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

News Briefs for January 10, 2019

January 10, 2019

•Since late September 2018, the South Indian Ocean has been home to an unusual bit of flotsam: a 16-liter cask of single malt Irish whiskey. The cask, from Glendalough Distillery in County Wicklow, is onboard an abandoned yacht, drifting slowly over a thousand miles from the nearest shore. The whiskey is waiting to be rescued—and it may be very soon. Whisky Advocate has the full story.

•Symington Family Estates, the Port-focused wine group responsible for Graham’s, Dow’s, and Cockburn’s, among others, has appointed Rupert Symington as CEO. Symington has worked at his family company since 1992 and has served as joint managing director for 15 years. Rupert replaces Paul Symington, who announced his retirement at the end of last year. In addition to its Port brands, Symington Family Estates produces table wines from the Douro and Alentejo regions, and manages Prats & Symington, a partnership with Bordeaux’s Bruno Prats.

•Pernod Ricard has announced a global refresh for Jameson’s labeling and packaging. The brand’s new look features a tapered design, with “1780”—its founding year—embossed just above the bottle’s more prominent heel. While the green glass remains, the label features brighter and more distinct colors on textured paper. Jameson Original will launch the refreshed packaging ahead of St. Patrick’s Day, with Caskmates, Black Barrel, and Crested receiving the refresh through the year. Impact Databank estimates that Jameson depleted 3.6 million cases on 12% growth in the U.S. last year.

•Fratelli Branca has tapped Steve Brecher as CEO of its newly formed U.S. import company, Branca USA. A longtime industry executive, Brecher most recently served as president of Infinium Spirits, which formerly handled the Branca portfolio. Prior to Infinium, he held senior marketing, commercial, and strategy roles at Diageo. In his capacity as CEO, Brecher will focus on growing Branca USA’s portfolio of premium brands—led by the Fernet-Branca and Antica Formula labels—in the U.S. He’ll report directly to Fratelli Branca CEO Patrick Piana.

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