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News Briefs for April 10, 2018

April 10, 2018

•Moët Hennessy posted a sales increase of 10% on an organic basis to €1.2 billion ($1.5b) for the three months through March, representing its fiscal first quarter. However, currency exchange cut into the drinks giant’s results, with sales flat on a reported basis. Moët Hennessy’s Champagne volume rose 1% during the quarter, led by the company’s prestige cuvées. Meanwhile, Hennessy Cognac’s volume was up 5%, with growth continuing despite supply constraints that first began to affect the brand last year.

•Hotaling & Co.—formerly Anchor Distilling—has named a new board of directors. Former Allied Domecq CEO Philip Bowman has been appointed chairman of the board. Concurrently, Hotaling & Co. co-owner Tony Foglio, president and CEO Dennis Carr, and CMO Morgan Robbat, Berry Bros. & Rudd CEO Dan Jago, and Berry Bros. & Rudd CFO Chris Robinson, and Campari America chairman Gerry Ruvo also sit on the company’s new board. Hotaling & Co. underwent its name change early this year, following Sapporo’s purchase of Anchor Brewing and the Anchor trademark last August. Foglio and Berry Bros. & Rudd jointly own Hotaling & Co., which sold roughly 190,000 cases last year. The group’s portfolio includes owned brands like Junipero gin and Old Potrero whiskey, as well as agency brands such as Nikka whisky, Kavalan whisky, Luxardo liqueur, and Hine Cognac, among others.

•Proximo’s Three Olives has added a new rosé wine-flavored vodka to its stable. Rolling out nationwide, Three Olives Rosé Vodka is intended to be served over ice, with club soda, or in cocktails. The 30%-abv offering, which retails at $18 a 750-ml., joins the brand’s existing 22-flavor lineup. Rosé’s launch will be backed by a partnership with millennial-focused multimedia platform Betches Media, including custom social content, a music video, limited edition merchandise, and an appearance at AEG’s Day Club party in Palm Springs. Three Olives was down 3%, to 960,000 cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank.

•California-based Guarachi Wine Partners has partnered with ARAEX Grands Spanish Fine Wines to launch the Gran Sello and Baigorri brands in the U.S. Gran Sello ($10) is a cava brand from Catalunya that includes Brut and Brut Rosé sparklers. Beginning this month, Gran Sello will be available in select Kroger locations across the U.S. Baigorri ($25-$75), a Rioja producer based in Samaniego, Rioja Alavesa, will launch its Crianza, Tempranillo Reserva, Blanco, and Vin de Garage in the U.S. by the end of the year.

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