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

News Briefs for August 19, 2020

August 19, 2020

•South African vintners breathed an immense sigh of relief on Monday. President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government began allowing alcohol sales again, albeit with some limitations, after a months-long ban. The coronavirus pandemic has put South Africa’s small winery owners on a roller coaster. A ban on domestic sales and exports of all alcohol was imposed in March as lockdowns began. Exports were removed from the ban in May. And on June 1, the government allowed domestic sales. But only a week and a half later, a sales ban was enacted again. This week’s end to the ban came as the country has seen a decline in the number of Covid-19 cases and is entering the next phase of easing restrictions. Wine Spectator has the full story.

•The Dalmore single malt Scotch has unveiled a new ultra-luxury rare whisky collection in the U.S. The Dalmore Rare & Aged Collection includes 35-, 40-, and 45-year-old expressions retailing at $6,000, $8,800, and $14,600 respectively. Made from exceptional casks selected by Dalmore master distiller Richard Paterson, the Rare & Aged series is packaged in bespoke Baccarat crystal decanters featuring a solid silver stag created by silversmiths Hamilton & Inches, holder of The Royal Warrant. The luxury whiskies will be available at select U.S. retailers.

•St. Louis, Missouri-based Luxco has announced a new limited edition of its El Mayor Tequila. The new release is an extra añejo expression aged for at least three and a half years before finishing in rum casks. The 40% abv spirit will retail for around $130, with 6,000 bottles available across the U.S. beginning in September. Last year, the brand was up 11% to just under 25,000 cases in the U.S., according to Impact Databank.

•Tennis star Naomi Osaka has signed on as an investor and creative consultant to the Soto sake brand. According to the company, Osaka, who won the 2018 U.S. Open and 2019 Australian Open, will “lend her generational and cultural insights to the brand,” as it eyes expansion in the premium sake segment. Made in Japan and headquartered in Miami, Soto includes Junmai Daiginjo and Junmai expressions.

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