Tennessee Governor to sign “Wine in Grocery Stores Bill”

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


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Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam is expected to sign the state’s “wine in grocery stores” bill Thursday, March 20. Though not in effect until July, 2016, the bill will allow retailers and wholesalers to sell wine, while liquor stores can sell beer and drinking-related items like mixers. Voters will decide by referendum if they’ll allow the sales in their own towns and cities.

Pomerol’s Clos Beauregard announced its exclusive importing agreement with Virginia-based The Vintner Group, effective immediately. In similar news, Terlato Wines announced its importing partnership with Rioja’s Bodegas Valdemar while Stoli Group USA will represent Argentina’s Achaval Ferrer in the U.S. market.

Stone Brewing Co. will donate $100,000 from the sale of its Burning Rosids Imperial Cherrywood-Smoked Saison, in honor of the company’s late brewer, Matt Courtright. Before his death, Courtright developed the brew’s recipe, which will be available nationally in 22-ounce bottles and on draft in select cities. Sales will benefit GoDesignInc.org, a charity focused on developing communities, and TKF, a nonprofit dedicated to stopping youth violence. Additionally, proceeds will also contribute to the Matt Courtright Memorial Brewing Scholarship, administered by the Master Brewers Association of the Americas.

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, the parent company of Chateau Ste. Michelle as well as a number of other wineries and brands in the Pacific Northwest and California, recently acquired 298-acres of land in Oregon’s Eola-Amity Hills. Read the full story here >>>

A consortium lead by Cerberus Capital, parent company of grocery store chain Albertsons, recently agreed to acquire Safeway for $9 billion. The deal, set to close late this year, will merge 1,000 Albertsons locations with Safeway’s 1,300 outlets. No store closures are planned. The agreement includes a 21 day period in which Safeway may actively solicit other offers. Supermarket chain and Wine Star Award winner Kroger is a potential counterbidder. 

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