Uncorkings 10.11

News and notes from the world of wine.

The University of California, Davis is launching the most technologically advanced and environmentally sophisticated winery, brewery and food-processing complex in the world. Construction of the $15 million teaching-and-research winery was completed in July, and crush is now under way there. The new winery is expected to be the first in the world to earn LEED Platinum certification and is designed to become self-sustainable in energy and water use.

California vintners are predicting that this year’s grape crop may be markedly smaller than previous years.

With the passage of “wine doggy bag” laws in Alaska and the District of Columbia, diners throughout all 50 United States now can take home from restaurants unfinished bottles of wine.

The spirits industry had a solid August, with luxury spirits showing particularly impressive results, based on Nielsen-tracked scans in the four-weeks to September 18. Ultra-premium spirits showed the most growth by far in the four-weeks, with dollar sales gaining 18.6 percent and volumes up 23.6 percent.

Consumers have begun to loosen purse strings, increasing their spending at restaurants. A Bloomberg index that tracks 19 full-service restaurant chains has more than tripled from its November 2008 low and is near an all-time high relative to the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

Beam Global Spirits & Wine announced plans to sell Cockburn’s Port to the Symington Family Estates. As part of the agreement, Beam will continue to distribute Cockburn’s Port in select markets.

Purple Wine Company announced its acquisition of the Four Vines Winery brand.


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