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

News Briefs for September 18, 2014

September 18, 2014

•Kieu Hoang Winery has purchased the 10-acre Guilliams Vineyards in Napa Valley’s Spring Mountain District of St. Helena, for an undisclosed sum. Seeking to create a world-renowned Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa-Sonoma region, businessman Kieu Hoang has acquired the vineyard from John and Shawn Guilliams. It includes seven acres dedicated to vineyards at 2,000-foot elevation as well as an on-site residence, tasting room and crushing and bottling facility. The vineyard is dedicated to 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. John Guilliams will stay on as an in-resident consultant and winemaker. This past summer, Kieu Hoang purchased the 100,000-case Carneros winery facility, tasting room and 13-acre vineyard in Napa Valley from Michael Mondavi Family Estate’s Winery of Napa Valley.

•Bacardi Ltd.’s Bombay Sapphire gin is set to officially open its new Laverstoke Mill distillery in Hampshire, England on October 1. The multi-million-pound facility, which is housed in a restored mill dating back to the 10th century, will serve as Bombay Sapphire’s brand home. In addition to a state-of-the-art distillery, Laverstoke Mill also features a pair of intertwining greenhouses, which showcase the 10 botanicals used to make Bombay Sapphire, and a visitor’s center. The Bombay gin brand, including both Sapphire and Original, was up 8% to 2.8 million cases globally last year, according to Impact Databank.

•Private label wine producer Truett-Hurst has expanded its existing partnership with Total Wine & More, adding several new labels to the retail chain’s shelves. The new SKUs include Truett-Hurst’s Mad Duck Sauvignon Blanc, Inconspicuous Old Vine Lodi Zinfandel, Eden’s Eve by Eden Ridge and The One Arm Man, as well as a reserve tier of the winemaker’s fast-growing The Fugitive brand. Set to debut between now and next spring, the newcomers will be priced at between $10.99 and $34.99 a bottle. With the new additions, Truett-Hurst now offers 21 wines across Total Wine’s 16-state footprint.

•TV personality Giuliana Rancic will launch a new wine brand under the label XO, G Wine that will include three varietals in by-the-glass formats. Available at about 1,200 Walmart stores beginning in November, XO, G will include a dry rosé, medium-bodied Pinot Noir (both from the South of France) and a Pinot Grigio from Italy. Four individually-packaged, pre-filled glasses stack together to form a 750-ml. bottle, and a mixed pack will be available for the holidays that features two glasses of Pinot Grigio and two glasses of Pinot Noir. The brand is targeted at female consumers and retails for just under $10 at select Walmart locations.

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