Stoli Group Names Dan Buttling President and CEO

Dear Client: 

Today, Stoli Group announced the appointment of Dan Buttling as president and ceo. In his new role, Dan will be responsible for the US, Canada and Mexico territories. 

Dan joined the company six months ago as global cmo, overseeing all aspects of marketing efforts across the portfolio [see WSD 09-25-2019]. Prior to that he spent over three decades at Diageo in various leadership roles. 

You may recall, Hugues Pietrini stepped down as Stoli Group global president and ceo around this time last year [see WSD 04-25-2019]. 


Yesterday, the Sixth Circuit sided with Michigan in a case challenging its law barring alcohol shipping from out-of-state retailers.

BACKGROUND. In January 2017, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed SB 1088 into law allowing in-state retailers to ship to consumers but banning out-of-state retailers from doing the same. Shortly after, Indiana-based retailer Lebamoff Enterprises filed suit alleging that the bill is in violation of the Privileges and Immunities Clause [see WSD 01-24-2017]. The judge agreed, granting Lebamoff’s motion for summary judgement and declaring that the state’s wine shipping laws are unconstitutional [see WSD 10-01-2018]. 

But, the injunction was stayed pending an appeal as well as the outcome of the Total Wine v. Tennessee Supreme Court case, in which the SC struck down Tennessee’s residency requirement [see WSD 10-15-2018]. Last month, the Sixth Circuit heard oral arguments.  

SIXTH CIRCUIT SIDES WITH STATE. “Because the Twenty-first Amendment permits Michigan to treat in-state retailers (who operate within the three-tier system) differently from out-of-state retailers (who do not), we uphold the law,” per the opinion penned by Circuit Judge Jeffrey Sutton.

The opinion was pretty strongly worded in favor of the state’s right to regulate its three tier system. “Michigan’s law promotes plenty of legitimate state interests, and any limits on a free market of alcohol distribution flow from the kinds of traditional regulations that characterize this market, not state protectionism,” he writes. 

The judge goes on to call the retailer’s arguments “unconvincing,” and that if their challenge was successful, “would create a sizable hole” in the state’s three-tier system.

The Sixth Circuit reverses the lower court’s ruling and remands the case for further proceedings. 


Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America announced that Breakthru Beverage Group vice-chairman Danny Wirtz has been elected chairman of the board. 

“I am honored to serve and advocate for wine and spirits wholesalers during this unique and dynamic time for the industry,” says Danny. “Wholesalers are taking the lead keeping the supply chain to the market intact, while using e-commerce, data and consumer insights to drive innovation during the COVID-19 global pandemic; all the while, continuing to manage issues such as product tariffs and regulatory changes.” 

“Chairman Wirtz brings a great combination of industry knowledge, fresh ideas and willingness to serve others at a time when the beverage alcohol industry is facing challenges that require innovative thinking, teamwork and leadership,” says WSWA chief Michelle Korsmo. “Danny is going to be a great chairman and will serve wholesalers well at a critical time.” 

Also elected to the WSWA 2020-2021 executive committee:

  • Young’s Holdings ceo Chris Underwood as vice chairman
  • RNDC chief Tom Cole as svp 
  • Southern Glazer’s ceo Wayne Chaplin as vp
  • Major Brands ceo Sue McCollum as secretary


LOS ARANGO TEQUILA INCREASES PRODUCTION. Infinium Spirits’ Los Arango Tequila is now available nationwide. The company has increased production in response to the significant demand for the spirit. In addition to increased distribution, Los Arango will be launching new digital platforms within the next month, including a new website and dedicated social media channels. The Los Arango portfolio includes Blanco (srp $46), Reposado (srp $50) and Anejo (srp $62). 

RABBIT HOLE CONTRIBUTES TO TALES OF THE COCKTAIL FOUNDATION. Rabbit Hole and Tales of the Cocktail Foundation have announced a long-term partnership developed to provide immediate financial relief to the bar industry and support the 501c3 nonprofit’s mission of leaving a long-lasting impact on the communities it touches, per a release. This donation marks the beginning of a campaign created by Rabbit Hole called #2DreamInside. They are kick starting the campaign with a $50,000 donation for direct COVID-19 financial relief to the bar industry in partnership with Tales of the Cocktail Foundation. They will also be donating $2 for every social media post that shares the #2DreamInside hashtag, committing up to an additional $150,000 to support the bar industry through Foundation initiatives.

CAMERON HUGHES INTRODUCES NEGOCE WINES. Cameron Hughes has introduced his latest wine project, de Negoce. The brand is modeled on the French “en primeur” system, widely used by Bordeaux wineries. The first releases from de Negoce include a 2018 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, a 2017 vintage from Napa Valley’s Stagecoach Vineyard, and a Napa Valley Coombsville Bordeaux blend. 

BATTLE CREEK VINEYARDS COLLABORATES WITH NOCKING POINT & ACTORS ASHTON KUTCHER & MILA KUNIS. Battle Creek Cellars is collaborating with Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis and the entire Nocking Point team on the 2018 Quarantine Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir. 100% of the profits from this Pinot Noir will support multiple COVID-19 response efforts through charities. The Quarantine Pinot Noir is sold exclusively at and is available at a suggested retail price of $50 for 2 bottles.

Until tomorrow,

“Do not wait to strike while the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.” – William Butler Yeats

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