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News Briefs for February 4, 2014

February 4, 2014

•Pernod Ricard USA’s Brancott Estate has released Flight Song, a new range of low-calorie wines from New Zealand. Rolling out in March, the lineup features a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and Marlborough Pinot Grigio, both of which are made with lower-sugar grapes harvested earlier in the season and, as a result, are billed as having 20% less calories than a typical wine of the same varietal. Brancott Estate Flight Song will be available nationwide, priced at $14.99 a 750-ml. Along with its new Flight Song range, Brancott Estate also produces its core Brancott Estate tier and the Brancott Estate Letter Series.

Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines (DC&E) has launched a new California wine brand aimed at supporting U.S. military charities. Called The Great American Wine Company, the new brand features a trio of wines—a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Chardonnay and a red blend—created by the winemaking team at DC&E’s Rosenblum Cellars. All retail for roughly $13 a 750-ml. DC&E has kicked off the launch of The Great American Wine Company with a $100,000 donation to the USO, and is planning similar donations to military charities in the coming years.

•One True Vine is launching a new Pinot Noir called Cherry Tart in early March following the success of its existing single vineyard Pinot Noir, Cherry Pie. The inaugural vintage of Cherry Tart is a blend of Pinot Noir from top California growing regions: 49% from Rogers Creek Vineyard on the Sonoma Coast, 43% from Alta Loma Vineyard in Monterey County and 8% from Santa Barbara County’s Los Alamos Vineyard. Winemaker Jayson Woodbridge used the same “micro-fermentation” technique in crafting Cherry Pie, using individual lots in puncheon barrels for a handcrafted Pinot Noir. The 2012 Cherry Tart will be available nationally for a retail price of $25. The One True Vine business partnership, founded in 2006 under the name Hundred Acre Wine Group and later renamed, is behind such brands as Hundred Acre, Cherry Pie, If You See Kay and Layer Cake. One True Vine’s sales and marketing are handled by Vintage Point.

•Pewaukee, Wisconsin-based Agave Loco has released Tippy Cow—a new range of rum-infused cream liqueurs—in select U.S. markets. Featuring four “old-fashioned” flavor profiles, the Tippy Cow lineup includes Orange Cream, Chocolate, Vanilla Soft Serve and Shamrock Mint expressions, all of which can be served neat or mixed with spirits or coffee. Each 14%-abv entry is blended with Caribbean rum and Wisconsin dairy cream, and packaged in a traditional milk bottle. Tippy Cow will initially be available across 22 states, priced at $16.99 a 750-ml. and $1.49 a 50-ml. In addition to Tippy Cow, Agave Loco produces the fast-rising RumChata rum-based cream liqueur brand, which was up 26% to 460,000 cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank.

•Southern Wine & Spirits has opened its first Southern Supply Center (SCC) in Tracy, California. The facility, which began operations in late 2013, functions as a regional distribution center, and has helped the company create a “more efficient, synergistic supply chain” for Southern suppliers and markets across the U.S. Following the Tracy facility, Southern plans to build up to two additional SCC outposts in the U.S.—where the group’s footprint totals 35 markets—and potentially in Europe. Southern’s SCC program is being led by the group’s senior vice president, supply chain strategy Bobby Burg.

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