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

News Briefs for September 7, 2018

September 7, 2018

•Constellation is rolling out a new Washington wine brand, Spoken Barrel. Sourced from the Columbia Valley, Spoken Barrel initially will include a Cabernet Sauvignon and Meritage Red Blend, both retailing at $20 a 750-ml. The brand is aimed at both wine consumers and craft beer drinkers, according to the company, with its bottle design highlighting its Washington provenance. Spoken Barrel is launching nationally.

•Kent Rosenblum, an iconic winemaker and passionate advocate of California Zinfandel, died unexpectedly September 5. Rosenblum, an avid skier, underwent elective knee surgery in August, but complications followed. He returned home from a follow-up surgery last week and passed away in his sleep in the early hours of the morning. He was 74. Rosenblum was a veterinarian living in San Francisco’s East Bay when he started making wine in his basement in 1972. By 1978, Rosenblum Cellars was ready to go commercial, but the first few years were a struggle. As it happened, the Rosenblum Zinfandel Hendry Vineyard 1984 was a success, and in the following years the wines earned outstanding scores from Wine Spectator. In 2008, Rosenblum and his wife Kathy sold their winery to Diageo for $105 million. Wine Spectator has the full story.

•Palm Bay International’s Cavit has introduced a new virtual reality experience that seeks to transport consumers to its winery and vineyards in the foothills of the Dolomite Alps in Northern Italy. The three-minute virtual reality experience is intended to help consumers understand Cavit’s vine-to-bottle process, including its vineyard-mapping technology—which helps determine the optimal time for harvesting grapes—and sustainability efforts. Cavit’s virtual reality experience can be viewed on desktop or mobile at vr.cavit.com.

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