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News Briefs for February 23, 2022

February 23, 2022

•Brad Pitt has filed a lawsuit against his ex-wife, Angelina Jolie, over the sale of her shares of the southern French wine estate Chateau Miraval. The couple purchased a controlling interest in the winery in 2012 for approximately €25 million and held their wedding there in 2014. When they divorced two years later, Pitt alleges they agreed to a “mutual understanding” that neither would sell their shares without the other’s consent. In 2021—without Pitt’s knowledge, he claims—Jolie sold her stake to Tenute del Mondo, a division of the vodka company Stoli Group, owned by Russian businessman Yuri Shefler. Wine Spectator has the full story.

•Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC) is planning to open a new Romeoville, Illinois distribution center by the end of the month, with the move expected to bring approximately 60 new jobs to the Chicagoland area. The 351,000-square-foot facility is RNDC’s first distribution facility in the Chicago area. It will store, warehouse, and distribute wholesale alcohol beverage products to the entire state of Illinois, which RNDC entered last year, partnering with local player Heritage Wine Cellars. Delivery operations from the new site are expected to begin in April.

•TX Whiskey, part of the Pernod Ricard portfolio, is launching a new campaign highlighting its Texan roots and starring actor and producer Scoot McNairy. Pam Forbus, chief marketing officer of Pernod Ricard USA, called the “Our Whiskey, Our Way” push “the first big marketing campaign” behind the TX brand, which joined the Pernod portfolio in 2019 and has been growing by double-digits. It includes multiple video spots, with “the tone throughout evoking a challenger mindset with Texan edge,” according to the company.

•Champagne Telmont, majority owned by Rémy Cointreau, has brought on actor Leonardo DiCaprio as an investor. While the size of the stake wasn’t disclosed, DiCaprio cited Telmont’s sustainability measures as drawing him to the brand, which is aiming to convert its entire vineyard to 100% organic agriculture by 2025 and assist its partner growers with the full conversion of their vines by 2031. Last year, Rémy Cointreau launched Telmont in the U.S., with price points ranging from $60 to over $200 a bottle. Telmont produces about 400,000 bottles (33,000 cases) annually.

•Proximo Spirits’ Sexton Single Malt Irish whiskey has unveiled a new bottle to commemorate the final season of AMC series The Walking Dead. The packaging depicts themes of The Walking Dead across The Sexton’s black hexagonal bottle, which features a decaying silver label and a walker’s head in the place of the brand’s trademark skeleton logo. The Sexton’s The Walking Dead-inspired release will be available in limited quantities at wine and spirits retailers across the country starting at the end of February at a suggested retail price of $30.

•Boston Beer Co. has introduced Hard Mtn Dew, its collaboration with PepsiCo. Debuting in Florida, Iowa, and Tennessee, the 5% abv line initially includes Original Mtn Dew, Baja Blast, Black Cherry, and Watermelon flavors with no caffeine or added sugar and 100 calories per serving. Boston Beer is producing the brand—which is launching in 24-ounce cans and mixed 12 packs of 12-ounce cans—while Blue Cloud Distribution, Inc., a new entity wholly owned by PepsiCo, is responsible for wholesale operations.

•Shaw-Ross International Importers has promoted company veteran Nick James to executive vice president, brand management, overseeing the brand management team, as well as its training and development. Additionally, Shaw-Ross has promoted Ricky Febres and Rod Simmons to vice president, national brand manager. Febres has been with the company for 23 years, while Simmons joined Shaw-Ross in 2000.

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