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

News Briefs for January 23, 2020

January 23, 2020

•E.&J. Gallo’s Barefoot Wine is jumping into the hard seltzer category. Barefoot Hard Seltzer will launch in four flavors—Pineapple & Passion Fruit, Cherry & Cranberry, Peach & Nectarine, and Strawberry & Guava—that are at 4% abv and contain only wine, seltzer water, and natural flavors. The move follows the success of 5.5% abv Barefoot Spritzers, which have boosted the franchise in recent years. Barefoot Hard Seltzer will begin rolling out nationally next month, retailing at $8 a 4-pack and $20 for a variety 12-pack.

•California’s Guarachi Wine Partners has added Rioja producer Vivanco to its portfolio. Guarachi will handle sales, marketing, and distribution for Vivanco, which has production capacity of 100,000 cases a year. In addition to Tempranillo, the winery produces Graciano, Garnacha, Mazuelo, Viura, Malvasía, Tempranillo Blanco, Garnacha Blanca, and Maturnana Blanca. Guarachi’s portfolio also includes its namesake brand, MontGras, and Tenshen, among others.

•Napa-based importer The Sorting Table is expanding its Italian portfolio with Barolo producer Marrone. With 19 hectares (47 acres) in the La Morra area of Piedmont, Marrone’s range includes DOCG Barolo, Barolo Bussia, Barolo Pichemej, and Langhe Arneis Tre Fie, named for the three daughters who run the estate. The Arneis retails at $30, the Barolo at $60, and the Barolo Crus range from $80 to $100.

•Tim Banks has been named sales and marketing director of Italy’s Masseto, replacing Alex Belson, who retired at the end of last year following a 20-year tenure. Banks will also continue to serve as sales and marketing director of sister label Ornellaia. Masseto, part of the Frescobaldi family portfolio, is handled in the U.S. by Vintus. Last year, it unveiled a new second wine, Massetino, with a 2017 vintage.

•The Far Niente Family of Wineries has named Vida DeLong as vice president, direct to consumer sales. DeLong was previously senior director, consumer experiences, at Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. She succeeds Mary Grace, who is now Far Niente’s vice president of marketing. Far Niente family of wineries includes the namesake label, as well as Dolce, Nickel & Nickel, EnRoute, and Bella Union. The company is backed by private equity firm GI Partners.

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