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News Briefs for October 14, 2015

October 14, 2015

•California Pinot Noir champion Walter Schug died October 10 at his Sonoma home from complications of a recent stroke, Wine Spectator reports. He was 80. As winemaker at Joseph Phelps in the 1970s and early 80s, Schug made a major impact on the industry with the creation of Insignia, California’s first proprietary Bordeaux-style blend. In 1983, he left Phelps to launch his own brand, Schug Carneros Estate, focusing on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The winery has grown from 2,000 cases in its beginnings to 30,000 cases annually. Schug is survived by two daughters and a son.

•Trinchero Family Estates’ Taken Wine Co. has released its third wine brand, Available, nationwide. Sourced from Puglia, Italy, the Available range makes its debut with a 2013 red blend (50% Sangiovese, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot) and 2014 Pinot Grigio, both priced at around $13 a 750-ml. Available joins previous launches Taken and Complicated in Taken Wine Co.’s Millennial-focused brand stable, established by winemakers Carlo Trinchero and Josh Phelps in 2010.

•Cape Classics continues to build its import portfolio of French wines, entering the Languedoc segment with producers Mas Janeil and Domaine de La Réserve d’O. Led by François Lurton, Mas Janiel’s line of four Languedoc-Roussillon reds ranges from $12.99-$24.99 a bottle at retail. Domaine de La Réserve d’O includes Reserve d’O and Hissez O reds positioned at $29.99 and $34.99 respectively. Languedoc shipments to the U.S. rose 16% by value and 5% by volume to more than half a million cases last year.

•The Winebow Group’s Leonardo LoCascio Selections unit has added Italian sparkling wine producers Barone Pizzini and La Valle to its import lineup. The Winebow Group will handle five wines from Barone Pizzini—Animante Franciacorta, Bagnadore Franciacorta Riserva, Naturae Franciacorta, Rosé Franciacorta and Satèn Franciacorta—and will launch La Valle’s Naturalis, Primum and Rosé Franciacorta wines in the U.S. for the first time. The pair join the Leonardo LoCascio Selections roster of more than 60 Italian wineries.

•Pernod Ricard has renewed its distribution pacts with Martignetti Companies in Massachusetts and Rhode Island Distributing—co-owned by Martignetti Companies and the Mancini family—in Rhode Island. Martignetti Companies is the largest spirits and wine distributor in New England, with approximately $1.2 billion in annual sales across the region, according to Impact Newsletter.


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