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Issue: July 2012
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SWS July

ltGrenache Ground Breakers
Winemakers Dave Phinney And Joel Gott Explore New Frontiers

ltAcross Two Hemispheres
Excelsior Wine Company And Fetzer Vineyards Are Now Under The Viña Concha Y Toro Umbrella.

ltThe Middle Way
Death’s Door Spirits Sails Into The Mid-Cap With Help From Partner Serrallés USA

ltSpritz the Sunset
Across The Country, Aperol Is Illuminating Happy Hour With Its Sexy Signature Sipper, The Aperol Spritz

ltWhiskey History in the Making
With Dave Scheurich As Master Distiller, The Tennessee Spirits Company Is Thinking Big

ltAbsolut House Party
The Iconic Vodka Brand Re-Creates A Swedish Village . . . In Hollywood

ltHabitat Hero
How One Of America’s Oldest Wineries Also Became One Of Its Greenest

lt cov
southernurl

Grenache Ground Breakers

WINEMAKERS DAVE PHINNEY AND JOEL GOTT EXPLORE NEW FRONTIERS

Winemakers Dave Phinney (left) and Joel Gott are breaking new ground for Grenache.

For winemakers Dave Phinney and Joel Gott, the grass is often greener—and the grapes are frequently riper—on the other side of the world. When not making wines for their respective California labels (Orin Swift Cellars and Joel Gott Wines), the adventuresome duo can usually be tracked down via GPS trekking the globe in search of hidden pockets of undiscovered viticulture that can be turned into value-driven wines for an ever more appreciative American audience.

While Phinney and Gott’s individual pursuits include Malbec in arid Argentina, Pinot Noir in high-elevation Chile and Cabernet “from all over,” their first project together is a stunning Grenache from the Roussillon, in southern France.

Shatter, 100% Grenache from the small town of Maury in France’s Roussillon region, is named for a phenomenon in which grape clusters fail to develop all their berries after flowering. While this condition—called coulure in French—is usually considered a viticultural hazard, Gott and Phinney boldly embraced it as the name for their new project. (read more)

315395 Shatter, Grenache, France 2010 12/750ml $280.00/case $24.93/bottle
320031 The Show, Granacha, Chile 2010 12/750ml $214.99/case $12.02/bottle
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Across Two Hemispheres

EXCELSIOR WINE COMPANY AND FETZER VINEYARDS ARE NOW UNDER THE VIÑA CONCHA Y TORO UMBRELLA.



Giancarlo Bianchetti, CEO of Fetzer Vineyards, is also co-manager for Excelsior Wine Company. Here, he walks among the biodynamically farmed vines of of Bonterra Vineyards at Butler Ranch, above the clouds at an elevation of 2,300 feet, overlooking the Ukiah Valley in Mendocino County.

On April 15, 2011, Chile’s Concha y Toro purchased a California winery: Fetzer Vineyards. The first Chilean winery to acquire a winery in California (bought from former owner Brown-Forman), Concha y Toro has been exporting to the US for more than 30 years, with the Mariani family of Banfi. At three million cases per year, it is the second-largest imported brand from South America in the U.S.

Excelsior Wine Company was created together with Concha y Toro and Banfi Vintners as a marketing and sales partnership. Excelsior’s portfolio includes the South American Concha y Toro labels as well as Little Black Dress and Five Rivers. Fetzer Vineyards has its own dedicated sales force which includes the brands Fetzer, the organic label Bonterra, and Jekel among others. Giancarlo Bianchetti is the CEO of Fetzer Vineyards and also represents the interests of Concha y Toro in Excelsior Wine Company.(read more)

310608 Marques de Casa Concha, Merlot, 2009 12/750ml $190.99/case $17.52/bottle
310195 Don Melchor, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008 6/750ml $355.00/case $62.37/bottle
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Spritz the Sunset

ACROSS THE COUNTRY, APEROL IS ILLUMINATING HAPPY HOUR WITH ITS SEXY SIGNATURE SIPPER,THE APEROL SPRITZ



At Via Alloro in Beverly Hills, Armando Liuzzo demonstrates the three-two-one recipe of the Aperol Spritz.

On a busy street corner, Via Alloro’s bustling patio is abuzz with conversation. It’s approaching happy hour, and customers chat cheerfully over bites of burrata and a variety of authentic, delicious carpaccios. We’re in the heart of swanky Beverly Hills, yet there’s an undeniable European feel here. If you tune out the Hollywood talk and focus solely on the several tables filled with happy diners speaking Italian, it’s easy to transport yourself to the sidewalk eateries of Florence or Rome.

Completing this virtual vacation is the restaurant’s signature cocktail, the simply chic Aperol Spritz. At the bar and on patio tables, the iconic, vibrantly-hued quaff stands out, instantly channeling the spirit of the sunset—no matter where you are in the world. With classic Italian style and a light, refreshing flavor, the Spritz has been instrumental in Aperol’s meteoric rise to the top, and the brand is now the fourth fastest-selling brand in the world. (read more)

129137 Aperol 6/750ml $114.00/case $19.00/bottle
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Whiskey History in the Making

WITH DAVE SCHEURICH AS MASTER DISTILLER, THE TENNESSEE SPIRITS COMPANY IS THINKING BIG



Master Distiller Dave Scheurich and his wife, Della, enjoy Jailers Tennessee Whiskey and Forbidden Secret American Cream Liqueur on their front porch.

As Dave Scheurich tilts the Prohibition-era still back, showing ax slits made by a revenue agent, I couldn’t help but think about the original owner. Agents likely stormed his Kentucky hill hideout, held him at gunpoint and stripped him of his illicit livelihood.

These Prohibition stories are colorful and rich with characters, but for the longest time, nobody cared about this history. We all knew Prohibition was the experiment that didn’t work, but our culture didn’t embrace the era as it does today. The result was so much whiskey past discarded on the scrap heap. (read more)

305818 Jailers, Tennessee Whiskey 6/750ml $132.00/case $25.20/bottle
143824 Forbidden Secret, Dark Mocha, Ameriacan Cream Liqueur 6/750ml $110.00/case $21.53/bottle
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Absolut House Party

THE ICONIC VODKA BRAND RE-CREATES A SWEDISH VILLAGE . . . IN HOLLYWOOD

Naomi Schimek, General Manager of The Spare Room, stands in an unmistakable ABSOLUT doorway with Marcos Tello of Tello | Demarest Liquid Assets, a cocktail consulting firm.

 

ABSOLUT Stuga [ab-so-loot stoo-gah] noun: a vibrant, self-contained world full of exciting, entertaining and surprising discoveries to reconnect you an icon that is constantly reinventing itself.

At Paramount Studios in the heart of Hollywood, on the same sound stage where Citizen Kane was filmed, Los Angeles’s top bartenders found themselves transported last month to a remote village in Sweden. There, the stage was dramatically lit, giving the scene an authentic icy air that was a perfect backdrop for three stugas, Swedish cottages designed to each represent a unique dimension of Sweden’s iconic vodka brand, ABSOLUT. According to Simon Ford, Trade Marketing Director for Pernod Ricard USA, the aim of the night was to educate by following this mandate: “Bring Sweden to Los Angeles, and fly in the experts.”

As a group of ABSOLUT experts stood by, ready to delve into all aspects of the quintessentially Swedish vodka, bartenders and industry professionals from across Los Angeles were privy to everything about the brand, from founder Lars Olsson Smiths’s ground breaking methods of continuous distillation to the ABSOLUT ‘one source’ philosophy. (read more)



310909 Absolut 12/750ml $229.25/case 20.70/bottle
310910 Absolut 12/1.0L $300.00/case $26.60/bottle
311853 Absolut 6/1.75L $204.75/case $37.33/bottle
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Habitat Hero

HOW ONE OF AMERICA’S OLDEST WINERIES ALSO BECAME ONE OF
ITS GREENEST



Tim Thornhill at Parducci Vineyards.

A visit to Parducci Winery is inspirational. Houston native Tim Thornhill’s past experiences have led him to redesign a water-wasting, biologically inefficient property into a natural place. His water reclamation project has conserved water and saved money: Five million gallons are recycled annually. His waterfalls are both esthetically pleasing while also serving to oxygenate reclaimed winery waste water. His man-made wetland is an ecosystem that mimics the Everglades, using plants as a “green filter,” constructively cleaning water for use in the vineyards as well as for Parducci’s certified wildlife habitat.

Thirteen years ago, Thornhill sat down and wrote a list of what he would regret if not accomplished in his lifetime. He traveled from Texas to Florida to New York, building resorts, botanic gardens and theme parks. Restoration projects and environmental landscaping was a specialty. But what did he really want to do? And where did he want to end up living? (read more)

168106 Parducci, Sustainable White, 2009 12/750ml $78.99/case $8.18/bottle
245394 Parducci, Sustainable Red, 2008 12/750ml $78.99/case $8.18/bottle
256940 Parducci, Pinot Gris, Small Lot, 2011 12/750ml $111.99/case $10.93/bottle
256945 Parducci, Petite Sirah, True Grit, 2008 6/750ml $99.00/case $19.70/bottle
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