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

News Briefs for April 14, 2020

April 14, 2020

•Natural wine has gone official in France. The government has approved a charter, trade syndicate, and label for the low-intervention wines. The charter and label have the support of the INAO, which oversees French appellations, as well as the French Ministry of Agriculture and France’s consumer protection inspectors at the DGCCRF. The label will read “Vin Méthode Nature” rather than “natural wine,” a moniker that was popular with some but a lightning rod for criticism by others—not to mention illegal under France’s strict labeling laws. The official designation applies to French wine only, but advocates hope other European countries will adopt similar regulations. Wine Spectator has more.

•Virginia Distillery Courage & Conviction, Old Charter Oak Chinkapin, and newcomers from Chicken Cock and Spirit Works Distillery are among the offerings featured in Whisky Advocate’s latest whiskey roundup. The magazine’s website has all the details.

•Kentucky’s Bardstown Bourbon Company has announced the latest whiskey in its Collaborative Series, a Bourbon finished in Armagnac barrels from Château de Laubade. The 59.2% abv whiskey is a 12-year-old bottling that spent 18 months finishing in the Armagnac barrels. The new Bourbon joins Bardstown’s other Collaborative releases, which have included whiskies finished in beer, brandy, and wine barrels. The whiskey will launch on May 1 and be available for a limited time in select markets for a suggested price of $125 a 750-ml.

•Rabbit Hole is expanding its distribution nationally, more than doubling the size of its footprint and leveraging majority owner Pernod Ricard’s “Preferred Distributor Network.” The national rollout, which is happening now, will bring Rabbit Hole’s portfolio to 30 new markets (expanding from the previous 21). Brand founder Kaveh Zamanian will host virtual sales meetings and tastings in the new markets. Pernod Ricard took a majority stake in Rabbit Hole in June 2019.

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