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News Briefs for January 14, 2019

January 14, 2019

•Napa, California-based Old Bridge Cellars has forged a new partnership with the wholesale division of Frederick Wildman & Sons for distribution of its Champagne Collet label in New York and New Jersey. Old Bridge became Collet’s U.S. importer in 2017 and has since worked to build its distribution network, with a goal of roughly tripling volume to 15,000 cases by 2022. The Collet range includes an NV Brut Art Deco ($45), NV Brut Rosé ($55), Blanc de Blancs ($50), Brut Vintage Collection Privée ($70), and its top-end Esprit Couture ($120). Upscale on-premise accounts and independent retailers are the primary focus.

•Over the weekend, Ontario announced the results of its lottery to select the first 25 licensees for recreational cannabis dispensaries in the Canadian province. Until now, cannabis sales in the province have been run through the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS), an online, state-run venture. More than 17,000 applications for recreational dispensary licenses were submitted, with a resulting selection of approximately one-third corporations and two-thirds individual proprietors. Ontario has set the goal of these stores opening as early as April. OCS will remain as the wholesaler to these private retailers, sourcing from the large suppliers like CannTrust, Aphria, and Tilray.

•Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits has announced a number of changes to its executive team in the East Region, effective immediately. Walter Cowell, formerly vice president of commercial operations in Florida, has been promoted to executive vice president and general manager of the Mid-Atlantic region. He’s now responsible for Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Delaware, and reports to Gene Sullivan, the president of Southern Glazer’s East Region. Taking Cowell’s place in Florida is Greg Astle, who most recently served as vice president of trade development for the company’s Transatlantic division, which handles Bacardi’s portfolio. Additionally, Mark Chaplin has been appointed director of sales and commercial operations for the East Region. Chaplin joined the company in 2018 and was previously part of the East Region commercial strategy group, contributing to key strategic initiatives such as route-to-market restructuring and commercial operations.

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