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News Briefs for October 18, 2013

October 18, 2013

•France’s Languedoc region is enjoying rising fortunes in the U.S., with volume up 12% to 15,000 hectoliters (167,000 nine-liter cases) in the first five months of 2013, according to UbiFrance. Value rose ahead of volume, increasing 15% during the period. The growth comes on top of a doubling of Languedoc’s category volume in the U.S., to 32,000 hectoliters (356,000 cases), in the three years through 2012. AOC Languedoc reds and rosés combined for 67% volume growth and a 62% value rise in the first five months of this year, while whites, led by Picpoul de Pinet, were up 29% by volume and 33% by value.

•SPI Group’s Stolichnaya vodka brand has released the second entry in its Elit by Stolichnaya “Pristine Water” series, the New Zealand edition. Made with water sourced from a natural spring in New Zealand, the limited edition, 80-proof expression is packaged in a crystal bottle created by French crystal house Royale de Champagne and sits in a handcrafted wooden case. Just 300 bottles of Elit by Stolichnaya’s New Zealand edition will be available worldwide, priced at around $3,000 each. The new offering follows Elit by Stolichnaya’s 2011 launch of its Himalaya edition, which marked the brand’s first Pristine Water entry.

•Charmer Sunbelt has appointed Rob Sirota vice president, business development-Proximo Spirits, effective January 2014. He will report directly to Robert Catalani, Charmer’s executive vice president, sales and marketing. An 18-year industry veteran, Sirota most recently served as the alliance general sales manager for Charmer’s Capital Wine & Spirits unit in Pennsylvania.

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