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

News Briefs for July 2, 2020

July 2, 2020

•Bombay Sapphire is launching its first artist-designed bottle. The brand collaborated with Chicago-based artist Hebru Brantley, who brought his street art and Afro-Futurist influences to the design of the bottle. An extension of Bombay’s “Stir Creativity” campaign, the launch of Hebru Brantley Limited Edition will benefit the Chicago chapter of the Black Lives Matter organization. It is available now in select states and on Reserve Bar, retailing for a suggested $23 a 750-ml. Part of the Bacardi portfolio, Bombay Sapphire was up 3.5% to 980,000 cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank.

•In response to the outcry over divisive social media content, Pernod Ricard USA plans to create an app that will allow users to directly report hate speech and other objectionable posts on social media to brands and companies. Though the app is still in the planning stage, the company said it will give companies the opportunity to use their leverage over social media platforms to have hate speech removed. The forthcoming app is an extension of Pernod’s commitment to the #StopHateForProfit campaign, which implores companies to withhold ads from Facebook to take a stand against the social media giant’s lax posture toward regulating content on its platform. Pernod is suspending all paid social media ads for July.

•Chile-based Veramonte, part of the Gonzalez Byass portfolio, has unveiled a new look coinciding with the completion of its move to organic winemaking. The brand’s new labels are made from cotton instead of paper, reflecting its commitment to sustainability, with the various label colors reflecting the different grape varieties planted in Veramonte’s vineyards intermixed with flora and fauna that contribute to the healthy ecosystem. According to the company, Veramonte now accounts for 10% of the organic winegrapes grown in Chile via its holdings in the Casablanca and Colchagua Valleys, and the brand will be known as Veramonte Organic moving forward.

•Austin, Texas-based Serendipity Wines has bolstered its distribution presence in California, merging the Mountain Peoples Wine company into its organization. The merged company, Serendipity Wines California, will retain Mountain Peoples’ leadership and sales team and continue to focus on certified organic and biodynamic offerings. Michael Michel will stay on as senior vice president and general manager and Laura Fung will act as director of sales operations. The merger significantly expands Serendipity’s sales coverage and distribution capabilities in California.

•Ireland’s Connacht Whiskey Co. has named Killian O’Sullivan as commercial director. O’Sullivan was most recently CEO of London Distillery Co., and prior to that spent several years with William Grant & Sons leading marketing and commercial procurement globally for brands such as Glenfiddich, Hendrick’s, and Monkey Shoulder. In addition to its namesake Irish whiskey brand, Connacht is known for Conncullin Irish Gin, Brothership Blended Irish American Whiskey, and Straw Boys Irish Vodka, among others.

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