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News Briefs for June 21, 2012

June 21, 2012

Terlato Wine Group is investing more than $3 million to transition its California wineries to solar power. The group’s Chimney Rock Winery in Napa’s Stags Leap district has already made the switch. Designed by Sunlight Electric and managed by Shamrock Renewable Energy Services, Chimney Rock’s new solar power system is expected to eliminate the emission of nearly 342,500 pounds of carbon dioxide annually. Terlato plans to extend the initiative to its Rutherford Hill Winery in Napa and Sanford Winery in the St. Rita Hills region. In addition to solar energy investment, Terlato is focusing on sustainable farming methods, including using an environmentally safe sulfur substitute in its vineyards. The group is currently in the process of achieving certification from the California Sustainable Winegrowers Program, established in 2002 by the Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers.

•Christie’s International has tapped Per Holmberg to oversee its New York-based wine sales as vice president, head of department. He replaces Robin Kelley O’Connor, who left in February. Holmberg will be in charge of the auction house’s wine sales throughout North and South America. He most recently served as vice president of East Coast operations for Benchmark Wine Group and held senior positions at the Wine Cellarage and Vinfolio. He also previously worked at Christie’s from 2000-2004 in wine auctions, working on key sales like the Extraordinary Private Cellar of Doris Duke and the Magnificent Private Cellar of Lenoir M. Josey.

•Medalla Light, a leading light beer in Puerto Rico, has rolled out across Florida. Producer Cervecera de Puerto Rico has partnered with Launch Beverage Companies for distribution in both the on- and off-premise. Medalla Light is available in 6-packs ($7.99) and 12-packs ($13.99) of 12-ounce bottles. Cervecera de Puerto Rico says it has invested $100 million to cover infrastructure, packaging, design, promotion and the brand’s U.S. launch. The company will invest an additional $3 million over Medalla Light’s first 12 months in the U.S. market with the goal of selling 175,000 cases in that period.

•Acclaimed chef Andrew Carmellini is opening a French restaurant in New York City with partners Luke Ostrom and Josh Pickard. The trio will be taking over the space currently housing Chinatown Brasserie, which Pickard co-owns and which closed yesterday to move to a new location later this year. The yet-to-be-named French concept is still in the preliminary stages of development, but it’s slated to open by year-end. Carmellini, Ostrom and Pickard are the owners of Manhattan restaurant The Dutch, and Ostrom and Pickard also own Locanda Verde, also in New York City.

•Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant is entering Florida with a new location in Tampa, slated to open early next year. The Illinois-based chain has signed a lease for 11,229 square feet at Tampa’s MetWest International, a mixed-use center located near Tampa International Airport and the city’s Westshore business district. Founded in 2005 in Orland Park, Illinois, the Cooper’s Hawk concept features four components: an upscale casual restaurant, a full-service bar, a private barrel-aging and tasting room and a retail gift store. The restaurant’s menu is designed to pair with the chain’s private label Cooper’s Hawk wines. Cooper’s Hawk currently has 11 restaurants throughout Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. In addition to Tampa, future openings are planned for Merrillville, Indiana; Columbus, Ohio; and Kansas City, Missouri.

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