Brown-Forman Wines announced Wednesday the intention to close their Valley Oaks Hospitality site in Hopeland that features the Fetzer Vineyards brand. The closure will take place in late May and will involve a tasting room, market and inn that have been “an icon” in the Mendocino area, according the company’s spokesman Jim Caudill. Fetzer will … Continue reading “BROWN-FORMAN’S FETZER SAYS GOODBYE TO HOSPITALITY”

Advertising continues to change as consumers look more towards the internet and their IPods. So how are retailers dealing with innovation? Well, by jumping on the bandwagon. Vestcom, a company that produces price labels that appear on retail shelves all over the country, has developed a new way to reach shoppers: attaching video monitors to … Continue reading “RETAILERS USING ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY TO GRAB CONSUMER ATTENTION”

Now that direct wine shipments are legal in Florida, Senators are haggling over regulations such as shipping licenses, taxes and those pesky minors. The main difference between the two bills up for approval is that one would not allow wineries that produce over 250,000 gallons a year to sell to Florida consumers. Sen. Steve Geller … Continue reading “HOPING FOR REGULATION COMPROMISE IN FLORIDA”

M.A. Silva Corks USA plans to construct a ground breaking $4 million-plus cork processing facility outside of Santa Rosa. The 30,400 square foot processing plants will be located in Westwind Business Park near Charles M. Schulz – Sonoma County Airport. The plant is expected to be ready by November with 50% more workspace, a linear … Continue reading “SILVA USA TAKING LENGTHS TO SAVE THE CORK”

KWV, one of South Africa’s largest wine and spirits producers, has posted a strong 2nd quarter with an 87.8% rise in earnings. Despite tough market pressure and competitive international trading, sales increased 6.4% driven by a volume growth of 37.9% locally while exports declined 1.2%. “Sales of our wines and brandies in South Africa have … Continue reading “KWV SEES A POSITIVE 2ND QUARTER”

As a result of Australia’s ever increasing presence in the wine industry, Diageo is launching a new Australian Shiraz entitled Archetype that comes from the Barossa region. “Many consumers have been introduced to wines from Australian under $10. While many of these brands are taking advantage of an oversupply of grapes in Australia, we wanted … Continue reading “WORKING AGAINST THE GRAPE CRUSH”

Twin Fin is putting forth a new packaging innovation, The Beach Cruiser, which is a 4-Pack 187 ml bottles with a “fun image” and “exciting new face.” The package will be available in restaurants this April for $9.99. “The Beach Cruiser offers a way to inject a dose of fun into thetraditional 187ml market,” says … Continue reading “A NEW SPIN ON TWIN FIN”

The state of Michigan has reportedly settled with a majority of the lawyers that helped overturn the state’s ban on direct wine shipments. The $150,000 agreement went towards former independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s law firm although the firm originally asked for $329,000. On top of settling with Kirkland and Ellis, Michigan is fighting against $1.2 … Continue reading “MICHIGAN REACHES A SETTLEMENT”

Shipping companies’ from across the pond are sniffing out opportunities thanks to all the new direct delivery legislation going on at home. Europe’s largest mail order wine company, Mellésima, is making a move to the United States. “The US is undoubtedly the leading market for fine wines, with consumption growing annually,” Patrick Bernard, managing director … Continue reading “EUROPEAN WINE SYSTEMS MOVING IN”

Australian wine company Evans & Tate has put their Oakridge vineyard up for sale so they may focus on their premium wine business in order to grow sales. John Hopkins, E & T chairman, stated, “Evans & Tate’s roots and competitive strengths are in the premium wine sector. While Oakridge wines are of exceptional quality, … Continue reading “EVAN & TATE SHED ANOTHER WINERY”

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”