Richard Woodard

irish drinks

Wine merchants and restaurants in Ireland have been left reeling by the government's shock decision to put a €1 tax increase on a bottle of wine from midnight on Thursday.

retailer awards and judges

Majestic Wine shook off the effects of the wet summer to post a 3.9% increase in pre-tax profits to £9.2m for the six months ending 1 October.

Haut-Gléon

Southern French co-operative union Les Vignobles Foncalieu has acquired well-regarded Corbieres estate Chateau Haut-Gleon for an undisclosed sum.

Alexander Valley

Winemakers in California are hailing the 2012 harvest as ‘outstanding’, with early estimates suggesting it could be a near-record crop at 3.7m tons.

lidl

Low-cost supermarket retailer Lidl is spending £1m on its first ever premium wine range for the UK, enlisting a quartet of Masters of Wine to taste and rank the products.

Playboy Wine Club

Men’s lifestyle brand Playboy has launched a new online wine club offering ‘sinfully seductive wines’ and ‘sexy, spicy Spanish reds’.

argento

UK wine importer Bibendum has sold the Argento Wine Company to the South American owners of Bodega Vistalba for an undisclosed sum.

valley of the moon

California’s West Coast Wine Partners has pledged to set a new direction for Sonoma-based Valley of the Moon Winery after buying it from sparkling wine giant F Korbel & Bros.

England cricket captain Andrew Strauss

Team mates of England cricket captain Andrew Strauss have marked his 100th Test match by presenting him with 100 specially commissioned bottles of wine.

Wine Grapes, by Jancis Robinson MW et al

A 1,200-page guide to the world's wine grape varieties, billed as the most comprehensive ever published and co-authored by Jancis Robinson MW, is published this autumn.

Berry Bros

Wine and spirits merchant Berry Bros & Rudd recorded a net loss in the year to 31 March, impacted by a dip in fine wine sales and unfavourable comparisons with

Courtside Cellars, California

Wine giant E&J Gallo is to buy the Courtside Cellars business to feed growing demand for wines from California's Central Coast.

crushpad

The new owners of the assets of beleaguered custom winemaking company Crushpad are on the hunt for new facilities as they try to rebuild trust in the troubled business.

Sparkling wine glasses

Clare Valley wine producer Taylors has put part of its first sparkling wine release under screwcap after trials found no loss of freshness or fizz.

Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2007

Team GB aren't the only Brits celebrating Olympic success after sparkling wine from Gusbourne Estate in Kent took a starring role in a Games reception at Buckingham Palace.

sideways

Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards, owned by Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir pioneer Richard Sanford, has filed for bankruptcy protection as the company fights off creditors.