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

News Briefs for January 18, 2018

January 18, 2018

•Pernod Ricard has acquired the remaining minority stake in Avion Tequila that it didn’t already own. Pernod took majority control of Avion in 2014. Avion founder Ken Austin, president Jenna Fagnan and celebrity partner Jeezy will “remain highly involved and financially incentivized at least until 2020 to help fuel its next wave of growth,” Pernod said. Impact Databank estimates that Avion grew about 8% to 125,000 cases in the U.S. last year.

•Edrington’s The Macallan has released a new whisky within its Fine & Rare collection. The product of a single, Sherry-seasoned cask, the 1977 Fine & Rare vintage clocks in at 48.5% abv and represents the best of The Macallan’s maturing stock, according to the distillery. 151 bottles of the whisky are available worldwide, with only four allocated to the U.S. market, each priced at $15,000 a 750-ml.

•Pata Negra, part of the CIV USA portfolio, is introducing several new Cava offerings. Produced in Barcelona via the Champagne method and line-priced at $15 a bottle, Pata Negra’s new Cavas include a Brut Reserva, Brut Rosé, Organic Brut and Organic Brut Rosé. In addition to Pata Negra, which also features Toro, Valdepenas and Rueda offerings, CIV USA’s other brands include Jaume Serra Cristalino, Opera Prima and Don Simon.

•Columbia Distributing has named Chris Steffanci as president and CEO, following the retirement of longtime chief executive Gregg Christiansen. Christiansen will remain board chairman of the Pacific Northwest beer distribution giant. Steffanci, who joined the company in 2012, already held the title of president, and will now transition into Columbia’s top executive role. A 20-year industry veteran, Steffanci began his career with E.&J. Gallo and has also served with Diageo-Guinness, Heineken USA and Pabst Brewing.

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