Gruppo Campari, the owners of Wild Turkey Distillery in Lawrenceburg, has announced plans to build a new $44 million packaging facility that will create 62 new jobs.
“This is a major milestone for the Wild Turkey distillery and two of Gruppo Campari’s biggest growth engines,” said Bob Kunze-Concewitz, CEO of Gruppo Campari. “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 U.S.-based brand, SKYY Vodka.”
Slated to open in fall of 2013, the new packaging facility is designed to initially handle up to 4 million nineliter cases of product annually and company officials said it will have the capacity to support the company’s North American packaging platform well into the future.
Wild Turkey traces its roots to the 1800s, when a wholesale grocer, Austin Nichols Co., began specializing in bourbon made by the Ripy family in Lawrenceburg. In 1980, French spirits company Pernod-Ricard bought Austin Nichols and opened Wild Turkey bourbon to an international exporting network. In 2009, PernodRicard sold Austin Nichols and the Wild Turkey brand to Gruppo Campari, which has been steadily investing in the brand and the distillery.
In 2011, the company unveiled a $50 million expansion at the distillery, more than doubling the plant’s production capabilities, and has opened multiple new barrel warehouses over the past several years.
To encourage the investment and job growth in Lawrenceburg, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority has preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $2 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to recoup a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.