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

News Briefs for March 20, 2018

March 20, 2018

•Between October 2013 and June 2016, Raphaël Michel, a bulk-wine merchant in France’s Rhône Valley, allegedly sold the equivalent of 13 Olympic-size swimming pools of cheap French table wine while claiming it was some of the best wine of the Southern Rhône Valley. Those details and more emerged with the release of the annual report of the DGCCRF (Directorate General for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control), France’s powerful anti-fraud agency. While the report does not name Raphaël Michel, the details match precisely with the investigation first reported last July by Wine Spectator. Independent sources confirm that Raphaël Michel is the unnamed company in the report. Wine Spectator has the full story.

•Bread & Butter Wines is adding a new Cabernet Sauvignon to its portfolio. Retailing at $15 a 750-ml., the new entry is California-appellated and will be in limited release this spring with expanded distribution slated for the fall. Bread & Butter, which also features a Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, is part of the WX Brands portfolio, whose other labels include the Jamieson Ranch Vineyards range (Double Lariat, Reata, Whiplash, and Light Horse), Chronic Cellars, Jelly Jar, Our Daily Wines, Orleans Hill, and Echelon.

•Baron Philippe de Rothschild S.A. has named Véronique Hombroekx as managing director of its branded wine division. Hombroekx, who joined the group’s management board in January, succeeds Hughes Lechanoine, who departed Baron Philippe de Rothschild early last year. In her new role, she will focus primarily on developing Bordeaux brand Mouton Cadet, as well as premium Chilean label Escudo Rojo. Prior to joining Baron Philippe de Rothschild, Hombroekx spent two years at Mexico’s Sigma Alimentos, serving as CEO of Imperial Meat Products Company.

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