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

News Briefs for January 5, 2016

January 5, 2016

•Pernod Ricard USA has added French aperitif Lillet to its portfolio. Previously distributed by William Grant & Sons in the U.S., Lillet is a Bordeaux-produced wine-based aperitif that comes in Blanc, Rouge and Rose expressions. Acquired by Pernod in 2008, Lillet currently sells around 35,000 cases in the U.S., according to Impact Databank, and has seen solid growth in recent years. In a statement, Pernod Ricard USA president and CEO Bryan Fry touted the brand’s credentials among the mixology community and added that Pernod looks forward “to further unlocking its potential.”

•The Stewart family, owner of Lake Sonoma Winery, has purchased Sonoma’s Envolve Winery from sibling proprietors Mike, Kate and Chris Benziger. The price was undisclosed. As a result of the deal, Envolve’s tasting room headquarters—which had been operating at a location off the Sonoma Square since 2012—have been moved to the nearby Lake Sonoma tasting room. Kat Adams, Lake Sonoma’s winemaker, has assumed all future winemaking responsibilities for Envolve, which was founded in 2008. The Stewarts, a third-generation winemaking family, also own Madrone Estate Winery and Valley of the Moon wines in Glen Ellen and Quails’ Gate winery in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley.

•MillerCoors has officially launched its new Henry’s Hard Soda range nationwide. Named for renowned Pacific Northwest brewer Henry Weinhard, the 4.2%-abv lineup makes its debut with Henry’s Hard Ginger Ale and Henry’s Hard Orange Soda, both currently available at retail in 12-ounce bottled six-packs and 16-ounce cans. The brand’s rollout will be backed by a national ad campaign, which is slated to kick off at the end of this month, featuring TV spots on networks such as ABC, FOX, TBS, Food Network and Bravo, as well as digital and print components.

•Deep Eddy Vodka, part of the Heaven Hill Brands portfolio, has named Eric Hund vice president of sales. Replacing John Potts, who is leaving to pursue other interests, Hund comes to Deep Eddy from RNDC-Texas, where he helped drive growth for Deep Eddy—an Impact “Hot Brand” now at more than 700,000 cases—at the distributor level. He will report to Deep Eddy president Eric Dopkins.

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