Business - September 1984

LEADING sherry producers Harveys of Bristol are making a cool bid to take an even larger share of the Irish market. Through their distributors Grants of Ireland (Sales) Ltd, they are launching a completely new sherry, Finesse.

Described as light and fresh and at its best when chilled, Finesse is aimed to appeal to the younger market, particularly women under the age of 35. Its presentation reflects a modern sophisticated image.

This will· also be the style of the promotional campaign which breaks in Sept em ber, . featuring a new Irishhmade 20-second TV commercial on RTE I and 2, over 200 "Tasting Days" throughout Ireland, miniature samples and strong point of sale material.

The brand will also benefit from multi-channel overspill TV support from UTV, HTV and Channel 4 with the UK launch getting under way also.

This most untraditional sherry, with its distinctive, not-too-sweet taste, is a blend combining the lightness and delicacy of a fino with the rich smoothhness of cream sherry.

Its launch is well-timed. There has been renewed growth in the Irish sherry market with the annual volume up five per cent on a year ago.

Harveys are far and away the domiinant name in Ireland, outselling all other sherries combined. They have seen their market share grow from 20 per cent in the early seventies to over 50 per cent today, and Harveys Bristol Cream now outsells its nearest rival by three to one.

"There has been a highly positive reaction to Finesse from Irish connsumers during pre-launch tests and in the heavy research programme we have conducted we are confident that it will win over many new customers to sherry," says Product Group Manager Liam Mathews.

Harveys range is completed with Harveys Club Amontillado and Lunncheon Dry which have recently been given a facelift with the introduction of an elegant new livery.

DETAILS of Birr Vintage Week, to be held this year from Sunday August 19 to Sunday August 26, were given at a reception in Guinness Brewery, St James's Gate, Dublin, recently.

Guests at the reception were wellcomed by Mr A.M. Prendergast, Managing Director, Guinness Group Sales, who said that Birr in this annual Week offered its visitors one of the most remarkable package of attracctions to be found in the calendar of Irish tourism.

This year's Vintage Week will be opened by Mr R.B. Howick, Director of Guinness Group Sales, following a Vintage Transport Parade which will commence at 2.30pm on Sunday August 19. There will then be a Garden Fete in the grounds of Birr Castle, organised by Birr Junior Chamber. The day will be rounded off with a disco in the Marian Hall and cabaret in the County Arms Hotel with Christy Moore.

The other highlights of the Vintage Week were outlined at the Guinness reception by the festival Chairman, Mr Frank Egan. These include a new and varied programme by the Irish National Ballet Company, which will make its annual visit to Birr on August 20. Booking for the Ballet may be made at Birr Tourist Office, Telephone (0509) 20206.

Open-air events will include golf competitions, vintage tennis tournaaments and rugby 7-a-side. Of partiicular interest is the open half maraathon on August 18 sponsored by Guinness Group Sales.

The Children's Pavement Art Competition on August 23 will be a big attraction. There will also be a mongrel dog show, a soap box derby and tennis tournaments for children.

Mr and Mrs Denis Hoctor will be in charge of Birr Antique Fair in the County Arms Hotel, August 21-23. This is the longest established antique fair in the provinces.

A Vintage and Veteran Car Rally is being organised by Betty and Osmond Bennett, Johnstown, Co Kilkenny, for the 16th year. It will begin in Birr on August 18 at 11.30am and will travel to Athlone via Ferbane. After lunch and a cruise on the Shannnon the drivers will return via Ballinaasloe and Banagher.

The main attraction on August 26 will be the Ormond Equestrian Day at Fortel, Birr, with horse and pony jumping, dressage, donkey derby and side shows. A full programme of the Vintage Week is available from Birr Tourist Office, Phone (0509) 20206 or from the Secretary,· Birr Vintage Week, Phone (0509) 20228.

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GALANTA Menswear, the new commpany established to manufacture toppquality suits, Jackets and trousers for the Irish market, was officially launched recently.

Galanta which is based in Navan is the first clothing company to be supported by the IDA's Enterprise Development Programme. Galanta is also the first clothing company to be financed by venture capital - Allied Irish Investment Bank's First Venture Fund having taken a 38% equity stake.

Viewing the specially engraved hanging sign which will be presented in October to the Overall National Winner of this year's Black and White 'Pub of the Year' Competition are Colm O'Brennan, Managing Director.Eamonn M cDonnell, Chairman and Camillus Dwane, Group Product; Manager, B. Daly & Company Limited, distributors of Black and White Scotch Whisky in the Republic of Ireland.

Judging will take place during August and September and the winners will be announced in early October.