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

News Briefs for May 5, 2015

May 5, 2015

•California’s Cameron Hughes Wine has entered receivership on the order of the Superior Court of San Francisco, owing to $15.3 million in outstanding debts to Union Bank. A statement from Cameron Hughes Wine (CHW), whose three-tier channel sales and marketing is handled by V2 Wine Group, said CHW is not insolvent, and is committed to its business and working with the bank to restructure its debt. In court proceedings in March, CHW blamed tightening borrowing restrictions by the bank as contributing to its debt issues. Among other disagreements, CHW asserted in court documents that Union Bank hindered it from replenishing inventory for its profitable Costco and direct-to-consumer channels, and disregarded an offer from New Star Financial to take over debt owed to Union Bank. Cameron Hughes told SND last year that it expected to sell around half a million cases for calendar 2014.

•Long Island’s Wölffer Estate Vineyard has extended its Summer in a Bottle range with the launch of Summer in a Bottle White. The new white blend ($24 a 750-ml.) is 41% Chardonnay, 29% Gewürztraminer, 20% Riesling and 10% Pinot Gris, and is packaged in a screw-cap bottle. 2,300 cases were produced for the inaugural vintage. Summer in a Bottle White’s launch follows Summer in a Bottle Rosé ($24), which made its debut last year. The Wölffer Estate portfolio ($16-$37) also includes Perle Chardonnay, White Mischief Chardonnay, Classic White, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Trebbiano, Cool as Well Brut Sparkling Blanc de Blancs and Diosa Late Harvest ice wine.

•New York-based alcohol delivery service Minibar has entered the Minneapolis market. Starting this week, Minibar—which provides on-demand wine, spirits and beer deliveries within a 30- to 60-minute time frame—is offering a month of free deliveries throughout downtown Minneapolis. After the first month, a $5 fee will be applied to each delivery. Additional expansion into the Twin Cities area is slated to follow. Minneapolis marks Minibar’s ninth market, joining New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, Miami, Dallas and Houston.

•Crimson Wine Group has appointed Nathan Stern vice president, direct-to-consumer sales. Stern will report directly to Crimson president and CEO Patrick DeLong. Most recently, Stern served as the head of customer relationship management at BevMo, where he was charged with developing and implementing CRM systems, loyalty programs and direct marketing platforms, among other duties. Stern has also previously held key commercial, marketing and wine supply roles with companies such as Treasury Wine Estates, Foster’s, Coles Liquor and Altria Group.

•Pura Vida Tequila is launching a crowd-funding campaign to capitalize its newly acquired Jalisco distillery and raise funds for expansion. The fundraising push, which runs on Indiegogo until June 10, seeks to raise $250,000. Contributions will support expanding operations at the 54,000-square-foot distillery and extending distribution beyond Pura Vida’s existing markets of Texas and California (the brand is launching in New York this month). Founded in 2011, Pura Vida’s portfolio includes Silver, Reposado, Añejo and Extra Añejo Tequilas, as well as orange and coffee liqueurs.

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