It’s a true sign of the times when social media stars can release their own wines to buzzy fervor, but leave it to Josh Ostrovsky—better known as “The Fat Jew” on Instagram—to strike while the iron is hot. Responding to 2014’s purported rosé shortage in the Hamptons, Ostrovsky and the duo behind #WhiteGirlProblems (another Internet sensation), launched the Provence-style White Girl Rosé bottling. It’s available for purchase and delivery via FreshDirect Wines & Spirits as well as retailers in 38 states. You can find more details here >>>
New Zealand Winegrowers, the country’s representative trade group, confirmed a shortage of 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, most notably from Marlborough. In a statement, CEO Philip Gregan confirmed this year’s crop is down 27 percent from 2014, attributing the reduction to cool spring weather. FYI, wine is New Zealand’s sixth largest export, selling to more than 90 countries.
In the Trade
The numbers are in: Auction Napa Valley, Napa Valley Vintners’ annual charity fundraiser, inspired $15.8 million in proceeds to benefit Napa’s community health and children’s education. On Friday, the popular Barrel Auction at HALL winery in St. Helena raised a record $1.9 million from 120 direct-from-barrel wine futures. On Saturday’s Live Auction Celebration at Meadowood Napa Valley, 850 guests bid on 51 auction lots including The Chair’s Lot, which included a 35-year vertical wine collection of Opus One magnums and a two-week tour throughout Europe, eventually raised $2.4 million,becoming the ANV’s top grossing lot of all time. Singer-songwriter John Legend surprised the crowd with a performance of his hit “All of Me” prior to the sale of Live Auction Lot 31, a collaboration between Legend and Raymond Vineyards. The lot, which included six etched bottles of Napa Valley wine and a dinner party for 30 graced by a private performance by Legend, sold for $850,000. For more information and highlights from the event, visit Napa Valley Vintners >>>
Lynn and Ron Penner-Ash, of the eponymous Oregon winery, have hired Patrick Connelly as general manager. Guiding the winery’s wholesale and retail business plan, Connelly will also oversee day-to-day operations, Lynn Penner-Ash will focus solely on winemaking and Ron Penner-Ash will seek to expand his industry relations role and year-round philanthropic initiatives. Connelly is a multi-generational native of Napa Valley, and brings to Penner-Ash a successful track record of strategic positioning of premium brands in the wine industry. His management experience includes Clos Pegase and Pine Ridge wineries in Napa Valley, Jackson Family Wines in Santa Rosa, and Kristine Ashe Vineyards and Entre Nous in Oakville.
In other hiring news, Nicole Carter has been appointed Chief Marketing Officer for The Hess Collection Winery. Most recently serving as vice president of international marketing at Treasury Wine Estates, Carter will head up marketing efforts for Hess Family Wine Estates’ California-based brands, Salta, Argentina’s Amalaya and Colomé labels and Glen Carlou from the Paarl region in South Africa.
On Thursday, June 4, Gary Eberle, a pioneer of winemaking in Paso Robles, regained control of Eberle Winery, which he founded more than 30 years ago. Ousted as general partner in January 2014 with only 35 percent interest in the company, Eberle and his wife, Marcy, spent the last year and half securing a loan for an undisclosed, multi-million-dollar deal to buy back a majority stake from five partners. The Eberles now owns 84 percent of the winery, which produces 27,000 cases a year. “It hit me hard when I faced the fact that I lacked majority control over this place,” says Eberle in a statement. “Now the future is up to me and my wife Marcy to continue to develop the property and its wine to their utmost potential.