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

News Briefs for February 9, 2018

February 9, 2018

•Guarachi Wine Partners has introduced Bacon, a new Rhône-style red wine brand. Made with Syrah, Grenache, Mourvédre, Merlot and Petite Sirah all sourced from California’s Central Coast, Bacon was oak-aged for 12 months prior to bottling. The 15%-abv offering is available at select retailers across eight markets, retailing at $20 a 750-ml. A nationwide rollout is scheduled for later in the year. The Guarachi portfolio also includes the Blank Ink and Bodega Norton brands, among others.

•Latitude Beverage has added a Bubbly Rosé to its canned Lila Wines range. Rolling out in May, the new sparkler is sourced from Italy’s Veneto region and retail priced at $11.99 a four-pack of 8.4-ounce cans. It joins Lila’s existing Rosé, Pinot Grigio and Sparkling labels. Last year, Lila Wines reported sales of 33,000 cases in the U.S., up from 22,000 cases in 2016. The brand—which has enjoyed notable success at chain retailers like Meijer, Cost Plus World Market, Harris Teeter and Publix—is targeting 50,000 cases by the end of this year.

•Republic National Distributing Co. has donated $65 million to the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program, which provides tuition and other financial assistance for low-income children in Florida. The contribution is expected to help nearly 10,000 students from grades K-12 attend the school of their choice for the 2017-2018 school year. RNDC has donated a total of $180 million to Step Up For Students since 2012.

•M.S. Walker has purchased the rights to Irish whiskey brand John L. Sullivan in the U.S. The Boston-based importer is currently rolling out the brand nationwide. Named for Boston native and boxing champion John L. Sullivan, the whiskey is aged in Bourbon casks before being bottled at 40% abv and retails at $25.99 a 750-ml. The John L. Sullivan brand joins the Pogues and West Cork Distillers in M.S. Walker’s Irish whiskey portfolio.

•Heineken USA’s Strongbow hard cider brand has launched Rosé Apple, a wine-inspired cider. The semi-dry, 5%-abv entry is made with red-fleshed apples and is available in six-packs of 11.2-ounce bottles, as well as in four-packs of mini-cans for a limited time. Rosé Apple will replace Orange Blossom cider in Strongbow’s year-round, 12-bottle variety pack. The Strongbow range also includes Artisanal Blend, Gold Apple and Cherry Blossom flavors.

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