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News Briefs for March 16, 2018

March 16, 2018

•Riboli Family Wine Estates’ Italian brand Stella Rosa has launched a new trio of fruit-flavored wines. The new entries (all priced between $10-$12 a 750-ml.) include Stella Rosa Red Apple, made with three different varieties of heirloom apples; Stella Rosa Green Apple, produced with a combination of green apple essence taken from an array of apples; and Stella Rosa Tropical Mango, made with ripe mangoes. All three wines feature a base blend of aromatic grape varietals which are then fermented with the respective fruits. The new expressions are currently rolling out nationwide, and join Rosso, Moscato D’Asti, Peach, Pink, and Berry wines in the Stella Rosa portfolio.

•Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits has appointed Greg Rabinovich executive vice president and managing director of the company’s Atlantic Division, Southern Glazer’s dedicated selling unit for Constellation Brands. Rabinovich, a 24-year company veteran, was most recently vice president and general manager of the Atlantic Division for the Florida market. He replaces Steve Taylor in the role, and will report to Brad Vassar, Southern Glazer’s executive vice president and chief operating officer.

•Diageo has acquired German aperitif brand Belsazar for an undisclosed sum. The label, whose key markets include Germany and the U.K., will join Diageo’s high-end Reserve portfolio, alongside brands like Johnnie Walker, Ketel One, Bulleit, and Tanqueray, among others. Launched in 2013 by entrepreneurs Maximillian Wagner and Sebastian Brack, Belsazar is made with Pinot Noir and other grape varietals, herbs, and fruit brandy, and is aged for up to three months. The brand retails at £26 ($36) and features white, red, dry, and rosé offerings. It’s intended to be consumed with tonic as an aperitif or as part of a cocktail. Belsazar was previously part of Diageo-backed Distill Ventures, a “drinks accelerator” program that offers support to new and growing spirits brands.

•Lucas Bols USA is rolling out three new flavored liqueurs—Bols Mango (17% abv), Ginger (24% abv), and Pineapple Chipotle (17% abv)—nationwide. The liqueurs showcase newly redesigned branding unveiled earlier this year, with tasting notes and cocktail suggestions now playing a prominent role on the back label. Retail priced at around $13 a 750-ml., all three are available both on- and off-premise, including at prominent accounts like Total Wine & More, Meijer, Disney World, and Omni Hotels. Impact Databank estimates that the Bols range was down 1.3% to 380,000 cases in the U.S. last year.

•Constellation Brands has launched Corona Premier, a new low-calorie brew, nationwide. Premier is a 4%-abv light lager that has 90 calories per 12 ounce serving, positioning it as lower calorie option than both Corona Extra (4.6% abv and 149 calories per serving) and Corona Light (4.1% abv and 99 calories per serving). Constellation is marketing Corona Premier toward men over 35 with activations at the U.S. Open of Golf and the British Open as well as other golf events. Additionally the brand will be supported with broadcast, digital, and social media activations.

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