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News Briefs for July 26, 2012

July 26, 2012

Bacardi is supporting Grey Goose with a new “summer consumer engagement program” that features a range of regionally inspired punch recipes. The recipes, which revolve around fresh, locally sourced ingredients and utilize the full Grey Goose portfolio, include the Boston Tea Punch, Lakeshore Punch, Hollywood Punch, Hamptons Punch, and South Beach Punch. Consumers can find the full list of recipes online, as well as an instructional video series entitled “How to Make Grey Goose Punch.” The program also will feature various events nationwide throughout the summer—including the Punch Wars Summer Games mixology competition—and the launch of five short films, featuring local chefs, influencers and celebrities. Last year, Grey Goose was up 1% in the U.S., to 3.4 million cases. The lineup includes its core, unflavored label, as well as Grey Goose La Poire, L’Orange, Le Citron and the recently released Cherry Noir.

MillerCoors saw sales to retailers slip 1.4% in the three months through June, representing SABMiller’s fiscal first quarter. The number-two U.S. brewer’s core premium light category was flat compared to the same period last year, as low single-digit growth on Coors Light was offset by a low single-digit decline in Miller Lite. The group’s below-premium portfolio was down by mid-single digits in the first quarter. But MillerCoors’s Tenth & Blake craft and import division continued to provide momentum, rising at double-digit rates during the period on the back of Blue Moon and Leinenkugel’s, particularly the Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy seasonal extension.

•San Francisco-based Copa Spirits Co. is debuting a new “honey rum,” Ron Miel, in the U.S. Produced at the Arehucas distillery in Spain’s Canary Islands, Ron Miel is currently available in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New York, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin. It is priced at $27.99 a 1-liter bottle. Globally, Ron Miel sells around 165,000 nine-liter cases annually, focused around its Canary Island home base. Copa Spirits Co.’s portfolio also includes Ron Arehucas rum and Copa Cachaça.

•Upscale Chinese restaurant Hakkasan is opening an outpost in San Francisco’s Financial District this November in the One Kearny building. The 175-seat eatery will serve dim sum lunch daily until 3 p.m. and dinner until 11:30 p.m. or later every night. The venue will also feature a 25-seat bar and two private dining rooms—one with seating for 10 and one with seating for 20. Hakkasan debuted in 2001 in London, where it received a Michelin star in 2003. The restaurant has since expanded to Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Mumbai, Miami and New York City, with construction underway on an additional unit in the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, slated to open in December.

•Santa Rosa-based Vintage Wine Estates has purchased Mendocino County’s Weibel Family Vineyards & Winery’s Hopland winery and estate vineyards for an undisclosed sum. Weibel includes a 40,000-square-foot winery, fermentation building, residential guesthouse and 24 acres of vineyards. Vintage Wine will add a bottling line and wine storage, and rename the winery Ray’s Station, corresponding with one of its existing brands, which will now be converted to a Mendocino County AVA. Vintage is set to produce around 400,000 cases at the newly acquired facility, beginning with the 2012 crush. Weibel will continue to crush grapes at the winery for its Stone Creek brand as a custom crush client of Vintage. Vintage’s other holdings include Girard Winery in Napa Valley, Cosentino Winery, Cartlidge & Browne, Windsor Sonoma, Sonoma Coast Vineyards and Windsor Vineyards. Last September, Vintage bought the Ray’s Station brand from Jackson Family Wines, as well as three others—Geode, Horseplay and Acre—which are being used for private or control labels.


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