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News Briefs for May 27, 2011

May 27, 2011

• Klein Constantia, one of South Africa’s most historic wine estates, has been sold. Wine Spectator reports that owner Lowell Jooste has entered into an agreement to sell the estate to Zdenek Bakala and Charles Harman, a pair of investment bankers affiliated with the Dutch-based BXR Group. The purchase price wasn’t disclosed. Located in the cool Constantia ward on the Cape peninsula, Klein Constantia is best known for its consistently outstanding dessert wine, Vin de Constance. The winery owns 200 acres of vines and produces 30,000 cases annually of Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc, along with small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and a Cabernet-based blend. Only the Vin de Constance is currently available in the U.S. market.

• Norway-based wine and spirits group Arcus AS has named New York’s Kobrand Corp as U.S. importer for its Vikingfjord vodka brand, effective August 1. Kobrand will be responsible for transforming Vikingfjord from a “successful niche brand to an important mainstream product,” according to Arcus ceo Jan Oluf Skarpnes. Previously imported by St Petersburg, Florida-based Capstone International, Vikingfjord will be the sole vodka in Kobrand’s portfolio, which also features Alizé, Appleton Jamaican Rum and Delamain Cognac.

• According to research firm Experian Simmons, monthly wine consumption by Hispanic consumers jumped nearly 50% between 2005 and 2010, compared to 16% growth for non-Hispanics. Napa’s Beringer Vineyards and Concha y Toro importer Banfi Vinters have recently launched Latino-targeted, Spanish-language campaigns in the Southern regions of California and Texas, with plans to expand those efforts into additional U.S. markets. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Hispanic population grew by 43%—four times the nation’s 9.7% growth rate—between 2000 and 2010.

• Dallas-based Glazer’s Distributors has appointed Miron Sargent as corporate vice president sales, effective July 1. A 25-year company veteran, Sargent will report directly to executive vice president sales Shawn Thurman. Sargent is currently president of Glazer’s Texas operation. Concurrently, Glazer’s has tapped former Southern Wine and Spirits exec Mike McLaughlin to serve as senior vice president sales and marketing for Texas. Most recently serving as Southern’s vice president and general manager of the Pacific Northwest states and Alaska, McLaughlin will report directly to Glazer’s recently hired executive vice president John Palatella.

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