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News Briefs for August 23, 2013

August 23, 2013

•Napa-based St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery has appointed wine consultant Michel Rolland to its winemaking team. Rolland, who previously worked with St. Supéry from 1996 to 2002, will work closely with VP winemaker Michael Scholz and VP of vineyard management Josh Anstey to improve the winery’s practices. The move is part of St. Supéry’s ongoing efforts to better focus its vineyard strategies, which include a recent update of its winemaking facility, improved vineyard management practices and the addition of optical sorting to the balance of its estate red wines. Owned by vintner Robert Skalli, St. Supéry Estate produces roughly 120,000 cases a year, with a focus on super-premium offerings.

•Brown-Forman has released the latest commercial in the “Whatever’s Comfortable” campaign for its Southern Comfort liqueur brand. The new TV spot, entitled “Karate,” will be released in the U.S. beginning this fall. The campaign behind the brand began last summer with the “Beach” commercial and was followed up this June with “Shampoo.” Designed by Wieden+Kennedy New York, it includes television, digital and outdoor as well as on- and off-premise activations. The campaign has helped turn around Southern Comfort’s performance in the U.S., returning it to growth last year with a 0.4% rise to 1.25 million cases in the U.S., according to Impact Databank.

•The Alexander Jules brand of Sherry will make its U.S. debut this fall. The first release will include three wines—Fino and Manzanilla (both will generally be priced around $40) and Amontillado ($45). They will initially launch in stores and restaurants in the state of California next month. Owner Alex Russan said that he is currently in talks with distributors nationwide and hopes to move into the New York, Portland and Chicago markets soon. Alexander Jules has produced about 1100 (750-ml.) bottles each of Fino and Manzanilla, and around 1300 (500-ml.) bottles of Amontillado.

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