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

News Briefs for March 2, 2017

March 2, 2017

•E.&J. Gallo has added Italy’s Jermann to its upscale LUX Wines unit. Based in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, Jermann farms approximately 400 acres which surround its two wineries in Villanova and Ruttars. Its wines include Vintage Tunina—a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Ribolla Gialla, Malvasia and Picolit—and other labels such as Vinnae, Dreams, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Red Angel.

•Campari America is extending the Skyy Vodka brand’s Infusions range with the launch of California Apricot. The apricot-infused vodka taps into the stone fruit trend in food and beverages, according to the company. California Apricot (35% abv) joins a flavored vodka range that includes Citrus, Blood Orange, Pineapple, Bartlett Pear, Honeycrisp Apple, Tropical Mango, Coastal Cranberry, Texas Grapefruit, Pacific Blueberry, Georgia Peach, Vanilla Bean, Wild Strawberry, Cherry and Raspberry. It’s available in 50-ml. ($2), 750-ml. ($14), 1-liter ($17) and 1.75-liter ($22) formats. Skyy’s U.S. volume declined 1.2% last year to 2.8 million cases, according to Impact Databank.

•Florida-based sales and marketing group Espiritus LLC is investing in its Purus Vodka brand, entering Colorado this month and New York in April. The organic Italian vodka’s existing markets include Alabama, California, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina and Texas. The brand will receive a packaging update in April, and is also planning a new social media campaign.

•A new bar-café called Slightly Toasted has opened in Chicago’s west Loop neighborhood. Owned by the father and son team of Art and Tyler Mendoza from Barrel Aged Hospitality, Slightly Toasted features a 175-bottle collection of whiskies, ranging from American single malts to Japanese and Scotch, as well as 50 beers. Fourteen of those are on tap, including the rare barrel-aged Anchor Brewing Old Foghorn ($10 a 16-ounce pour). The Macallan 18-year-old is priced at $64.50 a 1.5-ounce pour while the Pierde Almas corn whiskey from Mexico is $22.50 a pour. John Chesney, formerly at Green Door Tavern, oversees the beverage list.

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