IT LOOKS AS IF 2O16’s trend of mergers and acquisitions is continuing into 2O17. Case in point, the Sazerac Company purchased a distillery located in Newport, Tennessee. The deal is for the distillery only, not any brands. All employees will be retained, including Master Distiller John Lunn and Master Blender Allisa Henley. The purchase will allow Sazerac to start producing Tennessee whiskey, using the Lincoln County process “ì a filtration process through charcoal chips before it goes into the barrel. Sazerac will begin investment into the distillery to modify the pot stills for the Lincoln County process. It is expected to be producing Tennessee whiskey early this year. Not stopping with Tennessee, the Sazerac Company is looking overseas and has acquired Domaine Breuil de Segonzac Cognac located near the medieval town of Cognac in the Grande Champagne district. The purchase includes the distillery, organic vineyards, existing buildings which include a chateau-style mansion dating from 187O, an 18th century restored farmhouse, visitor center, and existing stock. The property is about 22O acres and includes its own grape pressing operation and distillery with four pot stills. Sazerac made the purchase from Patrick and Maria Brillet, who have decided to retire. The existing team will remain in place, the contracts in place for vineyard services are being honored, and the visitor center will remain open.