News Briefs for April 1, 2013April 1, 2013
•Brown-Forman is launching a new program to sell personalized barrels of Old Forester Bourbon for $7,500 each, according to local news reports. The process involves master distiller Chris Morris choosing three barrels from over 200 (a day’s production volume) in Old Forester’s 4- to 6-year-old inventory, and then walking customers through a tasting of the three barrels from which they may choose. A barrel holds about 220 bottles, making the price per bottle about $34. Brown-Forman also does a similar barrel program for Jack Daniel’s.
•Oregon’s Willamette Valley Vineyards says its revenues rose 2.4% to $12.5 million last year, while net profits jumped 40% to $1.2 million. The company, known for Pinot Noir, said increasing sales at retail helped drive the positive results, partially offset by lower out-of-state sales to distributors and the winding down of its in-state self-distribution. Looking ahead, Willamette founder and president Jim Bernau says the group will focus on continuing to grow its direct-to-consumer sales with expanded hospitality services at its winery near Salem.