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News Briefs for January 13, 2023

January 13, 2023

•Michael Martini, who was born into a Napa Valley wine dynasty and followed in the winemaking footsteps of his father and grandfather, died Tuesday after a brief battle with lung cancer. He was 73. Martini retired from Louis M. Martini winery in 2015, after 40 years of making wine for his family. Wine Spectator has more on Martini’s life and career.

•Proximo Spirits has announced the 2023 special edition of Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia Extra Añejo. This year’s special edition box shows a “geometric abstraction of the landscape of Tequila, Mexico,” according to the company, featuring shapes and colors to represent the soil and the agave fields in layers on the box. The design was created by artists Rolando Flores and Gabriel Cázares of the Tercerunquinto Collective and is titled “Structuring a Landscape.” The limited edition release is now available at select retailers across the U.S. for a suggested price of $185.

•Brown-Forman and Churchill Downs Incorporated have extended their Kentucky Derby partnership, with Woodford Reserve remaining the Derby’s presenting sponsor through 2027. The pair’s relationship goes way back, with Woodford serving as the official Bourbon of the Derby since 1999 and as the presenting sponsor for the last four years. Beyond Woodford, the extension covers deals with Old Forester, Finlandia, and Herradura, with Old Forester as part of the Official Mint Julep of the Kentucky Derby, Finlandia used in the Oaks Lily cocktail, and Herradura served in Churchill Downs.

•Vineyard Brands has added the Austrian winery Paul Achs to its portfolio. Located in the Neusiedlersee district of Austria’s Burgenland region, the estate has been cultivated by the Achs family since 1684. Since 1991 it has been helmed by Paul Achs, who before taking over worked in California’s wine industry and trained to produce Pinot Noir. He converted the family winery from producing dessert wine to red, today planting primarily Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch grapes for red wine production, along with some Chardonnay. Eleven Paul Achs wines will be available nationwide through Vineyard Brands, including Zweigelt Alte Reben, St. Laurent, and Pannobile, among others.

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