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

News Briefs for October 12, 2022

October 12, 2022

•Edmond de Rothschild Heritage has acquired Akarua, a 52-hectare (128-acre) property in New Zealand’s Central Otago region, from the Skeggs family for an undisclosed sum. It’s planted to 34.5 hectares (85 acres) of vines and “gives us a unique occasion to get into organic winegrowing, one of the fastest-growing categories right now,” according to Edmond de Rothschild Group chairwoman Ariane de Rothschild. Akarua joins Rimapere in Edmond de Rothschild’s New Zealand portfolio. Worldwide, the group produces 3.5 million bottles annually from its 500 hectares (1,200 acres), which also include properties in Bordeaux (Chateau Clarke), Spain, Argentina, and South Africa.

•Edrington has announced Andrés Brugal, a new ultra-luxury rum from the Dominican rum producer. The 41.5% abv rum is made by blending two double aged reserve rums with a selection of first-fill single Bourbon and Oloroso Sherry casks. Each bottle is made from hand-blown crystal and displayed in a cabinet inspired by the traveling cases used by previous generations of rum maestros. Only 460 bottles will be available in the U.S., with each carrying a suggested price of $2,800. Last year, Brugal was at 96,000 cases in the U.S.

•Beam Suntory has expanded the Basil Hayden family of whiskies with a new limited-edition Red Wine Cask Finish whiskey. The whiskey, created by Freddie Noe, blends the standard Basil Hayden Bourbon with portions of whiskey partially aged in California wine casks. The 40% abv whiskey is rolling out now across the U.S. where it will be available for a short time for a suggested price of $60 a 750-ml. Last year, Basil Hayden reached 444,000 cases in the U.S., according to Impact Databank. For the first six months of 2022, the brand was up 9% in control states.

•Novato, California’s WX Brands has announced that founder and CEO Peter Byck will step down January 1, 23 years after founding the company. In his place will step Oliver Colvin, the current COO and a 22 year veteran of WX Brands. Prior to his time as COO, Colvin served as WX Brands’ head of operations, head of international sales, and head of U.S. sales. Byck will remain a shareholder and will serve as senior advisor to the board of directors. WX Brands’ Bread & Butter label, an Impact “Hot Brand,” crossed 1 million cases last year.

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