Italy’s Campari Group to enter champagne sector with Lallier acquisition

The Campari Group is set to become the first Italian company to own a Champagne brand.  Announced last week, Campari has entered into negotiations to acquire French company Ficoma, to acquire 80% of the shares of Champagne Lallier, and other group companies, with a view to total ownership. Campari’s shares ended up 2.9% after the announcement, outperforming a 1.7% gain in Milan’s blue-chip index.FTMIB.

Ficoma sold one million bottles of Champagne in 2019, including 700,000 bottles of Lallier.

If the negotiations lead to a sale, it will mark the entry of the first Italian player into the Champagne category.

Ficoma is the family holding of Francis Tribaut, the heir to four generations of winemakers and Champagne producers in France’s Marne region. The Champagne brand Lallier was founded in 1906 in Aÿ, one of the few villages classified as ‘Grand Cru’ in Champagne.

The potential transaction scope includes the brands, related stocks, and real estate assets including owned and operated vineyards, and production facilities.

Campari Group, founded in 1860, is the sixth-largest player worldwide in the premium spirits industry, trading in more than 190 countries. Campari owns 21 plants worldwide and has its own distribution network in 21 countries.

The company’s growth strategy is to combine organic growth through strong brand building and external growth via selective acquisitions of brands and businesses.

The company has a portfolio of more than 50 premium and super-premium brands, including Aperol, Campari, SKYY, Grand Marnier, Wild Turkey and Appleton Estate.

Asia Pacific Wine and Spirit Institute helps industry professionals with online learning during social distancing

APWASI launched this week 20 online wine and spirit certification courses in 26 languages. The newly released programs include the world’s first certified courses in “Icewine”, “Wines of China”, “Caviar” and “Truffles”.

The APWASI (Asia Pacific Wine and Spirit Institute) board unanimously agreed to move the launch forward to offer support to those in the airline, cruise line, hotel and hospitality industry who are facing uncertain, challenging and life-changing situations because of the global pandemic.

APWASI will be making the important Wine Essentials 1 Course complimentary and other courses qualify for special pricing. The program goals are to allow people to be more productive, acquire new knowledge and get certified during this period at home that many are experiencing.

In 2018/2019 there were over 100,000 wine and spirit students globally undertaking courses from various wine bodies. The wine and spirits market is explosively dynamic and experiencing generational, global and dramatic taste changes. APWASI’s mission when developing these career courses was to combine required fundamental theory and practical skills required for the workplace.

Industry experts were consulted to ensure APWASI courses had the impact and relevance to enable course graduates to be seamlessly and more easily absorbed into new career positions. As a non-profit organization, APWASI wants ensure the courses can be delivered globally and at scale.

Dr. Clinton Lee, Executive Director APWASI said, “It is imperative students have the choice now of a condensed route to attaining new skills with the flexibility to further upgrade those skills during their career. Not only are work skills important but so are cultural awareness levels. I was adamant that APWASI courses incorporate cultural awareness and we have done that. As a lifelong student myself, I can share through my own experience, that lifelong learning is the only way forward.”

APWASI developed a holistic approach for their students, from start to career, by developing strong strategic alliances with pivotal partners in the field. APWASI strategic alliances include Quini (http://www.quiniwine.com), a respected, established online wine tasting software company. Students can taste wine and record professional-grade tasting notes with ease, anywhere, anytime and recall them at the touch of a button. Students can also take online language study components through APWASI’s strategic partnership with Rosetta Stone Language. “Studying Italian wine and language just became much easier,” said Dr. Lee. APWASI students will also be able to keep up-to-date online with the wine industry through our highly valued APWASI strategic partner, Wine Spectator magazine.

Students will be able to access APWASI strategic partners, including global recruitment agencies geared to focus on APWASI graduates, to assist in placement during and after their course completion.

Roger Noujem, CEO of Quini, said, “Global industry requires talent that is digitally savvy in cross-functional areas of business. Going well beyond being personally knowledgeable about wine, for example. It is skills related to bringing automation ideas to the workplace that have now become more important than ever in the wine and hospitality sectors. With the new depth of education, certifications, virtual environment and partnerships that APWASI has crafted, we see a paradigm shift that QUINI is exceptionally proud to help advance and stand shoulder to shoulder with APWASI on.”

For further details: http://www.apwasi.com.

The Rémy Cointreau Group solidarity act to fight COVID-19

Rémy Cointreau releases the following statement last week –

Solidarity actions to fight the epidemic continue at our various sites. We are proud to share the local and spontaneous mobilization of our employees to help healthcare professionals. Their actions reflect our values: Terroir, People and Time.

As all alcohol-related logistics are subject to strict safety and taxation rules, all around the world, the Rémy Cointreau Group is happy to provide its expertise, as a response commensurate with the challenge. Therefore, alcohol donations and hand sanitizer production have been quickly set up and will continue over the long term.

 In France, every production site is mobilized

In France, the Group organizes donations of neutral alcohol (> 96°) and ensures a direct delivery to the users, in the areas we know best: Cognac (Rémy Martin & Louis XIII); Angers (Cointreau); Isère, land of the Domaine des Hautes Glaces; and finally, Paris. More than 10,000 liters of neutral alcohol has been sent to 13 hospitals, central pharmacies and local companies with urgent needs, in four different regions. We would like to warmly thank the Cristal Union cooperative, our supplier, and our forwarding partner Hillebrand, who graciously assisted us in the logistics of the operation.

Rémy Martin has responded to the call from the Houses of Cognac Syndicate which has set up a regional operation to produce, bottle and distribute a hydro-alcoholic solution, with the help of health professionals, elected representatives and the Qualyse laboratory. Rémy Martin has contributed 850 liters of wine alcohol (UNIFAB, now approved by sanitary rules) to this effort. GPs, pharmacies, retirement homes and personal care services in Charente and Charente-Maritime will beneficiate from this donation.

Since March 21th, our production site in Angers also supplies the Angers Faculty of Pharmacy with neutral alcohol (300 liters/day). Since the beginning of April, the objective -shared with the liquorist Giffard- is now to produce a ready-to-use hydro-alcoholic solution, in 2 or 5 liter containers, distributed to the local hospital, which is in charge of its redistribution to other actors in need.

In Europe, donations of alcohol and production of hydro-alcoholic lotion continue

In Scotland, teams at the Bruichladdich distillery are working hard to prevent any outbreak on the small island of Islay that would put enormous pressure on the already limited resources. Hand sanitizer with an alcohol content greater than 60%, then 80% -in accordance with the WHO formulation advisesis distributed to hospitals, emergency services, nursing homes and places where people interact, such as shops.

Although Greece has coped very well with the pandemic yet, the House of Metaxa has pledged to cover the needs for alcohol of the 13 hospitals taking care of coronavirus patients. Up to 35,000 liters of alcohol will be shipped all over Greece over the next three months, to support healthcare professionals working on the front line.

 A direct collaboration with American hospitals

In the United States, our Westland distillery directly contacted hospitals in the Seattle area to send 500 liters of finished WHO-formula sanitizer out the door. The volunteer bottling teams work every day with the challenge of keeping the stations completely separated from each other. They anticipate outputting 400 liters per day, 7 days per week, starting the week of April 6, supported by one of their main suppliers who has generously donated 60 tons of malt to produce ethanol.

PROSECCO DOC: March data confirms a positive trend in line with the Consortium’s forecast before Covid-19

As of April 1, 2020, the available production of Prosecco DOC amounts to 2,217,000 hectoliters and, if necessary, an additional amount of 550,000 hl, which was stocked during the 2019 vintage as a reserve, can be added and bottled to face increased demand.

The current situation is therefore in line with the long-term estimates elaborated by the Consortium before the health emergency caused by Covid-19, and the reserve stock of Prosecco DOC will allow it to cover the demand of the market till the next harvest, should the production suffer a slowdown.

“At the moment, we are aware of the dramatic situation of some realities,  particularly those producers with a short supply chain and those who do not operate with mass retailers. As a consortium, we want to express our solidarity and availability to evaluate possible solutions, but I don’t feel the need to generalize these situations to the whole denomination” states Stefano Zanette. “I am very concerned about the rumors spread by some industry operators, who paint exaggerated scenarios for the sole purpose of ticking commercial conditions to their advantage, creating damage to our whole system. These speculative actions are particularly deplorable, especially in the situation we are experiencing.”

Zanette states it clearly, “the situation is under control and the data confirms the expected trend; tapping into the stored reserve stock is a remote hypothesis at the moment: in a logic of long-term safeguarding of value, that wine will be made available only in the event of an actual need for the denomination and certainly not to favor the speculative actions of some operators.”

“In regards to the 2020 harvest,  fertility is expected to be lower than the average of the last 10 years and many variables could still happen from now to September, such as late frosts or hailstorms.”
“It should also be considered that the main objective to aim for in a situation like this is market stability and the Consortium has all the legal tools to intervene and pursue market it.”

In other words, the Prosecco Doc Consortium, considers it to be premature to adopt restrictive measures to both the 2019 and 2020 production offers. However, if the situation does not get better in the next few months, they will intervene immediately and are ready to do so.

The Consortium Prosecco DOC appreciates the efforts made by the Mipaaf (Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies), regions and trade associations to handle this crisis. They are trying their best to provide market solutions and retrieve resources, considering the possible decline of the overall wine consumption in Italy due to the Coronavirus. It’s necessary to take measures to financially help those companies who were most affected by the coronavirus outbreak and, furthermore, to limit the products that are superfluous in the market. Hopefully such proaction will support valuable output and decrease less valued wine productions on a regional basis.

Finally,  regarding promotion and enhancement strategies, under these circumstances,  the responsible authorities should design financial tools to allow wineries and consortia to have the necessary liquidity to invest after the Covid-19 emergency is over, when those who will arrive first and will operate with greater momentum and energy will prevail among others.

For more information regarding Prosecco DOC, visit www.casaprosecco.com

Good News: South Africa wine exports go-ahead during lockdown

The South African wine industry has been given authorization to export wines during the country’s current lockdown.

Following intense lobbying of the South Africa government by an Industry Exporters Task Team, the Minister of Transport stated in a release yesterday, April 7: “During the lockdown period, the transportation of the wines and any other fresh produce products at the seaports and international Airports Designated as Port of Entry for export is allowed.”

“Agricultural Cargo is allowed to be transported to seaports and International Airports Designated as Ports of Entry and exported to the relevant destination.”

The move is important for South Africa’s wine producers and fruit farmers as much of their produce is exported, and 50% of all wine produced is exported.

Rico Basson of Vinpro, which represents 3,500 members of the South African wine industry, tweeted, “We are very grateful for the dispensation to allow the exports of South African Wine”.

A statement from The Exporters Task Team also praised the decision: “Government and all the respective role-players [have shown] an understanding for the industry’s challenges through this concession, as nearly half of South Africa’s wine production is exported and a restriction on exports would have a severe effect on wine-related businesses, but most importantly the livelihood of close to 300,000 people employed by the wine industry value-chain.”

The Task Team emphasized that it recognized “the severity” of the Covid-19 pandemic, asking all businesses and people to “strictly adhere to the regulations” set out by government to ensure the safety of all employees during the lockdown.

Describing the development as “very good news for the industry”, Wines of South Africa‘s (WoSA) UK market manager Jo Wehring clarified that, “this exemption only relates to finished product that is ready for shipping in either bulk or packaged format”, adding it is “a massive step in the right direction and will bring much relief”.

WoSA recently announced that the 2020 vintage would deliver ‘exceptional wines’, after a last minute concession from government allowed harvesting to take place.