U.S. craft beer exports increased in 2012

Plus other news and notes from the world of wine, spirits and beer.

Napa Valley, California-based Cakebread Cellars is launching a Washington State project called Mullan Road. The label’s first bottling, a Bordeaux-style red blend, is being made from grapes that were sourced from Walla Walla’s Seven Hills Vineyard. The wine is being produced at Artifex Wine Company, a custom-crush facility in Walla Walla. Read the full story here >>> 

U.S. craft beer exports increased 72% to $49.1 million in value in 2012, according to the Brewers Association. The largest export market for the U.S. continued to be Canada, with a shipment volume that increased 140% to 68,180 barrels.

Henri Krug, the former president of Maison Krug Champagne, died on March 7 at the age of 75. Henri was the fifth generation to oversee the Champagne’s production. He launched Krug’s Clos du Mesnil bottling and the company’s first rosé. Henri is survived by his wife, Odile, and their five children. Read the full story here >>>

James L. Barrett, Napa Valley wine pioneer and owner of the Calistoga, California-based winery Chateau Montelena died on March 14 at the age of 86. Barrett helped bring California wine to the international spotlight when his 1973 Chardonnay beat top-rated white Burgundies and other California entries at the 1976 Judgment of Paris. Chateau Montelena will remain in the Barrett family, with his son Bo Barrett continuing as master winemaker and CEO. Barrett is survived by his wife, Judy, five children and five grandchildren. Read the full story here >>>

San Diego-based Green Flash Brewing is constructing a production facility in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The new $20-million brewery will measure 58,000 square feet, and it will have the capacity for producing 100,000 barrels per year. The space, which is expected to open in 2015, will also have a tasting room, beer garden and retail store.

Domaine Anne Gros has been added to Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines’ Burgundy portfolio. The estate includes three grand crus—Richebourg, Clos de Vougeot and Echézeaux—plus other sites in Chambolle-Musigny and Vosne-Romanée. Gros also crafts the wines at Domaine Anne Gros et Jean-Paul Tollot, an estate in the Languedoc’s Minervois region. The wines from both domaines will be available in 33 states, starting with the 2011 vintage.

Denis Dubourdieu, a Bordeaux-based wine consultant, and Giorgio Dalla Cia, former winemaker of South Africa’s Meerlust Estate, have joined forces to produce a wine called G, which is being hailed “the first growth of the Cape.” A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, the bottling will retail for $350. The wine’s release date in the United States is to be determined. 

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