just the ten - Top Interviews of 2009

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With the end of the year looming, just-drinks is running a series of 'Top Tens of the Year' in the run-up to Christmas.

Today, it's the Top Ten Most Read Interviews of 2009.

10 - just the answer - Vinexpo
January - Click here for interview

The year ending in an odd number can mean only one thing. In June, the wine sector will be migrating en masse to Bordeaux for Vinexpo. Chris Mercer spoke with Xavier de Eizaguirre, managing director of Baron Philippe de Rothschild and chairman of Vinexpo, about the prospects for this year's show and Vinexpo's international aspirations, including a possible return to the US.

09 - just the answer - Guinness global brand director
September - Click here for interview

With today marking the celebrations of the 250th anniversary of the Guinness stout brand, just-drinks is in Dublin to speak to Guinness' global brand director, Brian Duffy.

08 - just the answer - Havana Club International
April - Click here for interview

Already a growth spirits category, the rum sector is unquestionably made all the more interesting for the presence of Havana Club. In this month's just the answer, Olly Wehring spoke with Marc Beuve-Méry, managing director of Havana Club International, about denominations of origin for rum, the US embargo on Cuban rum and the ensuing trademark battle between Pernod Ricard and Bacardi over the Havana Club brand.

07 - just the answer - Ketel One
November - Click here for interview

Back in February last year, the owners of the Ketel One vodka brand, the Netherlands-based Nolet family, announced a tie-up for the brand with Diageo. The deal not only signaled the end of Diageo's interest in the race to acquire Vin & Sprit's Absolut, but also gave the Nolets a helping hand with its premium vodka brand. Last week, Michelle Russell met with Bob Nolet, the vice president of Nolet Distillery and 11th generation family member.

06 - The just-drinks interview - The new Maxxium
April - Click here for interview

Yesterday (1 April) signalled both an end and a beginning for Maxxium, the global sales and distribution joint venture created by Beam Global Spirits & Wine, The Edrington Group and Remy Cointreau in 1999. In those ten years, the company has gained one partner - Vin & Sprit in 2001 - and lost two, with Vin & Sprit calling time last year, and Remy Cointreau pulling out yesterday. The two remaining members subsequently decided to pool their resources, rather than go it alone. Speaking to just-drinks, the MD for Beam Global's international operations, Donard Gaynor, and group sales and marketing director at Edrington, Bill Farrar, look back at the break-up process, and consider how the new Maxxium - of which they will be co-chairmen - will perform in the current economic climate.

05 - The just-drinks interview - Constellation Europe CEO
January - Click here for interview

It is now more than a year and a half since Troy Christensen took the helm at Constellation Europe, the European division of the world's biggest wine company. Given the current state of the European market, and the UK in particular, to call this a tough assignment would be something of an understatement. In this month's just-drinks interview, Christensen spoke with Olly Wehring about how Constellation is addressing the most trying of market conditions.

04 - The just-drinks interview - Absolut Vodka CEO
February - Click here for interview

To say that Ketil Eriksen had to hit the ground running when he became CEO of Absolut six months ago would be an understatement. Overseeing a massive reorganisation and dealing with the effects of the economic downturn, notably in the all-important US market, has made for a busy time. He spoke with Michelle Russell about the challenges of his first six months, and those to come.

03 - just the answer - Diageo CSR
July - Click here for interview

This month, Carolyn Panzer took up the position of corporate social responsibility director at Diageo, expanding her former remit as alcohol and responsibility director to cover all areas of Diageo's CSR platform.  In this month's just the answer, she speaks with Ben Cooper about recent changes to the Diageo Marketing Code, the rationale behind her new role and how she views the challenge ahead.

02 - just the answer - Diageo innovations
April - Click here for interview

As owner of some of the world's most successful alcohol brands, Diageo clearly recognises the importance of innovation. Olly Wehring spoke with Syl Saller, global innovations director at Diageo, about its brand innovation strategy and the role innovation can play in battling the recession.

01 - The just-drinks interview - Diageo CEO
August - Click here for interview

Yesterday (27 August), Diageo reported its full-year results. Although the company managed to hit its full-year guidance, the group's warning that this year will be tough suggests that Diageo has its work cut out in fiscal 2010. Speaking exclusively to just-drinks yesterday afternoon, group CEO Paul Walsh talks about the trials and tribulations of the past 12 months - including, of course, the ongoing row in Scotland.

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