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News Briefs for January 13, 2014

January 13, 2014

•As part of its ongoing international expansion, Campari’s Aperol Italian liqueur has been named the official global spirits partner of the Manchester United soccer team from January 1 through the end of the 2016-2017 season. The brand will be prominently advertised on the digital ad boards during Premier League, FA Cup and Capital One Cup home matches, as well as match day programs. Aperol ads will be featured in the Manchester United monthly magazine, the television channel MUTV and on the club’s official website. Visitors to the Old Trafford stadium will also be able to purchase Aperol in hospitality areas. Aperol, which has been seeing double-digit growth in the U.S., is now Gruppo Campari’s largest brand by sales value. Globally, its volume stands at more than 2.6 million cases, according to Impact Databank.

•Leo Trentadue, patriarch of a prominent Alexander Valley winemaking family and founder of a respected wine brand, died of heart failure Jan. 5 at home in Geyserville, Calif., Wine Spectator reports. He was 88. Trentadue had an aptitude for viticulture and a particular fondness for old vines. The Trentadue family owns one of Alexander Valley’s oldest vineyards, Whitton Ranch. The 7-acre site was planted with Carignane, Petite Sirah, Grenache and Alicante Bouschet in the 1880s. Since 1966, Trentadue has sold the grapes to Ridge Vineyards for their Geyserville Zinfandel blend. “Leo was extremely dedicated. We never had to talk to him about quality,” Paul Draper of Ridge Vineyards told Wine Spectator. Trentadue, along with Draper, was one of the first to bring attention to Alexander Valley Zinfandel. Beyond his loyalty to old vines, Trentadue often experimented with viticulture techniques, and is regarded as the first to bring advanced irrigation practices to vineyards.

•San Francisco’s Anchor Distilling Co. has appointed Gregory Fitch regional manager, control states, effective January 1. In his new role, Fitch will work closely with Anchor’s state broker partners to drive sales and develop brand programs for Anchor’s portfolio in control states. Fitch, who has more than two decades of sales management experience, most recently served as president of Boston-based wine and spirits brokerage Great Estates Inc. Anchor Distilling’s artisanal spirits portfolio currently features more than 300 specialty products from 20 different countries, including the Hine Cognac, Glenrothes single malt Scotch, Pink Pigeon rum, Hirsh Bourbon, Karlsson’s vodka and Old Potrero whiskey brands, among others.

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