Campari Group have invested heavily in leading bourbon brand, Wild Turkey, adding a second distillery worth US$161m to its Kentucky site.
A brand-new distillery will be built adjacent to the existing Wild Turkey distillery, with the capacity to produce an additional five million ‘proof gallons’ (nearly 19m litres of 50 per cent ABV alcohol). This will considerably increase the producing power of the distillery at large, bringing it to a total of 14m proof gallons, almost 53m litres of 50 per cent spirit.
As part of the same project, Campari will expand the waste treatment dry house process, and improve barrel filling facilities to cope with the increased liquid volumes.
This new investment, worth about AU$240m, will bring Campari’s total spend on Wild Turkey to over AU$446m since the group purchased the distillery 14 years ago.
Ugo Fiorenzo, Managing Director of Campari America and Canada acknowledged this investment and hailed the importance of the bourbon category to the group.
“Since 2009, when Campari Group acquired the Wild Turkey Distillery, we have significantly invested in the bourbon category, which now represents Campari Group’s second major leg after the aperitif portfolio.”
Future-proofing Australian supply
Whiskey, of all kinds, is in boom around the world, and Campari’s significant investment indiciates that the group does not expect this to slow any time soon. Nevertheless, this same boom means that allocations can be stretched in international markets such as Australia.
“This expansion project confirms, once again, our commitment to this category and it will allow for the continued growth of the Wild Turkey and Russell’s Reserve franchise, both in the United States and internationally,” Fiorenzo comments.
It is this international supply that will be of most interest to retailers, on-premise operators and whiskey drinkers in Australia.
The Shout spoke to Simon Durrant, Managing Director of Campari Australia, to hear what the new distillery will mean for Wild Turkey in Australia.
“The expansion of the Wild Turkey Distillery is further proof of Campari’s continuous investment in the bourbon category, the number one spirit category in Australia,” Durrant said.
“Over the past few years, the bourbon category in Australia and internationally has seen tremendous growth and we are delighted to be able to future-proof our bourbon production and ensure our Australian consumers will continue to be able to enjoy their favourite Wild Turkey and Russell’s Reserve products for years to come.”
Campari anticipates breaking ground by October of this year, with completion slated for the end of July 2025. The distillery is expected add 31 jobs to Anderson County, where Wild Turkey is found, and local authorities have welcomed the new development – highlighting the importance of distilling to Kentucky’s economy.
“This investment by Campari Group adds to the historic momentum the commonwealth is currently experiencing in our signature bourbon and spirits industry,” said State Governor Andy Beshear.
“Kentucky is coming off our best year for growth in the spirits industry, with over US$2.1bn in new investments and approximately 700 new jobs for Kentuckians.
“I want to thank Campari for expanding its Wild Turkey campus in the commonwealth and continuing to invest in Anderson County and the Lawrenceburg community,” the Governor concluded.