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

News Briefs for March 26, 2015

March 26, 2015

Beringer Vineyards has named Mark Beringer as chief winemaker. A direct descendant of winery co-founder Jacob Beringer, Beringer joins the Treasury Wine Estates-owned Napa winery from Artesa Vineyards. He was also previously a winemaker at Duckhorn Vineyards. Beringer replaces Laurie Hook, who will shift to the role of winemaker emeritus.

•California’s Epic Wines & Spirits has inked a new distribution deal with Redmond, Washington-based sales and marketing agency DrinkSpace. Effective immediately, Epic will begin handling DrinkSpace’s full portfolio—which includes the Brovo Spirits, Lachini Vineyards, Watermill Winery and the Blue Mountain Cider Company brands, among others—within the California market. Established earlier this year by industry veteran Thomas Vogele and marketing exec Steve Reed, DrinkSpace specializes in boutique and artisanal alcoholic beverage brands. In addition to DrinkSpace, Epic Wines & Spirits—which was founded in 1995 and acquired by Bill Foley of Foley Family Wines in 2013—has unveiled partnerships with Wilson Artisan Wineries, Burgundy’s Domaines Albert Bichot and London spirits group Mayfair Brands Ltd. in recent months.

•Beam Suntory’s Pinnacle vodka has extended its flavor range with the launch of Pinnacle Cucumber. Featuring notes of cucumber and vanilla, the new 70-proof offering is priced at $12.99 and brings Pinnacle’s lineup to a total of 48 flavored vodkas. Pinnacle was down 2.1% to 2.7 million cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank.

•Daily’s Cocktails is launching a new line of fruit-flavor carbonated drinks this spring under the name Spiked Sodas. The 5%-abv offerings will be available in 12-ounce slim cans in four flavors: Cherry Cola, Raspberry Ginger Ale, Lemon Lime and Blood Orange. Spiked Sodas are geared toward women as a slightly sweet, low-alcohol beverage with no malt aftertaste, the company says. They are currently available in select markets throughout the Southeast, with additional distribution expected in Texas, California and Michigan this spring. The suggested retail price is $1.99 a 12-ounce can. Daily’s Spiked Sodas join the brand’s line of frozen pouch cocktails. Recently, Daily’s cocktail maker American Beverage Corporation was sold to Greenwich, Connecticut private equity Brynwood Partners for about $55 million.

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