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New Management Figures At Notre Vue Estate

Bob and Renée Stein, the owners of Notre Vue Estate and Balverne Wines, based in Windsor, Sonoma, California, announced several new key management figures who have joined the winery. Alex Holman has been named Winemaker; Kirk Tomiser has been named National Sales and Marketing Manager; Daniel Charles is the new Viticulturist. “We are thrilled that industry veterans of this caliber will be joining our operation,” they said, in making the announcement.”Born and raised in San Francisco, Alex Holman graduated from CSU Fresno with a B.S. in Chemistry after spending five years in the U.S. Army.

Theobald & Oppenheimer Partners with LNJ Brands; Hires Kyle Harder

Theobald & Oppenheimer today announced a new distribution partnership with LNJ Brands to expand the presence of Single Prop Rum within the New York market. Complementing the partnership, Theobald & Oppenheimer announces a new hire, Kyle Harder, as Brand Director.

The rum, which is sourced from the Caribbean and blended with real coconut water, launched in the Pennsylvania market in April 2018.

Olympic Standard Bar Menu Can Upsell Customers

The distinctly Japanese beverage program at the newly opened concept Inn Ann at Japan House Los Angeles, California is under the guidance of Executive Chef Mori Onodera. Inn Ann’s beverage program is a microcosm of Japanese cocktail and drinking culture, with a focus on Japanese riffs on classic cocktails and an extensive collection of sake and shochu.

J. RIEGER & CO. INTRODUCES NEW HOSPITALITY TEAM AND DESTINATION EXPERIENCE

J. Rieger & Co. has announced several key additions to their hospitality management team, as well as details about their new spirits destination experience. The distillery space will expand to 60,000 square-feet in Kansas City’s historic Electric Park neighborhood, allowing the team to complement their increased production capacity with one of the country’s most innovative cocktail and craft spirits experiences. The public opening is scheduled for mid-June 2019 and will include multiple bars, tours, a gift shop, classes and private event spaces.

Silverado Appoints Bianca Lucchetti NorCal Sales Manager

Silverado Vineyards has appointed Bianca Lucchetti as Northern California Sales Manager, reporting to Kimberli Rogers, Sales Director, West. “Lucchetti will be responsible for developing and maintaining strong relationships with these accounts in addition to working with our distributor partners and their sales forces to achieve targeted points of distribution for Silverado Vineyards,” Rogers said in making the announcement. “We are delighted to have Lucchetti join Silverado Vineyards”.

Dustin Chabert Wins First-Ever “Best USA Sommelier”

Sommeliers and wine professionals from across the United States convened in Kansas City to battle for a coveted title – The Best USA Sommelier. After a challenging two-day competition, first place was awarded to Dustin Chabert, Illinois Market Manager for DNS Wines and Sommelier at Spiaggia.

Beyond being dubbed the best sommelier in the country at the inaugural 2019 competition,

Fernet Branca Gets New CEO

Fratelli Branca announced the appointment of spirits industry executive, Steve Brecher to Chief Executive Officer of new venture Branca USA.  The appointment comes on the heels of the Milan-based company’s announcement to create their own import company in the U.S. in early 2019.

Brecher most recently was President of Infinium Spirits.  Previously, he held a series of senior marketing, commercial and strategy roles at Diageo in the U.S. and overseas.

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…

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…

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.

The Somm’s Role in Building Relationships: Granville’s Christina Sherwood

New Jersey-born Christina Sherwood is the wine director at Granville Restaurants. The group spans locations in Studio City, Burbank, Glendale and West Hollywood, all located in California. We met Christina in the West Hollywood, Los Angeles location where the group was hosting a reminder for press of just how fantastic its food, wine, cocktail and beer menus are. Christina is a Certified Silver Pin Sommelier (North American Sommelier Association), since 2016 and much like the restaurant in which we met her…

Distilled Spirits Council Gets New President

The Boards of Directors of the Distilled Spirits Council and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.Org) have named Chris R. Swonger, a long-time government affairs executive and industry veteran, the president and CEO of both organizations. The move is designed to more closely align the missions and activities of the two groups following a strategic review process that set out ambitious plans for the future of both organizations while identifying shared value opportunities to amplify the impact of their collective work.

Gloria Rivera Joins Silverado Vineyards As Northeast District Sales Manager

Silverado Vineyards has appointed Gloria Rivera as Northeast District Sales Manager.  Reporting to Pamela Ford, Sales Director, East, she will be responsible for sales management for the states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia. “We are very excited to have Gloria join Silverado Vineyards as an integral part of the U.S. Wholesale Sales Team,” explains Pamela Ford. “Gloria brings a wealth of wine knowledge and wholesale…

Michael Brown On Taking Back CIRQ

CIRQ, the winery created in 2009 by renowned pinot noir winemaker and Kosta Browne founder Michael Browne, has kicked off a new chapter with his own estate winery in the heart of the Russian River Valley. The winery, which has made some of the most beloved pinots in the region over the last decade, moves forward under Browne’s sole leadership, a big deal for the winemaker and consumers alike. “Taking back CIRQ has profound meaning for me,” says Browne. “Launching this brand paid respect to both my family’s colorful…