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

News Briefs for June 19, 2015

June 19, 2015

•Damien Lafaurie has been appointed president and CEO of Piper-Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck Champagnes. Lafaurie spent the past decade at Rémy Cointreau, ultimately as executive vice president of global markets. He will report directly to Christopher Descours, chairman of EPI, which acquired Piper-Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck from Rémy Cointreau in 2011. Laufaurie replaces Cécile Bonnefond, although Bonnefond will remain in her role as EPI’s deputy managing director of strategy.

•A new beverage alcohol retail concept, Paradise Wine, will debut its full-service flagship store in Naples, Florida this summer. The 12,000-square-foot location will offer a selection of 3,000 wines, 800 craft beers and 1,200 spirits in addition to a gourmet cheese and charcuterie section, a humidor and tasting bars featuring 14 beers on draft as well as wine and cocktails. Paradise Wine, founded by real estate developers Blaine East and Leigh Benoliel, is also offering a delivery service.

•Diageo Chateau & Estate has named a new winemaking team for Napa’s Provenance Vineyards and Hewitt Vineyard. Trevor Durling, who has been with the company for five years, has been promoted to senior winemaker for Provenance and Hewitt, responsible for day-to-day operations. Concurrently, John Hazak, previously part of the winemaking unit at Diageo’s Sterling Vineyards, has been named winemaker at Provenance. Meanwhile, renowned consultant Michel Rolland will begin advising Provenance and Hewitt on vineyard, winemaking, blending and aging techniques in August.

•Classic Imports, a subsidiary of Massachusetts-based distributor Martignetti Companies, has added Erdini S.A. de S.V.’s Mezcal Mayalen to its import portfolio. The Mayalen lineup features double-distilled Mezcal Cupreata (48% abv) and Mezcal Guerrero (54% abv), and triple-distilled Mezcal Borrego (49% abv), which is billed as a “meat-based mezcal” infused with lamb breast in its final distillation. Classic Imports will handle the range, which retails at between $42.99-$54.99 a bottle, throughout Massachusetts, New York, Florida and California.

•The New Hampshire Liquor Commission (NHLC) is opening its largest liquor and wine outlet to date in Salem next month, according to the Salem Patch. The 24,000-square-foot NH Liquor & Wine Outlet is expected to generate more than $25.7 million in annual revenue. The new location will offer 1,400 spirits and 4,200 wine SKUs. The NHLC has recently renovated or relocated 19 outlets, and in the last fiscal year reached a record $626 million in sales.

•Vern Underwood, chairman of Young’s Market Company, was recently honored with a special Lifetime Achievement Award during the Entrepreneur Of The Year awards program in Orange County, Calfiornia. Underwood served in virtually every capacity at Young’s since beginning his six-decade career in the distributor’s warehouse in 1955. He supports local causes including Hoag Memorial Hospital, Mission Hospital of Orange County, Boys & Girls Club of America, Chapman University and Medical College of Wisconsin.

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