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

News Briefs for January 28, 2019

January 28, 2019

•Ireland-based Walsh Whiskey and Italy’s Illva Saronno are dissolving their Irish joint venture after a five-year partnership. Illva Saronno took a 50% stake in Walsh back in 2013. In a statement, the two companies explained that while all sales, marketing, and distilling objectives of the venture are being fully met, “the Irish and Italian directors differ on how to develop the combined business into the future.” Effective immediately, Walsh Whiskey takes control of the venture’s brands—Writers’ Tears and The Irishman—while Saronno takes control of the Walsh distillery, which will be renamed Royal Oak. There will be no interruption of availability of the Writers’ Tears and The Irishman brands, the parties noted, and Disaronno International will continue to handle those whiskies in the U.S.

•New York-based importer and distributor Skurnik Wines & Spirits has struck a new deal to distribute the Mexican spirits of Austin, Texas company Heavy Métl Imports. Moving forward, Skurnik will distribute Heavy Métl’s Real Minero, Rey Campero, Mezcalosfera, and Uruapan Charanda mezcal brands across New York and New Jersey. The newly added mezcal labels join the El Jolgorio, Nuestra Soledad, and Agave de Cortes mezcal brands currently in the Skurnik portfolio.

•Fever-Tree has posted a 39% revenue increase to £236 million ($311m) for its fiscal year ended in December. The premium mixer company said its U.S. revenue rose 21% for the year, accelerating in the second half. Last year, Fever-Tree opened a new Brooklyn-based U.S. subsidiary, expanded its on-trade partnership with Southern Glazer’s to 30 markets, and launched a new Citrus Tonic designed to pair specifically with Patrón Tequila in a “Tequila and Tonic” cocktail.

•Terlato Wines has named Michael Cerio vice president, wine supply and operations. Cerio was previously vice president of operations for The Wine Group and prior to that held senior operations and supply chain posts at Treasury Wine Estates and Diageo. In his new role, he’ll be responsible for Terlato’s vineyard and winery operations in Washington State and California, as well as supply chain planning, production, and logistics operations.

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