MRM Imbibe: Interactive Cocktail Bar and Cannabis-Infused, Alcohol-Removed

MRM Imbibe features the latest beer, wine and spirits news. 

Send news items to Barbara Castiglia at bcastiglia@modernrestaurantmanagement.com.

The Wine Report

Following a long growing season characterized by moderate temperatures throughout the spring and summer, California's 2018 harvest played out like a dream for winegrowers in regions across the state. Harvest began anywhere from 10 days to three weeks later than in 2017, and vintners are reporting exceptional quality, thanks to consistent growing conditions and cooler temperatures, which allowed the grapes to mature slowly.

A few regions, including Temecula, Paso Robles and San Diego County, experienced issues with heat spikes, but most reported even temperatures throughout the season with little-to-no frost damage. As the season drew to a close, vintners braced for a compacted harvest of later-ripening varieties in early October. Vintners reported abundant yields in line with the United States Department of Agriculture's August forecast of 4.1 million tons in 2018, up 2% from 2017, and above the historical average of 3.9 million tons. Overall, vintners are enthusiastic about both the quality and quantity of the 2018 vintage. 

Experienced vineyard crews are key to a successful winegrape harvest (George Rose photo).

"The mild summer weather allowed fruit to mature slowly without heat stress, and canopies are looking healthy," said John Killebrew, winemaker for Z. Alexander Brown winery in Napa. "Crop levels looked good and quality appears very high, with balanced sugar, acid and tannin levels."

Like many wineries in the North Coast region, Napa's Black Stallion Estate Winery began picking two weeks later than in 2017. "Fortunately, compared to previous years, we did not see any major heat waves in the early part of harvest, so the fruit ripened evenly and stress-free," said winemaker Ralf Holdenried. 

Dennis Cakebread, chairman and senior vice president of sales and marketing for Cakebread Cellars in Rutherford, Napa Valley, reported normal to above-average yields and high-quality fruit. "We're really happy with the grapes," he said. "They have good flavor and balance."  

Mark Burningham, director of grower relations for Benziger Family Winery in Glen Ellen, Sonoma County, is equally optimistic about the 2018 vintage. "This is one of those years where everyone is happy," he said. "Yields are up and quality is excellent, thanks to the moderate temperatures and dry conditions." 

"It was a compacted harvest for the Cabernet Sauvignon, coming in right on top of the large crop of Chardonnay, so tank space was at a premium," he continued. "Labor was tight, but we managed it by scheduling far in advance."

In Lodi, vintners began picking old-vine Zinfandel mid-September. "This year we've seen a later bud break, set and veraison, followed by a hot July and a cool August," said Stuart Spencer of St. Amant Winery. "The cool temperatures in mid- to late-September led to gradual sugar accumulation and good flavor development. In general, we saw better flavors at lower sugars and the quality looks great." 

Despite ongoing challenges with drought in Santa Barbara County, vintners reported a healthy crop for 2018. "The vines produced a big, bountiful crop that we began harvesting in mid-September," said Karen Steinwachs of Buttonwood Winery & Vineyard in Solvang. "The hottest July on record led to cool temperatures in August, continuing into September. Cold, crisp evenings kept our legendary Santa Barbara County acidity in the grapes, and the flavors are simply divine." 

Click here  for the full report including regional reports from Amador County, Calaveras County, Lake County, Livermore Valley, Lodi, Madera, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa Valley, Paso Robles, San Diego County, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains, Sonoma County and Temecula Valley.

Cannabis Beer

Province Brands of Canada — the Canadian company developing the world's first beer brewed from the cannabis plant — has signed a term sheet with Yukon Brewing to distribute its first commercially available beer, Cambridge Bay Imperial Pilsner, in Yukon in the first half of 2019, before its Canada-wide release. 

Province Brands of Canada's Cambridge Bay Imperial Pilsner (7% ABV) will be first distributed by Yukon Brewing (CNW Group/Province Brands of Canada)

Unlike Province Brands of Canada's flagship developing product — non-alcoholic beers that intoxicate using THC and other phytocannabinoids — Cambridge Bay Imperial Pilsner is a hemp-based beer and will contain alcohol.

Since its inception in 2016, Province Brands of Canada has made headlines around the world for developing the patent-pending process and formulations behind the world's first beers brewed from cannabis. Province Brands' unique brewing process utilizes specialized equipment and technologies to "mash" (i.e. extract sugars from) the stalks, stems and roots of premium cannabis grown in Canada, and then ferments those sugars in the presence of hops and brewer's yeast to create an authentically crafted cannabis beer. 

Cambridge Bay Imperial Pilsner is brewed via the same patent-pending process used to create Province Brands' forthcoming non-alcoholic beers that intoxicate using THC and other phytocannabinoids. Whereas those beers are made by mashing and fermenting marijuana biomass, Cambridge Bay Imperial Pilsner is brewed by mashing and fermenting the stalks, stems and roots of a different, fully legal type of the cannabis plant: premium, food-grade hemp. 

Marijuana is a controlled substance in Canada, and its recreational use is governed by the Cannabis Act. No hemp flower or viable hemp seeds are used when brewing Province Brands' Cambridge Bay Imperial Pilsner, and the parts of the hemp plant mashed to make this beer are not considered a controlled substance in Canada. Cambridge Bay Imperial Pilsner does not contain any marijuana. It is not infused with CBD or any phytocannabinoids, and any phytocannabinoids present in the beer are at levels comparable to those found in the hemp seeds, hemp seed oil or hemp protein available at most grocery stores across Canada – which is to say they fall well below the threshold to be considered a controlled substance. 

"We got tired of waiting for Canada to legalize marijuana beverages," said Dooma Wendschuh, Co-Founder and CEO of Province Brands. "Honestly, developing our patent-pending process to brew a beer from cannabis has been so challenging that I never would have imagined we could possibly be ready to launch a commercial product before Canada allowed the sale of marijuana beverages. But thanks to our phenomenal research and development team and our Master Brewer, Rob Kevwitch, we accomplished the unimaginable, so we just had to put something on the market. The world may still have to wait for Canada to legalize marijuana edibles and beverages, but consumers shouldn't have to wait to taste the phenomenal flavour of the world's first beer brewed from hemp in place of barley."

"Every brewer we talked to said this could not be done. They said we'd never be able to get any alcohol out of the cannabis (or hemp) plant. Well, we showed them that not only can we get alcohol from the plant but we can get a lot." said Rob Kevwitch, Ph.D., Province Brands' Master Brewer. "We're starting with a 7% ABV Imperial Pilsner, but this process is so versatile, we can make any style of beer from hemp or marijuana: alcoholic, non-alcoholic, lager, ale, stout, IPA, bock, porter…anything."

So-called "hemp beers" are an increasingly popular style of flavoured beer in North America and Europe.  These beers are brewed from barley or grains in the traditional manner and then flavoured with toasted hemp seeds. By contrast, Province Brands of Canada's Cambridge Bay Imperial Pilsner is created by mashing and fermenting hemp stalks and stems instead of barley or other grains, and as such is gluten-free and lower calorie. 

Inspired by the great expeditions along Canada's northern frontier, Cambridge Bay is a premium brand that embodies the Canadian spirit of adventure and exploration – past, present and future. As an homage to this spirit of adventure, Cambridge Bay will launch in the Yukon Territory in the first half of 2019 before being released across Canada. Province Brands of Canada intends to sell both Cambridge Bay Imperial Pilsner and (once allowed by law) non-alcoholic marijuana beers in all 13 of Canada'sprovinces and territories. 

Province Brands of Canada is currently constructing a 123,000 square foot building in Grimsby, Ontario, which will be the world's first cannabis brewery and will enable Province Brands to meet initial forecasted product demand in each province and territory. 

Province Brands of Canada has signed a binding and territory-exclusive co-packing and distribution agreement with the Yukon's largest and oldest brewery – Yukon Brewing in Whitehorse. Under the agreement, Province Brands will use its patent-pending process to mash hemp stalks and stems, and then ship the mashed material to Whitehorse, where Yukon Brewing will brew, ferment, package and exclusively distribute and sell Cambridge Bay Imperial Pilsner to Province Brands' specifications, and under Province Brands' supervision across the Yukon.

"We're excited to work with Province Brands to launch this innovation in beer in the Yukon first," said Bob Baxter, co-founder of Yukon Brewing. "Our brewers have worked closely with Province Brands' master brewer to create a hemp-based beer that's the first of its kind while staying true to the quality of beer we've supplied to the north since 1997." 

Bacardi's Corporate Responsiblity

With its commitments to alcohol responsibility, disaster relief efforts, women's empowerment, and significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and water usage, Bacardi Limited solidified its position as a socially and environmentally responsible leader, as demonstrated in the company's 2018 Corporate Responsibility (CR) Report. As a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, and in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Bacardi's CR efforts are fueled by its expanded "Good Spirited" platform. 

Bacardi

"Being Good Spirited means being responsible in every aspect of our business. This extends across all our offices and manufacturing sites, from how we source our ingredients and the quality of materials used to make our products, to the ways we market our brands only to adults who choose to drink, to our commitment to support and care for our employees and the communities in which we live and work," says Rick Wilson, senior vice president of Corporate Responsibility for family-owned Bacardi. "Our family values make us a globally conscious and responsible company."

2017 represented the last year for reporting on the Producers' Commitments to Reduce Harmful Drinking. During this timeframe, Bacardi, often in partnership with others in the industry and through country-level associations, implemented 44 responsible drinking education programs in 16 countries, and reached nearly four million individuals with underage drinking prevention education. While the five-year initiative has concluded, Bacardi remains committed to continuing the spirit of the five commitments and the 10 action areas, including finalizing new, responsible, and robust industry standards to ensure its digital advertising only targets adults of legal drinking age who choose to drink.

By prioritizing environmentally sustainable practices, Bacardi reduced greenhouse gas emissions intensity 59% over the last 12 years, and improved overall water use efficiency 50% as compared to its 2006 baseline. In addition, less than 1% of waste was sent to landfill in fiscal year 2018, with 11 manufacturing sites achieving Zero-Waste-to-Landfill. It also proudly sources sugarcane-derived products for BACARDÍ® rum in a responsible way – 86% certified by international sustainability nonprofit Bonsucro – and remains committed to eliminating one billion single-use plastic straws by 2020 through its recent collaboration with the Lonely Whale.

To read more about Corporate Responsibility within Bacardi, check out the complete FY18 Corporate Responsibility Report, which encompasses April 1, 2017 – March 31, 2018, online at www.BacardiLimited.com.

Vintage Purchases Qupé and Distillery No. 209

Vintage Wine Estates purchased wine brand, Qupé. Founded in 1982 by Bob Lindquist, Qupé is internationally recognized for cool-climate, high-scoring Rhône varietals on California's Central Coast; notably Syrah, Grenache, Roussanne and Marsanne. The name Qupé (kyoo-pay) is taken from the Chumash word for poppy—the California state flower which blankets the landscape each spring.

"We share Bob's passion for Syrah and other Rhône varieties and his commitment to quality and sustainability," stated Pat Roney, Chief Executive Officer of Vintage Wine Estates. "We are looking forward to honoring that legacy."

vintage

The purchase includes the brand and inventory. Lindquist will stay on in a consulting winemaker role, using traditional techniques such as barrel fermentation, manual punch-downs and French oak aging. Sourcing from Central Coast vineyards includes French Camp (Paso Robles), Bien Nacido (Santa Maria), Sawyer Lindquist (Demeter Certified Biodynamic; Edna Valley) and Ibarra-Young Vineyard (farmed organically; Santa Ynez) and is expected to continue.  The wine tasting room in

the village of Arroyo Grande will remain open to welcome wine club members and other visitors to the region.

Vintage Wine Estates remains committed to an aggressive growth strategy focusing on legacy estates and brands from top American Viticultural Areas (Washington, Oregon, Napa, Sonoma and California Central Coast). Along with Qupé, recent Central Coast acquisitions include Clay House and Layer Cake (Central Coast) wines. Vintage Wine Estates California Central Coast portfolio, which also includes Purple Cowboy wines from Paso Robles, offers consumers the best of the Central Coast at every price point.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Vintage Wine Estates also acquired the brand and inventory of Distillery No. 209. The No. 209 portfolio includes the flagship No. 209 Gin, which has won numerous awards and accolades, along with a range of hand-crafted, wine-barrel finished gins and kosher-for-Passover spirits.

"My father had an eye for well-crafted items with a unique story and spirits were no exception," commented Samantha Rudd, who upon her father's passing, has assumed his role as Board member and partner at Vintage Wine Estates. "I am proud to have Vintage Wine Estates carry on the legacy of Distillery No. 209, which was one of his favorite and most personal passion projects."

The No. 209 story began in 1882 when William Sheffler purchased the rights to a California pot still patent and journeyed from New York to St. Helena in the Napa Valley to establish his distillery. No. 209 refers to the original distillery license number. In 1999, Leslie Rudd became steward of the estate where the distillery was located and spearheaded its historic preservation. To accommodate the needs of a modern distillery, a new production facility was subsequently built on Pier 50 in San Francisco, coincidentally the birthplace of the gin martini.

Meticulous attention is paid to the distillation process, starting with a four-times distilled Midwestern corn base in a custom-made, 1,000 gallon copper alembic pot still. The head and tails are discarded and only the heart of the spirit is destined for bottling as No. 209 Gin. In addition to juniper, the recipe for No. 209 Gin includes eleven different botanicals with a signature profile of citrus and spice flavors. 

Founding Master Distiller Arne Hillesland, known as the "Ginerator," will continue to make No. 209 Gin in the hands-on tradition, with the consistency and highest level of quality the brand is known for. 

"My long-time mentor, partner and friend became steward of Distillery No. 209 almost 20 years ago, preserving its heritage and bringing a craft spirits experience to a new generation," said Pat Roney, CEO of Vintage Wine Estates. "I can think of no better tribute to his vision than to carry it forward."

Roust in NY

Roust USA, importers of globally renowned brands Russian Standard® Vodkas, Gancia® Sparkling Wines, Zubrowka® Bison Grass Vodka, Green Mark® and Soplica® Vodkas, King's Falcon® Single Malt Scotch, De Luze® Cognac and Russian Standard® Moscow Mule ready-to-drink cocktail, announces the formation of its own distributorship in the State of New York with the aim of serving Metro NY customers. Roust is seeing strong momentum for its brands in the metropolitan area and will harness their potential by expanding its portfolio distribution, providing excellent customer service, and fostering closer ties with NY Metro consumers.

Roust USA portfolio

Roust New York will establish an experienced field sales force to ensure deep coverage in the On- and Off-Premise. The new organization will focus on delivering the following:

Full deployment for all the brands in the portfolio 

  • Broad consumer activation programs 
  • A new online order system for maximum efficiency and customer satisfaction

Empire Merchants will continue to represent the portfolio through the end of November. On December 1st, Roust New York will take over all of its brands in the Metro NY area.

Interactive Cocktails

Bombay Sapphire Gin presents ‘Canvas Bar’, the first-ever interactive cocktail bar where guests can enjoy DIY drinks and play the role of master mixologist. The pop-up located at 950 Queen St. W. in Toronto, is open to the public Thursdays through Sundays until November 30th, hosted by the most imaginative bartenders from across North America.

Designed to inspire creativity, ‘Canvas Bar' invites guests to customize their own Bombay Sapphire Gin cocktails using the glass as a canvas. The space will house a mixing wall of vapour-infused tonic jars with Bombay Sapphire’s essential botanicals, encouraging guests to enhance drinks by misting, spritzing and garnishing. Bar patrons can also choose from a selection of unique cocktails crafted by different world class mixologists every week.

“‘Canvas Bar’ represents a fusion between art and mixology. We’re giving guests the freedom to experiment and stir creativity,” says Ridley Doolittle, Senior Brand Manager at Bombay Sapphire Canada. “This is an opportunity for people to reimagine their favourite gin in a creative way, and hopefully discover something new in the process.”

‘Canvas Bar’ will host some of the most creative bartenders from across the continent, including Austin Millspaugh, 2018 Global Finalist of the United States’ Bartender Guild (USBG) Bombay Sapphire’s Most Imaginative Bartender Competition. Millspaugh, among others, have been distinguished as the country’s top bartenders for their artistry and creative use of ingredients. Each has been tasked to concoct bespoke cocktails celebrating Bombay Sapphire Gin’s unique flavour and encouraging guests to do the same. The roster of incredible bartenders rotates weekly, so there’s always something new to uncover.

Behind the bar you will find top bartenders from across North America including Williamsburg’s Westlight, Dallas’s The Standard Pour, Miami’s Broken Shaker, Toronto’s Drake Mini Bar, Vancouver’s Botanist, Halifax’s The Exchange on Hollis, and Montreal’s Pearl & Paddock, recognizing and celebrating talent at home and abroad.

This is the first North American stop for ‘Canvas bar’, and it is also popping up across the world, making its way through major cities like Brussels and London.

First Bottle Wines

The minds behind Last Bottle Wines have just unleashed a complimentary "sister site," First Bottle Wines.

"Our customers adore Last Bottle, and we love them, too. Since we are literally a daily wine site (one wine per day until it sells out, often in hours), there was a need to have a cozy wine shop on the web where they could come back to once they discovered a love for a new wine. First Bottle should be the FIRST place to visit if you've just had your mind blown by a $19 Tuscan Rosso or grower Champagne, because we have a very cool, carefully chosen, well-priced list that covers a lot of the major wine categories," said co-owner Stefan Blicker.

Napa's Last Bottle Wines Launches…FIRST BOTTLE

Co-owner Cory Wagner says: "Unlike Last Bottle, First Bottle is 'browsable,' and adds a whole new dimension for our customers to discover, along with next-level special offers. Oh, and free shipping always on 6+ bottles… that's ALWAYS popular!"

The First Bottle Wines website features hundreds of new releases from around the globe, including many that directly imported from the producers in Europe, which creates highly competitive pricing. Unlike many online retailers, there are no pre-arrival wines — all wine is always in stock, so clients can expect reliability and enjoy rapid shipping times. The site is easily navigable, includes free shipping on any purchase of 6 or more bottles, and conveys the don't-take-it-too-seriously spirit of sister site Last Bottle. "Wine can be as complicated or as casual as you want it to be," says Senior Wine Buyer Blake Van Treese, "and we cover all those bases from high-scoring, pricey collector bottles, to screaming-deal porch-pounders."

Wine Spectator Learning Center

The Wine Business Institute (WBI) in the School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU) announced support for the newly opened Wine Spectator Learning Center in the form of a $100,000 contribution from the Sichel Family Foundation in honor of legendary vintner and author, Peter M.F. Sichel and his  contributions as an innovator and pioneer in the global wine industry. The Sichel Family Foundation's contribution will help support education programs at the Wine Business Institute, such as the Online Certificate in Wine Business Management and new Hybrid Executive MBA in Wine Business.

"Education has always been important to our family," said Bettina Sichel, President of Laurel Glen Vineyard and daughter of Mr. Sichel, "so we see investing in the future generation of wine industry leaders, by supporting the Wine Spectator Learning Center, as a fitting recognition of the lessons that my father learned while building one of the first global wine brands." Peter Sichel, a fourth-generation wine merchant, built Blue Nun into one of the first wine brands sold internationally and at its peak, in the 1970's, in over 80 countries. 

"The Sichel Family Foundation continues a tradition of support for higher education and global partnerships by stepping forward with this generous gift," said Ray Johnson, Executive Director of the Wine Business Institute, "We're fortunate to have the opportunity to recognize the extraordinary leadership of Peter M.F. Sichel and his many achievements that laid the groundwork for today's global wine business."

Following his imprisonment and escape from Nazi Germany, and years working as a strategist and spy for the U.S., Mr. Sichel re-joined the wine industry in 1960 to bring Blue Nun wines to the United Statesand United Kingdom. Working with his cousin, Sichel built the brand into an international wine icon selling more than 1.25 million cases annually in the United States alone. In 2016, Mr. Sichel published his memoir The Secrets of My Life: Vintner, Prisoner, Soldier, Spy (Archway Publishing).

For more information regarding the Wine Spectator Learning Center or advanced degree and certificate programs, click here,

2014 Twelfth Night Pinot Noir

Twelfth Night Wines, owned by the Boston-based team of Beth Ann Dahan, Arié Dahan and Max Risman announce the release of their award-winning 2014 Twelfth Night Pinot Noir from their Central Otago winery.  Captivated with the country and people of New Zealand, the three decided to combine their passion for fine wine and their love of adventure by purchasing the sustainably farmed vineyard and winery in 2011 and are pleased to release their third vintage of Pinot Noir.

Central Otago is known for its Pinot Noirs and is sometimes called the "Burgundy of the South" with both regions being located on the 45 Parallel.  Twelfth Night Wines is thrilled that Allen Meadows, the Burgundy wine expert and publisher of the Burghound quarterly newsletter and website has given the 2014 Twelfth Night Pinot Noir a score of 92, one of his most highly rated Pinot Noirs from the Central Otago region.  Meadows writes:

2014 Pinot Noir – Twelfth Night:  (Central Otago, 13.9 percent).  A ripe and cool nose features aromas of red cherry, sandalwood, anise and a hint of rose petal.  I very much like the mouth feel of the delicious, vibrant and refreshing middle weight flavors that culminate in a balanced and sneaky long finale.  
 

2014 Twelfth Night Pinot Noir

Twelfth Night's winemaker, the French-born Antony Worch, crafts the Pinot Noir from the highest quality fruit picked from the 25 hectare vineyard located in the renowned Cromwell Basin region of Central Otago.  The wine showcases the perfect growing conditions for Pinot Noir that include hot, dry summers and crisp and snowy winters.  New Zealand's best Pinot Noirs are produced in this region and leading British wine writer Jancis Robinson MW named Central Otago in Decanter wine magazine one of the top five New World wine producing regions. The wine is widely available in 12 states.  

El Lobo Rojo

Learfield Licensing Partners, a trademark management company specializing in collegiate licensing and branding, collaborated with valued partner The University of New Mexico (UNM) and Albuquerque-based brewer Rio Bravo Brewing Co. to create a UNM-branded beer, "El Lobo Rojo".

El Lobo Rojo is a classic wheat beer brewed with fresh cherry juice that possesses an ABV of 5.5 percent. The taste is described as, "delicately hopped with a blend of Columbus and Crystal hops producing a subtle, but distinct hop character which compliments the light, refreshing cherry taste."

rojo

"Rio Bravo Brewing Company is a local brewery that already has a great partnership with the Lobos," said Brad Hutchins, deputy athletic director for external operations for New Mexico. "We are very thankful that Denise and Randy Baker wanted to collaborate to create El Lobo Rojo."

Randy and Denise Baker, owners of Rio Bravo Brewing, are proud UNM alumni and thrilled to be involved in the production of El Lobo Rojo.

"Rio Bravo Brewing is honored to be part of this collaboration between the University of New MexicoAthletic program in the development and distribution of "El Lobo Rojo," said Denise Baker, co-owner of Rio Bravo Brewing Co. "Our family has a long tradition of being season ticket holders for Lobosbasketball starting in 1959 when my parents, Carl and Donna Londene, moved to Albuquerque from Kansas."

On Nov. 12, Rio Bravo Brewing will hold a tasting and El Lobo Rojo will be available for purchase at its 1912 2nd Street Albuquerque location. Lobo Talk, the Lobos football radio show will broadcast from 7-8 pm.

This season UNM fans will be able to root on the Lobos and enjoy El Lobo Rojo at games. The beer will be available at Dreamstyle Stadium starting on Nov. 10 for a football game against Air Force and in Dreamstyle Arena starting on Nov. 16. Admiral Beverage Company will distribute El Lobo Rojo locally at Quarters (Yale Blvd. & Wyoming Blvd.), Kelly's (Wyoming Blvd.), Jubilation (Lomas Blvd.) and UNM's Tap Room on the University's campus, as well as select locations across the state. Learfield Licensing helped orchestrate the unique licensing deal, designed the beer label and is actively working with licensees to produce El Lobo Rojo merchandise. 

Cannabis-Infused, Alcohol-Removed

House of Saka, Inc. announces the launch of Saka Wines, the world's first luxury line of cannabis-infused, alcohol-removed wines from Napa Valley. Saka's Sparkling Brut Rosé and still Rosé wines are blended with a proprietary formulation of tasteless, odorless water-soluble ratio of THC and CBD derived from organic craft cannabis and powered by cutting edge technology. The first infused beverages of their kind, Saka promises to deliver a truly elevated infused experience.  

Saka Wines are the first release from House of Saka, Inc, a company formed by and for women dedicated to the development of luxury-infused relaxation, beauty & wellness products for sophisticated consumers around the world.  

Based in in Napa Valley, the world's foremost wine growing region, Saka Wines are Pinot Noir-based and sourced from hand-selected vineyards across the valleys coolest and most prolific sub-AVAs. The wines are traditionally fermented in stainless steel, after which the alcohol is gently removed and then infused with SAKA's proprietary, patent-pending formulated ratio of THC:CBD. 

"After almost 30 years of spearheading innovation in the adult beverage space and working with some of the most recognized wine and spirit brands  in the world, I am confident that cannabis-infused products are the future," expressed Saka Wines CEO, Tracey Mason. "What the sector lacks are true luxury products targeted to a sophisticated female consumer. That's what we're singularly-focused on delivering: Infused Luxury by and for Women

"The concept for this brand began 5 years ago and it was all about the right team and timing to launch the best tasting cannabis infused wine in existence. With regulations and infrastructure mature enough to bring the brand to life, I knew it was the perfect time," said House of Saka & Saka Wines Founder, Cynthia Salarizadeh. "Wine has been infused with cannabis for as long as we can find in sacred texts throughout history. It is an appropriate time for a luxury line of products at the highest quality to enter the market."

Saka Wines,a subsidiary of The House of Saka infused-luxury beauty wellness products set to enter the market in mid 2019, are slated to reach shelves in Q1 of 2019 and will be available in over 600 stores throughout California and Nevada before expanding nationwide and globally. In addition, a highly-limited ultra-exclusive, alcohol-removed cannabis and CBD infused sparkling wine sourced from the Champagne region of France will be available for pre-orders by spring of 2019

Codorníu Raventós Merges with Gleva Cellars 

Codorníu Raventós merged with Gleva Cellars with Gleva CEO Ramón Raventós  becoming CEO of the combined entity.

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Alex Wagenberg, Chairman of the Board of Codorníu Raventós, said “the Board is very pleased that Ramón has agreed to take on the role of CEO of the enlarged group. He has great energy and leadership skills and his deep industry knowledge, coupled with his proven experience in generating profitable growth perfectly aligns with Codorníu Raventós’ objectives.”

“We have set ourselves ambitious targets to ensure continued growth for the group and its brands, and with the appointment of Ramón and the addition of Gleva’s vineyards, we have made an important step in delivering on our strategy.”

The merger with Gleva Cellars is expected to close before the end of the year, upon receiving formal approvals.

Limited Edition Patrón Silver

Patrón Tequila is raising the bar this holiday season with the introduction of the 2018 Limited Edition Patrón Silver Tequila 1 Liter bottle. The fourth in a series of collectible releases, the large size-bottle is inspired by Mexico's rich tradition and history of intricate glass craftsmanship.

patron

The showpiece bottle is decorated with an intersecting white and green ribbon design, and has a stunning metallic stopper, engraved with the signature Patrón bee. Each bottle features a distinct metal label and is packaged in an attractive and convenient gift bag to ease gift giving.

"With 33 percent more tequila than our standard size bottle, the 2018 Limited Edition 1 Liter offers a unique gifting option for those who appreciate high-quality luxury spirits," said Lee Applbaum, Global Chief Marketing Officer at Patrón Tequila. "Every year the limited edition bottle is a fan favorite that incorporates the best in quality, craftsmanship, design and gift giving functionality from Patrón."

Inside this limited edition bottle, every drop of ultra-premium Patrón Silver tequila is handcrafted in small batches from the highest quality 100 percent Weber Blue Agave, distilled and bottled at the Hacienda Patrón in the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico.

Smart Decanter

In February 2019, LOUIS XIII will step into the future by integrating NFC technology into its Smart Decanter to provide clients a seamless access to an exclusive world of privileges. Each decanter will directly connect clients to the LOUIS XIII Society, a private club where members can enjoy exclusive content, unique experiences and personalized services through their smartphones. After removing the seal, clients will simply have to tap & scan their NFC-enabled smartphones on the cork stopper to access the LOUIS XIII Society landing page to create or log into their account. The decanter number will then be automatically registered.

LOUIS XIII COGNAC Smart Decanter Focus on Seal

Thanks to this small NFC chip, LOUIS XIII clients will get facilitated access to all the advantages of the LOUIS XIII Society. This private club offers bespoke services such as customized decanter engraving, pre-releases of limited editions, contact with a LOUIS XIII Personal Advisor for private tastings and ultimate experiences, and an invitation to network with LOUIS XIII Cognac connoisseurs registered all over the world. In addition, the LOUIS XIII Smart Decanter will bring added services to clients allowing them to customize gifting messages that will appear when recipients scan their decanter.

"Every LOUIS XIII decanter will feature this smart solution worldwide. At LOUIS XIII, we place clients at the very heart of everything we do, striving to offer them always the best experiences," said Ludovic du Plessis, LOUIS XIII Global Executive Director. "This innovation will be launched globally starting February 2019 and will be deployed all over the world the following months."

Wine Star Awards

Nineteen years ago, the editors of Wine Enthusiast conceived an annual-award program to honor individuals and companies that have contributed to the success of wine in the United States. Over the years, the size and scope of Wine Star Awards have expanded to encompass spirits and to showcase hands-on consumer gatekeepers, such as sommeliers. As the crown jewel of wine trade events, the Wine Star Awards recognizes how multifaceted and rich the beverage culture has become. This year, the gala continues to embrace and acknowledge the trailblazers who are impacting what you put in your glass every day.

“This year’s selection of Wine Star Award winners truly embodies what it takes to forge change and drive vision in the American wine world.” says Editor & Publisher of Wine Enthusiast, Adam Strum. “Over the last nineteen years, Wine Enthusiast has recognized year in and year out the quintessential names that help to move this industry forward. It is our honor to present these sixteen pioneers with the Wine Star trophy in Miami at the new Nobu Eden Roc Hotel.”

And the 2018 Wine Star Award winners are…

Person of the Year – Bill Newlands, President & COO, Constellation Brands

Lifetime Achievement – Mel Dick, President Wine Division & Senior VP, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, LLC

American Wine Legend – Warren Winiarski, Founder, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars; Owner, Arcadia Vineyards

Cocktail Legend – Dale DeGroff, Bartender; Author; President & Owner, Dale DeGroff Co., Inc.

Social Visionary of the Year – Deborah Brenner, Founder & CEO, Women of the Vine & Spirits

Wine Executive of the Year – Alex Ryan, President & CEO, Duckhorn Wine Company

Winemaker of the Year – Adam Mettler, Winemaker, Mettler Family Vineyards; Director of Wine Operations, Michael David Winery

Importer of the Year – Cape Classics

Innovator of the Year – Terry Wheatley, President, Vintage Wine Estates

American Winery of the Year – Riboli Family of San Antonio Winery

European Winery of the Year – González Byass

New World Winery of the Year – Bodega Garzón

Wine Region of the Year – Champagne, France

Retailer of the Year – Wally’s Wine & Spirits

Sommelier / Wine Director of the Year – June Rodil, MS – Sommelier, McGuire Moorman Hospitality Group

Spirit Brand /Distiller of the Year – Diplomático Rum

Absolut Creative

Absolut is launching the global Absolut Creative Competition in 20 countries across the world with the mission to find the next bold creative voice of the brand. The competition entries will be judged by three leading creative voices, with some exciting announcements still to come.

The competition aims to celebrate creativity and harness the power artists have to envision and create a better tomorrow. The competition launches globally on November 1st and artworks can be submitted via http://www.absolut.com/competition until January 31.

Over the last four decades Absolut has worked with over 550 of the world's boldest artists including Keith Haring, Arman Armand, Romero Britto and Maurizio Cattelan, resulting in over 800 art pieces being created. Today Absolut is launching the biggest effort in its history, encouraging creatives from all over the world to create expressions that bring alive what one of the company's brand beliefs mean to them. The beliefs are centered on creating a more open, equal and inclusive world!

The competition winner will be selected by a global jury as well as have their work amplified on Absolut's social media and digital channels. They will also then have their work displayed on a globally iconic OOH site such as Piccadilly Circus, Times Square. The winners will also receive a €20,000 cash prize, and be invited to the global announcement event in May 2019.

The global jury selected to judge the competition so far includes Aaron Cezar, the founding director of the London based Delphina Institute, where over the last ten years he has positioned the Delphina Foundation as a meeting point and incubator of creative talent, forming partnerships with leading institutions internationally. The final two judges will be announced in the coming weeks.

Sina Neubrandt, Senior Global Marketing Manager says: "Creativity can spark conversation and drive change. This is why Absolut's latest campaign celebrates the power that creativity has for making a real difference in the world. We're excited to see the entries and celebrate the winner in May."

The STOUTie

Next time you are visiting The Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, your adventure will be even more memorable thanks to the introduction of the Guinness STOUTie, the ultimate way to make your pint your own. Launching on November 1st to mark International Stout Day, a worldwide celebration of the distinctive beer style, visitors to The Guinness Storehouse will be able to experience The STOUTie – a picture-perfect pint featuring your selfie or chosen design on the head of the iconic black and white stout.

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In the true spirit of innovation, The STOUTie pushes boundaries, using technology to add natural malt extract to the top of the Guinness pint to create the chosen design. The iconic black and white stout provides the perfect canvas for a sepia toned selfie.

STOUTies are made possible by the Ripples technology, which combines patented 3D printer mechanics with Ink-Jet printing. The images are printed using natural malt extract.

Yossi Meshulam, CEO of Ripples, expands, "Ripples is known for offering brands the possibility to create unique, personalised consumer experiences by printing image or photo content onto foam-topped beverages. We are thrilled to partner with Guinness for The STOUTie launch – exciting beer lovers by making their beverage unique. Together, we are creating ripples of enjoyment at the home of Guinness in Dublin. Today, we are also excited to announce the EMEA commercial availability of the Ripple Maker PM used to power the STOUTie at the Storehouse, and set to create ripples of enjoyment across the world."

Coppola Rewards

The Family Coppola reveals the ultimate rewards program that brings together quality wine and culinary exploration, luxury resorts and adventure, and other lifestyle experiences. Coppola Rewards will immerse its fans into one celebrated brand lifestyle reinforcing endless enjoyment that The Family Coppola products and experiences have delivered for decades. This unique opportunity allows people to earn points to redeem for various rewards and access a custom curated list of exclusive experiences and items authentic to the company's roots. 

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"We know our customers and personalization is a fundamental aspect of our new rewards program–it's very responsive to what consumers want regardless of how and where people choose to shop for our wines, whether in store, at restaurants or online," says Jennifer Leitman, EVP of Marketing, The Family Coppola. "We also know how important experiences are to our fans. By giving away once-in-a-lifetime opportunities like a trip to the 2019 Sundance Film Festival® and thousands of rewards across our entire portfolio, we hope more people will explore all The Family Coppola has to offer." 

Coppola Rewards will invite more brand affinity not only through experiences, but also education and service. Some initial earnings could include a digital wine pairing guide or recipe book, or the ability to connect with an award-winning Francis Coppola Winery winemaker. The program launches with select rewards and will continue to roll out other special offers, like exclusive branded merchandise and partner rewards, to evoke an element of discovery.

McGregor Joins Allegretto

The Allegretto Vineyard Resort, a 171-room luxury resort in the Paso Robles wine region, is pleased to welcome esteemed hospitality executive Lee McGregor as Director of Sales & Marketing.

A graduate of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, McGregor brings over 20 years of hospitality and management experience to her new role at the Allegretto Vineyard Resort. Early in her career, McGregor worked as Director of Banquet and Catering Sales, Senior Sales Manager and positions of Director of Sales and Marketing for some of the Central Coast’s most prestigious hotels and resorts, winning awards such “Manager of the Year.”

Throughout her career, McGregor has proven to be a results-oriented leader with a successful track record of establishing direct sales programs and effective marketing campaigns to generate maximum revenues and profitability for full-service hotels and resorts on the Central Coast. “Drawing on my vast experience in sales and marketing, I understand competitive market strengths and weaknesses, and how to use economic trends to find areas of opportunity,” says McGregor. “I’m thrilled to join the Allegretto team and look forward to furthering the resort’s reputation as the premiere luxury destination in wine country.” 

“McGregor is a leading industry professional with an invaluable skill set,” adds proprietor Doug Ayres. “Her extensive knowledge and passion for the hospitality industry are essential elements to the success of this role, aligning with our company goals and overall commitment to excellence. We trust she will be a key asset to Allegretto Vineyard Resort and we couldn’t be more pleased to have her join our team.”

McGuinness® Ruby Red Grapefruit

Corby Spirit and Wine introduced a brand new flavour into the McGuinness liqueurs family: McGuinness® Ruby Red Grapefruit. Made with quality ingredients, this product offers a fruity and refreshing twist on classic cocktails like the Grapefruit Moscow Mule and Grapefruit Collins.

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Produced in Windsor, Ontario at the Hiram Walker & Sons Distillery, McGuinness® is Canada's largest mixable liqueur family offering 18 versatile flavours.
The newest addition to the McGuinness® liqueur family aims to enhance consumers' cocktail-making experience with its natural grapefruit flavour.

"As seen with the renewed interest in grapefruit flavoured vodkas, the growing trend in grapefruit flavour has driven consumers to search for beverage options of this kind," says Julio Ochoa, McGuinness Brand Manager. "We're excited to introduce Ruby Red Grapefruit to consumers – it's the perfect mixer to add a delicious twist to traditional cocktails."

Molson Coors' New Brewery

Molson Coors officially broke ground on a new Canadian brewery, kicking off the construction for what will be the company's most modern brewing facility and distribution centre to date. The project represents a major investment and a new chapter in the company's 230 plus years in Canada.

This new brewery and distribution centre is a significant investment by Molson Coors—indeed, one of the largest investments in its history—and a demonstration of its ongoing commitment to Greater Montreal. Local trades, services contractors and operators will be crucial to the project's success.

Pomerleau-Alberici, a partnership between Pomerleau and Alberici Constructors, has been selected to lead the design and construction of the project. There will be approximately 500-800 workers on site during the total duration of the project. 

For Frederic Landtmeters, president and CEO, Molson Coors Canada, this project connects the company's storied past to the industry's future. "Molson Coors Canada is the oldest continuously operating brewer in North America, and Canada's second oldest company. I'm confident that this new integrated distribution centre and brewery will enable the company to support more efficiently Quebec's direct store delivery model, to meet the challenging demands of Quebec markets and remain competitive," he said.

"The project will be our most modern and forward-looking production facility and distribution centre," added Matthew Hook, chief supply chain officer, Molson Coors Canada. "The new brewery will be equipped with improved technologies that will allow us to reduce our energy consumption, CO2emissions and carbon footprint, such as optimized equipment layouts to reduce beer loss and waste, and a state-of-the-art CO2 recovery system." 

"Molson's arrival is a milestone in Longueuil's business history and proves without any doubt that our City has established itself as a partner of choice for a company of this magnitude, while also serving as a testament to our economic vitality," enthused Longueuil Mayor Sylvie Parent.

The location, with an area of more than 140 acres, offers access to high quality water, highways, ports, Hydro-Québec services, natural-gas conduits, as well as a nearby wastewater treatment plant. As such, it meets all of the essential criteria for modern brewing operations. 

Molson Coors Canada will be seeking LEEDS certification, which is consistent with the brewer's drive for optimal performance standards related to sustainability and respect for our environment. It will be one of the few certified industrial sites in Canada. 

Molson Coors Canada will maintain a presence on Notre-Dame Street; administrative offices will continue to be based at the current site in Montreal and the company will create an experience that helps bring the Molson story to life. In fact, the façade of the new brewery will integrate architectural elements that will be a permanent reminder of the company's legacy.

 While this project will bring about a great amount of exciting change, the company will continue to pay tribute to its history, beginning with the renaming of Romeo Vachon street in Longueuil in honor of John Molson, made possible through the collaboration of the City of Longueuil. 

"We are very proud that a flagship company like Molson has chosen Longueuil and its airport zone as the site where it will forge ahead with its future development," said Longueuil Mayor Sylvie Parent. "Naming the street in honour of its renowned founder is just one way for us to recognize the company's significant contribution to economic development in Greater Montreal for more than 200 years."

"We are proud of our heritage and of the fact that the memory of John Molson, the founder, will be preserved. John Molson demonstrated a remarkable blend of entrepreneurship and community spirit and it's a great honor for our company to continue the work he initiated in 1786" concluded Frederic Landtmeters. 

Southern Glazer's Renews with Pernod Ricard

Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits renewed its distribution agreement with Pernod Ricard USA, the U.S. unit of the world’s 2nd largest wine and spirits company. The contract, effective as of July 1, 2019, will extend through June 2024, helping to reinforce the long-standing partnership between the two companies. 

Pernod Ricard’s portfolio of brands will be distributed across Southern Glazer’s U.S. network in 35 states, including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming. 

“Our partnership with Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits is one we value greatly and are delighted to continue with,” said Paul Duffy, Chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard USA. “One of the greatest opportunities we have working across multiple states is our ability to be truly focused at a local level, resulting in positive outcomes for our partners, and even more importantly, our customers and consumers. Working with our wholesalers allows us to do just that.” 

“On behalf of the Southern Glazer’s executive team and our American Liberty Spirits & Wine division—the dedicated division for the Pernod Ricard USA (PRUSA) portfolio—I am thrilled by the extension of our strategic partnership with PRUSA,” said Wayne E. Chaplin, CEO of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. “This special, highly valued relationship has existed for many decades. The entire Southern Glazer’s team looks forward to enhancing our synergistic collaboration to grow PRUSA’s amazing portfolio of brands—bringing them to new heights of prominence and success in the marketplace. We are excited to apply our joint best-practice ways of working in marketing, selling, and operations for enhanced efficiency and effectiveness throughout the value chain.”

 The Vero Bartender

Amaro Montenegro concluded the nationwide search in its first-ever worldwide cocktail competition, The Vero Bartender. The brand announced that bartender Kyle Erkes beat nine other regional finalists in a head-to-head contest that took place in Chicago on October 16.

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Kyle Erkes from Raleigh, North Carolina won with his cocktail named, Bitter Bamboozle, a highly aromatic drink that highlights the fruity and earthy flavors in Amaro Montenegro. The drink was inspired by the 1880s sherry and vermouth cocktail, the Bamboo. The ingredients include: 1 oz. Amaro Montenegro, .75 oz. Bodegas Grant La Garrocha Amontillado Sherry, .5 oz. Pikesville Rye, 1 barspoon of Benedictine and 10 drops Basil-infused oil.

As winner of the U.S. national finals for The Vero Bartender, Kyle Erkes will receive a one-week residency in Italy and advances to the global competition in Bologna, Italy from November 26 to December 1, 2018.  Competing in the global competition will be bartenders from Italy, Germany, UK, Australia, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and Albania. 

"Since its inception, Amaro Montenegro has been as an irreverent celebration of flavor and discovery," said Rob Cullins, Regional Director of the Americas, Gruppo Montenegro. "With The Vero Bartender competition, we set out to find the most innovative minds mixing drinks around the world – the true masters of their craft. Kyle Erkes' winning cocktail evokes the boundary-pushing style our brand is known for, and we are excited to see how he advances in the global competition."

Amaro Montenegro kicked off The Vero Bartender competition in July 2018 to scour the globe for bartenders who are passionate about flavors and not afraid to challenge the expected by putting a twist on a classic cocktail – just as the brand's founder Stanislao Cobianchi traveled the world in search of adventure and "sapore vero" (or true flavors) more than 130 years ago.

A panel of judges from the United States Bartenders' Guild reviewed recipe submissions and selected Kyle Erkes and nine other U.S. finalists based on the following criteria: inspiration & originality, taste & balance and the element of surprise created with Amaro Montenegro.

During the weeklong residency in Italy, Kyle Erkes and other finalists from around the world will be immersed in the culture and history that inspired Amaro Montenegro's founder before competing for the ultimate global title of The Vero Bartender.

Coravin Model Eleven

Coravin Inc. announced the global availability of Coravin Model Eleven, the company's first connected and fully automatic wine preservation system. Coravin's app, Coravin Moments™, is also available for download and enables wine lovers to discover unique pairing experiences for wines with food, music, TV, movies, and more. The app creates memorable wine moments for all types of wine drinkers from the casual wine enthusiast to serious wine collectors. Wine lovers have the freedom to enjoy bottles of wine by the glass with curated moments. The Coravin Moments(TM) app offers recommendations on unique wine pairings for everything from food to film to music and movies.

Designed with consumer insights in mind, the new, intuitive Model Eleven is faster, easier and more fun than pulling the cork. Users can pour a sip, a glass, or more, simply by placing the Coravin Model Eleven on top of the bottle and pressing the needle down through the cork. The light ring on the Coravin Model Eleven will turn green, indicating it is ready to pour. Then, just tip the bottle with one hand and the wine will automatically start flowing. The Model Eleven lets users set the flow rate, so they can easily pour a little to taste, a glass to enjoy, or more to share.

The Model Eleven connects via Bluetooth to the Coravin Moments app to make it easier to maintain and monitor usage and ensure a great glass of wine with each pour. Along with color LED icons on the Coravin Model Eleven, the app indicates the level of argon gas left in the Model Eleven's Coravin Pure™ Capsule, keeps track of needle usage and the need for replacement, adjusts speed of pour, and monitors battery life. Auto replenishment of Coravin Pure Capsules and replacement Coravin Needles can also be enabled through the app, so wine lovers are always able to pour from and preserve the bottles they love.

In addition to monitoring and controlling the Model Eleven, Coravin Moments includes a photo capture feature and a flavor mapping tool that can be used by all wine lovers, whether they are starting their wine journey or are wine connoisseurs, and whether they own a Coravin or not. With the photo capture feature, users can add and manage wines in their own virtual cellar. The wines are then automatically mapped for easy visualization based on their characteristics – from light to bold, earthy to fruity. 

"We've received a tremendously positive response from both the wine and technology industries since announcing the Coravin Model Eleven earlier this year, and now wine lovers will be able to experience it for themselves," said Frédéric Levy, CEO of Coravin. "The Model Eleven takes what everyone loves about our existing Coravin Systems and amplifies the experience as we continue to drive our mission of changing the way the world drinks wine."

The Coravin Model Eleven launch kit comes with everything you need for a complete Coravin experience, including six Coravin Pure Capsules, enough to pour more than 90 glasses of wine. It also contains a Coravin Aerator, a set of standard size Coravin Screw Caps, a die cast brushed metal display base and a USB charging cord, all in an elegant carry case. 

Coravin Model Eleven is available both online and in select stores at Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus, Sur La Table and Total Wine, as well as at Coravin.com. The Model Eleven launch kit, valued at $1,275.65 is available for an introductory price of $999.95. The Coravin Moments app is free and available for download on Apple iOS mobile devices. 

Just Rémy

Rémy Martin announces the launch of The Collector's Series, a program that celebrates the premium promise of Rémy Martin through the collaboration of leading lifestyle brands and designers. Kicking off The Collector's Series is an exclusive, "Just Rémy," capsule collection designed by world-renowned streetwear designer and cultural icon Don C. The collection highlights both his and Rémy Martin's unparalleled prowess and superior craftmanship in the lifestyle world. The partnership intertwines fashion, basketball and luxury to create signature pieces exemplary of the iconic Rémy Martin brand. The first in the "Just Rémy" collection to release is the 1738 Sneaker Box, patterned intricately with Just Don's iconic snake skin detailing and featuring a bottle of premium Rémy Martin 1738 Accord Royal with branded "Just Rémy" sneaker laces.

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The "Just Rémy" collection was inspired by the creative processes of both Rémy Martin and Don C. Rémy Martin's masterful production and blending of cognac to create ultra-premium products is mirrored in Don C's ability to create cutting-edge, high-quality pieces that consistently push boundaries in fashion. One entity seamlessly embodies the other, whether it be through the lens of luxury lifestyle, premium quality or a dedicated following.

"Rémy Martin has been a cultural icon for me and my community growing up on the southside of Chicago, and I'm honored to partner with a brand that has been such a big part of my history," said designer Don C. "This project allowed me to effortlessly integrate my passion points and personal style to a collection that is unique to Rémy Martin. Throughout this creative process, our brands consistently remained inspirations to one another and this 'Just Rémy' collection is truly a one-of-a-kind showcase for both Rémy Martin and Just Don." 

With a focus on basketball culture for the "Just Rémy" collection, Rémy Martin and Don C present luxury basketball essentials that double as timeless lifestyle pieces that are essential beyond the court. The "Just Remy" collection celebrates the fashion and luxury components of basketball culture and creates an all-encompassing experience before and after game time.

Rémy Martin's presence at the crossroads of luxury and lifestyle has drawn inspiration for the "The Collector's Series." Each capsule collection in the series will feature a different brand at the intersection of sport, design and lifestyle, in collaboration with Rémy Martin, to create a lifestyle movement bred by culture.

DeVecchio Named Vice President and General Manager of SouthernGlazer's New England

SouthernGlazer’s Wine & Spirits appointed Ryan DeVecchio to the position of Vice President and General Manager of New England, effective immediately. In this role, Mr. DeVecchio will be responsible for the Company’s performance in New England, and will report directly to Kirt Clemens, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Southern Glazer’s East Control Region. 

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“We are thrilled to have Ryan leading the Southern Glazer’s team in New England,” said Clemens. “He brings extensive sales and management expertise, as well as a strong focus and history of delivering positive results, to this role. I am confident that our State Liquor Commission, customer, and supplier relationships will continue to grow and thrive under Ryan’s leadership and direction.”

Mr. DeVecchio began his career in the industry at the New Hampshire State Liquor Commission and later moved into roles of increasing responsibility at Southern Glazer’s. He got his start with the Company as a Sales Representative in the Wine Portfolio Division, advancing to Portfolio Director for Pernod Ricard, and later, Vice President and General Sales Manager for the American Liberty Division (ALD) in Pennsylvania. In his most recent role as Trade Development Director for ALD, Mr. DeVecchio was charged with developing the strategic direction for the state of Florida.

He received his undergraduate degree from the University of New Hampshire and holds a Master’s of Business Administration from Southern New Hampshire University. 

“Ryan’s work ethic is second to none,” said Scott Oppenheimer, President of Control States and Canada for Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. “He consistently led our Florida sales team to success in setting and surpassing goals, and he’s the kind of leader who leads by example, ensuring our people are executing their very best and that we are delivering on our promise to our suppliers.”