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

News Briefs for May 4, 2015

May 4, 2015

•Patrón Tequila has employed drone technology to create a new virtual reality experience centered on its Hacienda Patrón distillery in Jalisco, Mexico. The “Art of Patrón Virtual Reality Experience,” which will be offered globally at select on- and off-premise retailers as well as at Patrón events, immerses viewers in the Tequila’s production process. Filmed by a custom-built drone fitted with seven cameras, the virtual reality tour through Patrón’s distillery is seen from the perspective of a bee, and includes a visual and audio journey beginning in the agave fields and proceeding through the brand’s distillation, aging and bottling facilities, “showcasing the sights and sounds of Patrón’s actual production.”

•Kansas City retail chain Berbiglia Wine & Spirits is shutting down six of its stores and downsizing to a single location. According to local news reports, Berbiglia’s stores across the Brookside, Midtown/Country Club Plaza, Waldo and Westport areas have closed, with the retailer planning to consolidate operations into a single “super store” at 1114 W. 103rd St. In a recent statement, Berbiglia co-owners Jack and Ralph Bondon confirmed that merchandise from its closed stores would be moved to the 103rd. St. location, and that the single site would allow the pair to better focus their “personal service, knowledge and customer care.” Berbiglia opened its first liquor store in 1934 and once operated as many as 20 stores. But it had shrunk to around 10 locations by 2008, as competition from national chains like Costco and Trader Joe’s, as well as smaller specialty drinks retailers, has intensified.

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