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News Briefs for February 3, 2017

February 3, 2017

•South Africa’s Distell has halted production at its Tobermory Scotch whisky distillery in order to upgrade the facility and visitor center. Tobermory, located on the Isle of Mull, will stop production on March 31, and the distillery will remain closed for two years. The visitor center will remain open during this period. The Tobermory distillery is unusual in that it operates two production cycles each year to produce the Tobermory and Ledaig single malt brands. Distell said it will invest further to enhance both brands as part of the revamp, but doesn’t plan to increase production capacity. The distillery staff includes seven employees, and Distell has said it will aim to protect those jobs during the shutdown. Distell added the Tobermory distillery via its acquisition of Burn Stewart in 2013. Tobermory and Ledaig are handled in the U.S. market by Terlato Artisan Spirits, a 50-50 partnership between Terlato Wine Group and Distell that was formed in 2015.

•Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey is weighing the U.S. launch of its Cider Cask Finish expression later this year, according to sources at brand-owner William Grant & Sons. The label thus far has been available only in Ireland and travel retail. Cider Cask Finish is produced each year between September and November, when Irish apples are harvested in small batches and pressed. The juice is held in Bourbon oak casks at Tullamore as the cider ferments. It’s then siphoned away and replaced with Tullamore Dew whiskey, which undergoes a four-month finish before bottling at 40% abv. The price in Ireland is around 55 euros ($60) a one-liter bottle, but U.S. pricing hasn’t been set.

•Frederick Wildman and Sons has expanded its Rhône portfolio with the addition of Château Mont-Redon. Owned by the Abeille and Fabre families, Château Mont-Redon covers 247 acres in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The Réserve Mont-Redon red, white and rosé wines retail at about $15, while the Château Mont-Redon wines range from $23-$46 a 750-ml. bottle. Kobrand previously handled Mont-Redon in the U.S.

•Guarachi Wine Partners is launching Black Ink Rosé nationwide this March. Sourced from California, Black Ink Rosé features a tattoo-inspired label designed by reality television star and tattoo artist Amy Nicoletto. The new expression will retail at $12 a 750-ml. The rosé marks the second expression in Black Ink’s portfolio, following the launch of the brand’s flagship red blend in 2014.

•The Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. has partnered with Women of the Vine & Spirits, a trade organization supporting women in the alcohol beverage industry. Led by founder and president Deborah Brenner, Women of the Vine & Spirits hosts regional networking events, discussion forums, educational resources and the annual Women of the Vine & Spirits Global Symposium. Distilled Spirits Council president and CEO Kraig R. Naasz will serve as moderator of a panel discussion on “Women of the Still” at the third annual symposium in Napa Valley on March 13-15.

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