Dear Client: Earlier this year, Vintage Wine Estates announced a definitive agreement to merge with Bespoke Capital Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), which will also take VWE public. Shortly after that announcement, Duckhorn Wine Co. moved forward with an initial public offering.  What spurred these wine companies to go public? Does this … Continue reading “Why You Likely Won’t See a “Rush of SPACs” Entering Bev Alc Space”

Dear Client: A number of states are currently grappling with the retailer shipping issue, legislatively and through the court system. So far this year, out-of-state retailers aren’t faring well in their respective cases [see WSD 02-19-2021]. The latest? Illinois-based The Chicago Wine Company’s lawsuit against Indiana’s shipping statutes.  BACKGROUND. Illinois-based The Chicago Wine Company filed … Continue reading “Judge (Mostly) Sides with Indiana, Upholding Retailer Shipping Statutes”

Dear Client: Pre-pandemic, Ghost Tequila, a spicy 100% Weber Blue Agave tequila, was doing about 70% of its business on-premise. The company quickly shifted its focus to the off-premise, and managed to grow almost 80% in 2020.  “We immediately refocused our teams [to the off-premise] and, fortunately, we didn’t have a down month last year,” … Continue reading “Ghost Tequila CEO on Cornering the Spicy Tequila Market”

Dear Client: Constellation Brands ended its fiscal year (ended February 28) with total net sales up 3%. The company’s wine and spirits business reported depletions down 2.8% and net sales down 7% for the year. But on an organic basis, wine and spirits net sales were up 2%.  “Fiscal 2021 was a year of significant … Continue reading “Constellation’s Fiscal ’21 a “Year of Significant Progress” for W&S Biz”

Dear Client: Wildfires on the West Coast burned millions of acres across California, Oregon and Washington this past year, with about 17 wineries damaged in Napa alone. There have also been significant fire events in 2017 and 2019 as well. It would seem preparing for disaster is part of the norm.  As part of those … Continue reading “Napa County Looks to Spend $42M on Preventative Wildfire Measures”

Dear Client: Yesterday we published the first part of our conversation with Delicato Family Wines chief Chris Indelicato [see WSD 04-05-2020]. Today we’ll pick up right where we left off.  Wine & Spirits Daily: Let’s talk about innovation. Delicato recently launched Bota Box Breeze – a low cal, low alc play. Why get into that … Continue reading “Part II: Delicato Chief Talks Innovation, Potential M&A, and More”

Dear Client:Today E&J Gallo announced its spirits division has signed an agreement to acquire Agave Loco LLC, the owner of cream liqueur brand RumChata. No financial details were disclosed. The acquisition includes the RumChata brand, and Midwest Custom Bottling LLC (MCB), which produces RumChata. MCB-owned The Tippy Cow and Holly Nog brands are also included in … Continue reading “Gallo Adds Cream Liqueur Brand RumChata to Spirits Portfolio”

Dear Client: In 2020, Nielsen pegged Delicato Family Wines as the fastest growing wine company, growing by more than one million cases with dollars and volume growth at least 5% higher than the overall category [see WSD 01-29-2021]. Your editor recently caught up with Delicato Family Wines chief Chris Indelicato, who tells WSD the company … Continue reading “A Chat with the Fastest-Growing Wine Company”

Dear Client: Spirits-based ready-to-drink products are on the Distilled Spirits Council’s list of legislative priorities this year. Namely, they plan to ensure any RTD legislation treats spirits-based RTDs fairly and equitably relative to other RTDs.  At the state level, “we’re certainly seeing more activities looking at these products” from a legislative standpoint, according to DISCUS … Continue reading “Part III: More Legislative Activity Around Spirit-based RTDs”

Dear Client: “Craft distillers have endured so much hardship this past year,” says American Distilling Institute (ADI) president Erik Owens. Indeed, 55% reported declining revenues in 2020, with 36% experiencing revenues down by more than 25%, according to a recent survey by ADI.  The survey was conducted in January 2021 with responses from 269 distilleries … Continue reading “Survey: DTC Nearly 40% of Total Craft Distiller Sales on Average in 2020”

Dear Client: Continuing our deep dive on the ready-to-drink category, occasion and convenience drive consumers to RTDs. From there, how are consumers choosing which RTD product to buy?  According to a consumer survey by IWSR, “consumers place higher importance on sensory aspects,” said IWSR coo Brandy Rand during a recent webinar hosted by DISCUS. In … Continue reading “Spirit-Based RTDs: “Do Not Fear the High Price Point””

Dear Client: The ready-to-drink segment has been increasingly taking up space in the virtual pages of WSD. And as big companies continue to invest in the space, we see that trend continuing. As such, we thought it’s high time we took a deep dive into the category.  Over the next couple of issues we’ll explore … Continue reading “Breaking Down the World of Ready-to-Drink”

Dear Client: Last month, the entire state of Texas (including your editors) weathered freezing temperatures, power outages, boil advisories, burst pipes and related issues.   The Lone Star State also has a sizable wine industry, so we checked in with the wineries and vineyards in our own backyard to gauge the impact of this winter event … Continue reading “Freezing Temps & Burst Pipes for TX Wineries, but “It Could’ve Been Worse””

Dear Client: At the onset of the pandemic, Drizly experienced five years’ worth of growth in just three months (March – May). That explosive growth tempered somewhat, but the platform has still managed to maintain 350% growth year over year.  During a webinar yesterday, Drizly coo Cathy Lewenberg provided a look back at top growth … Continue reading “Drizly’s Pandemic Year in Review”

Dear Client: Last week we took a look at the first of the March comps (the week ended March 6) and alcohol sales were still up double digits [see WSD 03-17-2021], but now we’re officially lapping the peak pantry-loading weeks from March 2020. For starters, total fast-moving consumer goods were down 20.7% for the week … Continue reading “Off-Premise Bev Alc Sales Down Almost 2% as we Lap Pantry-Loading Comps”