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

News Briefs for April 4, 2014

April 4, 2014

•Taylor Fladgate is launching a rare 1964 Single Harvest Tawny Port in the U.S. market. The new single harvest tawny, packaged in a wooden gift box and retailing at $300 a bottle, is the first in an annual series of 50-year-old wines that the company will roll out in the next few years. Aged tawnies are the fastest-growing Port category in the U.S. Taylor Fladgate, imported by Kobrand, holds 59% of the market for 40-year-old tawnies, 29% for 30-year-old tawnies and 37% for 20-year-old tawnies.

•Oregon lawmakers are fighting back against a recent ruling by the Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau prohibiting Oregon businesses from selling wine in refillable growlers without first registering as a wine bottling house. Several Oregon senators and representatives have urged the federal government to reverse the ruling, arguing that it “threatens to undermine the winemaking industry by requiring retailers and restaurants to maintain labels, licenses and records as if they were bottling wine,” and would have a negative effect on sales. Previously, a 2013 Oregon law permitted any business with a liquor license to fill and sell growlers of up to two gallons of wine, in line with the state’s laws regarding beer and malt beverage growler sales. Oregon, which is the country’s fourth-largest wine producing state, has approximately 900 vineyards and 515 wineries.

•Buffalo Trace Distillery has launched a limited release single barrel Bourbon in honor of the distillery’s early master distiller. Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel Bourbon will be available in limited quantities for suggest retail price of $34.99. Elmer T. Lee, who passed away last year at the age of 93, worked at the distillery from 1949 to 1985 and is credited with creating the world’s first single barrel Bourbon in 1984, according to the company. The 46.5%-abv Bourbon will hit retail shelves in April.

•VeeV Spirits has appointed 20-year industry veteran Jeff Feist to vice president sales for the Los Angeles-based company. In the newly created position, Feist will report directly to president and COO Bryan Crowley and will be tasked with leading sales for the growing spirits company. Feist most recently served as executive vice president for Phillips Distilling Company, where he worked for 17 years. The 35%-abv, açaí-based VeeV liqueur has grown 80% in the past six months, according to the company.

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