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News Briefs for October 14, 2014

October 14, 2014

•Diageo has unveiled a new limited edition luxury variant under its Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky brand, John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2014. A blend of 29 casks selected by Johnnie Walker master blender Jim Beveridge, Private Collection 2014 is a 46.8% abv whisky packaged in individually numbered decanters retailing at $850 each. 8,888 bottles of the limited-edition offering are being released. Diageo says forthcoming whiskies under the John Walker & Sons Private Collection will “build into a collectible series year on year.”

•The Riboli Family has extended the Stella Rosa Italian wine brand, produced at its San Antonio Winery in Los Angeles, with Stella Red, which will begin shipping to wholesalers nationwide at the end of October. Featuring grapes from northern Italy’s Piedmont region, Stella Red has flavors of raspberry, strawberry and red plum, according to the company. Stella Rosa has grown rapidly over the past few years, earning an Impact “Hot Brand” award for 25% volume growth in 2013 to 690,000 cases.

•Lodi, California’s Michael David Winery has updated its 7 Deadly Zins brand with a new look. Rolling out with the wine’s 2012 vintage, the overhauled packaging features a cleaner label, as well as a broader and taller bottle design. According to Michael David Winery vice president of sales and marketing Melissa Phillips Stroud, 7 Deadly Zins’ updated package is intended to attract younger wine drinkers, while still remaining recognizable to the brand’s existing consumers. The 2012 7 Deadly Zins, which features Lodi Zinfandel blended with a small addition of Petite Sirah, will be available nationwide by February, priced at around $16 a bottle.

•Napa-based Terroir Inc. has named Kevin McGee as chief operating officer and general counsel. McGee previously worked with Terroir Inc. on a project basis, including strategic development, legal work and the management of several acquisitions for the company, such as Qupé, Trinity Hill, Evening Land, Whetstone and Mayacamas. Prior to that he spent eight years as personal attorney and business strategist to wine industry icon Jess Jackson. Terroir Inc., whose portfolio also includes Mulderbosch in South Africa, Wind Gap in Sonoma County and Maison L’Orée in Burgundy among many others, was founded in 2009 by Charles and Ali Banks.

•Private label winemaker Truett-Hurst has named Scott Stowe national sales manager/director national accounts, effective last month. Stowe comes to Truett-Hurst from Ukiah, California’s Mendocino Wine Company, where he most recently served as director of national on- and off-premise accounts. Stowe’s appointment comes as Truett-Hurst experiences a period of rapid growth, significantly expanding its partnerships with Safeway, Total Wine & More and Kroger in recent months.

•Devotion vodka has named its first vice president of national accounts to oversee the brand’s expansion into new U.S. markets. Art Laib, who has held senior leadership positions at Brown-Forman and Diageo, will fill the new post. In addition, Devotion has added seven new state sales managers to its team. The vodka brand, which retails at $20 a 750-ml., is currently present in national accounts like Whole Foods, Wegmans, Kroger, Publix and Albertsons in the off-premise, as well as major restaurant chains Applebee’s, Houlihan’s and Red Robin.

•BevMo will open a new retail location on Friday, October 17 in Marina del Rey, California. The new outpost, located at 4214 Lincoln Blvd., marks the second West Los Angeles opening for the retailer this year. With the latest store, BevMo’s footprint will have grown to 155 locations across California, Arizona and Washington.

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