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

News Briefs for February 15, 2017

February 15, 2017

•U.S. wine exports set a new record in 2016, totaling $1.62 billion in winery revenues on 1% growth, according to the Wine Institute. Export volume came in at just under 46 million cases. The European Union ($685m), Canada ($431m), Hong Kong ($99m), Japan ($87m) and China ($82m) were the top five export markets for American wines last year. 90% of U.S. wine exports are from California, whose overseas shipments have expanded 78% by value over the past decade.

•Angel’s Envy—which opened its new, $27 million distillery and visitor center in Louisville, Kentucky in November—has become the tenth member of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Louisville’s mayor, Greg Fischer, and members of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association made the announcement earlier this week, ushering Angel’s Envy into a group that also includes Maker’s Mark, Woodford Reserve, Wild Turkey, Heaven Hill, the Evan Williams Experience, Four Roses, Bulleit, Jim Beam and Town Branch. Angel’s Envy, founded in 2006 by Wes Henderson, was acquired by Bacardi Ltd. in 2015. Whisky Advocate has more.

•Chopin Imports has partnered with Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits on a new five-year distribution deal covering 44 markets across the U.S. Chopin has already been aligned with Southern Glazer’s in all of the affected markets except Michigan (previously with RNDC) and the Dakotas (previously with Johnson Brothers). Southern Glazer’s vice president of supplier management Greg Beyer oversees distribution of the Chopin portfolio, which includes Chopin Vodka, Clase Azul Tequila, Adirondack Bourbon and Whiskey and La Pinta and Dorda Liqueurs. Chopin Vodka, the largest among them, sells about 100,000 cases in the U.S. annually.

•Texas retailer Twin Liquors is opening its 80th location in The Woodlands, Texas, marking its third store in the Houston area. Twin Liquors president David Jabour and executive vice president Margaret Jabour will be on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony in The Woodlands this Friday, February 17. The Jabour family has owned Austin-based Twin Liquors since the 1930s.

•Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits has appointed former Diageo executive Dan Kleinman to the newly created role of vice president of marketing for its fast-rising Josh Cellars brand. Kleinman will be responsible for all aspects of the brand’s marketing, overseeing a marketing team of six. Josh Cellars, one of the fastest-growing brands across the U.S. wine market, grew by 53% to 1.5 million cases last year, according to Impact Databank. Deutsch, which has lately been aiming to increase the brand’s on-premise profile, recently told SND that Josh has the potential to eventually reach 3 million cases.

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