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

News Briefs for July 10, 2017

July 10, 2017

•American whiskey producers could be in for a round of pain in export markets if the Trump administration follows through on a threat to impose import tariffs on steel and aluminum products. During the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, the Financial Times learned that European Union (EU) officials have begun drafting a list of U.S. goods to focus on if the EU retaliates against the proposed U.S. steel tariffs—and whiskey is high on that list. Kentucky Bourbon and Tennessee whiskey exports were up a combined 10% to $1 billion last year, according to the Kentucky Distillers Association, as the U.S whisk(e)y boom continues to spread to other global markets, including the EU. In a statement, The Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. said retaliatory tariffs on the EU’s part would harm consumers and producers in both markets, noting that U.S. spirits exports to the EU totaled $654 million last year, of which 20% was Bourbon whiskey.

•Jorge Ordoñez Selections is introducing two new upscale Spanish wines in the U.S. Rolling out to 25 U.S. markets is Brega, a new top wine from Bodegas Breca in Calatayud. Produced from Breca’s two oldest vineyards—planted in 1900 and 1911 respectively—Brega retails at $45 a 750-ml. Ordoñez is also hitting select markets with Vatan Arena, a limited-production entry made from the best eight barrels sourced from the single Toro vineyard that produces Bodegas Ordoñez’s Vatan bottling, planted in 1900. Vatan Arena is expected to retail at around $450 a bottle. Both new entries are debuting with a 2014 vintage, and are geared toward fine dining and high-end independent retail establishments.

•Rutherford, California–based St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery has announced plans to open a tasting salon in Beverly Hills next month. The forthcoming venue will feature interactive tasting experiences, bottle service and virtual reality tours of St. Supéry’s Rutherford and Dollarhide Estate Vineyards. Wines will also be available for purchase. The 1,000-square-foot salon is slated to remain open on N. Rodeo Drive through August 2018. St. Supéry’s focus is on estate-grown Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and other red Bordeaux varieties.

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