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News Briefs for March 17, 2021

March 17, 2021

•Jackson Family Wines and Churchill Downs have announced a new four-year partnership between the home of the Kentucky Derby and brands Kendall-Jackson and La Crema. The partnership, which names the brands the preferred wines of the Kentucky Derby, will see Kendall-Jackson and La Crema poured at all racetrack events from 2021 to 2024, kicking off with this year’s Derby Week, starting May 1. Additionally, the brands will be promoted through various activations at Churchill Downs during the partnership. For the 52 weeks ending December 27, 2020, Kendall Jackson was up 5.8% and La Crema was up 18.1% in IRI channels.

•Northeast Drinks Group LLC has purchased the Vermont Cider Company from Ireland’s C&C Group for an undisclosed sum. The deal includes all brands and the cidery’s Middlebury, Vermont-based production facility. The transaction is expected to be finalized in the next 30 days and will return the cidery’s brands, including Woodchuck Cider, to local ownership. Vermont Cider Company’s portfolio also includes Magner’s, Wyder’s, Gumption, and Blackthorn ciders, along with Viva Spritz.

•Ghost Tequila is aligning nationally with Republic National Distributing Co. (RNDC). The two companies will partner immediately in Florida, Washington, Arizona, and Michigan (in addition to the current RNDC markets of Texas, California, Louisiana, and Colorado). Further states will follow shortly, as well as additional control states outside of the Northeast where RNDC will serve as the brand’s master broker. By the end of this year, Ghost is slated to be present in more than 30 U.S. states, as well as over a dozen international markets.

•Winebow has named Chris Luke as vice president of wholesale sales, broad market, in Washington state. Luke previously held the same role at Winebow in Georgia. He reports to Arjun Dewan, Winebow’s executive vice president, broad market wholesale sales. The move comes as Winebow prepares to move to a new distribution center this summer in Kent, Washington, south of Seattle, which will expand its warehousing capacity in the state by 50%.

•Diageo has launched Cîroc Summer Citrus, the latest flavored offshoot for the grape-distilled vodka brand. The 35% abv spirit is infused with orange and other citrus flavors, and comes packaged in a multicolor bottle meant to evoke summer. Cîroc Summer Citrus is now available for a limited time across the U.S. for a suggested price of $34 a 750-ml. Last year, Cîroc slipped an estimated 2.2% to 1.35 million cases in the U.S., according to Impact Databank.

•Minnesota’s O’Shaughnessy Distilling Company has announced the Keeper’s Cask Society, a super-limited membership program, ahead of the summer 2021 launch of its first whiskey. The society is open to 100 people who will be offered a VIP tour of the distillery hosted by master distiller Brian Nation and the ability to purchase exclusive and limited edition whiskies, including rare casks. This summer the distillery will launch Keeper’s Heart Irish American whiskey, a triple distilled spirit made from American grains in the style of Irish whiskey.

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