The French senate accepted a new bill that would grant the country’s wines and vineyards national heritage status. A portion of the bill reads, “wine and winemaking areas form a part of the cultural and gastronomic landscape of France.” According to Wine Searcher, the bill's creators hope it will protect the wine industry from anti-alcohol legislation in the future.
In celebration of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in June, Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica, CA, will be launching a new “World Cup of Wine” menu. General Manager Gregory Day and Master Sommelier Peter Neptune are creating a wine menu that represents each participating country. Once a team is knocked out of the competition, so is its corresponding wine. Some wines on the list are Lidio Carraro Dádivas Chardonnay (Brasil), Bibich R5 Riserva (Croatia) and Viña Errazuriz Cousiño-Macul Carmenere (Chile). In similar World Cup news, Bodega Valentin Bianchi recently launched its LEO wines to honor Argentine soccer great Lionel “Leo” Messi. A portion of the proceeds from sales benefits Messi’s Foundation, which helps at-risk children and adolescents.
Yakima Valley fruit producer Allan Brothers announced it is purchasing Sagemoor Vineyards, a producer-and-wine-grape supplier to 70 of Washington’s wineries. The purchase includes four properties over 883 acres dedicated to wine grapes (Sagemoor also produces cherries and apples). The ownership change takes effect in late April. The current management team will stay on, along with its 120 employees.
Rogue Ales and Spirits is expanding its operation by creating Rolling Thunder Barrel Works, an old world-style barrel cooperage. The new facility, located at Rogue’s headquarters in Newport, OR, will allow the company to age its line of craft brews and spirits in white oak barrels, sourced from the Oregon Coast Range.
Texas chain Max’s Wine Dive is expanding beyond the state with new restaurants in Chicago and Atlanta in May, with a Denver location opening in July. The Houston-based company focuses on casual wine-and-food pairings with a wine list with bottles under $100.