Plans have been made to turn Allied Domecq into a credible force in the UK wine industry. Its portfolio is led by the newly acquired champagnes Mumm and Perrier Jouët. It officially took over ownership of them from Seagram at the beginning of this month but it had already boosted its sales force and infrastructure to ensure a smooth handover. The majority of AD's business has been in spirits such as Tia Maria, Teacher's and Courvoisier, but it also has a number of wines which have been consolidated into their own portfolio. These include Clos du Bois, Callaway and Atlas Peak from California, Balbi from Argentina, Marques de Arienzo from Rioja, Cockburn's from Portugal and Harvey's from Jerez. Chief executive Philip Bowman has been actively seeking to buy other wine businesses. The AD team is ready to handle further acquisitions but is now concentrating on champagne which should become a one million case market in the UK this year. Marketing director Grahame Cox said this country was the third biggest market for Mumm and the second biggest for Perrier Jouët. He added: "I think for the forseeable future there will be growth in champagne. "It is as big as some spirits sectors but has far fewer consumers." Support for Mumm includes sponsorship of Formula One and Cox is considering bringing in the brand's international advertising campaign. {{DRINKS }}

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