Brown-Forman announced yesterday that Andrew Smith, president of Brown-Forman Spirits in Europe, Africa and Eurasia, informed the company that he will retire on May 31, 2006. Andrew joined the company in 1990 as vice president and marketing director for Europe, Middle East and Africa. “It is not an exaggeration to say that Andrew Smith is … Continue reading “ANDREW SMITH SAYS FAREWELL TO BROWN-FORMAN”

Known for their innovative packaging, The Three Thieves have launched a Pinot Grigio and Cabernet Sauvignon in a juice box style package. The Tetra Prisma 250ml four-pack – called a “Bullet” – contains 1/3 more than the wine industry standard for single serving portions and is sealed with a pull tab. “Bandit Bullets can be … Continue reading “FORGET CORKS AND SCREWCAPS FOR A NEW PULL ON WINE”

Sonoma County growers are backing SB1380, a “truth in labeling” law – much like recent Napa legislation – that would ensure Sonoma grapes are used in a wine with Sonoma on the label. Under the bill wine brands with Sonoma in the title must use at least 75% of Sonoma County grapes. Currently, wine brands … Continue reading “SONOMA COUNTY GROWERS OUT FOR A NAME”

UST’s subsidiary International Wine & Spirits Ltd. announced their 1st quarter earnings today showing a 9.1% increase in wine sales and an 8.3% rise in premium case sales. During the quarter, the company announced that through its own subsidiary, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, they reached an agreement to form a partnership with the Antinori family … Continue reading “INTERNATIONAL WINE & SPIRITS 1ST QUARTER RESULTS”

French wine imports have slowly gone done in the past couple of years, but a new study conducted by two Stanford economists suggests political reasoning could be at the root. In response to France’s opposition to the war in Iraq, many Americans boycotted French wine which may have cost millions in sales. Weekly sales of … Continue reading “FREEDOM FRIES AND FRENCHIE WINE”

Gov. Robert Ehrlich of Maryland said late last week that he plans to sign two bills: one that will allow in-state and out-of-state wineries producing up to 27,500 gallons to sell directly to restaurants and retailers, and the other that would allow restaurant goers to take home leftover wine. Proponents of the corked wine law … Continue reading “TAKE HOME WINE IN THE “OLD LINE STATE.””

As is often discussed and widely reported, wine is growing more and more popular in the U.S. especially with younger, but legal, generations. Millennials are toting wine to parties more frequently than older adults since many of them grew up with wine-drinking, baby boomer parents, making them more willing to sample different varietals and foreign … Continue reading “DO DRINKERS KNOW SOMETHING EVERYONE ELSE DOESN’T?”

Colorado Gov. Bill Owens authorized consumers to make telephone and online wine shipment orders beginning July 1 by signing HB 1120 into a law. Wineries cannot, however, sell directly to retail stores or restaurants. Both in-state and out-of-state wineries must pay a $50 fee before they can ship to Colorado residents, but consumers are allowed … Continue reading “COLORADO GOVERNOR SANCTIONS DIRECT DELIVERY”

Dear Client:Overall volumes declined for Ste Michelle Wine Estates in the fourth quarter and full year, but flagship brand Chateau Ste Michelle posted mid-single digit growth. The winery’s new parent company, Altria, announced that Ste Michelle’s wine shipment volume fell -2.2% from the prior year period to 1.9 million cases in the fourth quarter ended … Continue reading “Volumes of Ste Michelle Drop -2%”

TV advertising is destined to see major declines in the coming years. According to a survey released by the Association of National Advertisers and Forrester Research, over 78% of the 133 advertisers polled think TV is less effective. Furthermore, 60% said they plan on cutting TV ads once DVR use reaches 30 million. As of … Continue reading “TV ADVERTISING IS DWINDLING”

Oklahoma’s House Joint Resolution 1055 that proposed to open the state’s wine trade to all in-state and out-of-state vineyards recently died on the floor. SJR 41 had a similar fate. As of now, the wholesalers’ lawsuit is still pending and wineries “do not have any live bills to give us consumer shipping,” according to Free … Continue reading “OKLAHOMA WINERIES WITHOUT A BILL”

Brown-Forman announced today that Sandra Frazier, Martin S. Brown, Jr., and George Garvin Brown IV were elected to join the Board of Directors. All three individuals are fifth generation descendants of George Garvin Brown, the founder of the company, and are the first members of the family’s fifth generation to join the board, effective May … Continue reading “NEW BROWNS TO JOIN THE BOARD”

Ohio wholesalers and winemakers are still bargaining over direct shipment. The staff of the Federal Trade Commission’s three bureaus – Competition, Consumer Protection, and Economics – filed a comment yesterday with the Ohio State Senator Eric Fingerhut, citing their support for SB 179, a proposal that would legalize direct shipping inside and outside of the … Continue reading “DIRECT SHIPPING IN OHIO HAS THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION’S SUPPORT”

According to a DISCUS press release, a New Jersey state proposal to raise taxes on distilled spirits, beer and wine will cost the state more than $50 million in lost business and an estimated 850 hospitality jobs. NJ Gov. Jon Corzine’s proposed budget would increase the excise taxes on spirits, wine and beer by 1% … Continue reading “DISCUS SPEAKING OUT AGAINST ALCOHOL PROPOSAL IN NEW JERSEY”

Whether it’s true or not, Australia is known for leading the New World wine industry in innovation. And with today’s winemakers moving towards cutesy labels, wacky names and non-traditional bottle closures, nothing seems surprising, so pop your synthetic cork and take a swig because one Australian company is test-marketing plastic wine bottles. Fosters Wine Estates … Continue reading “PLASTIC WINE BOTTLES, THE UNBREAKABLE CONTAINER”