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News Briefs for November 17, 2021

November 17, 2021

•J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines president and COO Jeff Meier is retiring this December after 37 years with the company. Meier worked his first harvest at J. Lohr in 1984 and was named winemaker in 1995, following in the footsteps of colleague and mentor Barry Gnekow. In 2014, he was named president and COO, overseeing operations, production and marketing. “Jeff has established many standards of excellence within J. Lohr and throughout the industry,” said company founder Jerry Lohr. “Jeff’s impact and legacy will endure long after his retirement and his work will continue under the leadership of the second generation of the Lohr family, which includes CEO Steve Lohr, CBO Cynthia Lohr, and COO, Vineyards Lawrence Lohr.”

•Drizly is partnering with 7-Eleven on alcohol delivery. Following a pilot program involving 190 7-Eleven locations, Drizly and the convenience chain will offer 1-hour delivery from more than 1,200 stores across 11 states including California, Texas, Virginia, and Florida. The deal brings Drizly’s national retailer count to over 5,500 stores. The two companies plan to expand the arrangement to over 2,000 stores nationwide in the coming months. Drizly was acquired by Uber in February of this year for $1.1 billion; that transaction was completed last month.

•The Singleton is releasing a new 39-year-old single malt Scotch whisky from The Singleton of Glen Ord Distillery. Aged in a blend of casks including Port, red wine, Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherries, and then finished in French Bordeaux casks, the new luxury malt was bottled at 46.2% abv and retails at $2,680 a bottle, of which 1,695 are being released globally. The Singleton 39-Year-Old follows on from The Singleton 38-Year-Old within the Diageo brand’s Epicurean Odyssey Series.

•Italy’s Villa Massa has launched Vermouth Giardino. The new label is debuting with two options, Vermouth Giardino Mediterranean Dry by Villa Massa and Vermouth di Torino Rosso Traditionale by Villa Massa. The former is a contemporary-style dry vermouth made with Sorrento lemon peels, at 18% abv and retailing for $25 a 750-ml. The latter is a Torino-style sweet vermouth, at 16% and the same price point. They are available now in the U.S. The vermouths join Villa Massa Limoncello and Amaretto in the brand’s lineup. Villa Massa is part of Zamora Company.

•Manhasset, New York-based MHW, which offers compliance and logistical services to beverage alcohol companies, has acquired importers USA Wine Imports and USA Wine West. Terms were not disclosed. For the time being, MHW and the two acquisitions will continue to serve their respective client portfolios “while they explore additional ways to deliver value through their partnership.” USA Wine West founder Steve Melchiskey will continue to lead that team and will join MHW as vice president of sales and development. USA Wine Imports’ general manager Sandi Bartel will continue to oversee operations in that division.

•Constellation Brands has appointed Billy Lagor as senior vice president, brand management, Wine & Spirits division. Lagor will report to Robert Hanson, president of the Wine & Spirits division. Effective November 29, Lagor will oversee the organization responsible for brand management supporting the company’s mainstream and premium wine and spirits brand portfolio, including focus brands like Kim Crawford, Meiomi, Woodbridge, Robert Mondavi Private Selection, Svedka and Ruffino Winery.

•Grace O’Malley Irish Whiskey is debuting a new ad campaign in the U.S. market. The brand’s “Meet the Queen of Irish Whiskey” push aims to communicate the brand’s support of a powerful image of women, represented by its namesake, “a 16th-century seafarer, clan chief, and legendary pirate,” according to the company. The online and out-of-home campaign, which is targeted primarily to 24-45-year-old consumers, will be supported by POS materials. Imported by MHW in the U.S., Grace O’Malley’s flagship blended Irish whiskey has a malt content of 46% and is bottled at 40% abv.

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