News Briefs for March 4, 2014March 4, 2014
•Edna Valley-based Chamisal Vineyards, part of Crimson Wine Group, is launching its Stainless Pinot Noir offering into national distribution next month. Previously a tasting room-only wine, Stainless Pinot is a companion to Chamisal’s popular Stainless Chardonnay. Crimson Wine Group CEO Erle Martin says the wine is “stylistically reminiscent of a high quality Cru Beaujolais” and will be appealing to both novices and connoisseurs. Chamisal produced 2,300 cases of the Stainless Pinot Noir for 2013, retailing at $24 a bottle.
•MillerCoors is adding a new hard cider brand this month with the national launch of Smith & Forge, billed as a crisp hard cider at 6%-abv. Available in 16-ounce single-serve cans and 4-packs, as well as 12-packs of 12-ounce cans, Smith & Forge’s packaging features an antique design with a blacksmith’s hammer icon paying homage to a past era. MillerCoors is supporting the launch with a national marketing campaign beginning in March that will include media partnerships with outlets such as ESPN, Discovery Channel, Comedy Central, Thrillist and SB Nation.
•The Washington winegrape harvest reached a record-high in 2013, when it expanded by 13% to 210,000 tons, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Cabernet Sauvignon grapes led the way, at 42,600 tons. Other key varietals included Chardonnay (40,500 tons), white Riesling (40,200 tons) and Merlot (36,000 tons). Each of the top four varieties increased production in 2013.Subscribe to Shanken News Daily’s Email Newsletter, delivered to your inbox each morning.