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News Briefs for August 23, 2011

August 23, 2011

•Moët Hennessy-owned Glenmorangie Co has named former chief operating officer Paul Skipworth president and managing director. Skipworth replaces Paul Neep, who is retiring from the company after 14 years but will become a non-executive chairman. Skipworth will oversee the company’s next growth strategy—Glenmorangie left the blended Scotch market in 2009 and has since been focusing on increasing single malt whisky production. Glenmorangie is the U.S. market’s sixth-largest single malt brand at 52,000 case depletions in 2010 on a 21% increase, according to Impact Databank.

•South Africa’s government has signed on to the World Wine Trade Group’s (WWTG) mutual acceptance of oenological practices and labeling requirements, a move it says will reduce costs and boost its wine export trade to fellow WWTG members like the U.S., Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Georgia and New Zealand (China is also eyeing entry into the group). Signatories to the WWTG’s pact recognize the winemaking practices of other signatories as being in compliance with their own, while the labeling agreement accepts common labeling information and minimizes labeling-related trade barriers, thereby reducing costs, said South Africa’s Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Brown-Forman has named Tim Young as its new marketing director for global travel retail, effective immediately. Young, formerly travel retail director of trade marketing, will be based in the London office. Meanwhile, Jeannine Wise, previously Jack Daniel’s sales promotion manager, U.S., has become Brown-Forman’s brand portfolio manager, global travel retail, and David Page, formerly a member of the Brown-Forman PR team, was named travel retail Americas trade marketing manager. Both Wise and Page will be based in the company’s Louisville office.

•German wine co-ops Deutsches Weintor and Niederkirchener Weinmacher say their pending merger, which is still subject to shareholder approval but expected to be complete within five months, will give them the scale to effectively attack key global markets, with the U.S. representing the core target. The two co-ops already collaborate on bottling, supply-chain and IT functions. Niederkirchener is the producer of the Blue Fish brand, imported in the U.S. by Palm Bay International, which sells around 50,000 cases in the U.S. annually. Marian Kopp, managing director of Niederkirchener Weinmacher, and Jürgen Grallath, executive board member of Deutsches Weintor, said the increased competition in the global wine market “has to be addressed with larger units of production, sales and marketing.” The combined entity, to be known as Deutsches Weintor eG, would have annual turnover of €35 million ($50.4m).

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