News Briefs for April 5, 2012April 5, 2012
•California could be facing a vine shortage, reports Wine Spectator. Grapegrowers throughout the state are rushing to plant new vines to keep up with increasing wine consumption trends, but major vine nurseries have been caught unprepared for the dramatic increase in demand in recent months.Major Central Valley and Central Coast grapegrowers began placing large vine orders last summer and fall. According to Sunridge Nurseries (one of the state’s biggest vine nurseries), one major winemaker asked for 1.2 million vines in August. Meanwhile, growers are predicting that a shortage could result in higher wine prices. “At least insofar as the Napa Valley is concerned, we’ve already seen rising prices due to short vintages in 2010 and 2011,” Michael Honig, owner of Honig Vineyard and Winery in Rutherford, told Wine Spectator. “We’re not likely to see changes due to the vine shortage for another two or three years, but the basic laws of supply and demand apply. Prices will go up.”
•Boston Beer Co.’s Angry Orchard hard cider is entering nationwide distribution this month after a successful run in test markets. The product was released last year in New England, Colorado, Maryland and New York. It’s available in three different varieties—Crisp Apple, Apple Ginger and Traditional Dry—priced at $8.99 for a six-pack, as well as on draft in restaurants and bars. The hard cider segment is a small but rapidly growing category—rising above 5 million cases for the first time last year and growing at around 25% annually—and it’s seen a flurry of activity of late. Tenth and Blake, the craft and import unit of MillerCoors, acquired Minnesota’s Crispin Cider Co. (an Impact “Hot Brand”) in February for an undisclosed sum, just three months after C&C Group purchased 700,000-case Hornsby’s cider from E&J Gallo for $23 million. AB-InBev is also getting in on the action with a new Michelob Ultra Light Cider offering.
•New York City-based Cognac One has been named exclusive U.S. importer of Hungarian wine brand Château Dereszla Tokaji. The current range to be imported includes Tokaji Dry 2010 ($14.99 a 650-ml.), Tokaji Semi-Dry 2010 ($12.99), Tokaji Aszù 5 Puttonoyos 2006 ($39.99) and Tokaji Aszù 6 Puttonoyos 2006 ($79.99). Château Dereszla joins a Cognac One wine portfolio that also includes Ayala Champagne, Xavier Flouret Wines (sourced internationally), Cave de Tain from France, Cantarranas from Spain and Te Awa from New Zealand.Subscribe to Shanken News Daily’s Email Newsletter, delivered to your inbox each morning.