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News Briefs for March 12, 2019

March 12, 2019

•Frederick Wildman & Sons has been named the new U.S. importer for Riunite. Effective June 10, the move will see the lambrusco brand transition to Wildman from Banfi Vintners, which has handled it for a half-century. After teaming with Banfi in 1967, Riunite became the top imported wine in the U.S. within a decade, and held the title for more than 25 years. Wishing Cantine Riunite success for the future, Banfi CEO Cristina Mariani-May said, “Moving forward, we will be focusing our energy on further developing and enhancing our premium and luxury offerings, led by Brunello di Montalcino and the Super-Tuscans of Castello Banfi, the crown jewel of our portfolio.” Riunite currently sells approximately 1.45 million cases in the U.S. according to Impact Databank.

•The Glenlivet single malt Scotch whisky has introduced a new ultra-luxury offering, 50-year-old Winchester Collection Vintage 1967. Launching in a handcrafted bottle and case designed in partnership with British designer Bethan Gray, the limited edition malt retails at $25,000 a bottle, of which 150 are being released globally. The Winchester Collection is named for Glenlivet master distiller Alan Winchester, in honor of his four decades in the Scotch industry. Pernod Ricard-owned Glenlivet was up 9% globally last year to 1.2 million cases, according to Impact Databank.

•Château Lafite Rothschild has partnered with wine auction house Zachys on what it’s calling the largest public offering of direct-from-château wines in history. Set to take place on March 30, the auction will feature 3,384 bottles, all taken from Château Lafite Rothschild’s cellar. Among the wines are large-format Imperials signed by Lafite chairwoman Saskia de Rothschild and her father, Baron Eric de Rothschild; a bottle of 1868, the year Baron James de Rothschild purchased the château; a bottle of 1870; and bottles from the iconic vintages of 1945, 1947, 1949, 1959, and 1961. The auction will take place at New York City’s Le Bernadin Privé.

•Heaven Hill Brands has announced the spring 2019 edition of Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond Kentucky Straight Bourbon. The 50% abv whiskey was distilled in the fall of 2005 and bottled in early 2019 as a 13-year-old whiskey. Like the other releases in the Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond series, this whiskey is packaged in a decanter that calls back to the brand’s past. The Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond spring 2019 release is now available in limited quantities across the U.S. for a suggested price of $130 a 750-ml.

•Following its move from San Francisco last year, Campari America has unveiled its new New York City-based headquarters. The space, designed by architectural firm Gensler, features design elements drawn from the Campari portfolio: a red spiral staircase inspired by a Campari Bottle connects the two floors of the office. The new space is 65,000 square feet—twice the size of Campari’s former San Francisco office—and includes an area called The Campari Academy, billed as “an innovation lab where master mixologists and visiting brand ambassadors can experiment and create new craft cocktails.”

•Cakebread Cellars has named Lise Asimont as director of vineyard operations. A veteran of Coppola and Geyser Peak, Asimont has 20 years of experience in the industry. In her new role, she’ll partner with Cakebread winemaker Stephanie Jacobs to produce the company’s portfolio. Cakebread’s estate vineyard holdings now span 580 acres across 15 different vineyards.

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