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News Briefs for June 26, 2014

June 26, 2014

•Charles and Ali Banks, founders of the California-based wine group Terroir, have expanded their partnership with Monterey-based hospitality management firm Coastal Luxury Management (CLM), concurrent with the departure of CLM co-founder and president Robert Weakley. Weakley plans to sell his shares in the company to CLM and the Bankses, and CLM co-founder David Bernahl is set to take over as president. Charles and Ali Banks have been involved with CLM for the past 18 months, and now plan to work more closely with the group to exploit strategic growth opportunities. In addition to producing the Pebble Beach and Los Angeles Food & Wine festivals, CLM houses a restaurant division that includes Monterey’s Restaurant 1833 and Cannery Row Brewing Company, Rose.Rabbit.Lie in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, and the recently opened Faith & Flower in downtown Los Angeles.

•Following up on Tuesday’s news of Total Wine & More’s continuing expansion drive in Minnesota, the retail chain has now been granted a license in the St. Paul suburb of Woodbury. Total Wine currently has a Minnesota store open in Roseville, and expects to have another open in Burnsville in September. The chain’s entry into the market of Bloomfield, meanwhile, has been embattled, but with a hearing on its license expected this fall, that location too could conceivably be in place by the holiday season.

•New York-based Blackheath Beverage Group has added Fernet Vittone, Amaro Del Sole and Vittone vermouth to its portfolio through a new national sales and marketing agreement with the brands’ importer, Un Sogno, LLC. All three brands are produced by Italy’s Polini Distillates and Beverages. Blackheath’s stable also includes Atlantico Rum; Aviation Gin; Dalmore, Jura and Mackinlay’s Scotch whiskies; Westward Whiskey from Oregon; Krogstad Aquavit; Zing vodka and Stillhouse Original Moonshine, among others.

•Agave Underground Tequila is extending with this month’s release of Sabroso, a prickly pear infused Tequila retailing at $24.99. The Orange County, California-based company has also expanded its distribution network to Texas, Louisiana, Illinois, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Ohio, Alabama, Mississippi and Iowa, bringing its total to 22 states and two Canadian provinces. In addition to Sabroso, Agave Underground’s range includes Silver, Reposado and Anejo expressions.

•Peter Lehmann Wines, part of the Hess Collection in the U.S., has announced that chief winemaker Andrew Wigan will retire at year’s end. Wigan, who has held the top winemaker post at Peter Lehmann for 35 years, will be replaced by current senior winemaker Ian Hongell. Following his retirement, Wigan will continue to consult with Hongell’s team, and will also serve as a traveling ambassador for Peter Lehmann and Australian wine in general.

•Tom Cardella, president and CEO of MillerCoors’ Tenth and Blake division, will retire at the end of the year, according to the Milwaukee Business Journal. Cardella, a 35-year industry veteran, had worked with Beck’s North America Inc. and Anheuser-Busch InBev before joining MillerCoors, where he served for 27 years. He is credited with aiding in the creation of Tenth and Blake, MillerCoors’ independent division marketing craft beers, imports and ciders. MillerCoors is currently searching for a replacement at Tenth and Blake.

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