From Gallo’s purchase of Rombauer and Massican to cannabis brand Tilray’s surprising acquisition of eight craft breweries and beverage companies from AB-InBev, there’s been no shortage of head-turning deals just this year alone. However, arguably the most surprising one came just last week when news broke that Gruppo Campari will be purchasing Courvoisier from Beam Suntory for a whopping $1.32 billion.

During the early days of the pandemic, Cognac experienced a massive explosion of growth. Rémy Martin, Hennessy, and the like were on fire — so much so that many producers ran out of stock. However, since 2020 Cognac sales have been on a rollercoaster, due in no small part to tequila’s ascension into the luxury spirits realm. The future of Cognac is relatively uncertain, though Gruppo Campari certainly has a knack for buying into a struggling spirit and turning the tides in its favor in a few years’ time. We saw the company do it with Wild Turkey back in 2009, and we’re curious to see if it will have the same luck with the historic French Cognac brand. Will the spirits market return to a time when Cognac producers struggled to keep up with overwhelming consumer demand? Only time — and Gruppo Campari’s subsequent actions — will tell.

On this episode of the “VinePair Podcast,” Adam, Joanna, and Zach dissect the news of Gruppo Campari’s purchase of Courvoisier. Does this mean that the recent dip in Cognac sales is just a blip on the radar? Will this allow Campari to take on Hennessy in the American market? And why do we need to be very careful when analyzing sales data from 2020–2022? Tune in for more.

Zach is drinking: High West “A Midwinter Night’s Dram” Rye Whiskey
Joanna is drinking: Funkytown Brewery Irish Red Ale
Adam is drinking: 2010 Cru Beaujolais

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