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News Briefs for April 13, 2015

April 13, 2015

•Winemaker Rudy von Strasser is selling his 35-acre property on Napa Valley’s Diamond Mountain and will shift production of von Strasser Winery to a new location, Wine Spectator reports. The sale includes 15 acres of vines, a barrel cave and winemaking facility, plus a private residence. Von Strasser retains ownership of his brands and inventory. The buyer and sales price were not disclosed. Von Strasser will lease the property from the new owners until the end of 2016, and will continue to make wine and receive visitors until then. He leases and buys fruit from five other vineyards on Diamond Mountain. He will make a Cabernet Sauvignon from the estate vineyard for the last time this year, he said, but will continue producing his remaining five single-vineyard Cabernets from the Diamond Mountain AVA after that.

•Heaven Hill Brands is debuting Raven’s Lace PeachBerry Whiskey, geared toward female whiskey drinkers, this June. The 60-proof offering combines peach and strawberry flavors with whiskey and is described as a shift away from flavored whiskies the company says are geared toward male audiences. Heaven Hill is supporting the brand with a digital media program on social channels and digital advertising featuring a “Whiskey Your Way” marketing campaign. Raven’s Lace PeachBerry Whiskey is available in 50-ml. and 750-ml. formats, retailing at $14.99 a 750-ml. Initial launch markets include Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Tennessee.

•San Francisco’s Maritime Wine Trading Collective has added Argentina’s Bodega Benegas Wines to its import portfolio. Under the agreement, Maritime Wine now serves as Benegas’s exclusive importer throughout North America. The Bodegas Benegas lineup, which is produced in Mendoza, includes an Estirpe tier of younger, fruitier wines, a super-premium Estate tier and a single-vineyard tier called Benegas-Lynch. An offshoot of Bacchus Capital Management, Maritime Wine Trading Collective also markets the Graham Beck, Jules Taylor, Mont-Ferrant, Quinta Nova and Bonnet-Ponson Champagne brands, among others.

•On-demand alcohol delivery startup TopShelf has launched in its home market of Austin, Texas. The free app allows users to connect with local liquor stores for deliveries of $20 or more with a $5 delivery fee. Consumers are promised delivery within 40 minutes. The service includes geolocation, social media login/sharing, credit card scanning, Apple Pay, driver tracking, estimated-time-of-arrival notifications and ID verification. TopShelf’s delivery coverage is expected to expand beyond central Austin to San Marcos, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio throughout the year.

•Guarachi Wine Partners has appointed Daniel Lyons as vice president of sales, Western Division. Lyons joins the Woodland Hills, California-based Guarachi with more than 20 years of drinks industry sales experience. He spent much of his career at Southern Wine & Spirits, eventually holding the title of division manager, before moving on to leadership positions at Western Spirits and Independent Distillers.

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