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News Briefs for March 2, 2023

March 2, 2023

•Oregon’s Ponzi Vineyards, part of the Groupe Bollinger portfolio, has acquired 89 acres of viticulture land Chehalem Mountains AVA. Primarily located in the Laurelwood District sub-AVA, the acquisition will allow Ponzi to create new single-vineyard programs. According to the company, this addition to the 22 acres acquired in September 2022 will “play a vital role in furthering Ponzi Vineyards’ vision of showcasing the beauty of cooler climate Oregon wines.” Concurrently, Ponzi has named A to Z Wineworks veteran Carrie Kalscheuer as chief brand officer to bolster its efforts in branding, marketing, and DTC.

•Georgetown, Kentucky’s Blue Run Spirits has expanded its distribution footprint, with the company’s whiskies now available in 27 U.S. markets and two in Canada. The brand has partnered with Empire Merchants in New York, Horizon in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, RNDC for Washington state, Breakthru in Minnesota, and Evergreen in Ontario, Canada. Beyond entering new retail markets, Blue Run has also increased retail availability nationwide, with the brand’s whiskies now available via GoPuff and its network of retail liquor stores, including the BevMo and Liquor Barn chains.

•Bloomington, Indiana-based Oliver Winery is launching the latest addition to its Real Fruit Moscatos line, Melon Mint Moscato. Inspired by the flavors of agua fresca and the Mojito, Melon Mint Moscato is made from a blend of Muscat Canelli and Muscat Alexander wine along with watermelon, cucumber, and mint essences. It’s at 6.8% abv, contains 110 calories per glass, and is available now across the U.S. for $12 a bottle. Other flavors in the Real Fruit Moscatos line include Cherry, Blueberry, and Lemon.

•Walsh Whiskey has announced the 2023 release of Writers’ Tears Cask Strength Irish whiskey. This year’s release, the thirteenth edition, is bottled at 54.8% abv and blends single pot still and single malt whiskies aged in ex-Bourbon barrels. Only 1,800 bottles will be released in the U.S. with each carrying a suggested price of $160. Walsh Whiskey is part of SPI Group’s Amber Beverage. Writers’ Tears is handled in the U.S. by Hotaling.

•Oregon-based winery Sokol Blosser has announced that Alison Sokol Blosser is stepping down as co-president and CEO, effective immediately, to spend more time with her family. She remains a shareholder and continues to sit on the family company’s board. Her brother Alex Sokol Blosser now takes the reins as president, and Robin Howell, who joined the winery in 2012, becomes lead winemaker.

•Sonoma-based 3 Badge Beverage Corp has promoted Eric Timmerman to vice president, national sales manager for the Mixology portfolio and promoted Harvard Gates to vice president, national sales manager for the Enology portfolio. Timmerman joined 3 Badge in 2018, overseeing retailer and distributor relationships, while Gates has been with the company in various sales roles since 2011.

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