This Just In: Appointments and Announcements

James and Cristina Mariani's Castello Banfi wins Best Winery of 2017/ Photo by Vinitaly

Movers & Shakers

EDINBURGH, Scotland – The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), which represents the industry globally, named Karen Betts as its new chief executive. Betts, who served 16 years in the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office and most recently served as British ambassador to Morocco, is the first woman to hold the position in SWA’s 105-year history. “It’s an exciting and challenging time for the Scotch Whisky industry, and I am looking forward immensely to helping ensure its success into the future,” Betts said in a press release.

LAKE BLUFF, IllTD Artisan Spirits named JC Iglesias as vice president of marketing. In this newly created role, Iglesias will lead strategic marketing programs at the trade and consumer levels for the joint venture recently formed by Terlato Artisan Spirits and Distell USA.

Heard it Through the Grape Vine

NEW YORK – Big data has come to the wine world, Forbes reports. Vivino Market launched earlier this month, offering wine fans the same sort of customized recommendations for which Amazon and Netflix are famous. In the seven years since it was founded by Heini Zachariassen, Vivino has assembled a massive database of more than 20 million consumer reviews on more than 10 million wines, as well as the full web of their users’ contacts and comments in its app.

VERONA, Italy – The American Chamber of Commerce in Italy awarded Castello Banfi the group’s 2017 Wine Excellence Award. Owned by the Mariani family, which also owns importer Banfi Vintners, Castello Banfi is known for its Brunello di Montalcino. A few days after the chamber of commerce award came news that Castello Banfi was named “Best Winery of the Year – Gran Vinitaly 2017” by 5 Star Wines THE BOOK 2017. More than 2,100 wines from nearly 600 wineries around the world were assessed in blind tastings by a panel of Masters of Wine, Master Sommeliers and top wine writers. It was the fifth time Castello Banfi has been declared the top winery in the world at Vinitaly.

MIAMISouthern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, the largest North American wine and spirits distribution company, established the Youth Alcohol Awareness & Education Foundation, Inc., devoted to the prevention of underage drinking. The Foundation will provide funding for programs that support underage drinking prevention in partnership with educational institutions and community-based organizations.

OAKVILLE, Calif.  – Oakville’s Gamble Family Vineyards announced new distribution partnerships in Illinois, Arkansas and West Virginia. Breakthru Beverage Illinois, the result of the Charmer-Sunbelt and Wirtz Beverage Illinois merger, was founded in 1946. In Arkansas, Natural State Distributing, founded in 2006, is a female-owned distribution company based in Little Rock. By adding West Virginia-based Galaxy Distributing to its distributors, Gamble wines will become available at Greenbrier Sporting Club.

BEDFORD, Pa.  — The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) opened a new Fine Wine & Good Spirits store at Heritage Square, 9613 Lincoln Highway, Suite 105, Bedford, – about a 30-minute drive from the Maryland state border. The PLCB regulates the distribution of beverage alcohol in Pennsylvania, operates more than 600 wine and spirits stores statewide, and licenses 20,000 alcohol producers, retailers, and handlers. Taxes and store profits – totaling $15.1 billion since the agency’s inception – are returned to Pennsylvania’s General Fund.

Published on April 17, 2017
Topics: This Just In
About the Author
Leslie Gevirtz
Contributing Editor, Business

An award-winning journalist, Gevirtz spent more than 20 years covering disasters—natural, political, and financial—before becoming Reuters’ wine correspondent; a beat that guaranteed her colleagues were always glad to see her.




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