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

News Briefs for May 19, 2016

May 19, 2016

•Sazerac Co. is set to pour $200 million into its Buffalo Trace Distillery, whose namesake Bourbon brand continues to see rapid growth. Over the next seven years Sazerac will make new investments in cooking, fermenting, bottling, land and additional barrel warehouses at Buffalo Trace, which also produces a number of other whiskies in addition to its flagship label. While demand continues to pressure supply at the distillery, Sazerac said there will be more of the Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, Blanton’s and E.H. Taylor, Jr. brands this year, while volumes of Elmer T. Lee, Stagg Jr, and W.L. Weller Bourbons will remain about the same. According to Impact Databank, the Buffalo Trace brand ($25-$35 a 750-ml.) grew 33% to 150,000 cases in the U.S. last year, capping a run in which it has expanded nearly fivefold since 2010.

•Impact “Hot Brand” RumChata is relaunching its philanthropic Freedom Bottle this summer. The limited edition package, retailing around $20 a 750-ml., will be available through July 4, with all sales benefiting the Lone Survivor Foundation (LSF). Since launching in 2014, RumChata’s Freedom Bottle program has raised more than $485,000 for LSF, which supports wounded service members and their families. RumChata grew 12% to over 600,000 cases in the U.S. last year.

•Oregon’s Union Wine Company has named industry veteran Rick Durette vice president of global sales. Durette was previously SVP, global sales, at fellow Oregon winery King Estate. In turn, King Estate has promoted company veterans Randy Ford and Edward Holmes to SVP of sales, Eastern U.S., and vice president, sales, Western U.S., respectively. Ford and Holmes will jointly manage King’s international sales and share responsibility for managing the company’s 10-person sales force.

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