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

News Briefs for June 25, 2021

June 25, 2021

•Proximo Spirits has expanded the 1800 Ultimate Margarita family with black cherry, the brand’s latest fruit-flavored RTD cocktail. The new release comes in at 9.5% abv and is flavored with cherries, plums, and other orchard fruit, plus orange, vanilla, and lime. It joins 1800’s original Margarita, pineapple, peach, watermelon, jalapeño lime, and raspberry in the Ultimate Margarita family. Last year, 1800 Ultimate Margaritas surged 63% to 973,000 cases, according to Impact Databank.

•Willamette Valley Vineyards is planning to build a new winery in Oregon’s Dundee Hills near its new sparkling winery at Bernau Estate Vineyard. Once complete, the new facility, built on 40 acres, will become Willamette Valley Vineyards’ primary production and bottling location as it continues to scale up its case volume in coming years. That increased production will help support the wine list at four new restaurants Willamette plans to open over the next two years, in Lake Oswego, Happy Valley, and Bend, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington. The company’s namesake brand increased 15% to 181,000 cases last year, according to Impact Databank.

•Miami-based importer and marketer Mack & Schuhle is introducing United Ink, a new range of wines from the Pacific Northwest made by winemakers David Forsyth and Joe Dobbes. The portfolio includes a United Ink Riesling ($12), Cabernet Sauvignon ($18), and Red Blend ($18) from Washington’s Columbia Valley, as well as a Pinot Noir ($22) from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The United Ink range is rolling out nationally.

•Napa Valley-based negociant Demeine Estates is entering the Champagne category, becoming the U.S. importer for boutique brand Maison Legras & Haas. The Legras & Haas family owns 37 hectares (91 acres) of vineyards, of which the vast majority is in Chouilly, the northernmost Grand Cru vineyard in the Côte des Blancs, planted exclusively with Chardonnay. The range includes Intuition Brut, Rosé Brut, Exigence Brut, and Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Chouilly, among others. Legras & Haas joins Heitz Cellar, Burgess Cellars, Stony Hill, and Brendel in the Demeine portfolio.

•Pernod Ricard USA had donated $82,500 to the Women of the Vine & Spirits Foundation. The foundation provides scholarships for the purpose of helping women advance their careers in the food, wine, spirits, beer, and hospitality industries through education, leadership, and professional development. The Women of the Vine & Spirits Foundation was established in 2017 and since its inception has awarded 99 women with a combined total of more than $260,000 in scholarships and awards. Other 2021 donors to the foundation include E.&J. Gallo, Tito’s, Beam Suntory, Skrewball, RNDC, Southern Glazer’s, Cycles Gladiator, and Riboli Family Wines, among others.

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