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

News Briefs for April 6, 2018

April 6, 2018

•In case you missed the news alert yesterday afternoon, Foley Family Wines has acquired the fast-rising Acrobat brand from Oregon-based King Estate for an undisclosed sum. Retailing at $13-$20, Acrobat was up 10% to 156,000 cases last year, according to Impact Databank. The majority of Acrobat’s volume comes from its Pinot Gris, although Pinot Noir is a close second. The lineup also includes a Rosé of Pinot Noir and a limited edition Chardonnay. Here’s the full story.

•Diageo is set to release its annual batch of the ultra-limited Blade and Bow 22-year-old Bourbon. The 46%-abv whiskey was matured at Stitzel-Weller, and its release will coincide with the 83rd anniversary of the distillery. The allocated release will be available in Kentucky, New York, Illinois, California, Texas, Colorado, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Washington, D.C., Tennessee, Virginia, and Oregon. In addition, six bottles will be available each week at the Stitzel-Weller distillery. Blade and Bow 22-year-old will launch May 5 at a suggested price of $250.

•William Grant & Sons has launched new packaging for its Sailor Jerry rum brand. Debuting in the U.S. this month, Sailor Jerry’s makeover honors the brand’s inspiration, tattoo artist Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins, by including imagery reminiscent of his World War II era Honolulu shop and back bottle text telling Collins’ story. The new design also includes a larger Sailor Jerry script logo on a black circle background intended to stand out on the shelf. Sailor Jerry slipped 3% in the U.S. last year to 725,000 cases, according to Impact Databank.

•Oakville, California-based Far Niente Wine Estates (FNWE) has named Steven Spadarotto as CEO. A 30-year industry veteran, Spadarotto previously held senior executive roles at Francis Ford Coppola Presents, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, and Jackson Family Farms. As CEO, he will oversee FNWE’s portfolio of luxury wine brands, including Far Niente, Nickel & Nickel, and Dolce, among others. Spadarotto replaces current CEO Dirk Hampson, who will remain with the company as chairman of the board. Meanwhile, Far Niente president Larry Maguire has been named vice chairman. FNWE was acquired by Silicon Valley investment firm GI Partners in 2016.

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