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

News Briefs for June 18, 2019

June 18, 2019

•Diageo has received approval to create a new visitor experience at its Clynelish distillery in Scotland. The plan includes a comprehensive upgrade of the distillery’s visitor experience with a new upper floor to tell the Clynelish story, as well as a new bar and tasting area offering views of the Sutherland coast. Work is expected to begin in the coming weeks. The Clynelish initiative is part of a previously announced £185 million ($232m) investment in Diageo’s Scotch whisky tourism facilities. The outlay is also covering a new global visitor attraction for Johnnie Walker in Edinburgh, investments in 12 distillery brand homes, and the £35 million ($44m) revival of the Brora and Port Ellen distilleries.

•Amazon has applied for a liquor license to open a small retail shop in San Francisco, aiming to deliver beer, wine, and spirits in the area through its Prime Now service. With the filing, reported by the San Francisco Business Times, Amazon is seeking to operate a 200-square-foot shop from 8am to 4pm daily, while making deliveries from 8am to midnight. Amazon is already making alcohol deliveries through its Whole Foods subsidiary in a number of key U.S. markets.

•Louis Barruol, owner and winemaker of Gigondas-based Château de Saint Cosme, has acquired Château de Rouanne in Vinsobres. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Located in the northern part of the Southern Rhône, Rouanne spans 177 acres, 153 of which are planted to vine. In the U.S., Château de Rouanne will be imported by Craft + Estate, a division of Winebow Imports, which already represents Château de Saint Cosme, and distributed nationally by Winebow.

•San Francisco, California-based Hotaling & Co. is introducing Denizen Vatted Dark Rum, a blend of dark rum from Guyana and unaged Rhum Agricole from Martinique. The third release from the Denizen brand, Vatted Dark is at 50% abv and will retail for $30 a 750-ml. It joins Denizen Aged White Rum (40% abv, $20 a 750-ml.) and Denizen Merchant’s Reserve (43% abv, $35 a 750-ml.) in the portfolio.

•Argentine winery Achaval-Ferrer has acquired Agrelo, Mendoza’s Melipal Winery for an undisclosed sum. The deal includes Melipal’s production facility and 74 hectares (183 acres) of vineyards, including the “Las Nazarenas” vineyard, planted with Malbec in 1923, plus Melipal’s brands, including its namesake release and Ikella. Achaval-Ferrer is part SPI Group’s Tenute Del Mondo wine division, which also includes Spain’s Arinzano.

•Lodi, California’s Ironstone Vineyards has debuted canned packaging for its Obsession lineup. The colorful 375-ml. cans are retail priced at $7 each and are available for the Obsession Symphony and Red Blend wines, as well as for the new Obsession Rosé, which is a blend of Pinot Grigio and Zinfandel. Napa-based importer and marketer Quintessential Wines handles Ironstone in the U.S.

•SelvaRey rum, co-founded by Bruno Mars, has partnered with Illy on a spiked coffee collaboration. The initiative—targeting bars, restaurants, special events, and music venues nationwide—will see the two companies serve SelvaRey mixed with Illy’s ready-to-drink coffees at standalone carts at a variety of venues this summer. Imported from Panama, SelvaRey ($30) includes a 35% abv cacao-infused rum, as well as a 40% abv white rum that’s aged in Bourbon casks and carbon-filtered to remove the color.

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