Latest drinks industry interviews

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just-drinks uses its unrivalled access to the top industry executives to bring you interviews with the personalities shaping the news all year round.

Interview, Edrington MD for GTR, Igor Boyadjian

In early-October, Edrington officially unveiled its new Global Travel Retail range for its The Macallan single malt Scotch whisky brand. The...

"We're thrilled" - Diageo head of whisky outreach

Earlier today, Diageo announced plans to invest GBP35m (US$46m) in reopening two of its Scotch whisky distilleries that have been closed for...

Interview - VP of Pernod's House of Tequila, II

In part one of this interview, the VP of Pernod Ricard's House of Tequila unit, Pierre-Aymeric du Cray, explained the importance of 'The Tah...

Interview - VP of Pernod Ricard's House of Tequila

Earlier in September, Pernod Ricard hosted the seventh annual The Tahona Society competition - a bartender programme under its Altos Tequila...


"I can see us getting Smirnoff into growth in the US next year" - Interview - Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes 27 Jul 2017

Lucy Britner

Following today's full-year 2017 results, just-drinks spoke to Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes about regional challenges, product innovation and acquisition strategy.


"Our major task, however simple it sounds, is to reach every consumer personally" - Interview, Global Spirits owner Eugen Chernyak 27 Jun 2017

Lucy Britner

Last month, just-drinks was a guest of Ukrainian drinks group Global Spirits. The tour took in the company’s Cognac distillery, Shustov, in Odessa as well as the Khortytsa vodka facility in Zaporizhia. just-drinks sat down with Global Spirits’ founder & owner, Eugen Chernyak, to talk about his firm’s US ambitions, the ongoing battle to preserve Ukrainian 'Cognac' and the importance of quality.


"We have never seen anything like this level of enthusiasm for American whiskey" - Interview, Heaven Hill Brands president Max Shapira 20 Jun 2017

Lucy Britner

Later this year, US spirits firm Heaven Hill Brands will see both a new Bourbon and a new vodka production facility become operational. Yesterday, just-drinks sat down with Heaven Hill president Max Shapira at Vinexpo in Bordeaux to talk about family ownership, the Bourbon boom and the company's investment in vodka.


"More Chinese people like wine - they want to know more about it" - Interview, Alan's Wines & Spirits chairman Alan Wang 12 Jun 2017

Andy Morton

Alan Wang is the founder of Alan's Wines & Spirits, which has 86 off-premise sites across China. just-drinks sat down with him during the 2017 China Food & Drinks Fair in Chengdu, where he spoke about the changing face of the Chinese consumer and reveals what he looks for in wine before allowing it on his shelves.


"In the US, we don't sell a litre. Come on, have a go!" - Interview, Australian Vintage CEO Neil McGuigan - Part II 8 Jun 2017

Olly Wehring

In part two of our interview with Australian Vintage CEO Neil McGuigan - part one can be found here - we discuss his plans for the US, his preferred vineyard-ownership structure and the likelihood of a name-change for the company.


"I've never seen anything before that has affected us as much as Brexit" - Interview, Australian Vintage CEO Neil McGuigan - Part I 6 Jun 2017

Olly Wehring

Late last month, just-drinks met up with the CEO of Australian Vintage, Neil McGuigan. The wine company hit the headlines earlier in May, as it secured a Chinese partner through a stake sale. In part one of our two-part interview, McGuigan discusses the thinking behind this, as well as considering the importance - or otherwise - of the UK market for Australian Vintage, particularly as the country - and the company - deal with the fallout of last year's EU referendum.


"We need to look at the way Millennials experience wine drinking" - Interview, Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne MD Vincent Perrin 30 May 2017

Lucy Britner

In figures released by the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC) earlier this year, the Champagne segment posted its second-highest year for value sales, despite a slight volumes dip. Earlier this month, just-drinks sat down with CIVC managing director Vincent Perrin to get some insight into the numbers.


"Highland Park was a brand that lacked emotion" - Interview, Edrington's Highland Park brand director, Jason Craig 3 May 2017

Lucy Britner

Last week, Edrington unveiled a new whisky range, new packaging and a new brand position for its Highland Park single malt Scotch whisky brand. The Orkney-based distillery has created a back-story for Highland Park around the islands' Viking heritage. just-drinks sat down with Highland Park brand director Jason Craig at the launch in Denmark to find out more about the thinking behind the re-launch.


"Launching a brand new gin now would be a tough ask" - Interview, Wemyss Malts MD William Wemyss 10 Apr 2017

Lucy Britner

Late last month, Wemyss Malts announced plans to move its Darnley's gin production to its own, newly-created facility in Scotland. The gin, which launched in 2010, is currently produced at Thames Distillers in London.  At the same time, the firm announced that it has dropped 'View' from the brand name and rolled out fresh packaging as well as a Navy Strength version of its Spiced Gin brand. just-drinks sat down with Wemyss Malts founder and managing director William Wemyss in Edinburgh to find out why being "made in Scotland" is important.


"Do you go and buy Chivas Regal at Lidl? I don't think so" - Interview, Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits' CEO, Jean-Noël Reynaud 5 Apr 2017

Andy Morton

In 2013, Belvedere entered administration after falling into debt thanks to its purchase of the Marie Brizard liqueurs brand. Four years later, the French spirits company - renamed Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits - is debt free. What's more, its William Peel Scotch whisky has just become the top-selling spirits brand in France. Couple that with an entry into China and you have a company back on the up. just-drinks spoke to Marie Brizard's CEO since 2014, Jean-Noël Reynaud, about how he has turned the firm around by shunning premiumisation, as well as the benefits of Brexit. We also asked: Whatever happened to Bruce Willis?


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