News and notes from the world of wine.
Kathleen Heitz Myers of Napa Valley’s Heitz Wine Cellars was elected the 2012-2013 chairman of the Wine Institute, a public policy advocacy group that represents approximately 1,000 California wineries.
Wine-and-spirits giant Brown-Forman is set to open a new Jack Daniel’s cooperage facility in Decatur, Alabama. The facility, which is slated to be operational by May 2014, is expected to double the barrel-making capacity for the Tennessee whiskey brand. Jack Daniel’s facility in Louisville, Kentucky, currently produces approximately 500,000 barrels; the new cooperage will have similar production capabilities.
After purchasing Hickinbotham Vineyard in Australia’s McLaren Vale in February, 2012, Sonoma, California’s Jackson Family Wines has acquired Ramal West Vineyard in Sonoma’s Los Carneros AVA for an undisclosed amount. The vineyard, primarily planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, was originally developed in the mid-1980s by Buena Vista Winery.
According to the Consorzio del Vino Chianti Classico, Chianti Classico DOCG’s ruling council, the region will create a new top-tier classification as a means to underscore Chianti Classico’s improved quality. While the new designation is currently unnamed, it will sit above the riserva level, representing single-vineyard wines.
A severe hailstorm struck Champagne’s southern Côte des Bar, destroying an estimated one-third of next year’s harvest. According to the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC), the trade association representing Champagne’s grape growers and houses, it is the third-largest amount of hail damage the region has experienced in history.