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News Briefs for March 31, 2015

March 31, 2015

•Heineken has appointed Ronald den Elzen to lead its U.S. business, succeeding Dolf van den Brink, who will become CEO of Heineken Mexico, effective July 1. Den Elzen, who is currently managing director of Heineken Portugal, has been with the Dutch brewing giant for more than two decades in a variety of finance, sales and general management roles. Meanwhile, van den Brink will transition to lead Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma/Heineken Mexico, which is the brewer’s largest operating company with 16,000 employees. Van den Brink has helmed Heineken USA for the past six years and is credited with restoring the unit to top line growth.

•Guarachi Wine Partners and Tensley Wines have extended their Tenshən brand with a new white blend. Making its debut with a 2014 vintage wine, Tenshən White is made with a variety of Rhône varietals—including Viognier, Rousanne, Grenache Blanc and Chardonnay—sourced from Santa Barbara County. The new offering joins Tenshən’s existing red blend expression, which was launched by Guarachi Wine founder Alex Guarachi and Tensley Wines owner Joey Tensley late last year.

•Heaven Hill Brands is extending its Admiral Nelson’s Rum brand with a black spiced offering, Admiral Nelson’s Black Patch Rum. Bottled at 94 proof, the latest release was filtered through charred American white oak and features a more robust style of rum, the company says. Black Patch Rum will be supported by retail point-of-sale items with the “Admirably Smooth. Mysteriously Dark.” messaging. It is available in 50-ml., 750-ml., and 1.75-liter formats, retailing for $10.99 a 750-ml. Admiral Nelson’s, acquired by Heaven Hill in 2011, has a portfolio that includes its flagship Admiral Nelson Spiced, 101 Proof Spiced, Cherry Spiced, Coconut, Vanilla, Dark, Silver and Gold offerings.

•Tequila Partida has signed a new sales and marketing accord with Blackheath Beverage Group. Effective immediately, Partida is consolidating its existing sales organization with Blackheath, a move that will more than double the brand’s sales force. The deal will increase Partida’s coverage in top Tequila markets and allow it to expand to new areas as well, the company said. Last year, Partida saw its strongest year of growth to date, with sales rising more than 30%.

•Terlato Wines International is branching into gourmet food. The company has launched a new web site, www.terlatokitchen.com, and is selling three varieties of tomato sauces—vodka, arrabbiata and pomodoro, made with San Marzano tomatoes—priced at $12 per 24-ounce jar. The company, which owns the Chimney Rock Winery in the Napa Valley along with several other California holdings, is also offering Napa-sourced strawberry preserves, organic maple syrup, a Tuscany olive oil ($40 per liter), a vinegar from Kracher in Austria and cherry and pistachio biscotti. For now, the products are available on the web site and at the Mariano’s Fresh Market grocery chain in Chicago.

•Napa’s Artesa Vineyards & Winery has named Ana Diogo-Draper as director of winemaking, replacing Mark Beringer, who recently left to become chief winemaker at Beringer Vineyards. Diogo-Draper is the first woman to hold the top winemaking position at Artesa, which is owned by Spain’s Codorníu Raventós and focuses on varietal wines from the Carneros-Napa Valley region. Diogo-Draper joined Artesa as assistant winemaker in 2013, from Rutherford Hill Winery. Artesa’s wines are marketed nationally by Codorníu subsidiary Aveníu Brands.

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