A celebrated winemaker and innovator, Al Brounstein lost his two-decade-plus battle with Parkinson’s disease Monday. As the founder of California’s first cabernet sauvignon-only wine estate, the 86-year-old vintner died at home beside his wife, Boots. “Al was at the forefront of establishing the quality of Napa Valley wines,” said fellow vintner John Shafer to the … Continue reading “DIAMOND MOUNTAIN WINEMAKER DIES”

Castle Brands – with brands such as Boru vodka and Gosling’s rum – is looking to move up in the United States’ premium spirits segment in the next five years, despite some losses in 2006. Castle Brands sales increased 68% to $21.1 million for the fiscal year ending March 31, while gross profit increased 94% … Continue reading “SALES INCREASE FOR CASTLE BRANDS DESPITE SOME LOSSES”

Pernod’s Chivas Regal Scotch whiskey is set to launch a new global TV ad campaign aimed at males in their late twenties and early thirties. The spot, entitled “Waterfall,” features three male friends on a trip to the Iguazu falls in South America, where it was filmed on location. Waterfall is an extension of the … Continue reading “CHIVAS REGAL GLOBALIZES AD CAMPAIGN”

The ever increasing popularity of cocktails and mixed drinks in the U.S. has helped launch a growing assortment of flavored spirits brands. Spirits consumption rose 2.8% in 2005, marking the eighth consecutive year of such an increase, according to Adams Handbook. Mixable spirits, such as vodka, rum and tequila, continue to grow and take market … Continue reading “COCKTAIL CRAZE PROMPTS SPIRITS GROWTH”

Jackson Family Wines, the holding company of Kendall-Jackson, has announced it will acquire Sonoma winery Murphy-Goode for an undisclosed sum. Known for its Fume Blanc reserve, Island Block Chardonnay and Liar’s Dice and Snake Eyes Zinfandels, Murphy-Goode currently produces about 140,000 nine-liter cases annually. The Murphy family will retain its vineyard holdings and sell their … Continue reading “IT’S OFFICIAL: JACKSON FAMILY ACQUIRES MURPHY-GOODE”

Despite all the hype surrounding rapper and Def Jam Records President Jay-Z’s much-publicized boycott of Cristal, industry experts are saying it won’t do much good. Advertising Age ran a story today suggesting that the spat between Jay-Z and Cristal’s Frederic Rouzaud are unlikely to affect Cristal sales. Losing its high-profile hip-hop association may cause little … Continue reading “HIP-HOP BOYCOTT DOES LITTLE TO EFFECT CRISTAL SALES”

National Wine & Spirits experienced rising sales and earnings last year, the wholesaler reported yesterday. Overseeing products for companies including Diageo, Moet Hennessy and Brown-Forman, net income more than doubled to $5.4 million for the year to March 31.The company attributed its rise in earnings to a payment of $8.3 million they received after an … Continue reading “NATIONAL BOASTS STRONG SALES”

Ohio Gov. Bob Taft signed SB 131 – dubbed the “Merlot to Go” bill – into law last week. Effective September 20, restaurant patrons will be allowed to re-cork and take home an unfinished bottle of wine as long as it’s placed in the back of the vehicle. You are unauthorized to view this page. … Continue reading “OHIO CONSUMERS FREE TO TAKE HOME”

In the first quarter, shipment growth rates increased about 2% in California from the year before, likely stemming from a 10% growth in wines above $7 and a decrease in lower priced wines.Bottled wine imports for the quarter were nearly identical to that of January-March of 2005. On the bulk side, however, imports were up … Continue reading “CALIFORNIA SEES RISE IN BULK IMPORTS”

Following France and Italy, Spain and Greece have become the latest countries to receive European Commission funding to distill excess wine for industrial use. The Commission announced Friday they will spend 22.2 million euros on the measure, which will pay for 300,000 hectoliters of Spanish wine and 130,000 of Greek wine to be distilled.Mariann Fischer … Continue reading “SPAIN AND GREECE JOIN THE DISTILLATION BANDWAGON”

Anheuser-Busch has launched a new website – – that touches on a variety of alcohol issues, including underage drinking, college issues and advertising based on independent and government research. You are unauthorized to view this page. Username Password Remember Me     Forgot Password

Diageo is holding an “Inspired Luxury” program to teach bartenders the “latest mixology trends and serving techniques.” The NY workshop will take place at Country at The Carlton on June 26, and the LA workshop will be held at the East West Lounge on June 28 from 9:30-4:30. Johnnie Walker, No. TEN by Tanqueray, Ciroc … Continue reading “DIAGEO PARTNERING WITH BARTENDERS”

WSD had the chance to sit down with Joseph Anthony, CEO of Vital Marketing – a leader in the multicultural, hip-hop and beverage community that works with clients such as Coca-Cola, Remy Martin, and Motorola – to offer his insights on the current Cristal controversy. The boycott, announced last week, stems from seemingly “racist” comments … Continue reading “WHAT’S TO COME OF CRISTAL?”

Merrill Lynch predicts that Constellation’s 1st quarter results ending May 31 – which they are scheduled to announce on June 29 – will result in 6% sales growth, driven by wine (5%), beer (10%) and spirits (3%). This quarter marks the first time in six quarters with no major impact from acquisitions, though Vincor will … Continue reading “PREDICTIONS FOR CONSTELLATION’S Q-1 EARNINGS”

According to Morgan Stanley’s consumer research report, beer and wine did slightly better this year while spirits were down. For the future, they project 3% annual wine volume growth and 2% spirit growth. One leading factor pushing wine and spirits is that women are increasingly switching from beer to wine and especially spirits, mainly due … Continue reading “WINE POISED FOR A SOLID FUTURE”