Louisville, KY, March 20, 2008 – Brown-Forman brands have returned to the starting gates for Kentucky Derby® 134. Woodford Reserve® Bourbon, Early Times® Mint Julep, Finlandia® Vodka, Korbel® California Champagne, and Fetzer® Wines are the “Official” products of the Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs’® Derby-related events this year.

A title bestowed on only a handful of brands, being an “Official” beverage or drink of the Kentucky Derby is an honor. From black tie dinners to parties at home, these fine brands make Derby celebrations even more special.

Bourbon and the Kentucky Derby go hand in hand and, for the 10th year in a row, Woodford Reserve Bourbon is the “Official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby.” The award-winning small-batch bourbon, is honoring the country’s favorite horse race with the release of its 2008 Kentucky Derby bottle. This year’s limited edition Derby bottle and corresponding print celebrate the 35th anniversary of Triple Crown® winner Secretariat’s victory in Kentucky Derby 99. The artwork was created by another sports legend, internationally acclaimed artist LeRoy Neiman. The main image on the bottle features the big red chestnut colt in his distinctive blue and white checkered silks leading the pack with the historic Twin Spires of Churchill Downs in the background.

No Derby is complete without an Early Times Mint Julep. This year, Early Times Mint Julep is celebrating its 21st year as the “Official Drink of the Kentucky Derby.” Over the past 21 years, more than 2.5 million Early Times Mint Juleps have been served between Kentucky Oaks® and Derby Days at Churchill Downs, and more than 140,000 mint juleps are expected to be sold at the track this year. Renowned equine artist Celeste Susany has created an original oil painting of an actual scene at Churchill Downs for its 2008 commemorative Derby bottle, the ninth in her series. The label features Susany’s “Chasing the Dream” depicting jockeys and Thoroughbreds racing through the first turn at Churchill Downs with the famed Twin Spires in the background and a bed of roses in the foreground.

Finlandia Vodka is making its eighth appearance as the “Official Vodka of the Kentucky Derby”. To help kick off the Derby festivities, Finlandia Vodka will once again host the search for the “Best Bloody Mary in Louisville” contest on April 21, 2008. The contest, held in conjunction with the Taste of Derby event, on April 22, 2008, benefits the Dare to Care Food Bank. The proceeds from last year’s event benefited thousands of individuals and families in the community that are at risk of hunger on a daily basis.
For the third year in a row, Finlandia is also presenting the “Official Cocktail of the Kentucky Oaks®”– the “Oaks Lilly.”  The signature cocktail is a refreshing, flavorful cocktail that beautifully represents the color of the Stargazer Lily, the official flower of the Kentucky Oaks.

For the eighth year, Fetzer Wines has been designated the “Official Wine for the Kentucky Derby.” Whether you’re entertaining at home or at the track, Fetzer Wines pair perfectly with traditional Kentucky fare. As a pioneer in sustainability for more than 20 years with its award-winning ‘green’ winery practices, Fetzer Wines are as good for the planet as they are on the palate.

And new this year, Finlandia will be searching for the best dressed female as part of The “Best Dressed Female Contest” at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Oaks Day.  Race fans who are of legal drinking age will be selected from the crowd to enter the contest featuring a prize package of 2009 Kentucky Oaks tickets and a shopping spree.

As America’s number one premium selling champagne, Korbel California Champagne has been the champagne chosen to celebrate many of the greatest events over the past 125 years. Since champagne is synonymous with celebrations, it’s only fitting that Korbel is returning for the eighth year to celebrate the greatest two minutes in sports as  the “Official Champagne of the Kentucky Derby.” Korbel is the perfect way to turn moments into memories by toasting a successful bet at the track or an evening of fun at a black-tie event.

Brown-Forman Corporation is a diversified producer and marketer of fine quality consumer products, including Jack Daniel’s, Southern Comfort, Finlandia Vodka, Tequila Herradura, el Jimador Tequila, Canadian Mist, Fetzer and Bolla wines, and Korbel California Champagnes. Brown-Forman reminds you to drink responsibly.

Churchill Downs®, Kentucky Derby® and the Twin Spires design are registered trademarks of
Churchill Downs Incorporated. 

Brown-Forman Corporation, Louisville, KY © 2008


Andrea Duvall, Brown-Forman
[email protected]