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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Christian Davis

Southcorp president Mario Micheli has poached another senior executive from his former employer, the US brewer Anheuser-Busch (A-B). Peter Jackson, Southcorp Wines Europe's new European sales director, headed the team that made Budweiser a major European beer brand. He joined A-B in 1989. Prior to that he was with Bass Brewers. Jackson replaces Peter Darbyshire, who was managing the European function on a short-term basis. Peter will be responsible for all Southcorp's Continental European operations,' said Micheli, and he will develop our activities as we expand our business in these vital markets.' In December, Micheli announced the appointment of James Lousada (Harpers, 21 December), a former colleague of Micheli and Jackson, as Southcorp's European marketing director. Richard Gibson, Southcorp's former general manager, technical services has left to start Scorpex Wine Services. He says the company will specialise in the delivery of value-adding consulting services to a range of clients, in fields such as product development, project management, writing and communication, problem solving, process review and technical support'. Southcorp Wines has sold the Tulloch wine brand to Inglewood Wines. The sale will be completed by the end of February and includes the Tulloch brand name, all stock at the date of completion and the Tulloch cellar door club. As part of the sale the company has also assigned grape contracts to Inglewood, providing an ongoing supply of wine for the brand. Southcorp Wines will continue to sell the Tulloch range of wines and operate the Hunter Valley cellar door until the completion of the sale. In a separate transaction, Southcorp has sold the Tulloch winery and vineyard in the Hunter Valley to Poole's Rock Wines. The Tulloch winery sale, which will be completed by the end of March, is a further step in Southcorp's winery rationalisation programme announced in July 2001. Production in the Hunter Valley will be consolidated at the company's Denman winery, with its 35 million litres of storage capacity and five million-case packaging facility on site. Southcorp has confirmed that negotiations in relation to the sale of the Hungerford Hill brand and the Rouge Homme winery, which does not include the sale of the Rouge Homme brand, were progressing. Finally, Bruce McDougall, Southcorp's chief of grape purchasing, left the company suddenly on 25 January, according to unconfirmed reports.