Gruppo Campari Brings Packaging Capabilities Back to the Wild Turkey Distillery with New $43M Facility

LAWRENCEBURG, Ky., Sept. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — After a seven year hiatus, bottling of one of the most iconic whiskey brands in the world has flown home. Gruppo Campari (Reuters CPRI.MI – Bloomberg CPR IM) today celebrated the grand opening of its US$43 million Packaging Facility at the famous Wild Turkey® Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. Commonwealth of Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and Gruppo Campari CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz joined Wild Turkey Master Distiller Jimmy Russell to commemorate the opening of the new facility with help from local dignitaries and distillery employees. The Packaging Facility is part of a US$100 million overall investment that the company has made in facility upgrades during a three year time span.

“Kentucky’s Bourbon industry has been growing at a rapid pace, with production of our native spirit up more than 120 percent in the last decade and 5 million barrels currently aging in the Commonwealth,” said Gov. Beshear. “The significant investment Gruppo Campari has made at the Wild Turkey Distillery, including the $43 million Packaging Facility, will not only help grow that number through worldwide expansion of the Bourbon category, but will also create valuable jobs for the people of our great Commonwealth.”

While creating more than sixty new jobs in the area, the facility provides full bottling and packaging capabilities for all of Gruppo Campari’s U.S.-distilled spirits brands, including the Wild Turkey Bourbon line and the company’s largest U.S.-based brand – SKYY® Vodka. Both immediate and long-term benefits of the new facility include cost efficiencies; improved customer service; more efficient and accelerated innovation opportunities; and added production flexibility through in-sourcing the company’s packaging needs.

With more than 145,000 square-feet of space, the Wild Turkey Packaging Facility will initially handle up to four million nine-liter cases of product annually, but has the design capability and capacity to support Gruppo Campari’s North American packaging platform well into the future.  The new Facility immediately addresses the growth of Wild Turkey, Wild Turkey American Honey®, Wild Turkey Spiced®, Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit, Russell’s Reserve®, Rare Breed® Bourbon, and SKYY Vodka domestically and around the globe.

“After a seven year absence, we are pleased to bring packaging capabilities back to the Wild Turkey Distillery for two of Gruppo Campari’s biggest and fastest growing brands,” said Bob Kunze-Concewitz, CEO of Gruppo Campari. “By owning the full production process for all of our Wild Turkey brands, we can be more nimble in meeting the growing worldwide demand for not only Wild Turkey, but also SKYY Vodka. We thank the Commonwealth of Kentucky for its cooperation in bringing this facility to life.”

“Gruppo Campari’s investment in the Wild Turkey Bourbon brand not only demonstrates their commitment to helping Wild Turkey produce our fine Bourbon and Rye whiskeys, but also to the people of Kentucky through job creation and tax revenue,” said Jimmy Russell, Wild Turkey Master Distiller. “By having full control of our entire production process from distilling and aging to bottling and packaging, we can focus on what really matters: producing the world’s greatest Bourbon.”

Since purchasing the brand in 2009, Gruppo Campari has made significant financial commitments to the distillery’s operations and its employees that have surpassed more than US$100 million. In 2011, the Company unveiled a US$50 million expansion at the distillery, more than doubling the plant’s production capabilities.  This was coupled with the opening of multiple new barrel warehouses over the past several years. In 2014, Wild Turkey will open a new state-of-the-art Visitor Center.

The popularity of Kentucky’s native spirit has exploded worldwide, with demand for Wild Turkey at its highest level in history. The Wild Turkey brand currently sells more than one million nine-liter cases worldwide (IMPACT Databank), with strong growth in the U.S., Australia, Canada, and Japan. Wild Turkey is the sixth largest global Bourbon brand (excluding sales of American Honey). Wild Turkey and SKYY Vodka are both distributed and marketed through Campari America in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico.

About Campari America
Campari America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Davide Campari-Milano S.p.A. (Reuters CPRI.MI – Bloomberg CPR IM).  At the heart of Campari America are two legends in the American spirits industry.  The first, Skyy Spirits, was founded in San Francisco back in 1992 by the entrepreneur who invented iconic SKYY Vodka.  The second is the world-famous Wild Turkey Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, where they have been making the world’s finest whiskies since the 1800′s.  Both companies were purchased by Davide Campari-Milano and together they form Campari America, which has built a portfolio unrivaled in its quality, innovation and style, making it a top choice among distributors, retailers and consumers.  Campari America manages Gruppo Campari’s portfolio in the US with such leading brands as SKYY® Vodka, SKYY Infusions®, Campari®, Wild Turkey® Straight Kentucky Bourbon, American Honey®, Russell’s Reserve®, Glen Grant® Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Cabo Wabo® Tequila, Espolon® Tequila, Appleton® Estate Rum, Wray & Nephew® Rum, Coruba® Rum, Ouzo 12®, X-Rated® Fusion Liqueur®, Frangelico®, Cynar®, Carolans Irish Cream®, Irish Mist® Liqueur, Sagatiba® Cachaca and Jean-Marc XO Vodka®.  Campari America is also the exclusive US distributor of Bowmore® Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Auchentoshan® Lowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Glen Garioch® Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, McClelland’s® Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Flor de Cana® Rum, Midori® Melon Liqueur, Hibiki® Whisky, Hakushu® Single Malt Whisky, and The Yamazaki® Single Malt Whisky.

Campari America is headquartered in San Francisco, California.  More information on the company can be found at www.campariamerica.com, www.facebook.com/campariamerica , Twitter: @CampariAmerica and www.camparigroup.com.  Please enjoy Campari America brands responsibly and in moderation.

About Gruppo Campari
Davide Campari-Milano S.p.A., together with its affiliates (‘Gruppo Campari’), is a major player in the global beverage sector, trading in over 190 nations around the world with leading positions in Europe and the Americas. The Group was founded in 1860 and today is the sixth-largest player worldwide in the premium spirits industry. The Group’s portfolio, with over 50 brands, span spirits, the core business, wines and soft drinks. Internationally-renowned brands include Aperol, Appleton, Campari, Cinzano, SKYY Vodka and Wild Turkey. Headquartered in Sesto San Giovanni, Italy, Campari owns 16 plants and 4 wineries worldwide and has its own distribution network in 16 countries. The Group employs over 4,000 people. The shares of the parent company, Davide Campari-Milano S.p.A. (Reuters CPRI.MI – Bloomberg CPR IM), are listed on the Italian Stock Exchange since 2001. For more information: www.camparigroup.com.