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News Briefs for October 24, 2018

October 24, 2018

•Birmingham, Alabama-based importer Vineyard Brands has added Italian winery Tenuta di Fessina to its import portfolio. Located on Mount Etna, Sicily, Fessina owns 23 acres of vineyards planted to indigenous varietals like Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio, Carricante, Minnella, and Catarratto. The portfolio includes Erse, which offers Etna Bianco DOC, Etna Rosato DOC, and Etna Rosso DOC wines; Musmeci, featuring Etna Bianco DOC Superiore and Etna Rosso DOC Riserva wines; Laeneo Sicilia DOC Nerello Cappuccio; and A’Puddara Etna Bianco DOC. Vineyard Brands’ Italian wine stable also includes the Massolino, Gradis’ciutta, Caparzo, Borgo Scopeto, Doga delle Clavule, and Umani Ronchi brands.

•Ireland’s West Cork Distillers has partnered with Massachusetts brewer Castle Island Brewing Co. on a new limited edition whiskey. Aged up to eight months in barrels that first held West Cork Bourbon Cask Irish Whiskey and later matured Castle Island Imperial Stout, Export Stout Cask Finish is a limited edition blend of 75% grain and 25% malt. 3,900 bottles of the new whiskey are available across the northeastern U.S., retail priced at $30 a 750-ml. Boston-based importer M.S. Walker handles West Cork in the U.S.

•New York-based importer Empson USA has announced a leadership change. Tara Empson, who has been with the company since 2006, will take the reins from her father, Neil Empson, and oversee the operations and management of Empson USA moving forward. The younger Empson has previously managed the company’s relations with suppliers, and will now ascend to lead the company. Focused on Italian wines, the Empson portfolio includes Fuligni, Conterno Fantino, and Pietradolce, among many others.

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