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

News Briefs for December 7, 2020

December 7, 2020

•Hess Family Wine Estates is extending its Lions Head Collection with its first Pinot Noir offering. Panthera Pinot Noir will debut nationwide in January, retailing at $45 a 750-ml. Winemaker Stephanie Pope describes the newcomer as having vibrant purity of fruit along with “a signature backbone of acidity nurtured on the Sonoma Coast. The upscale Lions Head Collection also includes Lion Tamer White, Red, and Cabernet Sauvignon bottlings, as well as a Panthera Chardonnay.

•E.&J. Gallo-owned La Marca Prosecco is launching a rosé expression this month. Rolling out to select markets at a suggested retail price of $17 a 750-ml., the new entry is a 2019 vintage-dated blend of 89% Glera and 11% Pinot Noir, produced via the Charmat method. It spends a minimum of 60 days undergoing secondary fermentation. A 2020 vintage of La Marca Prosecco Rosé will follow next spring. La Marca is projected to become the largest sparkling wine brand by volume in the U.S. by year-end, according to Impact Databank. Gallo marketing director Joyce Chen told SND, “We know there are a lot of still rosé consumers who are looking to add to their wine repertoire, and as America’s favorite Prosecco, La Marca is the perfect option to offer a sparkling perspective on Rosé that elevates consumer experiences.”

•Winebow has begun distributing the Milam & Greene whiskey portfolio across six markets: California, Florida, Georgia, Washington, D.C., Wisconsin, and Illinois. Winebow is handling Milam & Greene’s Triple Cask Bourbon, Port Finished Rye, and Single Cask Bourbon. Milam & Greene is named for the partnership formed between Texas entrepreneur Marsha Milam and whiskey expert Heather Greene, and is part of the Texas-based Provision Spirits portfolio.

•Like most sectors of the wine industry, auction houses have been dramatically impacted by the pandemic. Beginning in March, auctioneers have taken most sales online. But the change has largely accelerated a trend of recent years. And as live events quietly resume in cities like Hong Kong and London, virtual strategies are becoming a permanent asset. “We have a vibrant market with strong prices—and some records—during Covid,” Jamie Ritchie, worldwide head of Sotheby’s wine, told Wine Spectator. “We have younger buyers coming into the market, with 60% of new buyers in their thirties or forties, and our traditional buyers embrace the digital tools.” Wine Spectator has the full story.

•Messe Düsseldorf has cancelled the Prowein convention originally scheduled for March 2021, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The organization has announced that Prowein 2022 will take place in Düsseldorf March 27-29, 2022. While the group has cancelled its flagship event, Prowein Hong Kong is happening May 18-21, 2021, Prowein Sao Paolo is still on track to take place October 5-7, 2021, and Prowein Shanghai is scheduled for November 9-11, 2021. In addition to cancelling its Düsseldorf event, the group has pushed Prowein Singapore into 2022.

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