According to Domaine Chanson’s head of winemaking, Jean-Pierre Confuron, the premiere cru Clos des Mouches vineyard will not produce a 2013 vintage due to last July’s hailstorms. Other growers and estates experienced similar damage, with some losing more than 90 percent of their crops.
Japanese beverage group Suntory Holdings Ltd. will acquire Beam Inc.—producer of Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark, among others—for approximately $13.62 billion, according to the Associated Press. The total value of the acquisition amounts to $16 billion, which includes Beam’s debt. The deal awaits approval from Beam’s shareholders and is expected to close in the second quarter. Combined, the companies estimate $4.3 billion in annual sales.
Marlborough producer Saint Clair Family Estate purchased its first vineyard outside of the region, a 34-acre vineyard in the Gimblett Gravel area of Hawke’s Bay. This acquisition is in addition to the purchase of three Marlborough vineyards, which added 96 acres to Saint Clair’s holdings.
In celebrity brand news, both Justin Timberlake and Sean “Diddy” Combs upped their spirits footprints with new projects and acquisitions. Timberlake, who owns the 901 Tequila brand, partnered with Beam Inc. to create a new label called Sauza 901. It will retail for $30 in select markets but is expected to go global. In a partnership with Diageo, Combs acquired premium Tequila brand DeLeón through his beverage company, Combs Wine & Spirits. The brand’s portfolio retails between $120 and $1,000.
Vision Wine & Spirits announced that it is now the US. importer of Tenuta Rocca and Quinta da Romaneira. Piedmont’s Tenuta Rocca’s portfolio includes eight wines ranging from $20 to $70. The 1000-acre Quinta da Romaneira produces wines from classic Douro varieties. They are priced between $15 and $90, with special orders of vintage Port available.