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News Briefs for November 29, 2012

November 29, 2012

Treasury Wine Estates CEO David Dearie says the global wine industry is ripe for consolidation and that Treasury is positioned to be a player in that movement looking ahead. Dearie told Bloomberg yesterday that “there’s a real opportunity for consolidation. With about A$3.5 billion ($3.7b) worth of assets and zero debt, expansion has to be a part of our future.” Dearie added that Treasury has been leasing vineyards for high-end fruit in California and Australia when unable to acquire properties outright. “The big challenge right now is we’ve got more demand than we have supply for luxury wines,” he said.

•Beam Inc. is set to launch a new digital media campaign in the U.S. for its Canadian Club whisky, entitled “Join the Club.” The campaign introduces a new character spokesperson for the brand, the “Canadian Club chairman,” and features video segments on Facebook and other digital formats that offer brand history and “Whisky Whisdoms” aimed at enticing male consumers into the category. The campaign will run on digital formats from January to July but will continue on Facebook and at retail for the remainder of 2013.

•Accolade Wines has set up a new North American headquarters in Napa. Accolade North America managing director Tim Matz; vice president, sales, Todd DeVincenzi; vice president, marketing, Reid Stinnett; and vice president, finance, Brent Hansston and their teams will now be located in Napa. Operations personnel will remain at the Geyser Peak Winery in Geyserville, while others have been relocated to Accolade’s distribution center, also in Geyserville. To clarify information in Tuesday’s story regarding Accolade’s new seven-state distribution deal with Glazer’s, Accolade North America handles the company’s Geyser Peak, Hardys, Banrock Station, Tintara, Whiskers Blake Port, Trackers Crossing, Atlas Peak, XYZin wine brands and the Stones ready-to-serve cocktails brand in the U.S. Constellation Wines owns 100% of the Kim Crawford, Nobilo and Monkey Bay brands from New Zealand and markets them in the U.S. through its own distribution network. Accolade, in which Constellation holds a 20% stake, distributes the New Zealand brands in Australia, the Pacific, Japan, Europe and the United Kingdom.

•Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group is opening an outpost of Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House in Chicago on December 1. The company already has a Sullivan’s Steakhouse in Chicago, but this will be the first Chicago unit of Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House, which has nine other units in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Denver, Las Vegas, Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston, Texas, and Charlotte, North Carolina. The Chicago restaurant will open inside the former Esquire Theater in the city’s Gold Coast neighborhood, taking up approximately 24,000 square feet and two floors of the space.

•Musician Jimmy Buffett has agreed to sell his 10-year-old Cheeseburger in Paradise chain of themed restaurants to Luby’s Inc., parent company of the Luby’s Cafeteria and Fuddruckers restaurant brands, for $11 million. Luby’s will take over all 23 Cheeseburger in Paradise units in 14 states and has plans to expand the brand. The deal is slated to close on December 5.

•Sotheby’s is set to auction off the wine cellar of Spain’s elBulli, the shuttered Michelin three-star restaurant led by renowned chef Ferran Adrià. The 8,807-bottle sale, which will consist of two separate auctions on April 3 in Hong Kong and April 26 in New York, is expected to bring in between $1.1 and $1.6 million. Featuring 2,000 Spanish wines, the auction’s highlights include 100 bottles of Vega Sicilia “Unico” ranging from 1987 to 1996 and 157 bottles of Pingus spanning nine different vintages. Proceeds from the sale will go toward Adrià’s elBulliFoundation, an experimental center focusing on culinary innovation and creativity, slated to open in 2014. elBulli, which was established in 1961, closed its doors in July 2011.

 

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