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

News Briefs for May 31, 2017

May 31, 2017

•Gruppo Campari is reportedly exploring a sale of its Irish Mist and Carolans Irish cream liqueur brands. Bloomberg reports that the company is working with advisors at Perella Weinberg Partners on the potential divestment, aimed at streamlining the Campari portfolio. Campari acquired Carolans and Irish Mist from William Grant & Sons for €129 million ($144m) in 2010. Carolans was roughly flat at 364,000 cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank. Irish Mist, originally a liqueur brand that was extended with an Irish whiskey expression in early 2014, has a smaller presence stateside. Campari is one of the top dozen spirits suppliers in the U.S. with annual volume of about 6 million cases.

•Argentinian-Italian vintner Alejandro Bulgheroni has opened his first Napa Valley winery, Alejandro Bulgheroni Estate. The new site focuses on small-lot Cabernet Sauvignon wines. In addition to its eponymous prestige label, Alejandro Bulgheroni Estate will market Lithology, a series of single-vineyard and appellation-designated Cabernet Sauvignons. Lithology initially will include a Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cab, a Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard Cab and Lithology Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley. Alejandro Bulgheroni Estate wines will be distributed via the winery’s mailing list and to select fine dining establishments throughout the U.S.

•ProWine Asia—the latest addition to the ProWein wine and spirits trade fair portfolio—has concluded its inaugural run in Hong Kong. Held from May 8-11, ProWine Asia welcomed 310 individual exhibitors from 21 countries, as well as national and regional group exhibits from France, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Germany and Greece, among other nations. More than 12,000 trade visitors from 67 countries attended, with over 35% from outside Hong Kong. The next ProWine Asia will take place April 24-27, 2018 in Singapore. Other upcoming ProWein/ProWine events include ProWine China (November 14-16 in Shanghai) and the flagship ProWein fair (March 18-20, 2018 in Düsseldorf).

•Carneros Pinot pioneer Richard Ward died May 27 following a long battle with cancer. Ward and David Graves founded Saintsbury winery in Carneros in 1981, and went on to catapult the region in southern Napa Valley to the forefront of a growing American interest in the wines of Burgundy. Wine Spectator has more on Ward’s life and career.

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