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

News Briefs for June 19, 2013

June 19, 2013

•JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts has launched the JWM Wine Club, in collaboration with Treasury Wine Estates. The JWM Club will introduce JW Marriott guests to fine wines from some of California’s top estates. The program will offer samplings of four wines in a single-serving format shipped quarterly to a member’s address. Members will then select their two favorites and receive a 750-ml. bottle of each. Wine tasting notes from a JW Marriott wine ambassador and recipes to pair with the wines from a hotel executive chef will be included with each shipment. The cost of membership is $150 per shipment.

•New Jersey-based wine importer and wholesaler Winebow has made several appointments to its executive wholesale team. Richard Driscoll, who has previously filled several senior positions at Winebow, has been named executive vice president of the company’s wholesale division. Driscoll will be charged with overseeing Winebow’s wholesale business in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., and Montgomery County, Maryland. Concurrently, Peter Ruggie has been appointed senior vice president of wholesale. Most recently serving as general manager for Liberty Wine Selection, Ruggie will report directly to Driscoll in his new role.

•Montalvo Tequila will continue its expansion in the U.S. market with its entry into two more markets in the coming months. Beginning August 1, Montalvo will be available in Connecticut. It will also begin limited distribution in Oregon next month through a partnership with Thomas Cellars. Montalvo initially launched in April 2012 in New York and California and expanded into Florida and New Jersey last month. The brand is a 100%-agave Tequila available in three expressions—Plata ($37.99), Reposado ($43.99) and Añejo ($49.99).

•Direct sales services provider WineDirect has named Phil Littleton as vice president of operations. The appointment was effective at the beginning of the month. In his new role, Littleton will manage all operations of the company, including expansion of both its Maple Heights, Ohio and American Canyon, California facilities to meet the increasing volume of direct-to-consumer shipments by WineDirect customers. Prior to joining the company, he served as vice president of corporate logistics for specialty retailer and producer Harry and David. He was also the managing director of the Pacific Northwest region at FedEx. Headquartered in Napa, WineDirect specializes in providing wineries with the technology, logistics and strategies needed to enter direct-to-consumer channels.

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