Uncorkings for 10.10.11

News and notes from the world of wine.

Last week, on Thursday, October 6, Constellation Brands Inc. announced that its fiscal second-quarter profits rose 78% on improved wine and spirits sales in North America after four years of cost-cutting. It  also marked the day that the wine and spirits giant took 100% control of the famed Italian brand Ruffino. (Previously, Constellation owned 49.9% of the brand.) To read more about the acquisition, click here.

The nation’s prominent wine and spirits distributor, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, appointed John Wittig to executive vice president-general manager of the South Florida division. Prior to his new appointment, Wittig served as the executive vice president-general manager of the Nevada division.

The late winemaker Robert Mondavi’s 56-acre Napa Valley estate will be auctioned off on November 16, 2011. Complete with an underground wine cellar, two acres suitable for vine planting and a 50-foot-long pool in the living room, the opening bid is set for $13.9 million. Handled by Sheldon Good & Co., a New York-based real-estate auction company, the sale is slated to be a sealed-bid auction.

The Barton family, owners of Bordeaux’s second and fourth growths Château Leoville-Barton and Château Langoa-Barton in St.- Julien have purchased Château Mauvesin, a cru bourgeois in Moulis en Médoc. This marks the family’s first acquisition since the 1820s.

An increasing amount of wine producers are putting Quick Response codes on their bottles, enabling customers to scan the codes with their smartphones to easily access online information about the wine. Paso Robles, California’s Justin Vineyards and Winery as well as Napa Valley’s Chappellet are among the current proponents of the QR codes. Foreign producers are also beginning this practice for bottles exported to the U.S.

After importing wine for 28 years for Zaccagnini, a famed Montepulciano producer from Abruzzo, Italy, Ed Lauber of Lauber Imports (purchased by Southern Wine & Spirits in 2005) has been honored with the creation of a new Zaccagnini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wine, Vigneto Edoardo. The inaugural bottling is from the 2008 vintage.

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