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

News Briefs for July 3, 2012

July 3, 2012

•New Zealand-based Astrolabe Wines is now rolling out its wines in the U.S. They will be available in select states through Cannonball Wine Co.—Florida, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Colorado, Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Minnesota, Michigan, New Hampshire, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and California. Astrolabe offers a Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris—both priced around $23 a bottle—as well as a Pinot Noir (around $28). The brand will focus on the on-premise but will also have limited availability at retail.

•Czech brewery Budejovicky Budvar NP has announced that it will end its distribution agreement in the U.S. with Anheuser-Busch. ABI has been distributing Budvar’s Czechvar lager in the U.S. (imported under the brand name Czechvar due to trademark issues) since 2007. Budvar will switch to Stamford, Connecticut-based United States Beverage beginning July 7.

Darden Restaurants-owned Seasons 52 has announced plans to open its first Ohio unit in Cincinnati next spring. Seasons 52 has been in expansion mode, opening its 23rd restaurant in Oak Brook, Illinois, earlier this year, and also unveiling plans to launch new units in Dallas, Texas, and Santa Monica and Los Angeles, California, this fall; Houston, Texas, Edison, New Jersey, and Sacramento and San Diego, California next spring; and Memphis, Tennessee, and Princeton, New Jersey, in the spring of 2014.

•Austin, Texas-based restaurant/movie theater chain Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is debuting its second New York City area location in Yonkers this winter. Earlier this year, the brand announced plans to enter New York with a unit in Manhattan’s Upper West Side neighborhood. The new venue is currently under construction and is slated to open in 2013. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema operates numerous units throughout Texas and in Winchester, Virginia, with additional outposts planned for San Francisco, Kansas City, Littleton, Colorado, and Ashburn, Virginia.

•Correction: In SND’s June 28 issue, we incorrectly wrote that Casillero del Diablo is Concha y Toro’s top-selling wine in the U.S. market. Concha y Toro’s top-selling label in the U.S. market is Frontera.

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