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

News Briefs for July 10, 2019

July 10, 2019

•Captain Morgan has partnered with Major League Soccer (MLS) to become the league’s official spiced rum and exclusive spirits partner through 2022. The rum will also become an official sponsor of the Chicago Fire, D.C. United, New York City FC, Philadelphia Union, and Seattle Sounders teams. Custom labeled bottles of Captain Morgan featuring team colors and crests will be hitting the market soon. The partnership also includes national television ads that will be launching this month. Captain Morgan was down 2.7% to 5.6 million cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank.

•Burgundy’s Boisset family has announced the planned acquisition of Maison Alex Gambal. The deal, expected to be finalized by mid-September, includes 30 acres of vineyards planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, a winery, and current inventory. The sale price was not disclosed. Wine Spectator has the full story.

•Beam Suntory-owned Cruzan Rum is launching a new watermelon-flavored addition to its lineup. Available nationally, the limited-edition release is 21% abv and retails for a suggested price of $12 a 750-ml. Cruzan Watermelon was distilled on St. Croix using cane molasses in a five-column distillation process. As part of Cruzan’s Island Spirit Fund, one dollar from every case of Cruzan Watermelon sold will go toward hurricane recovery efforts in the U.S. Virgin Islands and on the mainland.

•E.&J. Gallo’s Lo-Fi Aperitifs has expanded into Southern California and is now available in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, and Santa Barbara. The brand, a collaboration between Gallo and Quaker City Mercantile, consists of three releases: Gentian Amaro (20% abv), made with cinchona bark, bitter root extracts, and other botanicals; Dry Vermouth (16.5% abv), made from Muscat Canelli; and Sweet Vermouth (16.5% abv), made with gentian root and orange oil bitters, among other herbs, with added cream Sherry. Lo-Fi’s products are also available in the Bay Area, New York, and Philadelphia.

•375 Park Avenue Spirits has become the exclusive U.S. importer of Poland’s Wyborowa vodka, part of the Pernod Ricard portfolio. Made from 100% Polish rye, Wyborowa—previously imported by New Jersey-based Crillon Importers—is among the market leaders in its native Poland. The brand will be available nationwide in 1.75-liter, 750-ml., and 50-ml. formats, as well as in a holiday gift pack that includes a 750-ml. bottle and two glasses. 375 Park Avenue Spirits also imports the Van Gogh vodka brand from the Netherlands. Its portfolio also includes other Pernod Ricard brands including J.P. Wiser’s Canadian whisky, Lamb’s rum, and the Ballantine’s, Passport, and Something Special whisky brands.

•Bacardi has named Tony Latham as executive vice president and CFO. Latham was most recently executive vice president, finance, group performance management, at Unilever. Latham is slated to relocate to Bermuda and assume his new post in September, reporting to Bacardi CEO Mahesh Madhavan.

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