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

News Briefs for August 13, 2015

August 13, 2015

•Oregon winery Willamette Valley Vineyards (WVV) has filed a lawsuit seeking damages for the loss of nearly 13 tons of Pinot Noir grapes ruined by a herbicide drift incident in 2013. The company, owned by Jim Bernau, has accused the neighbor of one of the vineyards it leases of irresponsible spraying. Bernau hopes to send a message that farmers need to be responsible with pesticide use in this growing wine region. The neighbor contends, however, that he’s being unfairly blamed. Wine Spectator has the full story.

•Diageo has announced its annual Golden Bar awards, recognizing its best performing distributor partners. The company awarded North America Spirits and Wine Broker (part of Southern Wine & Spirits) as its spirits distributor of the year, while Empire Merchants division Atlantic Wines & Spirits won in the wine category. Andrews Distributing Company of Texas was named Diageo’s distributor of the year in the beer segment.

•Fine Wine Brokers, a popular Chicago wine shop in the city’s Lincoln Square neighborhood, is set to close its doors after 20 years in business. The company made the announcement on its web site, with owner Louise Rohr indicating her last day in business would be August 31. Louise’s late husband and company founder, Gerhard “Gary” Rohr, died in 2008 after battling cancer. Under his leadership, Fine Wine hosted wine clubs and regular tastings in what became a model for other retailers around the city. Rising rents were blamed for the store’s demise.

•Alcohol delivery provider Drizly has expanded its reach in Washington D.C. Drizly, which launched in D.C. last September, has partnered with local retailers Capitol Hill Wine & Spirits, Bloomingdale Wine & Spirits and Hops, Cask & Barrel to increase its delivery footprint in the market by 40%, as well as grow its D.C. inventory to 2,100 items. Drizly currently operates in 17 key metro markets.

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