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

News Briefs for March 5, 2015

March 5, 2015

•Ste. Michelle Wine Estates’ Washington wine brand 14 Hands has partnered with the Kentucky Derby to debut a new limited edition red blend. Made with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, the 14 Hands Kentucky Derby Red Bend will be available nationwide, priced at around $12 a 750-ml. In addition to the launch, 14 Hands wines will be served at various Kentucky Derby events, including the race’s Taste of Derby festival (April 30) and select Churchill Downs concessions and suites on race day (May 2). Based in Prosser, Washington, 14 Hands was up 14.5% last year to 1.58 million cases in the U.S., according to Impact Databank.

•Infinium Spirits has named Steve Brecher to the newly created position of president, effective March 9, reporting directly to Vern Underwood, chairman of Young’s Holdings. Brecher, who will lead all aspects of sales, marketing and operations at Infinium, is a veteran of Diageo, where he served as brand director for Guinness, vice president of marketing for Smirnoff and general manager for the Northeast U.S., among other roles. Most recently, he was CEO of Genesis Today, a Texas-based juice and nutrition company.

•Foley Family Wines’ Chalk Hill Estate has appointed Steve Nelson to the role of winemaker, effective immediately. Nelson comes to Chalk Hill from Napa-based Lewis Cellars, where he most recently served as assistant winemaker. He has also previously worked with fellow Foley Family winery Sebastiani Vineyards, as well as Joel Gott Wines and Joseph Phelps Vineyards. Headquartered in Healdsburg, California, Chalk Hill specializes in estate wines priced at between $20-$75 a 750-ml.

•Bowling Green, Kentucky-based Western Spirits Beverage Company has added two new flavors to its Bird Dog Whiskey brand, Apple and Chocolate. Each are bottled at 80 proof and retail nationwide for $19.99 a 750-ml. The latest offerings join Hot Cinnamon, Peach, Maple, Original and Blackberry from Bird Dog Whiskey. Bird Dog is available in 1.75-liter, 750-ml., 375-ml., 200-ml., 100-ml. and 50-ml. bottles.

•Bayonne, New Jersey-based Royal Wine Corp. has appointed Charles Lynch to the newly-created role of vice president business development, spirits & liqueurs. Lynch will be charged with sourcing new brands for Royal Wine Corp., as well as maintaining the company’s current spirits growth. A 35-year wine and spirits industry veteran, Lynch has previously worked with companies such as Brown-Forman, CEDC and Charmer.

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