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

News Briefs for November 29, 2022

November 29, 2022

•Lochlea Our Barley, New Stellum releases, Jack Daniel’s Distillery Series #10, and newcomers from Rabbit Hole and Frey Ranch are among the offerings featured in Whisky Advocate’s latest weekly roundup. The magazine’s website has all the details.

•Napa Valley wine pioneer Margaret Duckhorn passed away November 26 at the age of 83. The cofounder of the company now known as The Duckhorn Portfolio, Duckhorn was instrumental in establishing Merlot as one of North America’s most popular varietals. With cofounder and then husband Dan Duckhorn, she established Duckhorn Vineyards in 1976. Along with the company’s namesake brand, she also played a key role in launching other labels like Goldeneye, Paraduxx, Migration, an enhanced Decoy lineup, and Canvasback in Washington State, and was a devoted philanthropist. She retired from the Duckhorn board in 2016, when it was acquired by TSG Consumer Partners, and lived to see the company go public in 2021.

•Symington Family Estates is launching limited edition Six Grapes Reserve Port Special Vila Velha Edition from Graham’s. The specialty offering is drawn exclusively from Quinta da Vila Velha, one of the four Douro estates that supplies Graham’s Port. In 1987, the late third-generation Port producer James Symington acquired the property, after which he restored and extended it over the next three decades. The new Reserve Ruby Port was made to mark James’s passing in 2020 and to honor his role in developing Graham’s well-known Six Grapes label. Graham’s ranks among the leading Port brands in the U.S. with annual volume of approximately 50,000 cases, according to Impact Databank.

•Breakthru Beverage Group has named Derek Holmes as executive vice president, Breakthru Beverage Minnesota. Effective January 1, Holmes will oversee and lead all aspects of the market including sales, operations and regulatory matters. He currently serves as vice president of strategy for spirits and beer with Breakthru Missouri. The appointment comes on the heels of Breakthru’s acquisition of J.J. Taylor’s Minnesota beer business earlier this year.

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