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

News Briefs for February 26, 2019

February 26, 2019

•The Dublin Liberties Distillery has opened its €10 million ($11.4m) facility in its namesake neighborhood in the Irish capital. The distillery is a partnership between master distiller Darryl McNally, Quintessential Brands, and Stock Spirits. Guests will be able to tour the newly restored, 400-year-old site and see firsthand how the company distills its pair of Irish whiskies—the Dubliner and the Dublin Liberties. The two brands sold roughly 37,000 9-liter cases globally last year, and the company plans to push above 50,000 cases for this year. Prestige Beverage Group handles Dublin Liberties’ brands in the U.S.

•A new study showing trace amounts of an ingredient in weed-killer Roundup in major beer and wine brands is making waves in the industry. The study by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group found glyphosate in samples of 19 beer and wine brands. The levels of the chemical found in the samples were well below the acceptable threshold set by the Environmental Protection Agency. While acknowledging that such low levels of glyphosate aren’t necessarily dangerous, the study group notes that the chemical is suspected of causing cancer and is urging a ban on its use.

•Wine Spectator has learned that Tuscan winemaker Bibi Graetz has purchased the historic Hotel Villa Aurora in Fiesole, Italy, a hilltop town just 30 minutes drive from Florence. The property will be the Graetz family’s new private home, as well as a winemaking facility and tasting room, and a renovated hotel that will open next year. The sale price was not disclosed. Graetz owns or leases nearly 200 acres of vineyards and makes about 41,500 cases of wine every year under the Bibi Graetz label. Wine Spectator has more.

•Argentina’s Familia Zuccardi has debuted canned packaging for its Bodegas Santa Julia line. Three wines from the brand are now available in cans: Organic Rosé, Organic Chardonnay, and Tintillo Red Blend (all retail priced at $6 a 375-ml.). Illinois-based importer and marketer Winesellers Ltd. handles the Bodegas Santa Julia portfolio in the U.S. In recent years, Winesellers has had success in the $10-$15 tier, with labels like Zuccardi spurring growth.

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