Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business

News Briefs for January 29, 2014

January 29, 2014

Jim Beam Bourbon has lined up new celebrity support for its global “Make History” campaign, first announced last fall. In mid-February, Beam will premiere three new TV commercials in the U.S. featuring actress Mila Kunis and running on NBA telecasts, FXX, Spike, History Channel, AMC, Food Network and ESPN networks, among others. The TV and film star will also appear in TV spots in other key Jim Beam markets like Australia and Germany. Kevin George, CMO at Beam Inc., says the partnership “truly signifies a new era for the brand—an era in which we push boundaries further and attract new fans across globe.” The “Make History” campaign represents the first worldwide ad effort for Jim Beam. Encompassing the entire brand portfolio, the multi-year push will run across print, digital, social and out-of-home platforms in addition to TV. The Jim Beam brand grew 1.4% to 3.3 million cases in the U.S. in 2013, according to Impact Databank. Globally, it’s at roughly 6.3 million cases.

•The Teeling Whiskey Company (TWC) has announced plans to build the first new whiskey distillery in Dublin in more than a century. The Teeling Whiskey Distillery will start production in the fourth quarter of 2014 with the visitor center opening its doors in early 2015. TWC is led by Jack Teeling, a longtime Cooley distillery executive whose father, John, sold Cooley to Beam Inc. in 2012. TWC is investing €10 million into the new distillery, which will be based in Dublin’s The Liberties section. The facility, which will have the capacity to produce 500,000 liters of whiskey annually, is expected to create at least 30 full-time jobs. TWC says the Teeling Whiskey brand is already on sale in Ireland and around 20 export markets. Earlier this month, the company appointed Infinium Spirits as its U.S. importer.

•Saralee McClelland Kunde, a Sonoma grapegrower who championed the county’s wine and food for nearly three decades and planted her own acclaimed vineyards in the Russian River Valley, died Jan. 26 after a long battle with cancer, Wine Spectator reports. She was 66. Kunde was well-respected by vintners and farmers for her passion and commitment to Sonoma’s agricultural communities. She served as a director of the Sonoma County Fair and Harvest Fair and was a founding member of the Russian River Valley Winegrowers. In 1989, Kunde and her husband planted a 200-acre vineyard in the Russian River Valley, naming it Saralee’s Vineyard. The Kundes, who are not affiliated with Kunde Winery, produced 14 different varieties, including Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and their grapes were highly sought by wineries including Acacia, Joseph Swan, Arrowood, Kenwood and St. Francis. The Kundes decided to sell Saralee’s Vineyard in 2012 to Jackson Family Wines, which had been buying their grapes for years.

•New York-based importer Cognac One has added two new wines from the Douro’s Quinta Do Pessegueiro. The first is an eponymous red blend composed of 35% Touriga Nacional, 32% Vinhas Velhas, 25% Touriga Francesa and 8% Tinta Roriz. The second, a red blend called Aluzé, is a mix of 35% Touriga Nacional, 30% Touriga Francesca, 20% Vinhas Velhas and 15% Tinta Roriz. Quinta Do Pessegueiro’s namesake red blend retails at $32.99, while Aluzé is at $25.49.

•Portsmouth, New Hampshire-based The Gerard Wine Co. has added Argentina’s Tracia brand to its U.S. import portfolio. Produced by Finca del Enlace in San Juan, the Tracia range features a Malbec and Syrah, both of which will initially be available across New Hampshire, Maine, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and California, priced at around $9.99 a bottle. Expansion into Florida, Georgia and Tennessee is slated to follow. Founded in 2009, The Gerard Wine Co. also imports Chilean wine brand Debauchery, and plans to add a French brand to its portfolio this spring.

•Next month, St. Maarten’s Old Man Guavaberry rums and liqueur will return to the U.S. after leaving the market nearly five years ago. Dangerous Import Group has partnered with Opici Family Distributing for the rollout, which will begin in February to New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland and Washington D.C., followed by Louisiana, Mississippi and Illinois, with plans to distribute nationwide within 18 months. The Guavaberry Liqueur and Guavaberry 5 Year Rum will retail at $25, while the 8 Year Rum is at $30. Dangerous Import Group’s portfolio also includes Bodega Sottano, Soluna and Pilke wines from Argentina and Soleca from Chile. Palissade, a new French wine brand, is slated to join the range this year.

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