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News Briefs for June 30, 2016

June 30, 2016

•Paul Draper, CEO and winemaker of California’s Ridge Vineyards, is stepping back from day-to-day management of the company, which he joined in 1969. Effective July 1, Draper will be replaced as Ridge CEO by Mark Vernon, who has served as president and COO for the past seven years. Draper will remain chairman of the board. Meanwhile, David Amadia, who joined Ridge in 2005 and has been vice president, sales and marketing, since 2009, will become president. Eric Baugher and John Olney will continue to oversee winemaking at Ridge’s Monte Bello and Lytton Springs wineries, respectively.

•Banfi is launching a new fizzy red wine under the Bell’Agio brand. Bell’Agio Rosso Dolce, an 8% abv, slightly sweet semi-sparkler that’s recommended to be served chilled, is rolling out nationwide, retailing at around $15 a bottle. The Bell’Agio portfolio also includes a Chianti offering.

•Hennessy is debuting the first U.S. campaign behind its VSOP Privilège ($70) in more than 10 years. The new campaign is entitled “Harmony. Mastered from Chaos.” It includes 60-, 30- and 15-second digital spots and an interactive “digital experience” focused on the inner workings of Hennessy’s Comité de Dégustation (tasting committee) and the craftsmanship behind the creation of VSOP Privilège.

•Republic National Distributing Co. (RNDC) is expanding the territory of region president Jay Johnson. Currently president of RNDC’s Texas, Colorado, Louisiana and Oklahoma region, Johnson will add Kentucky and Indiana to his purview on July 1. Johnson, who joined RNDC in 1991, will continue to report directly to RNDC COO Bob Hendrickson, who noted that Johnson has “successfully guided his markets to significant growth” over the past five years.

•Guy Smith, Diageo North America’s executive vice president, corporate relations, is retiring after 17 years with the company. Smith will be replaced by Jon Pageler, who has been with Diageo for 13 years and has served under Smith as senior vice president, corporate relations for the past seven years.

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