Uncorkings 5.9.11

News and notes from the world of wine.

Kiosks in Pennsylvania supermarkets, which currently sell wine, also will be stocked with hard liquor. Since last June, some 69,000 wine bottles have been sold via vending machine kiosks.

Elizabeth Vianna has been promoted to general manager of Chimney Rock Winery, in addition to her duties as head winemaker.

Seattle-based distributor Odom Corp promoted Dick Barkett to president and chief operating officer.

The world’s biggest spirits makers, Diageo and Pernod Ricard, reported better-than-expected earnings, as buoyant emerging market growth offset weak sales in Europe. The two companies also reported increased interest in premium products, a marked switch from the emphasis of the last two recession years, during which consumers moved to less expensive drinks.

Australian giant Foster’s Group confirmed plans to split its wine and beer units. The new wine company, Treasury Wine Estates, will have an estimated worth between $2 billion to $3 billion and a high-profile collection of brands such as Beringer, Penfolds, Wolf Blass and Chateau St. Jean. Experts already are speculating that the new wine company may soon sell off some of its assets.

U.S. wine exports to Canada increased by 30 percent last year and were valued at $269 million in 2010, due in large part to interest generated from promotional events throughout Canada.

Jack Daniel’s became the first spirits brand to buy ad space on Twitter.

Buena Vista Carneros, California’s oldest premium winery, joined the Boisset Family Estates collection.

J Vineyards & Winery, the Russian River Valley sparkling and varietal wine producer, appointed Melissa Stackhouse as its new vice president of winemaking.

Willamette Valley vintner Domaine Serene appointed Erik Kramer as Winemaker.

Jeff Stewart has been appointed winemaker and general manager at Hartford Family Winery.

Mike Lee, who helped found Sonoma’s Kenwood Vineyards and turned it into one of California’s most respected wineries, died on May 2. Lee suffered a heart attack while playing golf in Santa Rosa. He was 66. Click here to read more.

Published on May 9, 2011