Tequila Avion Wins World's Best White Spirit, World's Best Tequila, Double Gold and Two Silver Medals at the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition Industry Elite Bestows Category-Defying Ultra-Premium Brand Five Awards at Prestigious Event

NEW YORK, April 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --  Tequila Avion®, the defining ultra-premium tequila, firmly established itself as the world's highest quality tequila and the best white spirit in the world by taking home top honors at the prestigious 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.  Tequila Avion amassed five awards, including World's Best Tequila. The highlight for the brand was securing the highly coveted Best White Spirit award, a clear indication of the significance the judges placed on quality and taste. In addition Avion Reposado and Anejo were each awarded medals.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120403/NY81083 )

"Winning these five awards, particularly Best White Spirit, is a great honor for Tequila Avion," stated Ken Austin, the Company's Founder & Chairman. "From the outset, I was determined to create the smoothest and best tasting ultra-premium tequila. To be recognized with these most prestigious awards by a panel of recognized industry experts is a testament to our commitment to excellence."

While securing five awards at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition would be any brand's dream come true, for Tequila Avion it is a wealth of riches, as it has received consistent acclaim since its introduction in 2010 when it first appeared as the tequila featured on the HBO smash hit Entourage. Under the leadership of its founder, Ken Austin, and his partner, Jenna Fagnan, the Company president, Tequila Avion won Double Gold at last year's competition and since then has won numerous accolades, including having just been recognized by Fast Company magazine as one of the Most Innovative U.S. food and beverage companies, joining winners such as Starbucks® Coffee, Chipotle® Mexican Grill and Chobani®. Avion recently won the 2011 World Margarita Championship, which was judged by six renowned judges including "King Cocktail," Dale DeGroff. In perhaps the greatest affirmation of its success to date, French wine and spirits giant Pernod Ricard entered into a global distribution joint venture with Tequila Avion in July 2011. With this partnership, Tequila Avion joined a portfolio of brand heavyweights including ABSOLUT® VODKA, Jameson® Irish Whiskey, Chivas Regal® Scotch Whisky, The Glenlivet®, Malibu® Rum, Kahlua® Liqueur, Beefeater® Gin and Perrier Jouet® Champagne.

Paul Duffy, CEO of Pernod Ricard USA, noted, "Tequila Avion entered the U.S. market just 20 months ago and since then, the brand has become known as a high-quality spirit that transcends the tequila category.  We recognized early on that Tequila Avion has all the elements necessary to become one of the next great global iconic spirit brands. We are thrilled that it is now part of the Pernod Ricard USA portfolio through our joint venture.  Our sales teams, as well as our distributors, are incredibly enthusiastic about the brand's potential."

Open to all brands, spirit categories and countries, the San Francisco World Spirits Competition is the oldest, largest and most recognized spirits competition in the industry. The judging panel is comprised of thirty-three highly respected names in the spirits industry, recognized as some of the finest palates in the field today. Notable names include Anthony Dias Blue, Tony Abou-Ganim, Geoffrey Kleinman, Francesco Lafranconi, Meridith May, Trudy Thomas, Nick Passmore and Audrey Sanders, to name but a few. All 1,200 spirits, which participated this year, were tasted blind, with the brands competing, and winning, unveiled only after all votes had been tallied.

Beyond being recognized as a preeminent spirits event, the San Francisco World Spirits Competition is considered a bellwether for key spirit trends. Tequila Avion's winning of the Best Unaged White Spirit award is one such example of a trend to watch. According to Simon Ford, Global Spirits & Cocktail Brand Expert for Pernod Ricard USA, "By winning in the crowded White Spirit category, Tequila Avion has proven that it is not only the ultimate mixable ultra-premium tequila on the market today, but that it is head-and-shoulders above more well-known tequilas and mixable white spirits."

About Tequila Avion

Launched July 2010 in the United States, Tequila Avion® is the ultra-premium tequila that defines a new standard of quality and taste -- "Taste Elevated."  In July 2011, Pernod Ricard, the world's co-leader in wines and spirits, acquired a minority interest Tequila Avion and entered into a global distribution joint venture agreement. Produced with fifth generation agave growers from the finest Blue Weber agave found in the highest regions of Jalisco, Mexico, Tequila Avion's distinct flavors are achieved through a combination of slow-roasting Avion agave at lower temperatures to protect the natural flavors of the agave and a proprietary ultra-slow filtration process which creates an unusually smooth taste profile. Tequila Avion is available in Silver, Reposado and Anejo. To learn more please visit www.TequilaAvion.com the company Facebook page: facebook.com/TequilaAvion and official Twitter handle @TequilaAvion.

About Pernod Ricard USA

Pernod Ricard USA is the premium spirits and wine company in the U.S., and the largest subsidiary of Paris, France-based Pernod Ricard SA.  In July, 2008, Pernod Ricard completed the acquisition of the iconic ABSOLUT® Vodka brand from the V&S Group, and Pernod Ricard USA is now the second-leading company in the U.S. by sales value.

In addition to ABSOLUT®, Pernod Ricard USA's leading brands include such prestigious spirits as The Glenlivet® Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Chivas Regal® Scotch Whisky, Jameson® Irish Whiskey, Seagram's Extra Dry Gin®, Beefeater® Gin, Plymouth™ Gin, Martell® Cognac, Malibu®, Kahlua® Liqueur, Hiram Walker® Liqueurs, Pernod® and Ricard®; such superior wines as Jacob's Creek® and Brancott Estate®; and such exquisite champagnes and sparkling wines as Perrier Jouet® Champagne, G.H. Mumm™ Champagne and Mumm Napa® sparkling wines. 

The company is based in Purchase, New York, and has roughly 850 employees across the country. Pernod Ricard USA urges all adults to consume its products responsibly and has an active campaign to promote responsible drinking. For more information on this, please visit: www.acceptresponsibility.org.

About Pernod Ricard

Pernod Ricard is the world's co-leader in wines and spirits with consolidated sales of euro 7,081 million in 2009/10. Created in 1975 by the merger of Ricard and Pernod, the Group has undergone sustained development, based on both organic growth and acquisitions: Seagram (2001), Allied Domecq (2005) and Vin & Sprit (2008). Pernod Ricard holds one of the most prestigious brand portfolios in the sector: ABSOLUT Vodka, Ricard pastis, Ballantine's, Chivas Regal, Royal Salute and The Glenlivet Scotch whiskies, Jameson Irish whiskey, Martell cognac, Havana Club rum, Beefeater gin, Kahlua and Malibu liqueurs, Mumm and Perrier-Jouet champagnes, as well Jacob's Creek, Brancott Estate, Campo Viejo and Graffigna wines. Pernod Ricard employs a workforce of nearly 18,000 people and operates through a decentralised organisation, with 6 "Brand Companies" and 70 "Distribution Companies" established in each key market. Pernod Ricard is strongly committed to a sustainable development policy and encourages responsible consumption. Pernod Ricard's strategy and ambition are based on 3 key values that guide its expansion: entrepreneurship spirit, mutual trust and a strong sense of ethics. Pernod Ricard is listed on the NYSE Euronext exchange (Ticker: RI; ISIN code: FR0000120693) and is a member of the CAC 40 index. For further information, please visit our website: www.pernod-ricard.com

About the San Francisco World Spirits Competition

The San Francisco World Spirits Competition was held on March 22-25, 2012 at Hotel Nikko in downtown San Francisco. Judging is based on a blind, consensual procedure ensuring competitive integrity, making this competition the most reputable and recognized competition in the spirits industry.

SOURCE Tequila Avion



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