Brown-Forman is to close the hospitality site at its Valley Oaks vineyards in California as it looks to pump cash into marketing Fetzer in the US.

The closure, slated for 29 May, will lead to 70 jobs being axed. Brown-Forman Wines president David Dearie said yesterday (29 March) that the company had been forced to make an "extremely difficult" decision.

However, he added: "Reaching consumers more directly where they shop and make wine selections is key to Fetzer's future success." The company plans to build on increasing its retail presence in the US after seeing Fetzer's sales rise last year.

Brown-Forman will continue to farm grapes on its 105 acres of vineyards at Valley Oaks, the company added.