Campari expands Turkey pen with $44m investment

Gruppo Campari plans to build a US$44m bottling facility at the Wild Turkey distillery in Kentucky, US.

The Lawrenceburg site, planed to for completion by 2013, will have a four million 9-litre cases capacity to provide bottling and packaging  for all of Campari's US-distilled spirits brands.

Campari’s US-produced brands include Wild Turkey, Wild Turkey American Honey, Russell’s Reserve, Rare Breed Bourbon, and SKYY Vodka.

Bob Kunze-Concewitz, CEO of Gruppo Campari, said: "This gives us the ownership of the full production process for our Wild Turkey brands - from distilling to aging to bottling - all in one location, while also housing the packaging of our largest US-based brand, SKYY Vodka."

The Commonwealth of Kentucky has preliminarily approved the proposal and has offered an incentive fund of $2.35m to help create jobs at the plant.

Steve Beshear, Commonwealth of Kentucky governor, said: “Distilling contributes about $2 billion dollars annually to Kentucky’s gross state product.

“The investment Gruppo Campari is making recently in Lawrenceburg is significant and will help bolster our economy even more.”

Campari – which bought Wild Turkey in 2009 for US$575m -  unveiled a $50 million expansion at the distillery last year that more than doubled the plant’s production capabilities.

Jimmy Russell, Wild Turkey master distiller, said: “I couldn’t be more delighted that our new owner, Gruppo Campari, has recognised the need for us to have full control of the production of Wild Turkey.

“It demonstrates their dedication not just to our fine bourbon and rye whiskies, but also to the people of Kentucky, as we look to bring more jobs and tax revenue to this great commonwealth.”