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News Briefs for January 21, 2022

January 21, 2022

•Italy’s Martini & Rossi is debuting a new non-alcoholic aperitivo. Martini & Rossi Non-Alcoholic includes Floreale, which features a botanical and chamomile flavor profile, and Vibrante, which consists of fruit flavors and Italian bergamot oranges. The duo has had their alcohol removed, reaching an abv of less than 0.5%. The release marks the 100-year anniversary of Martini & Rossi exporting the first Italian non-alcoholic vermouth to the U.S. Floreale and Vibrante are available now in select markets for $20 a 750-ml. and will be expanding nationwide in 2023. Martini & Rossi is part of the Bacardi portfolio.

•The Duckhorn Portfolio has made two vineyard acquisitions in Napa Valley. They include the Stanly Ranch vineyard in Los Carneros and the 10-acre Red Wing Vineyard in the St. Helena appellation. The two 20-acre Stanly Ranch parcels are adjacent to Duckhorn’s Migration Winery and planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, which will be used to make Migration’s Pinot and Chardonnay releases going forward. The Red Wing Vineyard, planted to Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, and Merlot, has supplied Duckhorn for more than 15 years and will be renamed Wolfe Vineyard. Additionally, Duckhorn signed a long-term lease with the Alton Family Vineyard next to the Red Wing Vineyard. With these moves, The Duckhorn Portfolio Estate program now includes 298 acres in Napa Valley, 500 acres in other North Coast appellations of California, 82 acres in the Central Coast’s Mt. Harlan appellation and 20 acres at the Longwinds Vineyard on Red Mountain in Washington State. Financial terms were not disclosed.

•Heaven Hill’s Elijah Craig Bourbon has partnered with professional golfer Max Homa for a multi-year sponsorship deal. Homa—a three time PGA Tour winner—will make promotional appearances for Elijah Craig and take part in social media and other marketing activations. In addition, Homa’s caddie, Joe Greiner, will wear an Elijah Craig shirt on tour. Beyond the brand’s partnership with Homa, Heaven Hill and Elijah Craig are also kicking off the 19th Hole marketing campaign in golf publications, on social media, and with Elijah Craig branded golf balls, among other initiatives.

•Ilegal Mezcal has named Nick Anderson as chief commercial officer. In his new role, Anderson will lead the brand’s commercial initiatives and was hired after Ilegal doubled in size in 2021, reaching 50,000 9-liter cases. Anderson joins Ilegal with over two decades of experience in the spirits industry, most recently leading craft rum producer Copalli Spirits. Before Copalli, Anderson worked for Bacardi USA—which has a minority stake in Ilegal—as the company’s vice president of open states and national accounts. Anderson will report to Ilegal CEO John Rexer and COO Michelle Ivey.

•The Sazerac Company has expanded distribution for its namesake Cognac, Sazerac de Forge & Fils “Finest Original” Cognac. The 47% abv Cognac was originally released in October 2019, exclusively through the Sazerac House in New Orleans. Now it has reached retailers in California, New York, and Illinois where it carries a suggested price of $130 a 750-ml., and the company says additional markets will come online though 2022. The Cognac was created by a team of Sazerac’s blenders including Clive Carpenter, Drew Mayville, and Brian Prewitt, with the goal of closely emulating a 19th century Cognac.

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