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

News Briefs for January 31, 2020

January 31, 2020

•Constellation Brands has taken a minority stake in Press Premium Alcohol Seltzer for an undisclosed sum. Milwaukee-based Press was co-founded by Amy Walberg and business partner Jim Sorenson in 2015. The franchise includes flavors like Blackberry Hibiscus, Pomegranate Ginger, Lime Lemongrass, and Grapefruit Cardamom and is at 4% abv, slightly lower than most seltzers on the market. Constellation Brands Ventures made the investment in Press through its Focus on Female Founders program.

•MGP Ingredients has debuted single barrel offerings for its George Remus Bourbon and Rossville Union rye whiskies. Bottled at cask strength, George Remus Single Barrel Straight Bourbon whiskey will be available through participating accounts for $60 a 750-ml. Rossville Union Single Barrel Straight rye whiskey, meanwhile, is a bottled-in-bond expression retail priced at $50. Both labels are offered in two different mashbills, with pre-sale open until March and shipping expected by September.

•The Italian authorities dubbed it “Operation Dionysus.” On January 22, officers of the Carabinieri and financial police Guardia de Finanza made 28 raids across the country, confiscating evidence and arresting five people accused of taking part in a massive wine fraud scheme centered in Lombardy’s Oltrepò Pavese appellation. According to the Guardia di Finanza di Pavia, a cooperative winery there had produced and sold more than 130,000 cases of counterfeit Oltrepò Pavese wine by combining cheaper wine with water and additives. Wine Spectator has the full story.

•Napa Valley’s Haynes Vineyard has named Nico Cueva as head winemaker. Cueva was previously head winemaker at Kosta Browne. In his new role, he’ll oversee winemaking at Haynes, whose Coombsville vineyard has 32 acres planted to vine. The Haynes property was acquired last fall for $12.5 million by agriculture magnate and Heitz Cellar owner Gaylon Lawrence, Jr., who plans to produce small-lot Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Syrah from the site.

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