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

News Briefs for December 1, 2014

December 1, 2014

•Accolade Wines, one of Australia’s biggest winemakers, has agreed to acquire Barossa Valley’s Grant Burge brand and business, along with the historic Krondorf Winery, for an undisclosed sum. The private equity-controlled Accolade entered talks to purchase Grant Burge—which was founded by Grant and Helen Burge in 1988—in mid-November. The Burges said they look forward to working closely with Accolade, which is aiming to expand Grant Burge’s presence through its distribution network, which spans more than 100 markets around the globe.

•Rémy Cointreau posted a 5.6% net sales decline to €472 million ($589m) on an organic basis for the six months through September, the first half of its fiscal year. Current operating profit fell 14.6% organically to €102 million ($127m). Flagship Cognac brand Rémy Martin continued to suffer from destocking in China over the first half, with net sales down 13% to €277 million ($346m), but the parent company said the brand’s superior qualities are showing strong momentum in the U.S., Central and Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia and Africa. Meanwhile, Rémy’s liqueurs and spirits unit saw a 9% sales increase to €130 million ($162m) owing to solid performances from Cointreau, Metaxa, Bruichladdich and Mount Gay. Despite the overall sales decline in the first half, Rémy said it still expects organic increases in sales and operating profit for the full fiscal year.

•A popular wine-themed Chicago restaurant, Bin 36, plans to shut down its long-time home in the Marina City complex by year-end. Owner Dan Sachs indicated he will try to find a smaller, less expensive space in the West Loop neighborhood, though it’s unclear if the Bin 36 name will continue. Launched in 1999, Bin 36 was one of Chicago’s first restaurants offering wine flights and wine classes to patrons along with a well-chosen list of 50 wines available by the glass. In recent years wine director Brian Duncan has partnered with Hahn Family Wines in California’s Monterey County to produce private-label Bin 36 wines offered through local retail stores. The restaurant’s menu was a pioneer in touting specific wine suggestions with each appetizer and entrée.

 

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