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

News Briefs for April 7, 2021

April 7, 2021

•In case you missed yesterday’s news alert, E.&J. Gallo is acquiring the RumChata cream liqueur brand for an undisclosed sum. RumChata is an Impact “Hot Brand” that increased 16% to 550,000 cases in the U.S. last year, and further bolsters Gallo’s growing spirits business. Here’s the full story.

•Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits has added Lobos 1707, the LeBron James-backed Tequila and mezcal brand, to its national distribution portfolio. The brand, which launched last year and is led by founder Diego Osorio and former Combs Wine & Spirits executive Dia Simms, produces Joven, Reposado, and Extra Añejo Tequilas (all at 40% abv) and an Espadín-based mezcal (42% abv). All of Lobos 1707’s spirits are finished in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks. Besides James, notable investors in the brand include Anthony Davis and Draymond Green.

•Wilson Daniels Wholesale has named Brooks Jorgensen as senior vice president-general manager of Oregon distributor Galaxy Wine Co., effective April 15. He will report directly to Wilson Daniels president Rocco Lombardo. Jorgensen was most recently vice president and general manager of the Domaines & Estates division of Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits in Texas, and also previously served as director of sales for the Pacific Northwest at Moët Hennessy USA. He succeeds Galaxy co-founders Matt Elsen and Bob Liner, who are retiring June 30.

•Oregon-based Hood River Distillers is launching Timberline Vodka, a new brand. Distilled in a dual-column, 2,000-liter pot still, Timberline Vodka is made with grain and 14 varietals of Pacific Northwest apples, then proofed to 40% abv. Targeted to lovers of the outdoors, the brand features three labels that feature a hiker, a skier, and a snow goose, though the product inside the bottle is the same. As part of the brand’s outdoor spirit, it is a partner of the non-profit The Freshwater Trust, which works to preserve and restore freshwater ecosystems. Timberline is now available to purchase at select retailers in the Pacific Northwest, where it retails for $25 a 750-ml.

•Second-generation California vintners Megan and Hilary Cline are launching a new Petaluma Gap-based wine brand, Gust. The Gust Wines portfolio is debuting with Chardonnay 2018 ($38), Pinot Noir 2017 ($48) and Syrah 2017 ($48) sourced from family-owned vineyards in the Petaluma Gap AVA. The new brand will initially target major metro markets, with expansion planned for future vintages.

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