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News Briefs for May 15, 2014

May 15, 2014

•Rumors continue to swirl that Treasury Wine Estates will part with its U.S. operation, but the company insists it has no intention of selling that business. Earlier today, Treasury issued a statement to refute speculation that it was in talks with Constellation Brands concerning Treasury’s U.S. unit. “Treasury Wine Estates confirms that it has not been approached by, and is not in discussions with, Constellation Brands regarding the Company’s U.S. business,” the statement read, adding that Treasury “has no intention of selling its U.S. operations and sees that market as a key plank of its future growth platform.” Treasury issued a similar statement earlier this month in response to rumors that it was holding talks about the U.S. business with Pernod Ricard.

•New Jersey-based Vision Wine & Spirits has added Spain’s Master’s Selection London Dry Gin to its import portfolio. Produced by the family-owned MG Distillery in Vilanova i la Geltrú, Master’s Selection is a triple-distilled gin that retails for around $32.99 a 750-ml. and is positioned to target the mixology community, according to Dan Lasner, managing director for Vision Wine & Spirits.

•Kobrand Corp. is backing passion fruit liqueur brand Alizé with an outdoor campaign this summer focusing on the New York metro area. The push, titled “Life is more fun in color,” includes more than 350 individual ad units across outdoor venues throughout New York City, and coincides with a tasting campaign on the brand taking place throughout New York state. Alizé, which is 16% abv and retails at $19.99 a 750-ml. and $23.99 a 1-liter, includes Red Passion, Blue Passion and Gold Passion variants.

•Former Hanzell winemaker Bob Sessions died May 13 in Sonoma at age 82 after a decade-long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Sessions became the winemaker at the historic Sonoma winery in 1973 and oversaw winemaking there for 28 vintages until his retirement in 2001, but even then he retained the winemaker emeritus title. He is survived by his wife, Jean Arnold Sessions, president of Hanzell, and two children. Wine Spectator has the full story here.

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