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News Briefs for December 18, 2015

December 18, 2015

•Joe Wagner’s Copper Cane Wines & Provisions is extending its Beran wine brand with a Sonoma County Zinfandel, retailing at $34.99 a bottle. To create the new offering, a 2013 vintage, Wagner sourced fruit from The Puccioni Family’s vineyard in the Dry Creek Valley; the Flat Ridge Vineyard in Rockpile; Peter Haywood’s Los Chamizal vineyard in the Moon Mountain district of Sonoma Valley; and Alan Foppiano’s vineyard that straddles the Alexander and Russian River Valleys. Beran Sonoma County Zinfandel joins California and Napa Zinfandels in the Beran lineup.

•New York City-based retailer Flatiron Wines & Spirits is opening a second store in San Francisco’s Palace Hotel. Slated to launch at the end January, the 3,500-square foot space will offer nearly three times the selection found at Flatiron’s Manhattan headquarters, with a focus on smaller producers from Burgundy, the Loire, the Northern Rhone, Piedmont, Germany and Champagne, among other regions. The San Francisco location will also showcase a collection of small-production California wines, as well as a wide range of craft spirits.

•Anheuser-Busch InBev will introduce a redesigned Bud Light brand next spring, marking the brew’s first major overhaul in eight years. Changes will include a bolder logo, refreshed primary and secondary packaging intended to modernize Bud Light’s look and feel, and the return of the “AB” crest—not used since 2001—to underscore Anheuser-Busch’s brewing credentials. The new packaging will launch on Bud Light’s cans, glass and aluminum bottles nationwide in early spring 2016. Additionally, Bud Light, the U.S. market’s top-selling beer brand, will debut a new tagline and marketing approach during the upcoming Super Bowl 50. ABI posted overall U.S. depletions down by 2.1% in its third quarter ending September 30.

•Don Ditter, who stepped into the legendary Max Schubert’s shoes as chief winemaker at Australia’s Penfolds and improved the overall quality of the wines at a critical juncture in the company’s history, died December 16 in Sydney. He was 89. Wine Spectator has the story.

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