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

News Briefs for September 28, 2017

September 28, 2017

•Brown-Forman has named Lawson Whiting as chief operating officer, effective October 1. Whiting, who has been with Brown-Forman for 21 years, was most recently executive vice president, chief brands and strategy officer. In his new role, Whiting will oversee the company’s regional operations, global production and corporate responsibility functions, reporting to Brown-Forman chairman and CEO Paul Varga. Brown-Forman reported an underlying net sales rise of 6% to $723 million for its fiscal first quarter ended in July.

•The Family Coppola has introduced Great Women Spirits, a new collection inspired by famous women who were pioneers in the fields of politics, science, mathematics and philosophy. The small-batch, house-crafted line includes: The Countess Maria Walewska vodka ($39 a 750-ml.), distilled from Poland-sourced potatoes; Maria Gaetana Agnesi American brandy ($59), a five-year-old spirit created in collaboration with the American Brandy Distillers; and Ada Lovelace gin ($39), an English-style expression made with 10 different botanicals. All three 40%-abv spirits will officially debut on October 10th, with additional products set to join the collection in the near future.

•Vision Wine & Spirits has become the sole U.S. importer for South African winery Glen Carlou. Vision, a subsidiary of Martignetti Companies, will take over U.S. duties for Glen Carlou’s portfolio, which includes Classic Chardonnay ($17), Quartz Stone Chardonnay ($30), a $20 Bordeaux-style blend and the luxury-priced “Gravel Quarry” Cab ($45). Vision will also bring the winery’s Classic Cabernet Sauvignon ($17) to the U.S. Last December, the Pactolus Consortium acquired Glen Carlou from Hess Family Wine Estates. Last year, Glen Carlou sold around 5,000 cases in the U.S.

•Heineken has introduced H41, a new limited-edition “wild lager,” to its lineup. Brewed with rare, Patagonia-sourced mother yeast, H41 was developed by Heineken master brewer Willem van Waesberghe, who spent two years developing the beer’s recipe prior to launch. The new lager is named for the longitudinal coordinate—41 degrees South—where the mother yeast was originally discovered; Heineken has since obtained an exclusive license to brew with this yeast. H41 will be available on draft in New York City starting in mid-October, with expansion to additional markets slated for 2018.

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