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

News Briefs for December 2, 2016

December 2, 2016

•Beverage alcohol delivery provider Drizly has entered Connecticut and Ohio. The service is now available in Connecticut’s New Haven, Hartford, Farmington and Fairfield County areas through partnerships with retailers Beverage Boss, Capital Spirits, Wine Cellars 4, BevMax and LQR MKT. In Ohio, Drizly has linked with Arena Wine and Spirits, Middletown Fine Wine & Spirits, Corkscrew Johnny’s and Chagrin Wine & Beverage to enter Columbus, Middletown, Akron and the Cleveland suburbs. Drizly’s backers include the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA), which purchased a minority stake in the company last year.

•The court battle between Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Treasury Wine Estates over TWE’s The Stag brand continues. In mid-November, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed Ste. Michelle’s trademark infringement suit against TWE, which claimed Treasury aimed to mislead consumers into thinking The Stag is associated with Napa Valley’s Stags Leap District. Ste. Michelle subsequently filed an amended complaint, which TWE fired back against yesterday with a new motion to dismiss. In its new motion, TWE questions how consumers could possibly confuse The Stag’s provenance when it’s an Australian brand produced by St. Huberts winery, which has been associated with imagery of a stag for well over a century, and when, according to TWE, there’s “absolutely no link made to Stags’ Leap Winery or The Stags Leap District.” A hearing is scheduled for December 22.

•Mike Jaeger is leaving C. Mondavi & Family just one year after taking the helm as the St. Helena, California-based wine company’s president and CEO. Jaeger, who was tapped to lead C. Mondavi in November 2015 after four years as the company’s chief operating officer, has been replaced on an interim basis by longtime drinks industry executive John Lennon. Lennon joins C. Mondavi after previously holding top posts at such companies as A-B InBev, Pabst, Pyramid Breweries and Interbev. Owned by the children and grandchildren of Peter Mondavi Sr., C. Mondavi is the 20th-largest wine U.S. wine marketer, with annual sales of nearly 2 million cases, according to Impact Databank. Its portfolio is led by C.K. Mondavi, Charles Krug, Divining Rod and Purple Heart.

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