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

News Briefs for April 18, 2018

April 18, 2018

•Purple Wine + Spirits has announced two new hires to its executive team, effective immediately. Barry Sheridan has been appointed to the newly created role of CMO. Prior to joining Purple, Sheridan served as senior vice president of marketing, Americas at Treasury Wine Estates (TWE), where he helped orchestrate the rise of Australian brand 19 Crimes. In his new role, Sheridan will be in charge of driving growth and innovation across all of Purple’s brands. Meanwhile, Purple has tapped Eric Gilliland as vice president of supply operations. The former general manager of TWE’s Beringer winery, Gilliland will now oversee Purple’s winery and Graton distillery, as well as its facilities in the Russian River Valley and American Canyon regions. The Purple portfolio includes the Avalon, Raeburn, and Scattered Peaks wine brands, as well as the Redwood Empire American whiskey and Sonoma Dry gin labels.

•Rochester, New York’s LiDestri Spirits has rebranded as Roc House Brands. Roc House’s products are now available in 25 U.S. markets with plans in the works to add an additional five markets. The company has partnered with distributors like Opici, MS Walker, RNDC, and Breakthru to bring its on-premise focused spirits to market. Roc House Brands produces the Recipe 21 line of spirits, which reached 150,000 cases last year, and the Cask & Crew whiskey brand, which reached 13,000 cases in its first year.

•MGP Ingredients has partnered with Breakthru Beverage to launch Till American Wheat Vodka and George Remus Bourbon in Colorado. Till is a 40%-abv vodka produced from Kansas wheat by the MGP distilling team based in Atchison, Kansas and retails for around $25. George Remus is a 47%-abv Bourbon distilled from a high-rye mash bill at MGP’s Lawrenceburg, Indiana facility that retails for around $45. Till and George Remus are now available in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

•Azuñia Tequila has linked with South Carolina-based Total Beverage Solution (TBS) to expand its U.S. reach. TBS will launch Azuñia in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Washington D.C., and the Mid-Atlantic region, as well as key markets in the South and Midwest, with nationwide expansion to follow. Produced by family-owned estate Rancho Miravalle, the 100%-agave Azuñia lineup ($35-$46 a 750-ml.) includes Blanco, Reposado, and Añejo Tequilas and a two-year Extra Aged Special Reserve Añejo, Azuñia Black ($125).

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