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

News Briefs for January 6, 2017

January 6, 2017

•Pernod Ricard is preparing to debut a new “connected cocktail library” that it says will revolutionize home entertaining in the years ahead. Created by Pernod’s Breakthrough Innovation Group, the new system, called “Opn,” is currently being showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Opn’s internet-connected system guides users through customized cocktail recipes and allows for spirits to be ordered online for home delivery. It includes space-efficient cartridges to replace bottles, a tray that interacts with the cartridges to pour the liquid, a website with social components and an app featuring more than 300 cocktail recipes. The system is expected to launch early next year.

•Jackson Family Wines’ La Crema has promoted Craig McAllister to head winemaker, replacing Elizabeth Grant-Douglas. McAllister has been with the Sonoma-based winery since 2007, and was previously associate winemaker. In his new role, McAllister will have oversight of La Crema’s full portfolio, with a focus on building the brand’s Monterey series, which includes Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and a new rosé of Pinot Noir, slated to launch nationwide this spring.

•Debbie Lewis was a perfect fit for wine. She grew up on a farm in California’s Central Valley and worked in wine retail at one point. Later she married race-car driver Randy Lewis and managed his career for more than a decade. When his time racing ended, the couple went into winemaking, building Lewis Cellars into a champion of Napa Valley Cabernet. Last month, their 2013 vintage was named Wine Spectator’s 2016 Wine of the Year. The recognition of their achievement came at a bittersweet moment, as Debbie was in the final stages of a yearlong battle with various forms of cancer, which ended Jan. 4. She was 72. Wine Spectator has more on Lewis’s life and career.

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