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News Briefs for January 11, 2017

January 11, 2017

•American Harvest Vodka, formerly part of the Sidney Frank Importing Co. (SFIC) portfolio, has been acquired from the Frank family by Beach Whiskey Co. for an undisclosed sum. Launched by SFIC in 2011, American Harvest was retained by the Frank family when Germany’s Mast-Jägermeister acquired the New Rochelle, New York-based SFIC in 2015. Beach Whiskey is led by CEO Smoke Wallin. Former SFIC chairman John Frank is now a member of Beach Whiskey’s advisory board, and former SFIC executive vice president, marketing, Bill Henderson—who originally helped launch American Harvest—is CMO. Beach Whiskey, whose namesake brand includes Bonfire Cinnamon and Island Coconut expressions ($24 a 750-ml.), intends to relaunch the organic American Harvest brand into national distribution this year at a retail price of about $25.

•Torbreck Vintners, based in Australia’s Barossa Valley, has appointed Ian Hongell as senior winemaker, beginning with the 2017 vintage. Hongell joins Torbreck from Peter Lehmann Wines, where he most recently served as chief winemaker. Torbreck, owned by Pete Kight, is marketed in the U.S. by Sonoma’s V2 Wine Group, in which Kight is a partner along with Dan and Katy Leese.

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