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Purple Wine Enters Craft Spirits, Revamps Management Team

March 12, 2015

California-based Purple Wine Company/Sonoma Wine Company is rebranding as Purple Wine + Spirits. Purple Wine Company, founded in 2001 by Derek Benham, has been producing branded wines as well as custom and private label wines for retailers and restaurateurs. In 2014, Benham established a distillery at the company’s Graton winery and is launching an artisanal spirit line this year under the Graton Spirits name.

Purple/Sonoma Wine’s chief financial officer Jeff Harris’ role will be expanded to CFO/COO, overseeing all sales efforts in the U.S. and abroad as well as marketing and communications. Meanwhile, David Francke, formerly managing director at Folio Fine Wine Partners, joins the company as executive vice president, sales and marketing, while Purple Wine veteran Lisa Ehrlich takes on the role of executive vice president, branding and innovation, overseeing all aspects of Graton Spirits. The Purple Wine + Spirits’ portfolio includes Avalon, Four Vines, Lucky Star and Cryptic, among other brands. The North Bay Business Journal recently reported that Purple expects to produce about 22,000 nine-liter cases of spirits annually, in addition to its 800,000 cases of wine, including its proprietary brands as well as private label production.

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