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

News Briefs for May 8, 2014

May 8, 2014

•Total Wine & More has received city council approval to open a new store in Burnsville, Minnesota, according to local reports. The store marks Total Wine’s second location in the state, joining an existing unit in nearby Roseville, and adds to the retailer’s footprint of more than 100 stores across 16 markets. The Burnsville opening has been an uphill battle for Total Wine, following strong opposition from the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association (MLBA). Total Wine has blamed rival retailers for hampering its Minnesota openings in an effort to block competition. The company is currently awaiting city council approval for a third Minnesota store in Bloomington, which has been delayed since November. Total Wine is also reportedly prepping a new store in Arlington, Texas for a third-quarter opening. Speaking to SND, president and co-owner David Trone recently identified both Minnesota and Texas as markets of opportunity for the chain.

•Delicato Family Vineyards (DFV) boxed wine brand Bota Box has officially launched its new Pinot Noir entry, first reported by Shanken News Daily on March 17. Made with fruit sourced from Chile’s Valle Central appellation, Bota Box Pinot Noir is currently available in the brand’s core 3-liter format, priced at $22.99. The new expression brings Bota Box’s portfolio to a total of 11 varietals, six of which are also offered in 500-ml. Tetra Pak formats. An Impact “Hot Brand,” Bota Box was up 14% last year to reach 2.6 million cases, making it DFV’s largest brand.

•Middlebury, Vermont-based Woodchuck Hard Cider has unveiled a new design for its six-packs that moves its logo off-center to include a depiction of its new cidery, expected to be completed this summer. Local Vermont artist Kathleen Kolb created the painting of Woodchuck’s $30 million cidery featured on the new package, which will also include tasting notes from the cider makers. The new design will launch in Vermont and the Great Lakes region in June, with a nationwide release set for the end of summer. Founded in 1991, Woodchuck earned Impact “Hot Brand” honors with 11% growth to 2.8 million (2.25-gallon) cases last year.

•Charlie Scholtz, a Brown-Forman vice president who has been with the company for two decades, has been promoted to the newly created position of chief compliance officer. Most recently, Scholtz had legal responsibility for international distribution, commercial, and related compliance matters, and led the development and expansion of the compliance program as it relates to anti-corruption.

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