News Briefs

Rodney Strong
, founder of Rodney Strong Vineyards, died early this month at the age of 78. Strong entered the wine business in 1961, and remained with the brand he created through several ownership changes throughout the years.
Pernod Ricard USA, White Plains, N.Y., has named Republic Beverage Co. to distribute its full line of spirits and wine brands in Texas and Louisiana. It also reconfirmed Republic as its vendor of record in Oklahoma, and as its exclusive broker in Alabama and Mississippi. In addition, Southern Wine & Spirits was named to distribute Pernod Ricard’s full lineup in Arizona.
Beam Global Spirits & Wine Inc., Deerfield, Ill., has selected Bacardi Y Cia, Mexico City, as its exclusive distribution partner for Sauza Tequila in Mexico. Effective April 1, Beam Global says the agreement signals the start of an aggressive campaign to advance Sauza’s position in Mexico, which is considered a key market for the brand.
Palm Bay Imports has been appointed to import, market and oversee U.S. distribution of the wines of Santa Rita, one of Chile’s premier wine estates. The company will be responsible for Santa Rita Casa Real, Santa Rita Triple C, Floresta, Santa Rita Medalla Real, Santa Rita Reserva Wines and Santa Rita 120 Series.
Oak Beverages Inc., Blauvelt, N.Y., has taken on distribution of India’s Haywards 5000 in its New York territories. According to the company, Haywards 5000 Indian Premium is considered the strong beer market leader in India, and is available in the United States, Europe, the Far East, Middle East and Southeast Asia.
Sundia Corp. has formed a strategic partnership with Borders Melon Co., the nation’s top watermelon grower and distributor, to brand its watermelons with the Sundia trademark, while also becoming a major source of watermelons for Sundia’s recently launched watermelon juice.