News Briefs

Trinchero Family Estates
has created a joint venture with Joel Gott, Charles Bieler and Roger Scommegna, owners of Three Thieves wines, to market and sell Three Thieves and Bandit brands. The new company will be called Rebel Wine Co. and will focus on creating products and expanding distribution.
Starbucks has been dropped from the investment portfolio of Pax World Funds over the recent launch of Starbucks Liqueur. The product, which is a collaboration between the coffee company and Jim Beam Brands, is in opposition to Pax’s policy to avoid investing in companies involved with defense, weapons, tobacco, liquor or gambling. In a statement, Starbucks said it was disappointed in the decision but understood the investment company’s policy.
RealPure Beverage Group recently received a warning letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stating its 100% Juice Orange Concentrate, Premium Orange Juice Concentrate and 100% Grape Juice Concentrate were misbranded for not conforming to FDA standards. The company also was cited for not carrying nutrition labeling on packages and for deviations from HACCP regulations.
The city of Evart, Mich., has agreed to become a source of water for Nestlé Waters North America’s Ice Mountain brand. The deal includes several public projects and a $200,000 payment for improvements to Evart’s water system. The water will be trucked to the Ice Mountain bottling facility in Mecosta County.
Maxxium Worldwide announced it has completed the integration of the V&S Group and Maxxium portfolios within Maxxium Nordic Travel Retail. The company’s goal is to be a major player in the duty-free and travel retail market, and it has named Erik Thomsen travel retail director, Northern Europe. The travel retail portfolio includes Absolut Vodka, Danzka Vodka, Xante, Aalborg and Gammel Dansk as well as Rémy Martin Cognac, Cointreau, The Famous Grouse, The Macallan and Jim Beam Bourbon. It also represents third-party partners such as Whyte & McKay, Stroh, Antinori, Faustino, Williams & Humbert, Henkell and Hugel.
Castle Brands and Bermuda’s Gosling family have launched a global export company for Gosling Rum called Gosling-Castle Partners Inc. The new group also announced a major marketing campaign based on a “Seven Stubborn Generations” theme.
U.S. distribution rights for Miller’s London Dry Gin have been awarded to Skyy Spirits, a division of Campari. The agreement between Reformed Spirits Co. and Campari includes an option to acquire the brand in 2009 at a price based on 2008 sales levels.
Coca-Cola and its Greek bottler Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Co. have purchased a Russian fruit juice company called Multon. The price of the acquisition was not disclosed, but Multon has a market share in Russia of 25 percent and sales of $336 million.  
Dr Pepper Bottling Group, Dallas, has a new CEO. Larry Young, who most recently served as executive vice president of corporate affairs at PepsiAmericas, Rolling Meadows, Ill., has been selected to succeed Jim Turner, who is retiring this year. He is expected to begin his new job May 2.
The American Beverage Association, Washington, D.C., has selected Susan Neely, former Assistant Secretary (Public Affairs) for the U.S. Department of Home-land Security, as president of the association. ABA Chairman Ralph Crowley said Neely’s “expertise in health policy and communications will prove invaluable as the industry strengthens its focus on health and nutrition issues.”