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News Briefs for October 27, 2016

October 27, 2016

•Total Wine & More is entering the Houston market with a 23,500-square-foot store near the Willowbrook Mall, according to the Houston Business Journal. Opening today, the new location is the first Houston store for Total Wine, which now has around 150 locations nationwide—including several in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio markets. The Houston entry puts Total Wine head-to-head with rival retail chain Spec’s, which is based in Houston, as well as Goody Goody Liquor, which also has multiple stores in the market.

•Rémy Cointreau has entered exclusive negotiations toward an acquisition of French single malt whisky producer Domaine des Hautes Glaces. Rémy says Domaine des Hautes Glaces, which produces whiskies from certified organic grains in the Trièves Mountains region of the French Alps, constitutes “a high-end brand with genuine potential.” Rémy’s current whisky stable includes Islay’s Bruichladdich, which it acquired in 2012 for $90 million.

•Freixenet USA is launching new luxury wine brand Windvane to the U.S. market. Windvane initially will include a Carneros Reserve Pinot Noir ($80) sourced from estate vineyards in the western part of the Carneros appellation. The release is limited to 100 cases distributed to select California and New York accounts. Next year, Freixenet USA expects to release about 3,000 cases of Windvane Estate Grown Chardonnay and Pinot Noir nationwide. Sonoma-based Freixenet USA also markets Segura Viudas Cava, California sparkler Gloria Ferrer, Australian table wine Deakin/Faldo and Spanish table wine Rene Barbier, among other brands. Freixenet’s flagship cava brand has hovered around 550,000 cases in the U.S. recently.

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