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

News Briefs for September 11, 2014

September 11, 2014

•M. Shanken Communications, Inc. has suspended publication of Food Arts magazine, serving the hotel and fine dining industries. The trade magazine was founded by Michael and Ariane Batterberry in 1986, and it was acquired by M. Shanken Communications, Inc. in 1989. Michael Batterberry passed away in 2010.

•Italian authorities have uncovered a conspiracy to bottle and pass off inferior wine as Brunello di Montalcino. The Guardia di Finanza, responsible for investigating financial crimes, announced that officers have seized approximately 180,000 liters—potentially 20,000 cases of wine—from the 2008 to 2013 vintages, with an approximate value of $3.87 million to $5.16 million. An unidentified winery consultant is being investigated, accused of false advertising, embezzlement, fraud and unauthorized access of a computer system. The scandal is the third to rock the region in the past six years. Wine Spectator has the full story.

•Heaven Hill Distilleries is releasing the 2014 edition of its Parker’s Heritage Collection whiskey, supporting ALS research, to select markets beginning in mid-September. The eighth installment of Parker’s Heritage Collection, Original Batch, is the first non-Bourbon in the series. It features 13-year-old straight wheat whiskey bottled at cask strength (63.7% abv) and non-chill filtered. With the launch, Heaven Hill is continuing its campaign supporting ALS research by contributing $5 from every 750-ml. bottle sold at $89.99 to the cause, with last year’s edition raising over $300,000.

•Sazerac Co. has opened a new division, Bond & Royal Spirits Company, to focus on developing specialty and craft brands. The new unit will initially house certain brands from Sazerac’s Gemini Spirits & Wine portfolio—including Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal, Campo de Encanto Pisco, Banks Rum, Siete Leguas Tequila, Glenfarclas single malt Scotch, Dimmi Liquore di Milano and the Casa San Matias Tequilas—and work in conjunction with Gemini. More brands are expected to be added to the Bond & Royal stable in the coming months. Boosted by the rise of its Fireball whisky liqueur brand, which more than doubled to 1.9 million cases last year according Impact Databank, Sazerac is among the top five U.S. spirits marketers, with annual volume above 20 million cases.

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