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

News Briefs for July 22, 2020

July 22, 2020

•Ohio has declared war on several out-of-state wine merchants. Attorney general Dave Yost has filed a request in federal court seeking an injunction against multiple online wine and liquor retailers from other states, alleging that they have been illegally shipping wine directly to Ohio consumers. Under the Buckeye State’s shipping laws, consumers can only order wine from in-state merchants. The sellers named in the injunction include Wine.com, Winc, Pacific Wine & Spirits, Cocktail Courier, and Wine Country Gift Baskets, among others. Yost announced last week that he intends to halt the shipments via injunction and the rarely exercised 21st Amendment Enforcement Act. Wine Spectator has the full story.

•California-based C. Mondavi & Family Wine Co. has acquired the French Blue brand from Flying Blue Imports for an undisclosed price. Located in Bordeaux, French Blue is primarily focused on rosé, though its lineup also includes Sauvignon Blanc. The brand, founded by entrepreneur Roger Scommegna and winemaker Stephanie Rivin, will continue to be made by Rivin in France. The acquisition marks C. Mondavi & Family’s first foray into imported wine.

•Constellation Brands has named Kate Voyten senior vice president, brand management, a newly created role within the company’s wine and spirits unit. Voyten will join the company effective August 3. Voyten will report directly to CMO Jim Sabia and will be accountable to Robert Hanson, president of Constellation’s wine and spirits division. Voyten joins Constellation with over 17 years of marketing experience and most recently served as vice president, marketing at Hertz Global Holdings Inc.

•Republic National Distributing Co. (RNDC) has named Tracy Ariail as senior vice president, e-commerce and digital. Ariail joined RNDC in 2017, prior to which her career spanned multiple industries and positions leading application development, enterprise architecture, and information management. In her new role reporting to COO Bob Hendrickson, Ariail will be responsible for the strategy and execution of the digital customer experience and driving the eRNDC online sales platform.

•Copalli rum has expanded into the New York and Florida markets, partnering with Southern Glazer’s in both states. The Belize-based brand is also present in California, as well as in international markets like U.K., France, Germany, and Italy. Additionally, Copalli has appointed industry veterans Elayne Duff and Julie Reiner as global brand ambassadors. Duff was previously head mixologist and luxury spirit brand ambassador at Diageo, while Reiner is co-owner of New York City bars Clover Club and Leyenda.

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