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

News Briefs for October 24, 2019

October 24, 2019

•Bacardi-owned Angel’s Envy has announced the November rollout of its yearly cask strength release. This year’s expression comes in at 61.2% abv, and the bottling was chosen from select barrels of Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon Finished in Port Wine Barrels. Just over 14,000 bottles will be available in 26 markets across the U.S. at a suggested price of $200 a 750-ml. bottle. Last year, Angel’s Envy was up 9.3% to 82,000 cases according to Impact Databank.

•Champagne Taittinger has named Vitalie Taittinger as its new president, effective December 31. Vitalie will succeed her father, Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, and comes to the role with over a decade of experience with the company, most recently as director of marketing. As president, she will lead the company with the support of general managers Damien le Sueur and her brother Clovis Taittinger. In the U.S., Kobrand handles Taittinger, where the brand sells approximately 35,000 cases annually, according to Impact Databank.

•Adobe Road, the California wine brand founded by race car driver Kevin Buckler, is breaking ground today on a Petaluma-based winery and visitor center. Set to open in fall 2020, the 16,000-square-foot facility will include an interactive tasting room, visitors center, and motorsports museum located on the city’s riverfront. Earlier this year, Adobe Road launched its Racing Series of wines, including four red blends retailing from $35-$66 a 750-ml.

•Tanteo Spirits has introduced a new Blanco Tequila, the first unflavored release in company’s namesake range. The spirit is distilled from fair-trade, 100% blue agave using traditional methods in Juanacatlán, Jalisco. According to the company, Tanteo Blanco is a proofed-down version of the high abv Tequila they use to produce the brand’s flavors. Tanteo Blanco, which is bottled at 42.5% abv is now available in New York and California for $40 a 750-ml. The company plans to expand distribution in 2020.

•Napa Valley winemaker Cakebread Cellars is opening a new visitors center this week at its property on Highway 29. The new facility includes a 10,000-square-foot renovation and 36,000-square-foot addition aimed at immersing guests in the winemaking process. Nine separate tasting rooms are included, all intended for smaller-format tastings, and are grouped into four segments: The Culinary Wing, created for wine and food seminars; Window to the Winery, offering educational tastings within the cellar itself; In the Lab, devoted to technical tastings and workshops; and The Tank Room, geared toward larger groups. Visits are by appointment only, with tastings ranging from $25-$85.

•Republic National Distributing Co. (RNDC) has donated $65 million to the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program. The contribution funds 9,339 scholarships for deserving K-12 Florida schoolchildren, giving lower-income children the opportunity to attend a private or out-of-district school that best meets their learning needs, according to the company. Since 2012, RNDC has funded nearly 50,000 scholarships through $310 million in donations to Step Up For Students.

•Breakthru Beverage Illinois will pay nearly $1 million to settle allegations of discrimination brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC says an investigation found reasonable cause to believe that Breakthru Illinois discriminated against sales employees by offering account and territory assignments that resulted in national origin or race discrimination. Breakthru denies the charges but agreed to settle with the EEOC for $950,000 rather than pursue litigation. “We are proud of our diversity and our record of providing equal employment opportunities to all of our employees and applicants, irrespective of their demographics,” Erick Sytsma, the company’s vice president of human resources for the Midwest region, said in the statement.

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