The US launch of TÜRI, an Estonian vodka imported by Bacardi USA, has been accelerated after early demand exceeded the company's expectations.

TÜRI was initially released in New York, Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Las Vegas and Atlanta in September 2002, with a national roll-out scheduled for July.

That plan changed after TÜRI's six-month sales figures were twice those of any other super-premium vodka launch and its "aggressive" launch sales goal for the first eight months moved ahead of schedule, the company said.

So, in February, TÜRI got an early launch in Washington, D.C., New Hampshire, northern Florida, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Arizona, Hawaii and Texas. New Jersey and Delaware were added to the list in March. The remaining states will follow in July.

"We are extremely pleased with these results, and, of course, expect further growth in 2003 as we become nationally available," said Monsell Darville, vice president group marketing director for Bacardi USA.

TÜRI is supported by a marketing program which includes print advertising in Vanity Fair, GQ, The Wall Street Journal and other publications, on-premise promotions and partnerships with North Miami's Museum of Contemporary Art and Gucci.