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News Briefs for February 4, 2015

February 4, 2015

•DrinkSpace, a new sales and marketing company serving boutique drinks producers, has begun operating from its Redmond, Washington base. The company, led by wine industry veteran Thomas Vogele and marketing/advertising executive Steve Reed, provides expertise to smaller players seeking to develop their marketing strategies and routes to market. Vogele has held key roles at E.&J. Gallo Winery, Trinchero Family Estates, Robert Mondavi Corp. and Folio Fine Wine Partners, while Reed has 23 years of marketing experience, and launched the marketing firm Vision Media a dozen years ago. DrinkSpace’s client list currently includes Washington winemakers Efeste, Zero One and VaPiano; Oregon winemakers Lachini and Watermill; Seattle-based craft distillers Oola Distillery BroVo Spirits; and Oregon cider maker Blue Mountain Cider. “Our industry relationships will allow our clients to take daily marketing tasks off of their plate and focus on growing their business,” said Vogele. “The three-tier system in the U.S. is very difficult to navigate, and DrinkSpace is a national agency with deep relationships at the wholesale level that can help give its partners a voice.”

•Mionetto USA is entering the French sparkling wine segment with the addition of Champagne house Alfred Gratien and Saumur-based Gratien & Meyer Crémant to its import portfolio. Established in 1864, Champagne Alfred Gratien specializes in cuvées made using premium fruit and small oak cask fermentations, while Gratien & Meyer has produced Crémant sparkling wines for 150 years. Effective April 1, Mionetto will take on all sales and marketing efforts for both brands nationwide. Champagne Alfred Gratien and Gratien & Meyer join Mionetto Prosecco, as well as Henkell (Wiesbaden), Livio Felluga (Friuli), Castello di Monsanto (Tuscany), Schloss Johannisberg (Rheingau) and Capezzana (Tuscany), among other brands, in Mionetto’s existing MW Imports stable.

•Glenmorangie has officially unveiled the latest expression in its specialty Private Edition series, Glenmorangie Tùsail. Rolled out in January, the new entry is made with a rare variety of barley known as Maris Otter, which, according to the brand, creates a complex flavor profile featuring notes of toffee, sweet barley malt, ginger and cinnamon, among others. Tùsail, which is Scots Gaelic for “originary,” is currently available at select retail locations across the U.S. Tùsail marks the sixth entry in Glenmorangie’s Private Edition lineup, coming on the heels of previous releases Glenmorangie Companta, Sonnalta PX, Finealta, Artein and Ealanta.

•E&J Gallo is introducing a new seasonal red blend under its Apothic brand. Apothic Red Crush will be available between February and April, retailing at $14 a bottle. One of Gallo’s fastest-rising brands in recent years, Apothic has been among the leaders in the wine market’s trend toward red blends. The brand crossed 2 million cases in the U.S. market last year, according to Impact Databank, having more than tripled in size over the past three years.

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