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News Briefs for December 15, 2017

December 15, 2017

•China’s largest wine company, Changyu Pioneer Wine Co., has signed a deal to purchase an 80% stake in Australia’s Kilikanoon. Financial details of the sale, expected to close in January, have not been revealed, but Kilikanoon’s chief winemaker Kevin Mitchell and managing director Warrick Duthy will retain their shares and stay on for the foreseeable future. Wine Spectator has the full story.

•Beverage alcohol delivery provider Drizly has launched in Michigan. In partnership with local retailer Big 10 Party Stores, Drizly now offers central Michigan consumers on-demand alcohol delivery for $5, as well as free in-store pick-up at Big 10’s Lansing, East Lansing, Okemos and Holt locations. The move marks the company’s first foray into the state, which joins more than 70 other cities across the U.S. and Canada in the Drizly marketplace.

•Precept Wines’ House Wine has launched Rosé Bubbles in canned format. The wine is an 11.6% abv proprietary blend of U.S. grown Rhone-style varietals. House Wine Rosé Bubbles are now available nationwide in 375-ml. cans for a suggested price of $5.99. The company is set to launch two new varietal wines, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc, in cans in early 2018. House Wine sells about 200,000 cases in the U.S. annually.

•Rick Bonitati has been named CEO of St. Francis Winery & Vineyards and senior vice president of the western operations of French American Vintners, effective January 2. Bonitati was most recently COO at Paul Hobbs Wines, and has been in the industry for three decades. As senior vice president of French American Vintners—owned by Kobrand proprietors the Kopf family—Bonitati will also oversee Sequoia Grove Winery in Napa, Résonance Vineyards in the Willamette Valley of Oregon and Domaine Carneros (in joint partnership with the Taittinger Family). Former St. Francis president and CEO Christopher Silva died of complications related to brain cancer earlier this year.

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