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

News Briefs for January 27, 2021

January 27, 2021

•Brown-Forman has announced that G. Garvin Brown IV, the chairman of the company’s board, will retire in July. He will be succeeded by Campbell P. Brown at Brown-Forman’s annual stockholders meeting. Garvin Brown retires after chairing the board for 14 years. “Garvin’s steady hand these last 14 years has helped the Board of Directors navigate skillfully through a global recession, portfolio re-shaping, significant capital investments, a CEO transition, and more recently a global pandemic,” said Lawson Whiting, president and CEO of Brown-Forman. “He has been an invaluable partner to me, and an effective leader of the broader Board, given his instincts and experience as a true brand builder and business strategist.” Both Garvin and Campbell Brown are great-great-grandsons of the company’s founder.

•After a month of strict restrictions on California businesses, including bans on outdoor dining and wine tastings, Governor Gavin Newsom has announced an easing of shutdown rules. The move is welcome news to a coalition of 50 impacted businesses in the Bay Area that filed a lawsuit last week against Newsom and the state’s public health officer, Tomás Aragón. Wine Spectator has the full story.

•Lamberti Prosecco has announced the April launch of its Rosé Prosecco. The new wine is a blend of 85% Glera and 15% Pinot Noir and will be first of Lamberti’s wines to feature the brand’s upcoming packaging refresh, with a larger label and typeface. Lamberti Prosecco DOC Rosé will debut nationally and will retail for around $15 a 750-ml. Lamberti is imported to the U.S. by Frederick Wildman & Sons.

•Casa Komos Beverage Group (CKPG) has partnered with Molson Coors Beverage Company to distribute Superbird, a Tequila-based canned cocktail. Initially, the partnership will bring Superbird to 10 new markets through spring. The RTD, a 5.9% abv canned Paloma cocktail, is made with 100% blue agave Tequila, grapefruit juice, agave nectar, and sparkling water. This move marks an expansion by Molson Coors into the world of premium, spirits-based RTDs.

•Beam Suntory has debuted “First Steps,” a new ad for Hornitos Tequila as part of the brand’s wider “A Shot Worth Taking” campaign. The ad shows people taking steps into the unknown as they reach for something greater in their lives. It launches this month in both English and Spanish on networks like ESPN, FX, FOX, NBC, TBS, ABC, and MLB Network, among other sports and entertainment outlets. Hornitos grew an estimated 13% in 2020 to 1.15 million cases, according to Impact Databank.

•Rémy Cointreau and Diageo veteran Mark Breene has been named CEO of Copalli rum. Breene, whose past roles have included CMO at Rémy Cointreau Americas and vice president, rums at Diageo North America, will look to grow the Belize-based single estate rum brand. Also joining Copalli is Ryan Pearson as head of sales. Pearson has held leadership roles at Constellation Brands, High West, and Stoli Group.

•Women of the Vine & Spirits (WOTVS) has unveiled a new program offering health, financial, and legal aid to restaurant and hospitality workers in response to Covid-19. Through its charitable foundation, WOTVS has selected ComPsych Corporation to provide confidential assistance with experienced clinicians, financial professionals, and attorneys, as well as self-service tools, via a 24/7 toll free number, to support service industry members in need. Donors to the WOTVS Foundation 2021 Scholarship Fund include E.&J. Gallo, Skrewball Spirits, Tito’s, and Southern Glazer’s.

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