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

News Briefs for May 24, 2019

May 24, 2019

•Marchesi Antinori has renewed its distribution agreement with Ste. Michelle Wine Estates in the U.S. for five years. The two companies initially partnered to establish Col Solare on Washington state’s Red Mountain in 1995, and Ste. Michelle became the exclusive importer of the Antinori portfolio in 2006. The new distribution agreement takes effect in January. The Antinori portfolio includes its namesake Tuscany-based range, as well as Prunotto (Piemonte), La Braccesca (Montepulciano), Tormaresca (Salento), Haras de Pirque (Chile), and Antica (Napa Valley), among others.

•Western Spirits has launched a 12-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon whiskey under its Sam Houston brand. Sam Houston’s 12-year Bourbon is bottled at 49% abv and retails at $100 a 750-ml. This is the second batch for the product, whose first batch debuted last year in Texas and Tennessee. With this second run, Sam Houston will expand into more markets, including Kentucky, Illinois, New York, Colorado, Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia.

•Brooklyn, New York-based Q Mixers has added a new elderflower-flavored tonic water. The highly carbonated mixer is made with elderflower flavoring and, according to the company, is designed to be a less sweet tonic expression. Q Mixers Elderflower Tonic is now available in the on-premise in 6.7-ounce, 500-ml., and 750-ml. bottles, and 7.5-ounce cans, and will be sold off-premise via Amazon.

•Johnson Brothers of Indiana president Jim Howard will retire July 1 after a 34-year career in the wine and spirits business. With Howard’s retirement, Vanessa Rigler has been promoted to general manager of Johnson Brothers’ Indiana operation. A 17-year industry veteran, Rigler has held key leadership roles both on- and off-premise throughout the Midwest and East Coast. She currently serves as retail director for Johnson Brothers of Indiana. Johnson Brothers is the fifth-largest wine and spirits wholesaler in the U.S. with projected revenues of $2.5 billion for 2019, according to Shanken’s Impact Newsletter.

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