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News Briefs for October 5, 2021

October 5, 2021

•Carlton McCoy, Jr. and the Lawrence family have officially launched Ink Grade, a new luxury wine brand. The Ink Grade Estate Vineyard, with 200 acres under vine, lies in the northeast corner of the Howell Mountain AVA in Napa Valley, at about 1,500 feet of elevation. Ink Grade’s initial range includes Andosol ($95), Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon ($225), and Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($65) made by winemaker Matt Taylor.

•Chile’s Root:1, part of the Winebow portfolio, is expanding into the 3-liter box segment with a new label called Gea. Retailing at $25 a 3-liter, Gea launches with a medium-bodied red that’s a Cabernet Sauvignon with a touch of Pais. The name Gea, derived from the Greek word for Earth, underscores Root:1’s commitment to sustainability, according to the company, which notes that the brand is powered by clean energy sources including solar panels, monitors water usage, and reuses almost 80% of inorganic materials.

•Johnnie Walker is launching a new TV and digital push under its long-running Keep Walking campaign. Intended to “get people back on their feet and moving again,” the ad features an “anthem” including samples of songs such as Run DMC and Aerosmith’s “Walk this Way,” Loretta Lynn’s version of the iconic “These Boots Are Made for Walking,” and Lou Reed’s 1970s’ classic “Walk on the Wild Side.” The initiative will also include ads across city skylines and cultural hotspots around the world, featuring quotes from Grace Jones, Mark Twain, and Ayrton Senna in New York City, Mexico City, Cape Town, Tokyo, and Bangkok, among others.

•Speyside single malt Scotch whisky Benromach has introduced a new look across its 10 Year Old, 15 Year Old and 21 Year Old expressions, with the full range slated to follow next year. The revamped packaging takes its inspiration from the hand-painted sign that used to adorn the roof over the kiln, along with the distinctive red doors around the distillery and its red-brick chimney, and is aimed to underscore the craft attributes of the malt. In the U.S., Benromach is handled by Chopin Imports.

•Southern Glazer’s has named Mark Chaplin as senior vice president, sales and marketing, reporting directly to Gene Sullivan, chief sales and marketing officer. Chaplin will now assume the leadership role of Southern Glazer’s corporate supplier management team, which serves as national brand managers for key strategic suppliers. Additionally, Zachary Poelma has been promoted to the role of senior vice president, supplier strategy, reporting directly to Sullivan and working with Chaplin on “embedding a supplier-centric approach” across supplier strategy, insights, and other supplier support functions, according to the company.

•Independence Wine & Spirits (IWS), the Manhattan-based distributor of fine wines and spirits owned by the Taub family, has appointed John Sellar as executive vice president. A 25-year industry veteran, Sellar spent decades with Frederick Wildman & Sons, most recently as SVP and general manager of the wholesale division. He’ll now look to further the strategic development of Independence Wine & Spirits, which is led by Marc Taub as president and CEO.

•Industry veteran Nicole Carter has been named president of Roederer USA’s California wineries, covering 700 acres across the Anderson Valley, Sonoma and Napa Valley. Carter had previously been president of two of those wineries, Merry Edwards (Russian River Valley) and Diamond Creek (Napa Valley). Now she’ll add responsibility for Roederer Estate, Scharffenberger Cellars and Domaine Anderson, all located in the Anderson Valley. Carter reports to Guillaume Fouilleron, head of Roederer’s U.S. operations.

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