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

News Briefs for November 6, 2014

November 6, 2014

•Chicago-based deal site Groupon has made its first foray into the wine business, launching a new private label wine collection through its e-commerce operation, Groupon Goods. The new range includes Snazzy Cat Chardonnay, Top Cat Merlot, Chatty Cat Cabernet Sauvignon and Jazzy Cat Pinot Noir. The wines are offered in packages of six bottles for $50, with a sample pack including all four wines also available. Groupon Goods, which launched in 2011, saw sales rise 25% to $1.87 billion last year, comprising more than 70% of Groupon’s total revenue of $2.6 billion.

•Stoli USA’s Stolichnaya has released the third and final entry in its ultra-premium Elit Pristine Water Series vodka collection. Available this month, Elit Pristine Water Series: Andean edition is crafted with natural spring water sourced from the Andes Mountains, as well as distilled spirit made with grain harvested from SPI Group’s Tambov, Russia-based farm. The limited edition, 40%-abv expression, which is packaged in a Glencairn Crystal bottle, retails for around €3,000 ($3,729). The Andean edition joins the Elit Pristine Water Series’ previous Himalaya and New Zealand editions, launched in 2011 and 2013, respectively.

•Floyd, Virginia’s Chateau Morrisette Winery has released a trio of new red blends—including 5 Red Grapes, Archival 1 and the 2012 Chambourcin Reserve—ahead of the holiday season. Made with Cabernet Franc, Chambourcin, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, 5 Red Grapes ($14.99 a 750-ml.) is a dry red blend, while Archival 1 ($19.99) features Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The Chambourcin Reserve 2012 ($28.99), meanwhile, is a limited-edition made with a blend of Chambourcin, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In addition to its direct-to-consumer distribution program, Chateau Morrisette also has a retail reach across Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia and eastern Tennessee. The Virginia winery currently produces more than 65,000 cases annually.

•California sparkling wine brand XXIV Karat has appointed 37-year beverage industry veteran Dan Holland as CEO. Holland previously served as president and CEO of The Rising Beverage Company and was president of Mission Beverage Company for 15 years. Other recent management appointments at XXIV Karat include Craig D’Eletto as executive vice president and Joe Garza as senior vice president of sales. D’Eletto is the former CEO of Beverage Kings, while Garza joins the team from the West Coast director of national accounts role for brands such as Vitaminwater and Fuze, among others. XXIV Karat ($37-$42) blends its wines, which feature flakes of 24-karat gold and an LED light illuminating the bottle, from varietals and vintages from its vineyard in Mendocino with bottling operations in Lodi.

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