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Legendary Musso & Frank Waiter, Sergio Gonzalez, Dies At Age 66

Sergio Gonzalez, a truly legendary waiter who was beloved by The Rolling Stones and countless other major stars of the stage and screen since joining Hollywood’s historic Musso and Frank Grill in 1972, passed away on Tuesday, June 4 at age 66, at his home in Sylmar, CA as a result of a heart attack. The announcement was made by Mark Echeverria, the restaurant’s COO/CFO/Proprietor, and a fourth generation family member/owner. Founded in 1919, the legendary restaurant is currently marking its 100th anniversary this year.

Dinner With Paul Hobbs?

Presented by Culina & Vinoteca at Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, the Culina & Vinoteca Winemaker Dinner with Paul Hobbs is a limited ticketed and luxurious evening hosted by Culina & Vinoteca Sommelier David Gary with Guest Speaker, Winemaker Paul Hobbs coming upTuesday, June 18th, 2019 at 7:00 pm on the Culina & Vinoteca garden patio. Guests will sip six opulent wines from Paul Hobbs Winery while savoring a meticulously paired Six-Course Prix-Fixe Dinner prepared by Chef de Cuisine Luca Moriconi, whose authentic and innovative culinary perspective embodies the spirit of Tuscany in the heart of Los Angeles…

Coppola’s 140-Year Old Inglenook Expands Cave Capacity

Francis Ford Coppola, proprietor of Inglenook, says the historic winery will mark its 140thanniversary by significantly expanding its caves. The major expansion will accommodate the addition of 122 stainless steel fermenting tanks, each dedicated to one of Inglenook’s 122 vineyard parcels. “Since it was founded in 1879 by Gustave Niebaum, Inglenook has been renowned for its creativity, quality, innovation and industry leadership,” said Coppola. “We continue that tradition and dedication with this significant cave expansion, led by our director of winemaking…

John Donegon Wilson Joins Round Pond

Round Pond Estate has appointed John Donegon Wilson as Winemaker, according to an announcement by owners Miles and Ryan MacDonnell. Wilson will be responsible for the oversight of all aspects of winemaking for Round Pond’s esteemed portfolio of wines. “We’re thrilled to welcome John to our team,” said the MacDonnells, in making the announcement. “His hands-on leadership, vineyard and cellar expertise will be a significant factor in our continuing journey to elevate our special wines to be even better,” they said.

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.”

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.