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

News Briefs for October 9, 2017

October 9, 2017

•Diageo is investing £35 million ($46.1m) to reopen a pair of single malt Scotch distilleries. Islay’s Port Ellen and Sutherland-based Brora—which have both been closed since 1983—are slated to restart production by 2020, with an estimated capacity of 800,000 liters annually. Both distilleries will also feature cask filling and traditional warehousing on site, as well as tourism amenities. The move comes as the single malt segment outpaces the overall Scotch category in the U.S., with sales up 4% to nearly 1.6 million nine-liter cases last year, according to Impact Databank.

•Washington’s Ste. Michelle Wine Estates has debuted fresh packaging and branding for its namesake sparkling wine collection. With the packaging update, which features a new color scheme and fresh detailing, the brand will return to its original Domaine Ste. Michelle moniker (it was previously known as “Michelle”). The changes are effective across the brand’s Brut, Brut Rosé and Extra Dry offerings. All three wines are available nationwide, retail priced at $13 a 750-ml. The Domaine Ste. Michelle lineup also includes Luxe ($23), a vintage sparkling wine available exclusively at Chateau Ste. Michelle’s tasting room. Domaine Ste. Michelle was up 3% to 163,000 cases last year, according to Impact Databank.

•Pacific Highway Wines & Spirits has appointed Rick Durette as director of sales of its Western division, overseeing sales in 11 states. Durette has previously held senior sales roles at King Estate, Union Wine Co. and Wilson Daniels, among others. Pacific Highway is jointly owned by Australia’s Oatley family and New Zealand’s Giesen family and includes the Giesen, Robert Oatley, Garzon, Renwood, Beach House, Boschendal, Foppiano and Mirabeau en Provence labels among others.

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