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News Briefs For May 4, 2011

May 4, 2011

• An Argentine court has ruled Spain cannot have exclusive rights to the Rioja name, allowing Argentina to regionally identify wines from its 35,000-square-mile province of La Rioja. Spain’s regulatory council of Rioja has been in the legal fight since 1999, arguing that the labeling would cause confusion with wines from Spain’s Rioja region. The judge ruled that La Rioja Argentina wines are sufficiently distinct from their Spanish counterparts. Rioja’s regulatory council plans to repeal the decision.

• Acclaimed chef and restaurateur Richard Sandoval opens his newest restaurant, El Centro D.F., this month in Washington, D.C. The three-story venue has a ground-level Taqueria offering casual dining, a lower level Tequileria and a Rooftop space. Each floor’s décor is inspired by dining experiences in Mexico City. The Taqueria is designed for casual dining and tacos-to-go. The lower level Tequileria offers comfort food as well as 200 Tequilas and Mezcals selected by Tequila Sommelier Danielle Griffin and Courtenay Greenleaf, who manages what the company claims is North America’s largest Tequila list at Sandoval’s Biblioteca de Tequila in New York City. The Rooftop offers Margaritas and Latin cocktails served from two outdoor bars.

• Nightlife brand Infusion Lounge has announced plans to expand to three new U.S. cities and one in Europe by 2012. After opening its first venue on New Year’s Eve 2008 in San Francisco, Infusion Lounge reported revenue of $6.3 million in 2010, with 7%-10% growth expected this year. A second location is slated to open this summer in Hollywood, California, with future locations planned for Las Vegas; Portland, Oregon; and London. Claiming to move more Grey Goose via bottle service than any other San Francisco venue, Infusions Lounge founder Chris Rosas aims to “create a branded, multi-city nightclub and lounge destination.”

• Rémy Cointreau USA has named William Corbett senior vice president, sales. Corbett will direct a six-person leadership team and be responsible for sales strategies, particularly for the group’s premium and super-premium “heritage” brands. He most recently served as Rémy Cointreau USA’s vice president-division manager for the Southwest, Southeast and Central regions and has been with the company for nearly 30 years. Corbett replaces Xavier DeSaulles, who was promoted to managing director, Southeast Asia, India and Middle East for Rémy Cointreau in February.

• Glazer’s has appointed Thomas Greenlee as executive vice president and chief financial officer. Greenlee joins Glazer’s from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he most recently held the title of director. Prior to BAML, he worked with Price Waterhouse and Bear, Stearns & Co Inc, where he served as a vice president for nearly a decade. Greenlee will report to Glazer’s president and ceo Shelly Stein alongside a restructured leadership team, which includes evp/coo Rob Swartz, evp/general counsel Alan Greenspan, evp of malt beverages Phil Meacham and evp of sales and marketing Shawn Thurman, among others.

• SABMiller has named European finance director James Wilson as its new chief financial officer, following news that current cfo Malcolm Wyman will retire in August. Wilson, who has been with SABMiller since 2005, has also served as finance director for Highland Distillers and worked with brewer Scottish and Newcastle.

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