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News Briefs for October 15, 2012

October 15, 2012

•China has granted Napa Valley wines Geographic Indication (GI) status, making Napa the first wine region outside China to be recognized as such. The Napa Valley Vintners trade group said the decision—which was announced in China’s newly released report by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine—will provide “the pivotal element in consumer protection against wines illegitimately labeled as being from Napa Valley in this important and rapidly expanding market.” The move comes as China continues to grow in significance as an export market for U.S. wine producers. U.S. wine exports to China rose 29% to 1.8 million nine-liter cases in 2011, according to the Wine Institute (with California contributing 90% of exports). Napa Valley only accounts for around 4% of California wine production, but an outsized number of its producers ship their wines to China. Napa Valley Vintners says around a quarter of its member wineries are now exporting to the fast-growing emerging market. Total bottled wine exports to China rose 65% to nearly 27 million cases in 2011, according to Impact Databank.

Serrallés USA has named Greg Ellison director of national off-premise chains. In the newly created role, Ellison will be charged with managing the company’s Don Q, BlackBeard, Caliche, Palo Viejo and Death’s Door Spirits brands within the high-volume national retail channel. He comes to Serrallés from Prestige Wine Imports, where he most recently served as western division director of chains & national accounts. Prior to that he spent time in the Brown-Forman and Gallo organizations. Concurrently, Serrallés has appointed Steve Jurbala—who was most recently regional manager at Imperial Brands—to the new role of South Central regional sales manager.


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