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News Briefs for February 5, 2014

February 5, 2014

•U.S. fund manager Wellington Management has increased its stake in Treasury Wine Estates to 5.73%, making it one of the company’s largest shareholders. Boston-based Wellington raised its holding in Treasury via moves worth a combined A$25 million ($22m) late last week. Wellington’s play comes amid a 20% drop in Treasury’s share price last week, after the group announced that due to soft December sales it had downgraded its profit outlook for the current fiscal year (ending in June) by $40 million, to a range of A$190-A$210 million ($217-$239m).

•Silvio Denz, the owner of St.-Emilion châteaus Peby Faugères and Faugères has purchased Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey in Sauternes, Wine Spectator reports. The purchase price for the 90-acre estate wasn’t disclosed. “I wouldn’t have bought it above market,” said Denz. The Suez group has owned the estate since 1984. The purchase continues a trend of both Right Bank and Médoc owners expanding into Sauternes. Châteaus d’Yquem, Guiraud, Rieussec, Suduiraut and Clos Haut-Peyraguey are owned by companies or individuals based outside Sauternes.

•Pernod Ricard USA is introducing two new single pot still Irish whiskies in the U.S., both crafted at Midleton Distillery Co. in Cork. The first, Redbreast 21-year-old ($250), is triple distilled in copper pot stills and matured in a combination of American Bourbon barrels and first fill Spanish Oloroso Sherry casks. The second, Green Spot ($50), is comprised of pot still whiskey aged between seven and ten years, matured in a combination of new Bourbon and Sherry casks. Both whiskies will be available in limited quantities in the U.S. market beginning March 1.

•Courvoisier Cognac, part of the Beam Inc. stable, is launching a new limited edition, L’Essence Year of the Horse. Part of the L’Essence de Courvoisier series that debuted in 2010, L’Essence Year of the Horse is a blend of rare eaux-de-vie that commemorates Chinese New Year. Rolling out this month, the new entry is packaged in a Baccarat crystal decanter engraved with an image of Napoleon on his horse. Each bottle is showcased in a wooden trunk and will be sold in the U.S. and other international markets in an exclusive, individually numbered series, retailing at around $3,500.

•Bacardi Ltd. has unveiled an ambitious new sustainability campaign for its global business, entitled “Good Spirited: Building a Sustainable Future.” Since 2006, Bacardi says it has reduced energy use by more than 25% and water use by 54%, and the new campaign reinforces the company’s commitment to corporate social responsibility with specific goals. Looking ahead, Bacardi plans to obtain all raw materials and packaging from sustainable sources, use eco-design for sustainable packaging and point-of-sale materials and focus on reducing water use and greenhouse gas emissions—with a goal of cutting water use by 55% and greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2017.

•Illinois-based A. Hardy USA is targeting the prestige Cognac market with a new release, A. Hardy Printemps. A blend of Grande Champagne Cognacs dating back to the 1920s, A. Hardy Printemps is the first offering in a series of four rare Cognacs that will be released in Lalique crystal carafes at two-year intervals. Printemps, of which 400 carafes were produced, is aimed primarily at the U.S., Canada and China markets, retailing at $14,000 a 750-ml.

•Heineken USA has appointed Nuno Teles as its new chief marketing officer, effective in March. Teles joins the U.S. management team from Heineken Brazil, where he served in the same role and successfully grew the brand by 500% in his four-year tenure. Teles first joined Heineken through the Dutch brewer’s 2008 acquisition of Scottish & Newcastle for $15 billion. Teles replaces Heineken USA’s former CMO Lesya Lysyj, who left in October to become president of Weight Watchers North America. In related news, Heineken has launched a new TV campaign in the U.S. behind its namesake brand. Titled “The Odyssey,” the new ads seek to “celebrate the premise that every man is legendary at something.”

•Napa’s Truchard Vineyards has named Anthony Truchard II as general manager, overseeing all aspects of sales, marketing and day-to-day operations at the winery, which has 270 planted acres and sells fruit to more than 20 Napa Valley wineries. The youngest son of founders Tony and Jo Ann Truchard, Truchard II was previously sales and marketing director. In that role he recently led the Truchard Vineyards brand into several new markets, including Canada, China and the U.K. The company is projecting its namesake brand to grow 15% to 22,000 cases by 2015.

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