British dairy farmer Jason Barber has produced the world’s first milk vodka called Black Cow, reports Time. To make the vodka, Barber first separates milk into curds and whey; he then ferments the whey to create a milk beer. The milk beer is distilled, and he finally blends and triple filters the distillate. The milk Barber uses for the vodka is the same milk that he uses to create his 1833 Cheddar cheese, which won an award at the 2012 World Cheese Awards. The vodka sells for approximately $37/750 ml or $30/500 ml on the Black Cow Website.
The 22nd-annual Monticello Cup award was bestowed on Greenwood, Virginia-based Pollak Vineyards for its 2010 Meritage, a blend of 41% Cabernet Franc, 41% Merlot and 18% Petit Verdot. Only wineries in the state’s Monticello American Viticultural Area are eligible to participate in the competition. Pollak previously won the Monticello Cup in 2011.
Union Square Hospitality Group’s DeVine Intervention online wine auction has raised $200,000 to benefit the continuing relief efforts for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. One hundred percent of the event’s proceeds will be allocated to The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, a nonprofit group that will distribute the earnings to efforts and organizations that benefit the cause. Read more about the auction.
The Brewers Association, a nonprofit trade group that charts production statistics for the U.S. brewing industry, has announced the top 50 craft-brewing companies based on 2012 sales. The Boston Beer Co. (Boston) ranked first, followed by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (Chico, California) and New Belgium Brewing Co. (Fort Collins, Colorado).
The Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association has appointed Morgen McLaughlin executive director, effective April 19. Most recently, McLaughlin served as president and CEO of the Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism Marketing Association.
A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Texas has suggested that by the year 2050, areas currently conducive to viticulture will decline by 25%–73%. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study suggests that due to global warming, suitable grape-growing areas in Mediterranean Europe could decrease by 68% and in sections of Australia by 73%. In contrast, the study estimated that suitable grape-growing areas in New Zealand would more than double by 2050.
Seven employees at the Grupo Modelo brewery in Mexico City were killed on April 7 while cleaning a beer tank, according to The Drinks Report. Authorities are investigating the cause of the deaths, but early reports indicate that the workers may have died due to toxic fumes.