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

News Briefs for October 31, 2019

October 31, 2019

•Ste. Michelle Wine Estates posted net revenue down 1.2% to $483 million for the nine months through September, representing the first three quarters of its fiscal year, as operating income fell 32% to $50 million. Volume was roughly flat at 5.9 million cases year-on-year. Ste. Michelle said higher promotional investments and higher costs have been eating into earnings. Earlier this year, Ste. Michelle president and CEO Jim Mortensen told SND the company has been making “substantial investments in consumer engagement,” adding, “We have a trade marketing group and a category management group, both of which have kicked into high gear.”

•Sotheby’s has launched an Own Label Collection of wines. Currently available at Sotheby’s flagship wine retail store on York Avenue in New York and on its e-commerce platform, the range includes a Champagne, Prosecco, Sancerre Blanc and Rosé, Bourgogne Blanc and Rouge, Sonoma County Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, Langhe Nebbiolo, St. Emilion, Pessac-Léognan, and Haut Médoc, with retail prices ranging from $17-$40. Sotheby’s launched its wine retail business in 2010 and has locations in New York and Hong Kong.

•Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is prepping a Tequila launch for the new year. Johnson’s Teremana Tequila label, founded in partnership with drinks industry veteran Ken Austin, is slated to debut in early 2020. Johnson noted in an Instagram post that Teremana would be a “small-batch, hand-crafted Tequila.” A brand representative declined to provide further detail. Previously, Austin worked with the Productos Finos de Agave S.A. distillery to launch the Avión label, which Pernod Ricard eventually acquired in a two-part deal reportedly worth more than $100 million. Along with mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor, Austin is also a co-founder of the Proper No. Twelve Irish whiskey brand, which is distributed by Proximo Spirits.

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