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News Briefs for January 13, 2021

January 13, 2021

Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 countdown continues today at 10am with the unveiling of cigars Nos. 4, 3, and 2. Tomorrow, the magazine will reveal its Cigar of the Year, followed by the publication of its full Top 25 Cigars of 2020 list on Friday, January 15.

•Cava producer Segura Viudas has launched a new certified-organic offering. Made in Spain’s DO Penedès, Segura Viudas Cava Made with Organic Grapes marks the first organic Cava in the brand’s lineup. The new bubbly retails at $13 a 750-ml., and is currently rolling out nationwide. Based on the ongoing demand for organic expressions, the winery plans on qualifying all of its sparklers for organic certification by 2022. Segura Viudas is part of the Freixenet Mionetto USA portfolio.

•Coalition Whiskey, a new series of rye whiskies finished in Bordeaux barrels, has launched in seven states across the U.S. The brand, created by former Russian Standard USA CEO Leonid Yangarber, was distilled at Kentucky Artisan Distillery and enters the market with three expressions—one finished in Margaux barrels and bottled at 45.4% abv, another finished in Pauillac barrels and bottled at 46.3% abv, and one finished in Sauternes barrels bottled at 47.1% abv—all retailing for $90 a 750-ml. In addition, the brand’s unfinished rye is available at barrel strength (54.4% abv) for $130. The whiskies are rolling out now in New York, New Jersey, California, Florida, Kentucky, Illinois, and Colorado.

•Double Cross Vodka has launched a new ad campaign and redesigned bottle. The campaign, Dare to Differ, will debut online and on social media channels throughout the first quarter. The new bottle abandons the brand’s original rectangular shape for one with sloped shoulders and an easy-to-handle neck while retaining Double Cross’ etched and metallic branding. The new bottles are rolling out now in 750-ml. and 1-liter bottles ($35 and $40, respectively), with 50-ml. and 1.75-liter bottles to follow in the third quarter. Double Cross vodka is produced from estate grown Slovakian wheat and is imported by Old Nassau Imports.

•Napa Valley, California-based Distinguished Vineyards & Wine Partners has appointed Michael Cerio as its vice president of operations. Cerio joins from Terlato Wine Group where he was vice president, wine supply & operations. Prior to his time with Terlato, Cerio served in leadership roles at The Wine Group, Treasury Wine Estates, and Diageo. In his new role, he’ll oversee operations for Distinguished Vineyards’ portfolio, including Argyle Winery in Oregon, MacRostie Winery and Vineyards in Sonoma County, Napa Valley’s Markham Vineyards and Textbook, and Dough Wines, a new philanthropic partnership with the James Beard Foundation.

•The Riboli Family of San Antonio Winery has named Penny Kosut as vice president of sales for the Riboli Estates Group. Kosut comes to Riboli from Fetzer Vineyards, where she spent nine years, most recently as vice president of national accounts. In her new role, she will be responsible for furthering growth for Riboli’s estate brands of San Simeon, Highlands 41, Maddalena, Windstream, Opaque, and Riboli Family.

•Silver Falcon Capital, the direct investment company and brand incubator founded by former NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France, has announced an undisclosed investment in premium mixer company Navy Hill. Navy Hill’s portfolio of low-calorie half soda, half tonic mixers is sold via e-commerce and in select Whole Foods, Publix, King Soopers, Fresh Market, Harris Teeter, and regional liquor outlets. Silver Falcon provides equity investments between $5-$50 million to help companies market and scale innovative high-growth brands.

•The U.S. Bartenders Guild National Charity Foundation has announced that its Bartender Emergency Assistance Program has disbursed $9.6 million in the form of more than 32,000 grants to hospitality workers in need in response to the pandemic and on-premise shutdown. In addition to 200 corporate donors, the funds came from 4,500 individual donors, and were disbursed to hospitality professionals across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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