News Briefs for September 12, 2011September 12, 2011
• Sonoma-based V2 Wine Group, the partnership between industry veterans Dan and Katy Leese and entrepreneur Pete Kight, is set to begin handling national sales and marketing for Santa Maria’s Qupé Wine Cellars, effective immediately. Qupé’s line includes 15 different wines, with a strong focus on Syrah from California’s Central Coast. V2’s portfolio already includes Dry Creek Vineyard, La Follette Wines, Lucinda & Millie Wines, Quivira Vineyards, Steelhead Wines, Toad Hollow Vineyards, Torbreck Wines and Vindicated Wines.
• A bill to ban alcohol sales through self-serve checkout machines at retailers and supermarkets in California has reached Governor Jerry Brown’s desk after being approved by the state Senate in a 21-16 vote last week. The bill, AB 183, aims to prevent access to underage drinkers by ensuring that consumers trying to purchase alcohol would have to go through a face-to-face transaction with a cashier. Brown has until October 9 to either sign or veto the bill.
• Italy’s total wine production for 2011 is expected to drop 5% on 2010 to 44 million hectoliters, according Assoenologi, the Italian Association of Enologists. An unusually warm summer and the removal of more than 2,000 hectares of vineyards in Sicily have contributed to the decrease, which was most pronounced in Italy’s central and southern regions. Sardinia was the only region to increase its wine production, reporting a 15% rise.
• Rémy Cointreau USA has rolled out Brugal 1888, a super-premium aged rum, in the U.S. Named in honor of the year Brugal Rum was founded, Brugal 1888 is a blend of 5- to 14-year-old rums initially aged in American white oak, and later in Sherry oak casks. The new, 40%-abv extension is priced at $49.99 per 750-ml. and joins the brand’s existing lineup, which includes Blanco Especial ($19.99), Añejo ($19.99) and Extra Viejo ($25.99) varieties. Selling over 135,000 cases in the U.S. annually, Brugal is the sixth-largest rum brand globally (with strongholds in its native Dominican Republic and Spain), and grew 6.3% to 4.3 million cases in 2010, according to Impact Databank.
• E&J Gallo’s New Amsterdam gin brand has signed a sponsorship deal with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons for the 2011-12 season. Under the deal, New Amsterdam gin and its signature cocktails will be poured at the Georgia Dome, and the brand can also utilize team marks and logos for consumer retail promotions. A Impact “Hot Brand,” New Amsterdam rose 10% by volume in 2010 to 580,000 cases.Subscribe to Shanken News Daily’s Email Newsletter, delivered to your inbox each morning.