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News Briefs for January 16, 2018

January 16, 2018

•Pernod Ricard has named Jonas Tahlin as chief marketing officer of its U.S. spirits business. He replaces Pierre Berard, who recently transitioned to become global director of Martell, Mumm & Perrier-Jouët. In addition to leading U.S. marketing efforts for Pernod’s U.S. spirits business, Tahlin will also continue in his role as CEO of Absolut Elyx USA. Tahlin will remain a member of Pernod Ricard North America’s executive committee, reporting to chairman and CEO Paul Duffy. He began his career at Procter & Gamble, then joined The Absolut Company in 2006 as head of Western Europe. In 2008, after Absolut became part of Pernod Ricard, he served as Absolut’s regional vice president, Americas and subsequently vice president, marketing, Vodkas at Pernod Ricard USA. Later, he became vice president, global marketing at The Absolut Company, and was appointed CEO of Absolut Elyx USA in 2014.

•Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits has tapped former Gallo executive Iain Douglas as chief marketing officer. Douglas, who spent nine years at Gallo as vice president of marketing, was most recently VP, global strategy and brand development at VF Corporation, whose brands include The North Face, Timberland and Vans. As CMO at Deutsch, Douglas replaces Renato Reyes, who will move to the newly created position of chief strategy and growth officer, focused on long-term strategy and the identification and integration of large acquisition targets. Both Douglas and Reyes will report to Deutsch president Tom Steffanci.

•Hahn Family Wines has named The Henry Wine Group, part of The Winebow Group, as its exclusive California distributor, effective in February, replacing Young’s Market Co. The Henry Wine Group will handle five Hahn Family brands, including Hahn, Hahn Santa Lucia Highlands, Lucienne, Smith & Hook, and Boneshaker. Hahn’s entry-level wines under the Hahn Winery label ($15) sell around a quarter-million cases annually, but the company has been focused on boosting its $25-and-up range in recent years in a bid to garner further recognition for the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA and premiumize its portfolio.

•California-based Vintage Wine Estates has acquired Walla Walla, Washington’s Tamarack Cellars for an undisclosed sum. Tamarack is known for its Firehouse Red blend as well as a number of single-vineyard reserve wines. The deal includes Tamarack’s winery, inventory, grower contracts and tasting room. Tamarack winemaker Danny Gordon and all other employees will remain with the company. Currently Tamarack Cellars produces around 25,000 cases a year. This is Vintage Wine Estates’ second acquisition in a matter of weeks, following the company’s purchase of Layer Cake, Cherry Pie and If you See Kay brands from Jayson Woodbridge’s One True Vine.

•Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits has named Pat Pokorny as executive vice president-general manager, Pennsylvania. Pokorny, a 20-year industry veteran, was most recently vice president of control states and military at Moët Hennessy USA. In his new role, he’ll oversee Southern Glazer’s Pennsylvania brokerage business, reporting directly to Scott Oppenheimer, the distributor’s regional president for Canada and control states.

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