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

News Briefs for August 14, 2019

August 14, 2019

•Last November, the Alcohol and Tobacco Trade and Tax Bureau (TTB) released Notice No. 176, a 132-page set of proposed regulations. Like many government documents, it’s as good a sleep aid as a handful of Ambien. One small section, however, buried deep within the proposal, has woken up the Bourbon community, particularly small distilleries that stand to be affected by it. Whisky Advocate has the full story.

•Glen Rock, New Jersey-based Opici Wines has aligned with Epic Wine & Spirits for distribution in California and Nevada. Under the deal, Epic will handle Opici’s portfolio in the two states. The Opici range includes brands such as LaLuca Prosecco, Julia James, Auspicion, Âme du Vin Côtes de Provence rosé, Opici Family Authentic Sangrias, Carpineto, Viberti, Vinosia, and Fattoria di Magliano, among many others. Overall, Opici Wines has volume of 700,000 cases and $40 million in annual revenue. Epic is owned by Foley Family Wines proprietor Bill Foley.

•Former NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe’s Walla Walla, Washington-based Bledsoe Family Winery will open a new tasting room in Bend, Oregon this week. Opening August 15, the 3,600-square-foot Bend location offers indoor and patio seating on the first floor, a mezzanine for private tastings and events, and a lineup of wines available for purchase by the glass or bottle. Bledsoe, who also owns Doubleback Winery, spent most of his football career with the New England Patriots but grew up in Walla Walla and now lives in Bend.

•Sonoma, California-based wine and spirits producer Don Sebastiani & Sons has promoted Cynthia Gomez to vice president of marketing. Gomez initially joined the company in 2017 as director of marketing. In that post, she was instrumental in growing such wine brands as B Side, Simple Life, and The Crusher, as well as the company’s private label program. Additionally, Gomez has helped build out Don & Sons’ spirits portfolio by bolstering its trio of high-end Tequila expressions.

•Former Jack Daniel’s chairman and CEO Martin Shallenberger Brown passed away August 11 at the age of 81 after a three-year battle with cancer. The son of former Brown-Forman chairman W. L. Lyons Brown and Sara Shallenberger Brown, he joined the family business in the early 1960s and led Jack Daniel’s until retiring from the drinks industry in 1986. After that he served as chairman of biotech company Therapeutic Antibodies Inc. and donated his time to environmental and educational causes. Current Brown-Forman chairman Garvin Brown IV said Shallenberger Brown had been “a living icon for new generations of Brown-Forman leaders.”

•Silverado Vineyards has named Nora Feeley director of marketing. Feeley has held numerous marketing and communications roles within the industry, including time with Delicato Family Vineyards, Trinchero Family Estates, and Constellation Brands. Prior to joining the drinks business, she served in key marketing posts at Cablevision/Madison Square Garden in New York. Silverado is known for estate-grown wines from its six vineyards across Napa Valley.

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