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

News Briefs for November 13, 2019

November 13, 2019

•Annette Alvarez-Peters, assistant vice president and general merchandise manager for beverage alcohol at Costco Wholesale Corp., has announced her retirement, effective December 31. Alvarez-Peters, who began her career as a sales audit clerk at Price Club before its merger with Costco in 1983, worked in a variety of positions at Costco before becoming a wine buyer in its Los Angeles regional office in 1995, covering Southern California and Hawaii. She rose to her present position in 2005, moving to the company’s Washington headquarters to oversee the beverage alcohol program. During her tenure, Alvarez-Peters has presided over a remarkable period of growth. Since 2010 alone, Costco’s beverage alcohol revenues have risen from $2.3 billion to $4.4 billion in its last fiscal year. Her successor will be named after the new year.

•Hotaling & Co. has released Daftmill 2006 Summer Batch, the first U.S. release of a single malt whisky from the Scottish farm-distillery. The 12-year-old Daftmill whisky is bottled at 46% abv and was blended from seven first-fill Bourbon casks from the summer of 2006. One of nine Scotch distilleries active in the Lowlands, Daftmill distills only 100 casks a year from estate grown barley. 1,680 bottles will be available in markets across the U.S. for a suggested price of $250 a 750-ml.

•Aldi has partnered with Instacart to offer delivery of wine and beer across its U.S. footprint where legal. Aldi operates 1,900 stores in 36 states. The new delivery service—which is being offered for free for first-time customers through the end of the year—will be available in about 60% of the 1,400 U.S. stores in which the grocer sells alcohol.

•Third-generation vintners Ben and Jake Fetzer have launched Rural Wine Company, a new brand focusing on Mendocino County, California’s sub-appellations. Rural launches with a Pinot Noir ($25 a 750-ml.) from the Eagle Creek AVA, with a Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon from alternative AVAs set to follow next year. All wines are made using fruit that is either certified organic or sustainable. Handled nationwide by MISA Imports, Rural’s focus will be primarily on retail accounts. Ben and Jake Fetzer also own the Mendocino-based Masút Vineyard & Winery, which was initially acquired by their father Bobby Fetzer in 1994.

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