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News Briefs for June 17, 2013

June 17, 2013

•Paul Walsh, who is retiring as CEO of Diageo on July 1, is poised to become chairman of catering and services multinational Compass, according to UK press reports. He would succeed Sir Roy Gardner. Walsh, 58, has led Diageo for 13 years and is being replaced by current Diageo COO Ivan Menezes. Walsh will step down from Diageo’s board at the group’s September 2013 annual general meeting and depart from the company June 30, 2014, after a transitional year.

•Chicago’s Atlas Imports has added François Lurton’s Argentinean winery Bodega Piedra Negra to its U.S. portfolio. Located in the Uco Valley, the Piedra Negra estate spans 100 hectares (250 acres) of vineyards planted with Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Gris, and offers a core range of wines in the $10-$30 price range. The winery joins Atlas’s existing Argentinean lineup, which includes the Campo Lindo, Dosio Vigneti, Lola, Santo and Urlar brands. Piedra Negra had previously been handled in the U.S. by Georgia-based Worthwhile Wines.

Whyte & Mackay has partnered with sales and marketing company Blackheath Beverage Group in the U.S. market. Effective immediately, Blackheath’s sales team will work in tandem with Whyte & Mackay Americas to handle W&M’s Scotch portfolio—led by Jura, The Dalmore, Cluny and John Barr—in the U.S. market. Formed in 2012, Blackheath provides suppliers an alternative route-to-market strategy utilizing a proprietary sales force and marketing team.

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