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

News Briefs for April 8, 2021

April 8, 2021

•When the Covid-19 pandemic took hold of the country a year ago, traditional wine auctions had to move their gavels fully online. For the past decade, houses such as Zachys and Christie’s had already been conducting partially online sales with most bids coming from absentee buyers. The pandemic forced them to develop more creative online strategies. Digitally focused auction houses have also found big opportunities in the past year. Wine Spectator has the full story.

•Grocery giant Albertsons is launching a new line of wines under its Own Brands banner called Kalyana. The new label consists of three wines all sourced from the Central Coast of California: a 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon ($15 a 750-ml.), 2018 Pinot Noir ($15), and a 2019 Chardonnay ($13). The Own Brands portfolio stresses sustainability, and to that end Kalyana wines are certified sustainable by the Certified Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance. The process includes land preservation techniques like recycling water and cultivating native grasses to maintain ecological balance, among others. Kalyana wines are available now in Albertsons Company stores including Albertsons, Safeway, Shaw’s, and others.

•Baileys has introduced its latest limited time release, Baileys Colada. The blend of Baileys Irish Cream with coconut and pineapple flavors is bottled at 17% abv and retails at $25 a 750-ml. It’s launching nationwide and is recommended to be served over ice, blended with ice, or in cocktails. Baileys grew an estimated 0.7% to 1.5 million cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank.

•French sparkling wine brand Veuve du Vernay is debuting a Sparkling Brut Organic expression in the U.S. market. The wine will be available nationally in select retail stores with a suggested retail price of $19 a 750-ml. Veuve du Vernay Sparkling Brut Organic is a Blanc de Blancs sparkler made via the Charmat method. It joins Sparkling Ice, Brut, and Brut Rosé in the brand portfolio. Veuve du Vernay had 2020 U.S. volume of 125,000 cases, according to Impact Databank.

•The founding master distiller of Patrón Tequila, Francisco Alcaraz, has passed away at 75. During his half-century career, Alcaraz helped to create the luxury Tequila market and, with 31 years at Patrón, was one of the pillars of the leading luxury Tequila label from the brand’s infancy. He passed at his home in Guadalajara, Mexico and is survived by his wife Teresa, his four children, and six grandchildren.

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