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News Briefs for June 9, 2022

June 9, 2022

•Jerez de la Frontera, Spain’s Gonzalez Byass has announced that César Sánchez Moral will become its CEO in January of 2023. Sánchez Moral most recently served as CEO of Rioja-based Grupo Barón de Ley, and previously spent time with Heineken and Suntory. In his new role, he replaces Jorge Grosse, who has helmed Gonzalez Byass for 16 years. The Gonzalez Byass stable includes Tio Pepe, Beronia, Finca Constancia, Dominio Fournier, and Cavas Vilarnau among others. Through the first six months of the company’s current fiscal year, sales are on track to match their pre-pandemic level of $330 million.

•Napa Valley Vintners board chair Jack Bittner called the Napa Valley Barrel Auction weekend a “reunion.” And for good reason: It’s been 18 months since NVV announced the discontinuation of the famed Auction Napa Valley, and more than three years since Katy Perry headlined the organization’s last major live auction event. In its place is the newly dubbed Collective Napa Valley, a year-round nonprofit charity program that will include events like the new Napa Valley Barrel Auction, which was the focal point of the weekend’s events, raising $1.5 million for children’s mental health. Wine Spectator has the full story.

•Johnson Brothers has agreed to purchase the wine and beer distribution business of Dixie Beverage Company in Virginia for an undisclosed sum. Dixie Beverage Company will retain its non-alcoholic distribution business. “This strategic acquisition continues to grow our Johnson Brothers footprint in Virginia, further complementing our recent acquisition of Service Distributing Inc. in northern Virginia,” said Michael Johnson, chairman and co-owner.

•Cincoro Tequila has launched a new marketing campaign to celebrate the Boston Celtics’ NBA Finals run. The brand, co-founded by a team of NBA owners including Celtics owners Emilia Fazzalari and her husband Wyc Grousbeck, will be featured on the LED screens and globe at Resorts World Las Vegas. The LED ad was created by Feast and features the taglines “Raise Your Game” and “Here’s to All the Champions.” Cincoro’s spot will run through June 16 on Resorts World’s east and west towers, its marquee, its Zouk nightclub wrap, and on the casino’s globe.

•Brown-Forman has launched the latest release in the Woodford Reserve Distillery Series: Toasted Oak Oat Grain. The whiskey begins as Woodford’s Oat Grain Bourbon (released in 2018 as part of the distillery’s Master’s Collection) before undergoing a second maturation in toasted new oak barrels and bottling at 45.2% abv. Toasted Oak Oat Grain is now available at Woodford’s distillery and in select Kentucky retailers for around $60 a 375-ml.

•Wente Vineyards has introduced Aly’s Pinot Noir. Named for Aly Wente, the company’s vice president of marketing and customer experience, the new entry retails at $50 a 750-ml. and carries an Arroyo Seco appellation. It aged for 16 months in 100% second-use French oak barrels. Aly’s Pinot Noir is the latest addition to Wente’s Small Lot series of wines, which also includes Niki’s Pinot Noir Rosé ($35) and Eric’s Chardonnay ($35).

•Bellagave Infused Tequilas are rolling out to select markets in two flavors, Mango Jalapeño and Coconut, both made with 100%-agave Tequila and all-natural ingredients. The two new entries are bottled at 35% abv and carry an SRP of $43 a 750-ml. Bellagave says more markets are slated to be added throughout the summer.

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