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News Briefs for May 31, 2011

May 31, 2011

• Pernod Ricard USA has launched Absolut San Francisco—the brand’s fifth limited-edition, city-inspired flavored extension—in the U.S. on- and off-premise. Infused with grape, dragon fruit and papaya flavors, Absolut San Francisco is backed by an integrated Facebook campaign asking consumers “What’s your Absolut SF?” and encouraging them to share online content that celebrates the spirit of the city. Absolut first launched its city-inspired range in 2007 with Absolut New Orleans, and subsequently rolled out Los Angeles (2008), Boston (2009) and Brooklyn (2010) versions.

• Christie’s auction house has reported the sale of more than £4.6 million ($7.5m) in wines from Bordeaux first growth Château Latour. The sale, which took place last week in Hong Kong, included 392 lots with 95% of the sold lots surpassing their high estimate. The highest priced lot was a six-magnum bottle of 1961 Château Latour, purchased by a private buyer for roughly £135,000 ($222,682).

• C Mondavi & Sons has announced three new hires to its leadership team. Industry veteran Mike Jaeger has been named C Mondavi’s chief operating officer, Paul Englert will serve as vice president of marketing and Stacy Clark has been appointed winemaker for Charles Krug Winery. Prior to joining C Mondavi, Jaeger managed various premium wine brands for Constellation Brands and Trinchero Family Estates. Englert has previously worked with Wilson Daniels Ltd, E&J Gallo and Terlato Wines International, while Clark has spent more than 25 years with Napa Valley’s Pine Ridge Vineyards.

• Sazerac Co has introduced the Chi Chi’s Skinny Margarita premix in the U.S. on- and off-premise. Available in a 1.75-liter bottle and a 200ml four-pack, the 95-calorie Margarita is priced at $9.99 and $4.99, respectively. The new offering joins the existing Chi Chi’s premix portfolio, which also features Margarita, Long Island Ice Tea, Martini, Cosmopolitan, Appletini, White Russian, Mojito, Mudslide, Mai Tai and Piña Colada extensions. Last week, Sazerac’s Chicago-based subsidiary Gemini Spirits & Wine launched the Margaritaville Skinny Margarita—a similar 95-calorie premix priced at $14.99 per 1.75-liter.

• Heineken International has renewed its sponsorship contract with European football tournament the UEFA Champions League for an additional three years. The new deal, which extends through the end of the UEFA’s 2014/15 season, grants Heineken digital, merchandise branding and enhanced global broadcast and event rights. Heineken has been an official sponsor of the UEFA for six consecutive years.

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