News Briefs

July 1, 2005
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News Briefs

Constellation Brands’ Franciscan Estates
has changed its name to Icon Estates. The company says the change reflects the addition of the Robert Mondavi and Ruffino brands, and better represents the brand histories and properties within the portfolio.
Starbucks will close its Torrefazione Italia cafes and focus the brand on grocery and foodservice accounts. Starbucks acquired the Italian-style coffee chain, which has 17 stores, along with Seattle’s Best Coffee in 2003. It expanded its licensing and distribution agreement with Kraft Foods last year to include the brands in grocery stores.
Triple A Products, Boca Raton, Fla., announced its VitaZest Vitamin and Fruit Enriched Water will be available in 55 Gristedes locations in New York. The line of sugar-free waters includes eight flavors.
Vin & Sprit has agreed to purchase a controlling stake in Cruzan International, maker of Cruzan Rum, for almost $122 million. The two companies have had a distribution agreement since 2003, and expect the transaction to close in September.
Glazer’s Distributors announced that Johnson Brothers Illinois operations will become a division of Union Beverage Co. The move will bring products from E&J Gallo, Kendall-Jackson, Pacific Wine Partners and United States Distilled Products into Union Beverage operations.
Drinks Americas will purchase Rheingold Beer, and Rheingold Brewing Co. President Norm Snyder will join the Drink Americas management team, the company announced last month. “The Rheingold trademark is a New York icon, known and enjoyed throughout the market,” says Patrick Kenny, chief executive officer at Drinks Americas. “Rheingold fits into our distribution network; many of our non-alcoholic distribution partners are beer wholesalers.”

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Dinner with Tequila Don Julio

Diageo is taking its Tequila Don Julio brand on the road this summer with a rolling Airstream Speakeasy mobile craft cocktail bar. The team stopped in Chicago on July 29 to share some specialty tequila cocktails paired with food from Chicago restaurants Honey Butter Fried Chicken and The Radler as well as dessert venues Black Dog Gelato and Baker Miller. (Photos by Jennifer Haderspeck)

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