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News Briefs for January 21, 2016

January 21, 2016

•Cognac exports to the U.S. hit a new record high in 2015, reaching 65.3 million bottles, according to the BNIC. Overall, Cognac shipments to the NAFTA countries of the U.S., Canada and Mexico leapt 13% by volume and 39% by value for the year. Globally, Cognac exports rose 8.5% to 169 million bottles and 21% to €2.6 billion ($2.8b) in 2015. U.S. demand drove a sharp increase in Cognac’s VS segment—which jumped 8% by volume and 28% by value to account for nearly half of all exports—while VSOP sales advanced by 28% on a volume rise of 13%.

•Alcohol delivery service Minibar has entered Phoenix, Arizona, bringing its footprint to a total of 20 metro U.S. markets. Starting this month, the New York-based company will offer on-demand delivery of wine, beer and spirits throughout the greater Phoenix and Chandler area, with expansion into nearby Scottsdale and Tempe to follow shortly. The move follows Minibar’s recent moves into San Diego, Denver and Minneapolis last year.

•Winemaker Rajat Parr and Ascendant Spirits master distiller Stephen Gertman have collaborated on a new gin brand, Calyx. The inaugural edition of Calyx (47.5% abv), which retails at $50 a 750-ml., has launched in a run of 3,500 six-pack cases. A new “vintage” will follow in October with production boosted to 5,000 six-pack cases. Produced from a mix of organic botanicals including angelica, coriander, elderflower, ginger, honeysuckle and locally-sourced grapefruit peel and mint, Calyx will be released in a new vintage each year.

•Frederick Wildman and Sons has appointed Vincent Renault to the role of director of operations. Renault most recently served as director of operations for Cape Classics, and prior to that was executive vice president at Cognac One. Last June, Frederick Wildman named company veteran John Sellar as president, replacing Rocco Lombardo, who departed to become president of Wilson Daniels.

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