Vintner Bobby Fetzer of Mendocino County tragically drowned Sunday morning, April 30 while rafting on the Eel River with son Ben and friend Matthew Frey. Neither Ben nor Matthew was injured. The Fetzer family built Fetzer Vineyards into one of the largest wineries in the nation before selling it to Brown Forman in 1992. Bobby … Continue reading “BOBBY FETZER DIES AT 50”

Jose Cuervo is going fruity with the introduction of three new flavors: orange, lime and tropical fruit. Citrico, Oranjo and Tropina are distilled and bottled in Mexico and will be available nationally in grocery, liquor, club and drug stores this May. The company is hoping that a more versatile portfolio will pull in cocktail and … Continue reading “FRUITY VERSATILITY TO EXPAND THE TEQUILA EXPERIENCE”

Guinness Draught is coming out with new can and bottle packages in mid-May that the company describes as “more stylish and contemporary yet remaining true to the brand’s classic heritage and identity.” The new look includes mirrored facing on the front and back, and a more modernized version of the classic logo without the holding … Continue reading “AN EDGIER LOOK FOR A HISTORICAL BREW”

Vincor International attained an interim order from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice having to do with their proposed statutory plan of arrangement. The plan states that all of Vincor’s common shares will be acquired by Constellation and will be considered by shareholders at a special meeting June 1. You are unauthorized to view this … Continue reading “ONTARIO SUPERIOR COURT ISSUES INTERIM ORDER”

Sonoma Wine Group’s new brand, Better Half, will make its Florida debut on the cover of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association magazine next week. A network of Miller and Coors wholesalers in Florida already distribute Sonoma’s Bluey White Zinfandel, Los Danzantes Shiraz and Turtle Moon Chardonnay in 375 ml bottles with twist-off closures. Designed … Continue reading “SONOMA WINE GROUP’S BETTER HALF”

Not only has direct wine shipping and online wine shopping become a huge issue in the U.S. alcohol beverage industry, but consumers are taking notice as well. In this week’s “Tastings” column by Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher in The Wall Street Journal, the writers discussed the enormous popularity of online wine shopping saying:“Lately, thanks … Continue reading “A SURGE IN ONLINE WINE ORDERS”

Napa Valley’s Folio Fine Wine Partners, founded by Michael Mondavi, today announced a new marketing deal with Lenz Moser which will bring two Austrian Gruner Veltliner wines to their portfolio. The two wines fall under the Laurenz V label and are entitled “Charming” and “Singing.” In a statement Lenz Moser said: “Representing the 6th and … Continue reading “AN AUSTRIAN DEAL FOR FOLIO FINE WINE”

Fortune Brands’ wine and spirits category showed strong growth along with an overall profit jump of 14% and a 33% rise in sales. The company said it benefited from “the addition and growth of newly acquired spirits and wine brands,” which had double-digit sales gains thanks to last year’s acquisition of Allied Domecq brands, including … Continue reading “FORTUNE BRANDS SHOW DOUBLE DIGIT GROWTH FOR WINE AND SPIRITS”

Led in a survey by Australian winemaker McWilliam’s Wine, 1,100 U.S. consumers answered questions concerning the Australian wine industry. Over half of the respondents reported they drink more wine than beer (52%) although half said they have never tried wine from Australia, also 52%. Out of the survey participants, 86% said they didn’t realize Australia … Continue reading “65% OF AMERICANS WANT TO TRY WINE FROM “DOWN UNDER” OVER ANY OTHER COUNTRY”

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?”