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

News Briefs for July 31, 2014

July 31, 2014

•Heaven Hill Distilleries will release a third bottling of Elijah Craig 12-Year-Old Barrel Proof Bourbon this year and three more bottlings next year. Debuting last year as a limited release version of Elijah Craig Small Batch 12-Year-Old, the series is drawn from the company’s inventory of aging barrels and each release reflects the proof of the batch, made of 100 or fewer barrels. A batch of 134.2 proof was released in March 2014 and a 137-proof was released in May, with the third 133.2-proof batch expected in September. In January next year, Heaven Hill will debut the first edition of the 2015 installment of the series. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof is available nationwide in 750-ml. bottles retailing at $44.99.

•Custom-crush wine company The Wine Foundry has purchased a production facility in Napa, announcing plans to relocate to the new site. The Wine Foundry currently operates out of Sonoma’s Opal Moon Winery. Formerly the home of family-owned custom crush winery Juice Box, the newly-acquired facility features equipment designed for “ultra-premium, small-lot” production, as well as a tasting room. Several Juice Box employees are expected to join The Wine Foundry’s winemaking team. Specializing in “one-stop shop” custom wine production, The Wine Foundry was launched by CastleGate Capital Advisors in 2012, following the firm’s purchase of assets from defunct custom crush group Crushpad.

Belvédère SA chairman and board director Krzysztof Trylinski has announced plans to resign, effective September 16. He will be replaced by independent director Benoît Herault, who joined Belvédère’s board last September, and has also served as chairman of the company’s audit committee since October 2013. A new audit committee chairman is set to be appointed shortly. Prior to joining Belvédère, Herault spent more than a decade at Goldman Sachs, as well as several years with the Archon Group. Belvédère, known in the U.S. mainly for its 1-million-case Sobieski vodka brand, has struggled to emerge from under a heavy debt load in recent years. Trylinski was succeeded as CEO of the group by former Rémy Cointreau executive Jean-Noël Reynaud earlier this year.

•BinWise Inc., the cloud-based software management system for beverage programs, has partnered with Beverage Media Group Inc. to streamline product research and the alcoholic beverage selling process. BinWise will have access to distributor pricing and electronic order integration through Beverage Media for its automated purchasing, inventory and beverage list management. The combination of resources will give sommeliers and beverage directors a more efficient way manage to wine, spirits and beer lists, the companies say. BinWise is currently used by restaurants and hotels such as the Union Square Hospitality Group, B+B Hospitality Group and Rosewood Hotels.

•Sonoma-based V2 Wine Group has introduced new packaging on its Steelhead Vineyards super-premium wines that emphasizes the brand’s connection to environmental causes. The new label reads, “Better Wine. Better World” to further its conservation message and features a stamp seal to establish Steelhead’s identity. The 2013 Pinot Noir is the first to carry the new label, with the Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Steelhead Red to follow. Steelhead Vineyards is also debuting a national retail promotion, social media campaign and Wilderness Resort Sweepstakes.

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