Allied Domecq has set up a dedicated UK wine division as part of plans to create a global wine business. The spirits giant identified wine as a weakness in its armoury and has been on the acquisition trail for wines for the last 12 months. Its purchases include New Zealand market leader Montana, Graffigna and Balbi from Argentina and Bodegas y Bebidas from Spain. Montana accounts for the lion's share of the company's UK wine sales. Of the 750,000 cases it expects to sell this year, Montana will account for 600,000. From June, the new business, Allied Domecq Wines, will handle the strategic management and marketing of the group's still and sparkling wines. It will be led by Loraine McKinnon who established Montana UK in 1992. A spokesman said: "Our wine business needs a dedicated team as we recognise the industry is different from that of spirits. We intend to build a business with all the right skill sets." Allied Domecq's wines president, David Scotland, said: "The creation of a dedicated and skilled wine capability is critical to the future of our premium wine portfolio." {{DRINKS }}