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

News Briefs for February 21, 2019

February 21, 2019

•Total Wine & More’s challenge to Connecticut’s minimum pricing laws took a hit yesterday when a three-judge panel affirmed an earlier dismissal of Total’s lawsuit by a lower court. Writing for the panel, U.S. Circuit Judge Paul Engelmayer said the Connecticut law—which prohibits retailers from selling liquor below cost and bans volume discounts from wholesalers—is not preempted by federal anti-trust laws. Total can still appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court or pursue changes through the Connecticut legislature.

•Indian spirits producer Radico Khaitan has launched Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin ($60 a 750-ml.) in the U.S. Named for the city of Jaisalmer, the 43% abv gin sources botanicals from across India, including Darjeeling green tea. Radico Khaitan produces a variety of spirits, including Royal Whytehall Whisky, Contessa Rum, and Morpheus Brandy.

•California’s Free Flow Wines has moved its headquarters from Napa to Sonoma. Comprising 58,000 square feet, Free Flow’s new facility features a state-of-the-art kegging line, an expanded canning program, and temperature-controlled bulk wine storage. Later this year, the company is set to add a high-speed canning line and extra office space as well. Overall, the new headquarters will allow for production of up to 1.1 million kegs and 5 million cases of cans per year, with storage for up to 375,000 gallons of bulk wine. Free Flow offers more than 250 brands in keg format from wineries throughout North and South America, Europe, New Zealand, and Australia.

•Chopin Imports Ltd. has added Terralta Tequila to its portfolio. Effective May 1, Terralta’s 80-proof Blanco and 110-proof Blanco, Reposado, Añejo, and Extra Añejo expressions (retailing from $49-$229 a 750-ml.) will be available across the U.S. Terralta is a family-owned label that’s currently made by fourth-generation Tequila producer Felipe Camarena in Jalisco, Mexico. Chopin’s portfolio also includes its eponymous vodka, Dorda liqueurs, Gordon & MacPhail Scotch whisky, Red Door gin, and Koch El Mezcal.

•Seville, Spain’s Puerto de Indias distillery is releasing its namesake strawberry gin in the U.S. this month. Available in New York, Florida, and Illinois for a suggested $27 a 750-ml., the light pink gin is distilled at the Los Alcores de Carmona Distillery outside Seville, founded in 1880. Puerto de Indias has appointed state managers to oversee the launch of the 37.5% abv expression in America.

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