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

News Briefs for April 11, 2018

April 11, 2018

•Moët Hennessy’s online retail platform Clos19 is making its debut in the Florida market. Launched in the U.S. late last year, Clos19 offers a selection of LVMH Champagnes, wines, and spirits, with all sales made by licensed retailers and facilitated by delivery service Thirstie. The site also offers editorial content and travel packages, including luxury excursions to Antarctica, New Zealand, and France, among other destinations. Florida brings Clos19’s U.S. footprint to three markets, joining New York and California. The platform will expand to additional states later this year.

•Amazon is extending its Whole Foods Market delivery service to the greater Los Angeles and Orange County markets. Available through Amazon’s Prime Now platform, the program allows Amazon Prime members to purchase items from Whole Foods Market—including beer, wine, and spirits—and receive free two-hour delivery, or one-hour delivery for $7.99, on orders of $35 or more. The Whole Foods delivery service, which launched in February, is available in seven cities, with expansion into new U.S. markets slated to continue this year. Amazon acquired Whole Foods last year in a $13.7 billion deal.

•Glen Ellen, California-based Benziger Family Winery has launched the Benziger Organic Reserve Wine range, a new tier of organically farmed wines. The collection debuts with the 2016 Reserve Pinot Noir ($45 a 750-ml.), which is made with certified organic grapes sourced from the Russian River Valley. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon offerings are slated for release next year. The new wine is available nationwide at restaurants and fine wine shops. Owned by The Wine Group, Benziger Family Winery is among California’s leading practitioners of organic and biodynamic grape-growing.

•New York-based HB Wine Merchants has added Piedmont winery Voerzio Martini to its import stable. HB Wine Merchants will take on the Italian brand’s full lineup, which includes an Arneis ($21 a 750-ml.), Barbera ($29), Barolo ($85), Dolcetto ($21), Freisa ($23), Nebbiolo ($30), and Moscato ($21). Based in La Morra, a sub-zone of the Barolo DOCG, the Voerzio Martini estate spans 30 acres and produces roughly 60,000 bottles annually.

•Crimson Wine Group has named Nicolas Quillé as chief winemaking and operations officer. Quillé was most recently general manager and head winemaker of Banfi Vintners’ boutique portfolio of wineries in the Pacific Northwest. Craig Williams, who has served as Crimson’s chief winegrowing and operations officer since 2015, will become consulting winegrower and remain on the board of directors.

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