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News Briefs for March 1, 2016

March 1, 2016

•Beam Suntory has officially announced plans to relocate its global headquarters from Deerfield, Illinois to downtown Chicago. As Shanken News Daily reported last month, the company will take over 110,000 square feet within The Merchandise Mart, a wholesale design center located in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. The move, set to be completed by the end of 2017, will be done in phases, with the first phase to start later this year. According to Beam Suntory chairman and CEO Matt Shattock, the new urban-based headquarters will help put the company closer to where its “target consumers live and work, including the key millennial demographic.” Beam Suntory’s Deerfield headquarters has approximately 450 employees.

•With Glazer’s set to finalize its merger with Southern Wine & Spirits, the Dallas-based distributor has decided to close its Stoller Wholesale operation in Illinois, effective June 1. Glazer’s and Southern announced their plan to form Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits LLC in January, and expect to close the deal in the second quarter of this year. While the two distributors don’t have much overlap across the U.S., both currently operate in Illinois, where Southern is one of the leading spirits and wine wholesalers. After leaving the Illinois market in 2008, Glazer’s re-entered in 2013, when it obtained control of Elk Grove-based Stoller, a distributor of spirits, wine and beer.

•Guarachi Wine Partners has linked with boutique wine importer Jeff Welburn to launch a pair of French rosés—La Domitienne and Brun Estate—in the U.S. A Languedoc rosé, La Domitienne is priced at $9.99 a 750-ml., while Brun Estate, a Provence rosé produced by Château de Brigue, retails at $15. The pair mark Guarachi’s first offerings from France, bringing the company’s portfolio to a total of 19 brands from across six countries.

•Illinois-based Winesellers, Ltd. has been named the exclusive U.S. importer for Rioja Alta’s Bodega Carlos Serres. With nearly 150 acres of estate vines (averaging more than 20 years old), Carlos Serres’ offerings include Rioja Blanco ($10), Rioja Tempranillo Old Vine ($10), Rioja Crianza ($12), Rioja Reserva ($15), and Rioja Gran Reserva ($25). Winesellers Ltd.’s Spanish portfolio also includes Mas Fi Cava (Penedès), Resso (Catalunya), Pazo Torrado (Rias Baixas) and Navardia (Rioja) among others.

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