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News Briefs for December 9, 2014

December 9, 2014

•The Gregoire family, former owners of Château La Rivière, have acquired Château Ripeau, a 37.8-acre St.-Emilion Grand Cru Classé estate, from Jean and Francoise de Wilde for an undisclosed sum, Wine Spectator reports. The sale will be final in early January. “It was always our dream to buy a Grand Cru Classé following the sale of Château La Rivière,” said Peggy Gregoire, wife of Cyrille Gregoire. The family patriarch, James Gregoire, died in a tragic helicopter accident last December, the day after he finalized the sale of Château La Rivière to Chinese tea and hotel tycoon Lam Kok. Kok, Kok’s son and consultant Peng Wang also died in the accident. The Gregoires also own Château Bois Noir (AOC Bordeaux Supérieur), Château Puynard (AOC Blaye-Cotes-de-Bordeaux) and a major stake in négociant Vintex.

•The Edrington Group has launched the fifth iteration of The Macallan’s limited edition Masters of Photography series in collaboration with fashion photographer Mario Testino. Six different casks were brought together from more than 200,000 maturing at The Macallan’s distillery to achieve the final blend. The Macallan’s Mario Testino Masters of Photography edition is available globally for about $3,500 and features four different variations of the photographer’s shots from a session conducted in a palace in Beijing across the 1,000 bottles released. The bottles are displayed in black lacquered boxes inspired by Asian cultural heritage. Previous editions of the series include collaborations with photographers Elliot Erwitt, Annie Leibovitz, Rankin and Albert Watson.

•Hess Family Estates has updated the packaging for its Hess Collection wine range, creating what The Hess Collection CMO Derek Bromley says is a more “elegant, refined and cleanly distinctive” look. Making its debut earlier this year with The Hess Collection’s 2012 Napa Valley Allomi Cabernet Sauvignon, the new package has now rolled out across the brand’s full varietal lineup, which includes its 19 Block Mountain Cuvée, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay labels. The change follows Hess Family Estates’ recent redesign of its Hess Select wines, which launched new packaging earlier this year. In other brand news, The Hess Collection has announced plans to reintroduce its flagship Lion Cabernet Sauvignon in the spring of 2016. The returning entry, which will roll out with a 2012 vintage, marks The Hess Collection’s first Lion Cabernet Sauvignon since 2008.

•MillerCoors has partnered with beverage alcohol delivery service Drizly to launch a new Miller Lite delivery program in select U.S. markets. Using Drizly’s recently-launched Application Programming Interface (API) platform, MillerCoors has established a Miller Lite e-commerce site, offering Boston, New York City, Seattle and Washington D.C. consumers delivery of Miller Lite in 24-bottle, 12-bottle, 24-can and 12-can formats in an hour or less. Miller Lite will promote the service via Twitter, targeting football viewers with a series of promoted tweets. Along with Miller Lite, several other companies have signed on to utilize the Drizly API platform in recent days, including Foursquare, Inmoji, Button, The Mobile Majority and xAd, among others.

•Vincent “Jay” Andretta III, the longtime president of upstate New York wholesaler Empire Merchants North, died recently from complications after choking at dinner at a New York restaurant. He was 54. Andretta joined his family’s wine and spirit distribution business, Colony Liquor & Wine Distributors (now part of Charmer Sunbelt Group), in 1983, and became president in 1995. Andretta also served on the Board of Directors of the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America. Andretta is survived by his wife, Lauri; their two children; and his father, Vincent J. Andretta Jr., and mother, Margaret Andretta.


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