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News Briefs for January 17, 2018

January 17, 2018

•The Bardstown Bourbon Company, minority-owned by Constellation Brands, has announced that it will produce Bourbon and other whiskies for Castle Brands’ Jefferson’s portfolio beginning this year. Currently the Bardstown Bourbon Company can distill 3 million proof gallons per year, but the group has recently begun an expansion that will double the distillery’s capacity by June. The Jefferson’s portfolio has steadily grown since 2010, and sells above 60,000 cases annually.

•VSPT Wine Group, Chile’s second-largest wine producer and exporter, has sold a 12.5% stake to China’s Yanghe Distillery Co. for $65 million. Control of the Chilean company remains with brewer CCU S.A., which controls 67.22% of the wine producer. VSPT Wine Group comprises nine wineries and produces brands like Gato Negro, Castillo de Molina, 1865 Selected Vineyards, Leyda, Santa Helena, and Argentina’s Finca La Celia. Yanghe Distillery Co. entered China’s wine market in 2012 with Sidus, a sourced Chilean label. The Chinese company reports over $3 billion in sales annually.

•Astral Tequila, part of the Davos Brands portfolio, has unveiled its first ads featuring Jonathan Goldsmith, known for his previous role in Dos Equis’ long-running “Most Interesting Man in the World” campaign. The new Astral campaign, called “This calls for Tequila,” was created by Erich & Kallman and includes 10 video spots featuring Goldsmith. It will run across both traditional and social media channels. In addition to Astral ($45), Davos Brands’ portfolio also includes Ty Ku saké, Aviation gin ($30) and Sombra mezcal ($40).

•Foley Family Wines has promoted chief administrative officer Hugh Reimers to president of the company. Reimers had been expected to eventually become president after joining Foley from Jackson Family Wines late last year. Company founder and owner Bill Foley remains CEO. Reimers says he expects Foley’s luxury wineries, including Chalk Hill, Roth and The Four Graces to “drive the next phase of growth at Foley Family Wines.”

•Rudy Buratti, chief winemaker for Castello Banfi, died January 13 at the age of 56. Buratti joined the Castello Banfi winemaking team in 1983 and became chief winemaker in 1999. A passionate advocate for Sangiovese, Buratti was part of the original team that isolated 15 optimal clones tailored to the microclimate of the Castello Banfi estate in Montalcino, and is credited with introducing a number of technical innovations to the winery. He is survived by his wife Ursula Ciola and two daughters.

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