Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business

News Briefs for May 23, 2013

May 23, 2013

•Whole Foods Market is touting a new lineup of summer wine selections. All priced at under $16 a bottle, the seasonal collection includes: Mont Gravet Cotes de Gascogne, Donnafugata Anthilia, Robert Mondavi Fume Blanc, Vinum Cellars Chardonnay, Seaglass Santa Barbara Pinot Noir, Monte Velho Red, Icardi Barbera d’Asti, Lamatum Ribera del Duero Crianza, H&G Washington State Merlot, Chateau Grand Claret Cotes de Bordeaux, Cupcake Vineyards Riesling and Pizzolato Moscato Dolce. The wines are targeted toward outdoor and celebratory drinking occasions and, in addition to by-the-bottle, can be purchased in six-packs or by the case. In support of the program, Whole Foods will host a two “Twitter Tasting” events, inviting consumers to discuss the wines online on May 30 and June 27.

•Campari America will release a limited edition Skyy vodka American Beauty bottle this summer. Designed by American contemporary swimwear line L*Space Swim, it will be available at retail stores for a limited time during the summer months, priced at $18.49 a 750-ml. The new look features the traditional cobalt Skyy bottle with the image of a L*Space-designed bikini in a star spangled banner print. In line with the rollout of the American Beauty bottle, L*Space will also release a custom bikini inspired by the limited edition Skyy bottle. Skyy’s U.S. volume rose 3.1% to 2.8 million cases last year, according to Impact Databank.

•Santa Barbara’s Pali Wine Co. has entered into a long-term lease with Huber Vineyard in the Santa Rita Hills AVA. The company will create a Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyard-designate wine from the property, and also use some of the grapes for its “Summit” Sta. Rita Hills cuveé bottling. First planted by Norman Huber in 1987, the Huber Vineyard is one of the oldest vineyards in the appellation. It’s currently planted to eight acres of Pinot Noir clone 115, three acres of Pinot Noir clone 667, 11 acres of Chardonnay and one-and-a-half acres of Dornfelder. Founded in 2005, Pali Wine produces a cuvee series of wines and a limited amount of vineyard-designate wines.

•Mike’s Hard Lemonade has launched a new national marketing campaign under the tagline, “It’s never not a good time for a refreshing Mike’s.” Created by Grey New York, Mike’s new campaign will run across TV, digital and social platforms. The TV portion is currently running on cable stations like TBS, ESPN, Turner Sports, NBC Sports, Fox Soccer, Comedy Central, USA and others. Mike’s has expanded its line of late with new offerings like Authentic Shandy, Smashed Apple Cider and Mike’s Hard Lemonade Frozen.

•SABMiller’s North American revenues were up 2% organically to $5.36 billion in the 12 months through March, representing its fiscal year. The brewing giant said favorable pricing, mix improvements and the positive impact of innovations throughout the year drove the sales gain. SABMiller added that its overall North American volumes declined in line with the market, even as U.S. craft and import division Tenth and Blake registered significant growth.

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