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News Briefs for May 2, 2012

May 2, 2012

•Australia’s wine production is expected to be its lowest in a half-decade this year, declining 2% to an expected 1.53 million tonnes (1.7m tons), according to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES). “For many regions in eastern Australia, the damage sustained by vineyards during the wet 2010-11 growing season had a negative effect on the fruit set of this year’s crop,” said ABARES executive director Paul Morris. The lower harvest could aid an Australian wine industry that’s suffered mightily both from overproduction and a strong domestic currency in recent years. Given less tumultuous weather conditions, ABARES expects production to rise 5% to 1.61 million tonnes (1.8m tons) in 2013.

•Lyons, Colorado-based Oskar Blues Brewery has announced plans for a new restaurant and brewery in Brevard, North Carolina, making it the third brewer in recent months to unveil plans to expand into the state. The 30,000-square-foot brewery and 6,000-square-foot space for food and music are slated to open by this December. California’s Sierra Nevada and Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing are both planning new production facilities in nearby Asheville, North Carolina, which is already home to eight other craft breweries.

•Campari America’s Wild Turkey is extending its “Give ‘Em The Bird” ad campaign with the first TV spots in the brand’s 157-year history. The Bourbon brand’s inaugural ad—also called “Give ‘Em The Bird”—is airing in both 15- and 30-second spots on cable channels such as ESPN, Comedy Central, Spike, TNT and TBS. The ad is directed by Bob Giraldi, best known for the 1984 Pepsi commercial featuring Michael Jackson.

•Petaluma, California-based Offbeat Brands, the company formed earlier this spring by industry veteran Mike Kenton, has unveiled its first brand launch, Jellybean Wines. Priced at $12.99 a bottle, Jellybean’s initial offerings include a Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from California, a Moscato and Moscato Rosé from Italy and a red blend from Spain. A sparkling wine from Spain is set to roll out this summer. Characterized as an “approachable, fruit-forward style” and packaged in bold, colorful bottles, Jellybean Wines are designed to appeal to Millennial and Generation X consumers. Prior to forming Offbeat Brands, Kenton served in senior management positions at Ascentia Wine Estates, Aveniu Brands, E&J Gallo Winery and Joseph E. Seagram.

•Restaurant and wine bar chain Seasons 52 will open its first Dallas location this fall at the NorthPark Center shopping outlet. The chain, known for its fresh, seasonal menu and selection of more than 100 wines by the bottle and 52 by the glass, currently owns and operates 22 restaurants in 13 states. In addition to the Dallas unit this fall, Seasons 52 recently announced plans to open restaurants in Oak Brook, Illinois, this spring; Santa Monica and Los Angeles, California, this fall; Houston, Texas, Edison, New Jersey, and Sacramento and San Diego, California, in spring 2013; and Memphis, Tennessee, and Princeton, New Jersey, in spring 2014.

•Nightlife gurus Tommy Pooch and Alan Roth of TAI Entertainment have opened Bella Beach Club at the Trump International Hotel in Miami. The beachside restaurant and lounge offers upscale Mediterranean cuisine, as well as specialty cocktails, beer by the bottle, wine by the bottle and glass and spirits bottle service.

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