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

News Briefs for June 25, 2019

June 25, 2019

•South American wine producer VSPT Wine Group has acquired Argentina’s Bodega Graffigna from Pernod Ricard for an undisclosed price. The deal includes the Graffigna and Colon brands, a winery, and three estates, one located in Mendoza’s Uco Valley and the other two situated in San Juan. Moving forward, the Bodega Graffigna portfolio will be imported to the U.S. by Shaw-Ross International. VSPT is Chile’s second-largest wine producer and exporter. Pernod is also reportedly looking to sell some of its other wine labels, which include Jacob’s Creek, Campo Viejo, and Brancott.

•Heaven Hill is launching a new bottled-in-bond Bourbon under its namesake brand. Heaven Hill 7-year-old Bottled-in-Bond Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey exceeds the four-year minimum aging requirement for bottled-in-bond whiskies. It’s bottled at 50% abv and retails at $40. The new entry, distilled at Heaven Hill’s Bernheim distillery in Louisville, will debut in October across California, Texas, New York, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, South Carolina, and Colorado.

•The new owners of Napa Valley’s iconic Heitz Cellar, the Lawrence family, are fulfilling a long-held goal of the winery’s founders to extend the boundaries of its Trailside Vineyard in the Rutherford subappellation. The winery has purchased the Wildwood Vineyard, adjacent to its Trailside property, from wine giant Treasury Wine Estates and plans to combine the two properties. The sale price was not disclosed. Wine Spectator has the full story.

•California-based O’Neill Vintners & Distillers has debuted a new mobile app for its Line 39 brand. The app features “Find Your Summer,” an interactive augmented reality experience that’s activated by the brand’s bottle labels and takes users on a journey across four U.S. destinations that lie on the 39th parallel, including Northern California’s wine country; Chesapeake Bay, Maryland; Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado; and Grinter’s Sunflower Farm, Kansas. Line 39 is an Impact “Hot Brand,” roughly doubling in size since 2016 and reaching nearly 500,000 cases last year.

•375 Park Avenue Spirits has been named the exclusive U.S. importer for Paul John Indian single malt whisky. 375 Park Avenue will carry eight expressions from the Paul John Indian single malt portfolio: core whiskies Brilliance, Edited, Bold, Classic, and Peated; and special editions Kanya, Mars Orbiter, and the Christmas Edition. Retail pricing ranges from $60-$450 a bottle, and the line will be distributed nationally, effective July 1. 375 Park Avenue is an independent subsidiary within Sazerac, which took an equity stake in Paul John producer John Distilleries in 2017.

•Diageo-backed brand incubator Distill Ventures has named Evis Savvides as operating partner. According to the company, Savvides will “focus on planning and operations for all brands in North America and work with existing portfolio companies to accelerate growth.” Prior to joining Distill, Savvides spent 13 years with Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits, culminating his tenure there as executive vice president, business development. Distill has invested over $75 million to date in brands including Seedlip, Stauning, Starward, and others.

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