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

News Briefs for May 16, 2014

May 16, 2014

•Argentina’s Rutini Wines is looking to extend the presence of its Trumpeter label across the U.S. in an ongoing effort this year. Currently performing strongly in California, Florida and the metro New York area, the company says the priority for 2014 will be achieving national distribution for its range. Trumpeter Malbec, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec-Syrah retail for about $10.99 a bottle.

•David Hirsch, owner of Hirsch Vineyards, has been hospitalized following a tractor accident May 10 at his vineyard on the Sonoma Coast, Wine Spectator reports. The 70-year-old Hirsch reportedly was showing an employee how to operate a tractor when he was struck and pinned by a movable scoop’s arm, causing multiple injuries to his neck and torso. According to Hirsch’s daughter, Jasmine, he’s doing well and in stable condition, but it’s unclear how long his recovery will take. Hirsch is the founder and owner of Hirsch Vineyards, on Sonoma’s coast just outside the remote town of Cazadero, where he farms 47 acres of vines on coastal ridges. His grapes go into some of the most noteworthy vineyard-designated wines produced by estates such as Kistler, Williams Selyem, Siduri, Littorai and Failla.

•Bordeaux-based Signature Selections has named Rob Landsness as its agent and brand ambassador for the U.S. market. Landsness has helped develop wine lists for restaurants including 5th Floor in San Francisco. He has also managed private wine collections at Vintrust and developed retail programs for rare and collectible wines at the Elixir Fund. Signature Selections, owned by Bordeaux-based American wine merchant Jeffrey Davies, has a portfolio that includes Château Belle-Vue, Château Bolaire, Domaine du Bouscat, Château Feytit-Clinet, Château Fleur Cardinale, Château Gracia, Château Joanin-Bécot and Château Pavie.

•Anheuser-Busch InBev has launched new red, white and blue packaging on Budweiser cans and bottles as part of an initiative aimed at helping military families. Using codes on the packaging, consumers can donate $1 to military families. The company expects the codes and contributions from wholesalers to account for up to $3 million in donations, which will provide more than 600 scholarships to families of soldiers killed or disabled in action. Budweiser partnered with the foundation in 2010 and with its wholesalers has raised almost $10 million to date.

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