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News Briefs for December 1, 2017

December 1, 2017

•Brendan Coyle, master distiller at High West Distillery since its founding in 2007, has taken on an expanded role as master distiller for the full spirits portfolio of parent company Constellation Brands. Coyle will be “taking a leading role in new product development and brand acquisitions,” in addition to overseeing quality control and sourcing across the portfolio, Constellation said. He’ll continue to be based at High West’s distillery in Park City, Utah, and remain closely involved in production and blending for the High West range. Constellation acquired High West in October of last year for $160 million.

•Moët Hennessy USA has unveiled Bottles and Bubbles, a new interactive skill available for Amazon’s Alexa that allows consumers to learn about Champagne and create their own luxury Champagne-drinking experiences at home. By enabling the skill and saying, “Alexa, open Bottles and Bubbles” to their Alexa-enabled device, consumers can engage with a number of different modes of conversational and educational content. They include Champagne 101, which provides Champagne basics and information about Moët Hennessy brands; a calendar of notable dates to be celebrated with a glass of Champagne; as well as recommended food pairings, hosting tips and Champagne-inspired playlists. Moët Hennessy’s new Alexa skill was developed in partnership with creative technology agency Rehab and is currently available only in the U.S.

•Serrallés USA’s Don Q rum brand is being extended in 2018 to include a Signature Series Don Q Double Aged Vermouth Cask Finish. It has been matured for five to eight years in American White Oak casks and then finished for about six weeks in 600-liter Mancino Vermouth Vecchio casks crafted from Italian oak. At 40% abv, it will be available by February and priced at $50 a 750-ml. Chief operating officer John Eason says the company will continue to focus on barrel-aged expressions looking ahead.

•California-based importer Europvin USA has added Languedoc’s Domaine Jones to its lineup. The Domaine Jones portfolio includes an AOP Fitou red, an IGP Côtes Catalanes red and an IGP Côtes Catalanes white, all of which retail at $28 a bottle. Europvin, which is jointly owned by Spain’s Lustau, Cune and Vega Sicilia wineries, has a wide portfolio of offerings from Spain and France, as well as selections from Italy and Portugal.

•Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits has promoted Amy Grantland to the newly created role of senior vice president, revenue management. The wholesale behemoth says that in her new post Grantland “will be responsible for leading the strategy and deployment of revenue management capabilities through a consistent and holistic approach to pricing and promotions supported by enterprise solution tools, processes and policies to drive sustainable growth.” She’ll report to Brad Vassar, executive vice president, COO, and Thomas Greenlee, executive vice president, finance. Grantland was previously vice president, commercial finance.

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