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News Briefs for April 13, 2012

April 13, 2012

•Kenwood Vineyards has introduced Moscato Zacchera, a new California-sourced Moscato made with 100% Muscat Canelli grapes. The brand’s debut 2011 vintage, of which 6,000 cases were produced, is currently available nationwide for $13.99 a bottle. The 2011 Kenwood California Moscato Zacchera joins Kenwood’s existing 550,000-case portfolio, which ranges in price from $9 to $70 a bottle.

•Former Beam and Don Sebastiani & Sons executive Mike Cekay has been appointed senior vice president, global sales, at Crimson Wine Group, effective April 16. Most recently executive vice president and global sales manager at Don Sebastiani & Sons, Cekay will now lead sales efforts for a Crimson portfolio that includes premium California wine labels Pine Ridge (Stag’s Leap District), Chamisal (Edna Valley) and Seghesio (Dry Creek Valley), as well as Willamette Valley, Oregon’s Archery Summit. Chicago-based Cekay will oversee five regional managers and one export manager as well as three account managers located in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City and Shanghai, with a goal this year of selling 250,000 cases across the portfolio. He’ll report directly to Crimson CEO Erle Martin, who told Shanken News Daily late last year that he sees the group growing to around 500,000 cases and $100 million in sales within five years.

•Diageo’s Sterling Vineyards has brought on wine consultant Paul Hobbs to work with senior winemaker Harry Hansen ahead of the launch of a new Reserve level of Sterling wines called Platinum. A veteran of Opus One, Robert Mondavi and Simi, Hobbs has his own label sourced from Napa and Sonoma fruit and has consulted with multiple wineries in California and South America. The Sterling Vineyards label sells over 300,000 cases in the U.S. annually and is part of a Diageo North America wine business that rose 1% by volume and slipped 1% by organic net sales in the six months through December.

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