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

News Briefs for January 11, 2019

January 11, 2019

•Constellation Brand has elected incoming CEO Bill Newlands to its board of directors. Effective March 1, the move will see Constellation’s board expand from 12 to 13 members. Newlands, who has served as president and COO of Constellation since last February, is set to become the first non-Sands family member to hold the company’s chief executive post in March. In recent days, Constellation posted sales up 8.6% for the nine months through November, but noted that it expects a decline in sales and operating income for its wine and spirits business for its full fiscal year. Late last year, SND caught up with Newlands to discuss the outlook for the future of the company.

•In April, Suntory will launch Ao, a new “world whisky” that blends spirits from major whisk(e)y regions from around the world. The 43% abv bottling is a blend of Japanese, Canadian, Irish, American, and Scotch whiskies, all of which are styles Beam Suntory counts within its portfolio. Forbes reports that Ao will debut in Japan in this spring, retailing for around $50 a bottle. Beam Suntory has yet to announce a U.S. release date for the global blend.

•Yountville, California-based Lede Family Wines has purchased a 100-acre vineyard in Napa Valley’s Carneros district. The vineyard, which has 86 planted acres and is in the Los Carneros AVA, will be redeveloped over the next two years and will support the Cliff Lede Vineyards brand. The Lede Family Wines portfolio also includes Poetry in the Stags Leap District in Napa Valley and FEL Wines in the Anderson Valley and Sonoma Coast.

•Guillaume Deglise has been named chief executive officer of Burgundy-based wine group Maison Albert Bichot, effective January 21. He’ll succeed Benoît de Charette, who led the Beaune-based house for 27 years along with president Albéric Bichot. Deglise has been serving as CEO of Vinexpo, the Bordeaux-based exhibition for wine and spirits, for the past five years. He began his career in Champagne with stints at Bollinger and Laurent-Perrier. Maison Albert Bichot owns six estates with a total of 105 hectares (260 acres) of vineyards in Burgundy’s most prestigious appellations.


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