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

News Briefs for March 6, 2019

March 6, 2019

•Ste. Michelle Wine Estates has partnered with Allrecipes.com to algorithmically pair its wines with recipes on the website. Allrecipes’ technology will classify their recipes to determine which of Ste. Michelle’s wines are best suited to accompany them. When consumers view a certain recipe, the site will display a link to the selected wine pairing to allow them to order the bottle from a store or delivery service. The companies will be able to see users’ locations and proximity to stores and will be able to target advertising and content to encourage further purchases. In a recent interview with SND, Ste. Michelle CEO Jim Mortensen said the multi-year partnership is part of the company’s “emphasis on consumer engagement, particularly in the digital space.”

•Concha y Toro-owned Fetzer Vineyards has extended its fast-growing 1000 Stories brand with Prospectors’ Proof Cabernet Sauvignon. Retailing at $19 a 750-ml., the new entry is rolling out nationally and joins a Zinfandel and Gold Rush Red Blend in the 1000 Stories lineup. Sourced from Mendocino County, 1000 Stories is among the leading brands in the Bourbon barrel-aged wine segment. According to Impact Databank, 1000 Stories saw its volume rise by 19% to 107,000 cases in the U.S. market last year.

•With consumer interest in organic products continuing to rise, Minnesota-based Phillips Distilling is launching a new initiative to promote organic farming. Phillips is active in the segment with its Prairie Organic vodka brand, which has grown from 40,000 cases to 180,000 cases over the past five years, according to Impact Databank. Now the company is launching a “Spirit of Change” fund, which will commit 1% of Prairie Organic sales to supporting the next generation of organic farmers. Phillips says its goal is for organic spirits to eventually reach 5% of the total alcohol category, up from 1% at present.

•Vintage Wine Estates (VWE) has acquired canned wine specialist Alloy Wine Works for an undisclosed sum. Alloy’s portfolio retails at $7 a 375-ml. can and includes Everyday Rosé, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Everyday Red (the brand also occasionally releases a Sauvignon Blanc, Sangiovese, and sangria). Santa Rosa, California-based Vintage Wine Estates, whose portfolio includes B.R. Cohn, Clos Pegase, and Layer Cake, among other brands, says there’s ample potential to grow Alloy’s offerings in the canned wine space.

•Healdsburg, California-based Dry Creek Vineyard has named Brad Bartram as national accounts director. Bartram joins from Delicato Family Vineyards, where he was the fine wine strategic account manager for the central division. He will oversee Dry Creek’s off-premise accounts and wholesale business in Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico and will report to John Doxon, director of sales.

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