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

News Briefs for November 3, 2016

November 3, 2016

•Pernod Ricard’s Chivas Brothers unit has announced plans to create a new state-of-the-art bottling facility at its Kilmalid site in Dumbarton, Scotland, with an investment of £40 million ($49m).Expected to be complete by 2019, the new facility will incorporate operations currently handled by Pernod’s Paisley bottling plant, which will close by the end of that year. The Paisley site’s workforce will begin transitioning to Kilmalid in 2018. Chivas Brothers’ key brands include Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s, The Glenlivet and Aberlour Scotch whiskies, as well as Beefeater gin.

•Willamette Valley winegrowers were abuzz this fall as they watched vines being pulled at Witness Tree, a venerable vineyard and winery in Oregon’s Eola-Amity Hills AVA. Wine Spectator has learned that earlier this year the owners of Chapter 24 purchased the 100-acre site, planted in 1982, from Carolyn Devine and winemaker Steven Westby for $3.5 million. The new owners have big plans. After making wine from purchased fruit for a few years, Chapter 24 partners Mark Tarlov, a founder of Evening Land Vineyards, and Louis-Michel Liger-Belair, a Burgundy vigneron, are acquiring more than 100 acres across Willamette Valley for vineyards, focusing on volcanic soils. Wine Spectator has the full story.

•Contract distiller MGP Ingredients posted a 17% surge in its premium beverage alcohol sales, to $110 million, in the nine months through September, as American whiskey demand continues to soar. “Demand for our premium Bourbon and rye whiskies continues to outpace category trends,” said MGP president and CEO Gus Griffin. “In our distillery products segment, our focus is on migrating away from industrial alcohol by growing our vodka and gin business, and expanding our whiskey business.” In the third quarter, MGP added $4.7 million to its inventory of aging whiskey, which now totals $45 million.

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