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News Briefs for April 28, 2020

April 28, 2020

•Late in the afternoon of April 17, a wave of thunderstorms hit the Bordeaux region, pummeling vineyards in the Entre-Deux-Mers and the Right Bank with hail. In some areas, within minutes nearly all the developing buds were damaged, meaning a small harvest this year. “The worst was the first thunderstorm. It traversed the Entre-Deux-Mers, St.-Emilion, Castillon, ending in Bergerac,” said Philippe Abadie, director of business services at the Gironde Chamber of Agriculture. “In the heart of the storm, we estimate at least (1,500 to 2,000 acres) suffered more than 80% crop loss, and for some the loss was 100%.” Wine Spectator has the full story.

•Disaronno International is aligning with RNDC-Young’s across nine Western markets effective May 1. The markets include California, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, Hawaii, Alaska, Montana, Idaho, and Utah. Disaronno and RNDC are already partnered in Texas and other key markets. Disaronno’s brands were previously handled by Southern Glazer’s in the affected states. The Disaronno International portfolio includes Disaronno Originale, Disaronno Velvet, Tia Maria, Florio Marsala, Duca Di Salapuruta, and Corvo wines.

•Appleton Estate, part of the Campari portfolio, is adding an 8-year-old Reserve offering to its range. The newcomer is at 43% abv and is rolling out nationwide this spring, retailing at $29 a 750-ml. The launch of the 8-year-old Reserve coincides with a new look across the Appleton range. The makeover includes a sleeker bottle shape, a new cork closure, and a new label incorporating details on the production process, the Appleton insignia, and master blender Joy Spence’s signature. Appleton was flat at 225,000 cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank.

•Sonoma, California’s Vintage Point has added Stratus Wine and Spirits to its portfolio, handling sales and marketing for the Stratus stable, including the 1849 Wine Company and New Zealand import Duck Hunter. The 1849 Wine Company is a group of California wines sourced from regions like Napa, Sonoma, and Monterey, including Au Jus, Anonymous, and Declaration. Duck Hunter produces wines from sustainably sourced grapes from the Wairau and Awatere valleys, including a well regarded Sauvignon Blanc. Vintage Point’s portfolio also includes the Bacchus Wineworks portfolio, Cigar Box, R.S. Lipman Wine and Spirits, and Goose Ridge, among others.

•Louisville, Kentucky’s Rabbit Hole has extended its lineup with Bespoke gin. The new spirit is a London Dry gin finished for nine to 12 months in Rabbit Hole’s Boxergrail rye whiskey barrels. The gin itself is made with angelica, coriander, juniper, lemon peel, licorice, orange peel and orris root, and bottled at 44.5% abv. Rabbit Hole Bespoke gin is now available for $50 a 750-ml. The company, part of the Pernod Ricard portfolio, is now making a push toward national distribution in the U.S.

•Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits and Yellow Tail have announced a donation of $100,000 to World Central Kitchen, the charitable organization led by chef Jose Andres, to support #ChefsForAmerica, a program that provides fresh meals to frontline medical workers and Americans in need. #ChefsForAmerica is active in more than 85 cities, and has stepped up to serve nearly 1.5 million fresh meals across the country, currently clocking in at 130,000 a day and rising.

•The Kobrand Foundation has made two separate $100,000 donations to Covid-19 relief efforts. The first is going to the United Sommeliers Foundation, which provides immediate financial assistance to sommeliers out of work because of the crisis. The second $100,000 gift is headed to the Restaurant Workers Community Foundation, which funnels funds to direct relief of individual restaurant workers, non-profits serving restaurant workers during the crisis, and interest-free loans to get restaurants back up and running.

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