Uncorkings: Pernod Ricard USA Pledges $100,000 to Help Sandy Victims

Plus more news and notes from the world of wine and spirits.

Wine-and-spirits giant Pernod Ricard USA is set to donate $100,000 to the American Red Cross to help defray the cost of bottled water and other supplies for victims of Superstorm Sandy, which ripped through the East Coast early last week. To further help with recovery efforts, Pernod Ricard also announced that it will organize an employee fundraiser to raise money and in-kind donations.

Somm, a documentary that tracks the journey of four sommeliers as they attempt to pass the notoriously difficult Master Sommelier exam, is slated to debut at the 2012 Napa Valley Film Festival on November 7, with subsequent showings on November 9 and 11. The 100-minute film was directed by Los Angeles’s Jason Wise, and features behind-the-scenes footage of the historically guarded exam.

The International Culinary Center (ICC)—formerly known as the French Culinary Institute—in New York City and Campbell, California, has appointed master sommeliers Larry Stone and Scott Carney as deans of wine studies. Stone has more than 30 years of wine industry experience, including running the wine programs at Rubicon in San Francisco and Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago. Carney has served as the director of wine education at the ICC’s NYC campus since 2011 and has worked for more than 15 years with numerous restaurant companies, including Jean-Georges Management and Les Halles Group.

Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) has acquired the remaining 50% of New Zealand’s Rapaura Vintners Limited—a winery, packaging and warehouse facility located in Wairau Valley—from Babich Wines Limited for an undisclosed amount. TWE currently owns more than 50 international wine brands, including Australia’s Penfolds, California’s Stags’ Leap Winery and New Zealand’s Matua Valley.

Steve Green, proprietor of Carrick winery in Central Otago, New Zealand, has been named the new chair of the New Zealand Winegrowers (NZW), an organization for the country’s 1,500 grape growers and winemakers. Prior to the appointment, Green served as the chair of the Central Otago Winegrowers society, before joining the NZW board in 2005. Green succeeds Stuart Smith of Marlborough’s Fairhall Downs Estate, who held the position for the past six years.

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