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News Briefs for June 11, 2013

June 11, 2013

•Brown-Forman has released the next commercial in Southern Comfort’s “Whatever’s Comfortable” campaign. Entitled “Shampoo,” the latest edition hit the air this week. The “Whatever’s Comfortable” ad campaign was launched last summer, beginning with the “Beach” spot. Designed by Wieden+Kennedy New York, it includes television, digital and outdoor as well as on- and off-premise activations. Brown-Forman will also extend the campaign later this summer with spots created for the Lime and Bold Black Cherry flavor variants. The ad campaign has been credited with helping return the brand to growth. Last year, it was up 0.4% to 1.25 million cases in the U.S., according to Impact Databank.

•Total Wine & More is opening its first store in California’s Riverside County with a location at the Desert Crossing Shopping Center at 72339 California Highway 111 in Palm Desert slated for June 3. The store is part of Total Wine’s “next generation” fleet, which includes features like a tasting bar, in-store iPads equipped with a proprietary app, flat panel screens streaming video content on producers and an education center that will host classes on wine, beer and spirits each month.

•Virginia-based importer and wholesaler The Vintner Group has expanded its distribution operations into New York, New Jersey and Connecticut with the acquisition of Martin Scott Wines. The deal, for which no price was disclosed, is expected to close June 30. The New York, New Jersey and Connecticut businesses will continue to trade as Martin Scott Wines, and no staffing or operational changes are planned. Martin Scott was founded by Martin Gold and Scott Gerber in 1990 and has made its name as a fine wine wholesaler in the metro New York market. The latest in a series of recent acquisitions for The Vintner Group, the Martin Scott deal adds a tri-state area presence to a Vintner Group distribution footprint that already included included Delaware, Maryland, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina (as The County Vintner), Georgia (as Quality Wine & Spirits) and Florida (as Stacole Fine Wines.)

•Seattle-based Precept Wines has acquired a 174-acre vineyard in Washington’s Yakima Valley. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The vineyard, which Precept has named “Skyfall,” is currently planted with 32 acres of wine grapes, 66 acres of sweet cherries and 22 acres of other fruit. Precept will convert the land over the next three years to support mostly red wine varieties, so that nearly 100 vineyard acres are planted for winegrapes and about 20 acres of sweet cherries remain, and will be used to source existing brands, especially the Waterbrook Reserves. The news follows closely on the heels of the purchase of Yamhela vineyard in Oregon. Precept, whose portfolio consists of labels from Washington, Oregon and Idaho, told Shanken News Daily that it expects to pass the 1-million-case mark across all brands this year.

•Single malt Scotch brand The Glenrothes has launched a new three-pack offering, as well as its latest release, The Glenrothes 2001 Vintage. Rolling out in the U.S. this month, The Glenrothes Triple Pack includes three 100-ml. bottle samples of the brand’s Select Reserve, 1998 vintage and the new 2001 vintage. The trio—which is targeted toward the gift occasion—is priced at $39.99. In addition to being featured in the Triple Pack, the 2001 vintage will also be released as a standalone at retail later this summer. Part of the Berry Bros. & Rudd portfolio, The Glenrothes is handled by Anchor Distilling in the U.S., where it does roughly 10,000 cases.

•New York-based importer Frederick Wildman and Sons has added Italy’s Fattoria dei Barbi wine brand to its U.S. import portfolio. Based in Montalcino, Fattoria dei Barbi estate spans around 457 acres (91 of which are planted) and produces 58,000 cases annually. The family-owned winery is best known for its Brunello—which was among the first to ever to be exported to the U.S. and Europe. Fattoria dei Barbi marks the 23rd brand within Frederick Wildman’s Italian import range.

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