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News Briefs for December 4, 2013

December 4, 2013

DFV Wines is extending its Gnarly Head brand with a new Malbec varietal. Sourced from Argentina’s Mendoza region, Gnarly Head Malbec is now in national distribution, retailing at $11.99 a 750-ml. The new entry joins Old Vine Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Authentic Red, Authentic White, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay in the brand line. An Impact “Hot Brand,” Gnarly Head rose 11% to 625,000 cases in the U.S. market in 2012.

•Diageo has expanded its George Dickel Tennessee whiskey range with the launch of George Dickel No. 1. The clear, 91-proof offering is the un-aged “foundation recipe” for George Dickel’s No. 8, No. 12 and Barrel Select whiskies, and is intended to be enjoyed neat, on the rocks or in cocktails. Rolling out nationwide in January, George Dickel No. 1 will retail at around $21.99 a 750-ml. Along with No. 8, No. 12 and Barrel Select, No. 1 is also joined in the brand portfolio by George Dickel Rye, launched last year.

•Napa winery Ca’ Momi has acquired two vineyards in the Carneros appellation from which it was already sourcing fruit. The first, a nine-acre Chardonnay vineyard which Ca’ Momi has named Cercando, previously housed a private residence and produces the fruit for Ca’ Momi Reserve Chardonnay. The second, named Crescendo, is planted with nearly 11 acres of Pinot Noir, much of it the stock planted by renowned vintner Kent Rasmussen in the 1970s. Ca’ Momi Reserve Pinot Noir is sourced from Crescendo. The two vineyards lie almost exactly one mile apart on Cuttings Wharf Road in the Napa Carneros district. In total, Ca’ Momi produces around 40,000 cases annually.

•Virginia beer wholesaler Virginia Eagle has acquired northern Virginia distributor Guiffre Distributing, expanding its reach into Arlington and Fairfax counties, including the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church and Fairfax. Virginia Eagle claims the deal will make it the largest Anheuser-Busch wholesaler in Virginia, with an estimated 5,000 on- and off-premise accounts. The move caps a period of vigorous expansion for Virginia Eagle, which over the past seven years has expanded from one warehouse in Verona to a six-warehouse distributorship that services the majority of the state.

•Total Wine & More has signed a lease for a new location in Seattle, Washington, according to local news reports. Located at 1600 Armory Way, the 103,000-square-foot outpost is expected to open in mid-2015. The Seattle store will mark the retailer’s eighth Washington location, following the recent addition of a new Spokane store in November. Currently, Total Wine operates more than 95 stores across 15 states.

•Food emporium Eataly opened its new location in Chicago’s River North neighborhood late Monday to big crowds and rave reviews from critics, with Mayor Rahm Emanuel joining co-owners Mario Batali and Joe and Lidia Bastianich for the ribbon-cutting. Eataly founder Oscar Farinetti, who opened the first Eataly in 2007 in Turin, Italy, was also in attendance, noting that the concept has now grown to 17 locations, most of them in Italy and Japan. At 63,000 square feet, the Chicago Eataly is 20% larger than the New York Eataly that opened in New York’s Flatiron district three years ago. It also has nearly two-dozen dining options, compared with 14 at the New York location.

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