carmen replanted the variety in the Apalta valley part of the Colchagua Valley thought to be best suited for Carmenere.

On 1st December Accolade confirmed that an agreement had been reached which would see it take control of the Barossa-based business. Its brand and its Krondorf winery. A number of third party conditions need to be satisfied but all negotiations are expected to be complete early January 2015. Grant Burge is a fifth generation family-owned business that produces a broad range of wines from across South Australia with a particularly strong reputation for its Barossa fortified expressions and some “icon” wines such as “Meshach Shiraz”. It is currently run by Grant and Helen Burge who have said they were “looking forward to working closely with Accolade and seeing their trophy-winning portfolio becoming more widely known and appreciated outside of Australia.”

Accolade’s acquisition of Grant Burge follows significant investment by its owner, Champ Private Equity, including £10 million injection to build Hardys brand worldwide and an £11 million bottling line extension at their UK facility.