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Vintage Wine Estates Entering The CBD Drinks Category

May 5, 2022

Vintage Wine Estates has announced the launch of a new division, NexDrinx, to be helmed by beverage alcohol and cannabis industry veteran Tracey Mason as senior vice president and general manager. Mason was most recently chief strategy and innovation officer at CannaCraft and CEO of cannabinoid-infused wine House of Saka. She has also created and grown brands for Diageo, Treasury Wine Estates, Epic Wines, Purple Wine and Spirits, and the Clos du Val Winery.

“We believe alternative beverages share many synergies with wine, and developing a product category adjacent to our wine business presents an opportunity for further growth with diversification,” said Vintage Wine Estates founder and CEO Pat Roney, noting that wine will always remain the company’s core business, with current volume of above 2 million cases annually. “NexDrinx creates a product line category exclusively devoted to developing brands in the alternative beverage space that encompasses alternative packaging, flavors and infusions, non-alcohol, low-alcohol, and CBD infused beverages.”

The NexDrinx portfolio will be anchored by Ace Cider, which Vintage Wine Estates acquired last November. Now the company plans to launch alcohol-removed, hemp CBD-infused Ace cider products in the latter half of 2022, leveraging Ace’s product development and production capabilities as well as its channels to market.

In addition, Vintage Wine Estates has acquired intellectual property rights to Gem + Jane, a low-calorie, botanical, and cannabinoid-infused sparkling beverage brand. Previously available only at licensed cannabis dispensaries, Gem + Jane will be reformulated as a hemp CBD and adaptogen-infused product to allow for national retail distribution. Also, House of Saka, co-founded by Mason in 2018, will merge into the NexDrinx portfolio, offering a range of ultra-premium, alcohol-free wines and ready-to-drink beverages from Napa Valley.—Daniel Marsteller

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