December 2007

Industry Spotlight News

By: The Tasting Panel Editorial Team
Patron Acquires Ultimat Vodka
The Patron Spirits Company has acquired global distribution rights to the Ultimat vodka portfolio from New York–based Adamba Imports International. The triple-distilled Polish vodka portfolio includes Ultimat 80 proof, Ultimat Black Cherry and Ultimat Chocolate vodka. The brand is known for its unique decanter style bottle and retails at a suggested price of $50.

A Wine Tasting Musical
Wine Lovers tells the story of two mismatched students attending a wine class led by an
effervescent teacher and their journey of discovery. During the show, audience members enjoy six delightful wines along with the class, and everyone learns a little about wine.
The show will have an initial run of six performances beginning December 1st at the Triad Theatre in New York. Tickets can be purchased through

Wine Writer Jancis Robinson Visits Chimney Rock

Jancis Robinson (center) with Chimney Rock’s Doug Fletcher and Elizabeth Vianna.

Chimney Rock VP of Winemaking Doug Fletcher and Winemaker Elizabeth Vianna hosted a breakfast and book signing at Chimney Rock for world-renowned wine authority and Master of Wine Jancis Robinson, who was on a tour through California to promote new editions of her books, The Oxford Companion to Wine and the World Atlas of Wine (co-authored with Hugh Johnson).
Robinson tasted Chimney Rock wines with Fletcher and Vianna, including the 2005 Elevage Blanc and the 2004 Elevage and a sampling of the recently harvested 2007 Sauvignon Gris used to make Elevage Blanc.

U.S. Drinks Conference 2007

The U.S. Drinks Conference held in London on October 16 was characterized as a “resounding success,” according to conference organizer John Beaudette of MHW Ltd.
“We clearly touched a nerve among international drinks executives interested in how to enter and succeed in the U.S. market. We had 57 attendees joining us from over a dozen countries, representing suppliers of spirits, beer and wine brands and  coming from as far away as India,” remarked Beaudette.
The message from Ron Lepow of Glazer’s Distributors was that the responsibility of building a new brand rests with the supplier, not the distributor. “In the old days, distributors competed to represent new brands. Now the tables have been turned, and suppliers struggle just to get appointments. The wholesaler’s time is dedicated to the big, global drinks companies, leaving little or no time to devote to new suppliers. That means that a new supplier must show how they will sell and promote their brands in the market with very limited assistance from the distributor,” he said.
The conference was coordinated by MHW Ltd., Next Level Marketing and  Brand Action Team, which provides marketing strategy and support programs for on and off trade.

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