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

News Briefs for August 10, 2020

August 10, 2020

•Two top wine names in France’s Rhône Valley acquired wineries last week. The Guigal family has purchased Domaine Les Clefs d’Or in Châteauneuf-du-Pâpe, giving the Northern Rhône vintners another property in the Southern Rhône. And the Fabre-Abeille family, owners of Château Mont-Redon in Châteauneuf, has acquired the historic Domaine de L’Oratoire St.-Martin in nearby Cairanne. Wine Spectator has the full story.

•A slew of new Irish whiskies including bottlings from Boann, Sliabh Liag Distillers, and Royal Oak Distillery are among the offerings featured in Whisky Advocate’s latest weekly roundup. The magazine’s website has all the details.

•Minneapolis-based O’Shaughnessy Distilling Co. has named Mike Duggan as CEO. Duggan was most recently chief executive of Phillips Distilling Co. prior to which he spent 15 years with Diageo. Another Diageo veteran, Tom Herbst, has joined O’Shaughnessy as a marketing consultant. He comes to the company from The North Face, where he was CMO. Before that, Herbst held senior marketing and innovation roles at Diageo. In June, SND reported that Irish Distillers master distiller Brian Nation was departing after 23 years to take on the same role at O’Shaughnessy.

•A new hard seltzer label, Tolago, is launching in California this month, distributed by Young’s Market. The gluten-free, 5% abv range includes Ginger Pear, Guava Mango, Cherry Rose, and Agave Lime flavors, retailing at $13 a six-pack of cans. CEO Nicholas Greeninger formerly directed branding and marketing at Saint Archer Brewing. The brand will also be available via Amazon, Drizly, Postmates, Uber Eats, and Cloud Kitchens. Marketing initiatives include in-store programming, point of sale materials, digital and out-of-home advertising, and an annual commitment to 1% for the Planet.

•Russian River Valley-based Foppiano Vineyards is rolling out new packaging on its estate-produced wines. The new look, a retro-inspired design dovetailing with Foppiano’s 125th anniversary next year, is now hitting the market for the winery’s Estate Chardonnay ($25 a 750-ml.) and Sauvignon Blanc ($20), with the rest of the range to follow. Foppiano, which has a marketing and distribution partnership with Quintessential Wines, also counts Petite Sirah, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, and an 1896 Red Blend in its Estate portfolio.

•Aaron Fishleder has been named vice president of operations at Cakebread Cellars. Fishleder is a 20-year veteran of Far Niente, where he ascended to become president of farming operations. In his new role at Cakebread he will oversee all operations, including viticulture, winemaking, and facilities. Napa Valley-based Cakebread has just under 600 planted acres across 15 vineyards and is best known for Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

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