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News Briefs for February 25, 2015

February 25, 2015

•Leonardo LoCascio, an impresario for Italian wine in the U.S. market for decades, will retire from The Winebow Group as chairman emeritus, effective June 30. LoCascio founded national importer and wholesaler Winebow in 1980 after a career in corporate finance. His Leonardo LoCascio Selections, known by their gold seal on the back label, were among the wines introducing U.S. consumers to lesser known regions of Italy, particularly the southern part of the country. Over the past decade, Winebow branched out from its core Italian import stable to include wines, spirits and saké from more than 15 countries, eventually growing to around 2 million cases in import volume. Last year, Winebow merged with fellow importer and distributor The Vintner Group to form The Winebow Group, which is led by David Townsend as president and CEO.

•Italian wine group Mezzacorona has launched its first pair of rosé wines under its core namesake brand and its Sicily-based Stemmari label. Priced at $8.99 a bottle, the Mezzacorona rosé is made with 100% Lagrein grapes sourced from the Adige Valley. Stemmari’s rosé, meanwhile, is produced from 100% Nero d’Avola grapes from Sicily, and will retail at $9.99 a bottle. Both entries will be available nationwide. The rosé offerings join Mezzacorona’s existing core range of Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Moscato, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir offerings and Stemmari’s lineup of Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Nero d’Avola, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Moscato varietals. Mezzacorona and Stemmari are handled in the U.S. by Mezzacorona subsidiary Prestige Wine Imports.

•Pisco Portón LLC has added to its Peruvian pisco offering with a new release, La Caravedo. Crafted by Pisco Portón’s master distiller Johnny Schuler at Hacienda La Caravedo in Ica, Peru, the latest offering is a pisco puro, meaning it is made from only one of the eight grape varieties allowed by Peruvian law in the making of the spirit. The Quebranta grape is a non-aromatic varietal from the coast, which gives La Caravedo a slightly sweet and mixable quality with notes of botanicals and dried fruit, the company says. La Caravedo is available in select U.S. markets for about $24.99 a 750-ml.

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