Coravin Voluntarily Halts Sales After Reports of Burst Bottles

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

Coravin, the device widely-adopted in restaurants for its innovative use in accessing bottled wine without removing the cork, voluntarily halted sales last week amidst reports of safety concerns. According to Coravin founder Greg Lambrecht, seven bottles were reported to crack and burst while using the device, though the problem seems to stem from damaged and broken bottles themselves rather than use of the device. The seven reported instances came from home-users. The company is advising consumers to halt use of the Coravin until they receive a “remedy package” including a protective neoprene bottle sleeve to use alongside the device. The company, which updated its user and safety guide, is also working with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission to ship all future Coravins with this protective sleeve.

On June 3 in New York City, The Cornell University School of Hotel Administration celebrated the 6th annual Cornell Hospitality Icon & Innovator Awards, recognizing the people and brands who drive the hospitality industry forward. This year, the school awarded the 2014 Icon of the Industry award to the Mariani family, founders and proprietors of importer Banfi Vintners and Castello vineyard estate and boutique hotel property in Montalcino, Tuscany.

Bacchus Capital Management announced new leadership at its wineries Wine by Joe/Dobbes Family Estate and Panther Creek Cellars, both located in Oregon. Wine by Joe/Dobbes Family Estate’s current General Manager Gretchen Boock will be assuming the responsibilities of wholesale sales as well as all business operations and planning functions. Quinton Jay, Managing Director of Panther Creek Cellars, will become President, responsible for all business operations of the winery.

Terlato Wines announced a partnership with Indiana's Heartland Distillers to jointly produce and market a collection of luxury American craft spirits. This represents the newest addition to the Terlato Artisan Spirits portfolio. The companies expect to launch their first offering, Prohibition Gin, in late 2014.  It will be followed by Spring Mill whiskey and Bourbon in 2015.

In an official announcement, Michael Mondavi Family Estate announced it sold its eight-year-old Carneros winery facility, 13-acre vineyard and tasting room to Kieu Hoang Winery Napa Valley, owned by American businessman Kieu Hoang. No brands or other family-owned vineyard holdings are affected by the sale, and financial details were not disclosed. All affected staff has been offered positions under the new ownership. “We are actively looking to establish a boutique winemaking facility and tasting room in Napa Valley befitting the distinguished wines produced under the Michael Mondavi Family Estate umbrella,” said Robert Mondavi Jr. in the statement.

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