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

News Briefs for January 3, 2019

January 3, 2019

•Wilson Daniels is entering the rising Sicilian wine category, agreeing to import the wines of Feudo Montoni. The third-generation family-owned estate, led by the Sireci family, is certified organic and produces indigenous varietals Perricone, Nerello Mascalese, Catarratto, Grillo, Inzolia, and Nero d’Avola. Wilson Daniels’ Italian portfolio also includes Biondi-Santi, Dal Forno Romano, Castello di Volpaia, Val di Suga, and Elvio Cogno, among others.

•Winesellers, Ltd. announced that The Winebow Group has become its exclusive distributor in Washington and Oregon, an expansion of a partnership that now covers 15 states. Winebow operates under the Noble Wines name in Washington. The Winesellers import and marketing portfolio includes Zuccardi Valle de Uco, Quinta de la Rosa, and others. In the last few years, Winesellers Ltd. has found success in the $10-$15 tier, with labels like Zuccardi, Le Charmel, and Tiamo leading the charge.

•Sazerac Co. has purchased 19 brands from Star Industries and Black Prince Distillery. The brands include Georgi, Majorska, Llord’s, Donegal, Dorado, and Wild Flame, among others. Though Sazerac is taking control of the brands now, Black Prince Distillery will continue to produce the spirits during a transition period of up to six months. Financial details of the deal have not been revealed. This is the second large acquisition by Sazerac in the past few months. In November, the company purchased 19 brands from Diageo in a transaction worth $550 million.

•Vintage Wine Estates has named Jeff Nicholson as its new COO. Nicholson joins from investment firm AGR Partners, where he was an operating partner. Last April, AGR gained a minority stake in Vintage. Nicholson has a long track record in the logistics and operations world, having previously founded Link Logistics and Animal Supply Logistics. Vintage Estates’ roughly 2-million-case portfolio includes Layer Cake, Clos Pegase, and Viansa Sonoma, among others.

•Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits has appointed John Acott as vice president – general market for Illinois. Acott will lead the distributor’s sales team for the Chicagoland Wine and Spirits general market and will report to SGWS’s vice president of sales for Illinois, Mike Housey. Before this appointment, Acott served as vice president and general manager for SGWS-Minnesota for five years and prior to that was vice president of retail wine at SGWS-Illinois for more than a decade.

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