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

News Briefs for July 29, 2021

July 29, 2021

•Bacardi-owned Plume & Petal has entered the spirits-based RTD world with three new vodka-based cocktails. The 4.5% abv spritzes are made with infused vodka and sparkling water and come in peach, cucumber, and lemon flavors. Plume & Petal’s cocktails are available nationwide in 355-ml. cans in 4-packs of individual flavors for around $13 and variety 6-packs for around $18.

•Ste Michelle Wine Estates saw net revenue increase 14.4% to $317 million in its fiscal first half ended in June, with adjusted operating income up 64% to $46 million. The company said the sales increase was primarily driven by higher shipment volume, improved mix, and higher pricing. Ste Michelle, which recently rolled out new packaging on its namesake brand, is in the process of being sold by corporate parent Altria to Sycamore Partners in a deal worth $1.2 billion.

•Uncle Val’s Gin is expanding its lineup with new release Zested. It’s a citrus flavored gin, distilled five times and infused with Bergamot orange, coriander, barley malt, and juniper. Zested joins Botanical, Restorative, and Peppered in the Uncle Val’s portfolio, which is part of 3 Badge Beverage Corp., developed by 3 Badge president August Sebastiani as an homage to his Italian uncle Valerio Cecchetti. Zested is at 45% abv and will launch in early September for a suggested $40 a 750-ml.

•Beverage alcohol e-commerce player Thirstie has announced two-hour delivery service in major markets and retail expansion throughout the country. The company is launching the new courier service supporting on-demand delivery with DoorDash, as well as with Postmates, an Uber company. Two-hour delivery is available in key markets throughout New York, California, Illinois, Florida, Arizona, and Texas. The e-commerce company now offers reach to 100 million adult consumers through hundreds of strategic retail partnerships in over 40 geographies nationwide, including new markets in Arizona, Ohio, and Georgia.

•Texas-based Southern Champion has added a new Chili Mango to its BuzzBallz cocktail brand. The 15% abv RTD is made with vodka, Tequila, and natural flavors, and is available in 200-ml. ball-shaped containers. The new release is now available in California and Texas ahead of a planned national launch. The brand’s national vice president of sales, Blair Casey, says the company plans to test the new release in chains like QuikTrip, H-E-B, and Buc-ee’s while developing the market for Chili Mango. Both Buzzballz and wine-based offshoot Buzzballz Chillers earned Impact “Hot Brand” awards for their 2020 performances.

•Beringer Vineyards has appointed Ryan Rech as chief winemaker. Previously senior winemaker and general manager, Rech joined Beringer’s winemaking team in 2016. As chief winemaker, he’ll look to continue the winemaking legacies of Ed Sbragia, Myron Nightingale, Laurie Hook, and Mark Beringer at the Napa Valley-based winery, which has had only nine top winemakers since its founding in 1876. Beringer is part of the Treasury Wine Estates portfolio.

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