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News Briefs for February 15, 2013

February 15, 2013

•Champagne sales fell 4.4% by volume for the 12 months through December, to just under 309 million bottles, according to the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC) trade group. Revenues, meanwhile, were stagnant at around €4.37 billion ($5.86b). The volume drop was largely attributed to a sharp decline in European sales, with French shipments down 5.6% and European Union shipments outside France down 7.1%. France accounts for 56% of global Champagne shipments, while other E.U. countries account for another 25%. Established markets like Japan and Australia and emerging markets like China, Russia, Mexico and Nigeria were bright spots for bubbly last year. Over 2012’s first half, Champagne shipments to the U.S. were down 16% by value and 25% by volume.

•Glazer’s has named Amy Moore to the position of vice president, on-premise sales for the Diageo-Moët Hennessy (DMH) portfolio in Texas, effective February 16. Moore will report directly to Steve Cohen, Glazer’s senior vice president, DMH Texas. Moore joined Glazer’s in 2008, moving quickly from sales rep to district sales manager and, most recently, to regional sales director. She replaces Heather Alper, who was recently appointed vice president, sales for Glazer’s, reporting to executive vice president, sales and marketing Shawn Thurman.

•The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) reported wine and spirits sales of $9.18 million for the six months through December, a 4.9% rise on the same period last year. Net profit for the PLCB’s fiscal first half rose by $16.7 million to reach $75.1 million, generating more than $233 million in sales and liquor tax for the state. Growth was driven by both the retail and licensee segments, with PA Wine & Spirits Stores demonstrating a 5.5% rise and the licensee business up 3.5%. The PLCB, which operates more than 600 stores statewide, is currently facing a renewed privatization push led by Governor Tom Corbett.

•Petaluma, California-based Robert Oatley Vineyards USA has merged with Atlanta’s WineSource International to become Pacific Highway Wines & Spirits. The joint venture will be run by president Mark Giordano, and will have offices in both cities. The comprehensive sales and marketing company will offer an expanded reach in the U.S. for a portfolio that includes wine brands from Australia, South Africa, California, New Zealand, Italy and Argentina, and Troy & Sons American whiskey. Australia-based Oatley has just launched its Robert Oatley Signature Series range in the market, and is preparing to introduce the Wild Oats brand in the U.S. as well.

•France’s Perrin family has reportedly partnered with actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to release Miraval, a vintage rosé offering. The Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah and Rolle blend is named for Provence’s Château Miraval, the 1,000-acre winery purchased by Pitt and Jolie in 2011. According to media reports, the Perrin family has been handling production of Château Miraval’s wines since last year, via an equal profit-sharing agreement with the celebrity couple. In addition to the debut rosé, which will retail at around $28 in the U.S., the Miraval range is slated to add a white wine this summer and reds later this year. The Perrin family, owners of the Rhône Valley’s Château de Beaucastel estate, also produces La Vieille Ferme, Famille Perrin, Domaine du Clos de Tourelles and Château de Beaucastel labels, all handled by Vineyard Brands in the U.S. market.

•SBE entertainment group is opening an outpost of its SLS Hotel on the Las Vegas strip in the space that formerly housed the Sahara Hotel and Casino, which shuttered two years ago. SLS Vegas will feature 1,600 guest rooms and various restaurants, including The Bazaar by José Andrés, Umami Burger, Katsuya by Starck, The Griddle Café, Mercato di Ventro, Papaya King and 800º Neapolitan Pizzeria. The venue will also house four nightclubs, including SBE’s Shelter club and live music concept The Sayers Club. There will also be a 10,000-square-foot Fred Segal shopping area with seven boutiques. SBE has received $415 million in funding for the new hotel, which will be the company’s largest, and plans to break ground in 2014. SBE currently owns SLS Hotels in New York, Beverly Hills and South Beach, Miami, with plans to expand to Philadelphia, Boston, Seattle and Houston.


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