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

News Briefs for March 11, 2019

March 11, 2019

•A series of powerful storms inundated Sonoma County earlier this month, dumping 7 inches of rain in Sebastopol and as much as 20 inches in Venado, an unincorporated community in the hills between Guerneville and Healdsburg, all in the span of just 48 hours. The ensuing floodwaters wreaked havoc in the area. The Barlow, a shopping district located at the eastern edge of Sebastopol and home to several wineries and tasting rooms, was one of the waterlogged areas. Now, owners and vintners are starting to assess the damage and pick up the pieces. Wine Spectator has a full report.

•Fetzer Vineyards, a subsidiary of Concha y Toro, has appointed Stephanie Peachey as vice president, fine wine division. Peachey joins Fetzer from Kosta Browne winery, where she was vice president for brand strategy and direct-to-consumer marketing. Before that she was vice president of direct-to-consumer at Vintage Wine Estates. In her new role, Peachey will report to Fetzer CEO Giancarlo Bianchetti, developing strategic direction in the U.S. market for labels including Sanctuary, The Elysian Collection by Bonterra Organic Vineyards, Fringe Collective, Don Melchor, Cono Sur, Marques de Casa Concha, Terrunyo, and the Trivento Golden Reserve collection.

•Chareau Aloe Liqueur, produced in Camarillo, California, has entered a nationwide sales and marketing partnership with the Espiritus Group. Chareau is distilled from cucumber, spearmint, muskmelon, and aloe vera juice and is bottled at 25% abv. It currently retails for $45 a 750-ml. in 30 states. This partnership will facilitate expansion within those markets and into five new states this year, and plans call for national distribution by 2020. Espiritus also handles Corner Creek Reserve Bourbon, SelvaRey Rum, Berentzen, and The Lost Distillery Scottish Whisky Co.

•A new product called Pabst Blue Ribbon Whiskey has been cleared by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau. The label approval was granted to Michigan-based New Holland Brewing Co., which in addition to making beer, also distills a line of spirits. Los Angeles-based Pabst isn’t releasing details yet, but according to the label the product contains 52% corn, 27% malted barley, 17% wheat, and 4% rye, distilled to 40% abv. New Holland, which brews and distills in both New Holland and Grand Rapids, Michigan, has had a national distribution deal through Pabst since 2016.

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