Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business

News Briefs for June 29, 2015

June 29, 2015

•Diageo is close to unloading Scotland’s Gleneagles, a luxury resort property that’s expected to bring as much as £200 million ($315m) into the company’s coffers, according to U.K. press reports. The drinks giant is currently holding exclusive talks with London hotel owner Ennismore Capital, reports Scotland’s Herald. Diageo has tried to sell Gleneagles—which hosted last year’s British Open—twice before, but was unable to complete a deal either time. The potential sale of the non-core asset comes at a time when Diageo is rumored to be in the crosshairs of 3G Capital, the controlling shareholder in Anheuser-Busch InBev.

•Sagaponack, New York-based Wölffer Estate Vineyard is releasing a Mendoza-sourced 2015 Finca Wölffer Rosé next month. Winemaker and partner Roman Roth created 3,814 cases of new rosé, using 52% Malbec, 11% Pinot Noir, 11% Pinot Gris, 10% Bonarda, 8% Torrontes and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon. Wölffer Estate co-owner Marc Wölffer owns 20 acres of vines in Mendoza’s Lujan de Cuyo region, which sits 4,100 feet above sea level. Finca Wölffer Rosé is imported by USA Wine West and available throughout the New York tristate area.

•Dutch spirits group De Kuyper Holding NV and its Miami-based U.S. offshoot, Royal Dutch Distillers, have named former Bacardi exec Mark De Witte CEO, effective September 1. He replaces current De Kuyper CEO Ben van Doesburgh. Starting July 1, De Witte will also join De Kuyper’s board of directors. De Witte joins the company from Bacardi Limited, where he started out as managing director of Bacardi Netherlands in 2000, and later rose to his most recent role as CEO of Bacardi Germany and managing director of Bacardi Business Unit DACH & Nordics.

•Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine is launching its first-ever marketing campaign, which seeks to elevate the category with more sophisticated messaging. The effort is rolling out across social media under the tagline “C’mon Live a Little,” with further exposure planned across print, on-premise, off-premise and outdoor. Meanwhile, the company has also appointed Meg Bruno as senior director of marketing. Bruno was previously head of marketing for Purity Vodka. Ole Smoky rose 12.5% to 270,000 cases last year.

•Healdsburg, California’s Toad Hollow Vineyards is launching a new Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon into national distribution. The newcomer, retailing at around $19 a bottle, was sourced from the Clement Hills of the eastern Lodi appellation. It joins an Unoaked Chardonnay from Mendocino, a Dry Rosé from Carneros, a Russian River Valley Merlot and Pinot Noir and two Limoux sparkling wines—Risqué and Amplexus—in a Toad Hollow portfolio ranging in price from around $12-$20. The brand, which is also sporting a new label this year (deemphasizing its Toad mascot), is handled nationally by V2 Wine group.

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