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News Briefs for June 29, 2016

June 29, 2016

•Italy’s Frescobaldi Toscana is launching its first rosé wine, which is debuting in the U.S. through Napa-based importer Folio Fine Wine Partners. Frescobaldi’s Tenuta dell’ Ammiraglia Alìe Rosé is made from 98% Syrah and 2% Vermentino. Some 300 cases from a total production of 1,750 cases are headed to the U.S. Alìe Rosé will be available nationally, retailing at about $18. The family-owned Frescobaldi Toscana is comprised of nine estates covering a total of 1,100 hectares (2,700 acres).

•Michter’s has announced plans to double capacity at its Louisville-based distillery this summer. Currently operating at its annual maximum of 500,000 proof gallons, the facility will temporarily shut down for a month for upgrades and maintenance before resuming production in August with a capacity of 1 million gallons. The move follows Michter’s decision to cancel the 2016 release of its US*1 Toasted Barrel Bourbon, due to an inability to keep up with demand. According to Michter’s distillery president Joseph Magliocco, liquid that would have been designated for Toasted Barrel will instead be used to produce the company’s core US*1 Bourbon, which is currently on allocation.

•Riboli Family Wine Estates has opened a new energy-efficient production facility in Paso Robles, California. The new winery will process the fruit from the company’s estate vineyards in Paso Robles and Monterey, with an estimated 50,000-case capacity for the upcoming harvest. The site will produce all of Riboli Family’s brands, such as San Antonio Winery, Maddalena, Opaque and San Simeon—including new flagship Paso Robles red Bordeaux blend San Simeon Stormwatch ($70)—among others. In addition to its California portfolio, Riboli imports Italy’s Stella Rosa, an Impact “Hot Brand” that grew 21% to 1 million cases last year.

•Phoenix, Arizona-based Prestige Brands Inc., created by former Alliance Beverage executives with the aim of creating a mid-sized, multi-state wine and spirits wholesale network, has acquired 75% of Arizona distributor TBK Beverage. TBK will now operate as Rebel Vinum & Rogue Spirits (RV&RS), and be led by Prestige partners Bob Smith, Fran Vivenzio and Kevin Smith, as well as TBK managing partner Tracy Uffelman. With a focus on smaller brands, RV&RS will handle California wines like Buttonwood, Diamond Ridge and Foxen; Washington’s Abela; and craft spirits and beer. Prestige is also eyeing potential acquisitions in California and Washington. Bob Smith served as president and CEO of Alliance Beverage for more than two decades.

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