By Ian Neubauer
Industry veteran James France has launched a new distribution company focusing on premium spirits previously unseen in Australia.
France, who engineered the launch of Herradura, Ketel One, Hendrick’s gin and Champagne Taittinger for McWilliam’s Wines, said there were ample opportunities for growth in the luxury spirits market.
“I started Vanguard Luxury Brands because I saw a real need for a professional, independent importer and marketer of premium beverages catering to top-end establishments,” France said.
“There aren’t a lot of options for overseas producers to enter this market, which means that in Australia we are missing out on a lot of great brands that are available overseas.”
France has kicked off his endevour with the launch of Aviation gin, a US brand created by mixologist Ryan Magarian in co-operation with a prominent distilling company.
Vanguard will also launch Flor de Cana from Nicaragua, the world’s most-awarded rum, in four, seven and 18-year-old varieties, as well as a very small quantity of the 15-year-old Centenario XXI. Also on the drawing board is Trago tequila, made by the son of the ‘father of tequila’, Don Felipe Camarena.
“In constructing our portfolio I took samples of the above spirits plus a lot of others to some leading bartenders in Sydney for their input,” France said. “ I didn’t include anything they didn’t think was first rate.”
Aviation gin is now available in Australia. Flor de Cana and Trago are expected to arrive later this month.
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