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Hypnotiq takes the US by storm
19 mars 2003
Presented in champagne bottles revamped by the Linéa agency (Angoulême), Hypnotiq, a cocktail based on cognac and vodka, created by the Merlet company at Chérac and marketed by an American company which owns the brand name, is a repeat of the success story of Alizée, the celebrated cocktail from L&L. 700,000 cases have been sold in 12 months.

Foreign sales of wines and spirits
19 mars 2003
Figures revealed by the French Center for foreign trade show foreign sales of French wines and spirits worth 7.7 billion euros. The largest customers are Great Britain, Germany and Belgium.

Rule changes in viticulture in the Charente within three years
19 mars 2003
The present regulations run until 2005. Starting in 2006, new rules will be put in place, dealing notably with the abolition of the "double use" (possibility of allocating part of the harvest to cognac and disposing of the rest on the wine market or to receive European subsidies for the surplus). In theory, each wine grower will have to allocate each of their plots of vineyard to a given product. Bodies such as the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC) would like to see the new regulations implemented quickly. A BNIC study recommends a production area with a total area of 72,000 hectares (55,000 for cognac, 1,000 for pineau, 5,000 for table wine and vin de pays, 11,000 for sparkling wine base and grape juice, with the remaining area being pulled up or reconverted).

Defense of vins de pays
12 mars 2003
The association for the restructuring of the Charentes vineyards held its first AGM at the beginning of March. The organization has 432 members (190 in Charente and 242 in Charente-Maritime). Since 1998, 1,399 hectares of vines have been reconverted ( 702 ha. in Charente and 697 ha. in Charente-Maritime). Pascal Gonthier, president of the association, deplores the lack of recognition of vins de pays. He considers that the desire for reconversion has not been firmly established at a regional level.

Awards for Unicognac
12 mars 2003
For the first time, Unicognac has won awards for an XO cognac, a Jules Gautret rosé pineau and a Prince de Didonne white pineau at the Paris agricultural competition.

New AOC for cognac
5 mars 2003
The INAO (National Institute of Labels of Origin) has approved a new AOC (label of origin) for cognac which will introduce the allotment of production areas to particular products.

Martell : 114 jobs to go
5 mars 2003
Negotiations at Martell have enables the number of job losses to be reduced to 114, instead of the initial 149. There will be about 50 redundancies, 40 in early retirement, measures to promote spin-offs, company start-ups or takeovers, part-time working and external resettlements. Three employees have begun a hunger strike.

Martell : 50 redundancies
26 février 2003
Fewer than fifty employees at Martell will be made redundant, according to labor unions, but the resettlement plans under consideration are already causing disappointment, due to the differences in salary. A staff reduction program calls for 125 jobs to disappear.

Reorganization in the vineyards
19 février 2003
In order to reduce overproduction of wine in the Cognac area (Charente, Charente-Maritime and Deux-Sèvres), 4,300 hectares will be pulled up by 2006, reducing the total area to 72,500 hectares. The vineyards, which today can be used for all types of production, will have production quotas : 55,000 hectares for cognac, 11,000 hectares for derivative products, 5,500 hectares for table wine, 1,000 for white must for pineau.

Sica-Cognac doing well
19 février 2003
The 74 members of Sica-Cognac, based in Bourg-Charente, which supply Marnier Lapostelle, the exclusive supplier of Grand Marnier, have increased their sales by 12 % compared to 2000-2001.

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