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

News Briefs for March 31, 2016

March 31, 2016

•MGP Ingredients is launching a new premium vodka brand, Till American Wheat. Distilled from Kansas wheat, Till (80 proof) is debuting first in Kansas and Missouri in both 750-ml. and 1-liter sizes, with the 750-ml. retailing at $25. MGP, which was named Whisky Advocate’s Distillery of the Year for 2015, posted net sales up 4.5% to $328 million for the year. Known primarily for contract production, MGP also introduced its own Metze’s Select Indiana Bourbon last fall, sold and marketed through Anchor Distilling.

•Sonoma, California-based Cline Family Cellars has extended its Cashmere wine range with a new dark red blend. Made with Mourvedre, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Alicante Bouschet and Grenache, Cashmere Black Magic is aged in 35% new French oak casks for up to 12 months. The expression, which retails at around $25 a 750-ml., joins existing Red and White blends in the Cashmere lineup.

•Disaronno International has promoted William Mickel to the newly created role of vice president, national sales manager. Previously regional director of control states, Mickel will bolster Disaronno’s U.S. leadership team, reporting to EVP-general manager Brett Dunne. Disaronno adds that it is preparing for the U.S. launch of a new product under its namesake brand in the bitters category this month.

•Pacific Northwest beer distribution giant Columbia Distributing has announced that CEO Gregg Christiansen will retire on January 2, 2018, and transition to the role of chairman. He will be replaced as CEO by Chris Steffanci, currently president of Columbia’s Washington operations. Based in Portland, Columbia distributes to more than 20,000 retail accounts across Oregon, Washington and California.

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