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

News Briefs for May 2, 2019

May 2, 2019

•Johnson Brothers has entered its 27th U.S. market with the launch of operations in New Jersey. Johnson Brothers’ New Jersey business will be led by Eddy Rivera, a Gallo veteran who already serves as general manager of Johnson Brothers New York. The company will handle wine, spirits, and beer in the Garden State. Rivera said that Johnson Brothers’ experience since entering New York in 2016 has made it “clear that the New York/New Jersey area welcomes and embraces more choices at the distributor level.” Johnson Brothers ranks fifth among wine and spirits wholesalers in the U.S., with projected 2019 revenues of $2.5 billion, according to Shanken’s Impact Newsletter.

•Delicato Family Wines has added Australian winery Torbreck Vintners to its fine wine sales and marketing division, Transcendent Wines. Based in the Barossa Valley, Torbreck is known for its high-end, Rhône-influenced lineup, which includes The Laird, a single vineyard Shiraz; RunRig, a Shiraz-Viognier blend; and Les Amis, a single vineyard Grenache, among other wines. Delicato is set to import 13 wines from Torbreck, with the brand joining Dobbes Family Estate Wines and Franz Keller among many others in the Transcendent Wines portfolio.

•Camarena Tequila, part of the E.&J. Gallo spirits portfolio, is extending its range with an Añejo offering. Retailing at $30 a 750-ml., the 80-proof Tequila joins Silver and Reposado expressions in the Camarena range, which is made from 100% Blue Weber agave. Impact Databank estimates Camarena at approximately 400,000 cases in the U.S.

•MGP Ingredients reported that sales for its Distillery Products segment increased by 0.3% to $74.6 million for the first quarter of 2019. The company reports white goods within the premium beverage alcohol segment drove gains, rising by 8.3%. Offsetting the solid performance from white goods, MGP’s brown goods dropped by 12% to $24.8 million. “New distillate and aged whiskey declined at similar rates,” said Gus Griffin, president and CEO of MGP. “We expect both parts of our brown goods business to return to growth over the remainder of the year.”

•U.K.-based international wine supplier Broadland Wineries has launched a range of 100% vegan wines in the U.S. The Proudly Vegan wine brand is currently comprises Sauvignon Blanc, rosé, and Merlot (all $9 a 750-ml.) from Chile’s Central Valley, with a Prosecco ($13) variant set to join the lineup in June. Initially, the Proudly Vegan portfolio will be available throughout California and New York.

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