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Bonfort’s Top 100 Wineries 2019

Bonfort’s has ranked the 100 most powerful individuals and trends in the U.S. wine industry for 2018. The inaugural list ranks at #1 the global co-wine buyers from Amazon.com/Whole Foods, Doug Bell and Geof Ryan as the most powerful individuals in the U.S. wine industry. Other notables include, #3 Ernest J. Gallo, and #15 Alejandro Bulgheroni. Notable trends include, #4 Legal Marijuana and #16 Private Equity. All of the people and trends on the list have tremendous industry power and influence, and a direct impact…

What 8 Years in the Desert Really Represents

When Dave Phinney sold Prisoner Wine to Huneeus Vintners in 2010, the $40 million deal included a non-compete clause prohibiting the winemaker to work with that grape on other brands for eight years. Huneeus grew the Zinfandel-based red blend brand further and later sold it to Constellation Brands for a whopping $285. Over the those clause-cluttered eight years, Phinney wasted no time. Since The Prisoner sale he has created and sold his conceptual Locations Wine for a non-disclosed amount, as well as the Orin Swift brand–both to Gallo, and he remains the winemaker on both labels. Phinney also launched Savage & Cooke Distillery on Mare Island, off the coast of San Francisco…

States May Regulate Cannabis Taxes Based On Alcohol Model

Representatives of the Distilled Spirits Council recently participated on panels examining marijuana legalization and retaliatory tariffs placed on U.S. spirits at the 2018 National Conference of State Liquor Administrators (NCLSA) Central/Western Regional Conference in Pasadena, California. In a panel discussion on the rapidly changing landscape of cannabis legalization, Council Senior Vice President of Government Relations Mark Gorman stated, “Each of the nine states that has legalized cannabis since 2012 has declared they want to tax and regulate it just like alcohol…

Proper No. Twelve Runs Out Of Stock

Eire Born Spirits today announced that demand for Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey rapidly outpaced supply, resulting in an out-of-stock situation in its original release markets of Ireland and the United States. The situation is a testament to the quality of the brand’s first expression, a fine blend of Irish grain and single malt whiskey. Proper No. Twelve is becoming known all over the world as a brand that pays homage to Crumlin, Dublin 12 the neighborhood where company Founder, Conor McGregor, was born and raised.

Retaliatory Tariffs’ Impact On Alcohol Industry

The Distilled Spirits Council recently participated in two events to highlight the importance of export markets to the U.S. spirits industry.  
Distilled Spirits Council Senior Vice President for International Issues and Trade Christine LoCascio spoke at the Glass Packaging Institute’s annual meeting about the tremendous growth in U.S. spirits exports over the past two decades and the current trade issues of importance to the U.S. spirits industry, including retaliatory tariffs on U.S. whiskeys and other U.S. spirits…

Who Are the Most Powerful Players in the Wine Industry Today?

Bonfort’s has ranked the 100 most powerful individuals and trends in the U.S. wine industry for 2018. The inaugural list ranks at #1 the global co-wine buyers from Amazon.com/Whole Foods, Doug Bell and Geof Ryan as the most powerful individuals in the U.S. wine industry. Other notables include, #3 Ernest J. Gallo, and #15 Alejandro Bulgheroni. Notable trends include, #4 Legal Marijuana and #16 Private Equity. All of the people and trends on the list have tremendous industry power and influence, and a direct impact on how wine is bought and sold in the U.S.

Sazerac Just Bought 19 Brands From Diageo

The Sazerac Company, one of America’s oldest family owned, privately held distillers, is purchasing 19 brands from Diageo, a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands across the spirits and beer categories. The brands being purchased by Sazerac are Seagram’s V.O. Seagram’s 83, Seagram’s Five Star, Myers’s, Romana Sambuca, Yukon Jack, Booth’s, Goldschlager, Popov, Relska, The Club, Black Haus, Peligroso, Grind, Piehole, Parrot Bay, Stirrings, Scoresby and John Begg brands. “We are delighted to acquire these iconic brands from Diageo…

Beyond Pinot Grigio: Why You Need Collio Wines

Think of white wines from Northeast Italy and Pinot Grigio may come to mind. The Collio region in the southeastern corner of Friuli-Venezia Guilia makes intriguing Pinot Grigio while taking innovative steps to produce many other captivating white wines. During the renaissance of Italian wine during the 1970s, red Super Tuscans garnered major attention. Meanwhile in Collio, white grape growers chose to nurture their indigenous grapes and also gained renown as a quality wine region. At Press Club in San Francisco, wine director Mauro Cirilli states unequivocally that Collio is the top Italian white wine denomination…

Roust Introduces Roust New York In Self-Distribution Move

Roust USA has formed its own distributorship in the State of New York with the aim of serving Metro NY customers. Roust says it is seeing strong momentum for its brands in the metropolitan area and will harness their potential by expanding its portfolio distribution, providing excellent customer service, and fostering closer ties with NY Metro consumers. Roust New York will establish an experienced field sales force to ensure deep coverage in the On- and Off-Premise…

The Alcohol Industry Mourns Dave Pickerell

It is with heavy hearts we report Dave Pickerell, the much-loved master distiller behind such icon brands like Maker’s Mark, Whistlepig and Ragged Branch has died. Dave was a distilling legend, a bourbon & whiskey rock star and a teacher to all who loved whiskey. He was a luminary in the world of whiskey, and is widely known as the nation’s preeminent distiller. He was the the master distiller at Maker’s Mark for 14 years. He left in 2008 to become a consultant for the craft-distilling movement. In 2009, he helped create and was appointed Master Distiller at WhistlePig—a single estate farm distillery in Vermont…

LeVecke Takes on FOS Greek Mastiha

FOS Greek Mastiha liqueur and one of the largest spirit producers in the world, HM Leveque a subsidiary of LeVecke Corporation, have announced a partnership in which LeVecke will manage the import and distribution responsibilities for FOS throughout the U.S. market. FOS Greek Mastiha joins LeVecke’s portfolio of national brands as well as its collection of premium Greek wines and spirits. FOS Greek Mastiha has a unique sweet taste with herbal undertones and tree essences. These characteristics…

Johnnie Walker Allocates Rare 28 Year Old Midnight Blend

Johnnie Walker has launched the final and fifth edition in the John Walker & Sons Private Collection, 28 Year Old Midnight Blend. Only 3,888 limited-edition, individually numbered collectible decanters of this decadent Scotch have been released, with each containing rare and precious whiskies aged for a minimum of 28 years. 28 Year Old Midnight Blend features layers of butterscotch, caramel and toffee, balanced with a fruitiness and touch of spice. Johnnie Walker Master Blender Jim Beveridge said: “Whiskies aged for 28 years…

Karen Maley Is New GM, Robert Young Estate

Karen Maley has been named General Manager, Robert Young Estate Winery. “We are delighted to welcome Ms. Maley to the winery and look forward to her contributions to our future growth,” said Jim Young, CEO, Robert Young. “Ms. Maley’s leadership, marketing and general management experience are an ideal combination to continue to build  upon recent investments and focus in hospitality and winemaking,” Young added. “I am honored to join the Young family in the evolution of this historic premium estate winery,” Maley said.