News Briefs

The International Bottled Water Association
, Alexandria, Va., announced the theme of this year’s convention will be “Everyone’s a Winner.” The association’s Annual Convention and Trade Show will be held in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Oct. 3-6, 2006. IBWA plans an extensive seminar program to educate bottled water professionals about innovative technologies, processes and industry trends. The convention also will feature the IBWA Aqua Awards, Plant Manager of the Year Award, Route Salesperson of the Year Award, Bottled Water Hall of Fame Award and the new Directors’ Award. For more information, call 703/647-4601 or visit the association’s Web site at
Brown-Forman, Louisville, Ky., has completed the sale of the former Jekel Winery to S.A.M. Properties, based in Salinas, Calif. The purchase price was not disclosed, but includes the winery, equipment and vineyards surrounding the facility. Brown-Forman closed the winery in 2004 and production of Jekel wines was moved to other wineries. “The Jekel brand will continue with our full support, and remain focused on its heritage in Monterey, where the winery was a pioneer in recognizing the potential of this great growing region,” said David Dearie, president of Brown-Forman Wines.
The acquired property consists of 135 acres with 122 planted, predominantly with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Riesling. Brown-Forman will purchase grapes from the vineyard through the 2007 harvest, and retain rights to the Gravelstone Vineyard name.
James Edward and Cos. Inc., Tampa, Fla., has launched a new distributing company called Anchor Distributing LLC, to serve as exclusive distributor of Red Bull Energy Drinks in the western Florida region. With 45 employees, the company operates a total of 36 routes, six of which are on-premise and the remaining are off-premise. The majority of operations will take place in the company’s main warehouse in Tampa, and a second branch in Fort Myers will support business functions.
Anheuser-Busch has agreed to an exclusive beer sponsorship with the Chicago Bulls, Chicago Blackhawks and the United Center. The 10-year deal begins with the 2006 season and gives the company signage rights in the center as well as naming rights to a pub in the United Center.  
Starbucks has acquired Coffee Partners Hawaii, which operates its retail stores in Hawaii, and Cafe del Caribe, which operates its retail stores in Puerto Rico. Starbucks had owned a 5 percent interest in each of the companies, which now will operate as wholly owned subsidiaries. The company says it expects the acquisitions to give it greater operational efficiencies and accelerate expansion in both markets.
Silver Eagle Distributors, Houston, has acquired additional rights to Anheuser-Busch and Modelo products from M.L. Wismer. The move expands the company’s territory and will result in an 8 percent increase in Silver Eagle’s accounts.
Moët Hennessy USA will import Marqués de Grinon wines through an exclusive distribution agreement. The Spanish winemaker is known for its Petit Verdot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.