MOVERS & SHAKERS
SANTA ROSA, CA—Sonoma County Vintners (SCV) raised a record-setting $794,500 at their annual Sonoma County Barrel Auction on Friday. The funds are used to support the marketing efforts of the SCV, which represents more than 200 wineries. The vintners make wines in quantities of five, 10 or 20 cases exclusively for the auction. The bidders are retailers and restaurateurs and wholesalers. For the second year in a row, Kosta Browne had the top earning lot with “The Shire of Freestone,” a 20-case Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir lot that set a new record at $60,000.
NAPA—Napa Valley-based Silver Oak announced its acquisition of Ovid Napa Valley, following a flurry of wineries vying to snatch up one-of-a-kind land holdings, as acreage appreciates in value and certain markets reach their full capacity of plantable space, CNBC reported. Silver Oak Chief Executive David Duncan said he’s bought up more than a dozen vineyards over the past few years, trying to stay “ahead of trend.” His latest acquisition of Ovid, a Napa Valley “cult darling” known for its Pritchard Hill Bordeaux Blends and Cabernet Franc, is estimated to come with a $50 million price tag, according to an industry source who spoke to CNBC.
NEW YORK—Remy Cointreau named Lou Conrad as senior vice president for sales for Remy Cointreau USA effective immediately. He replaces Bill Corbett who has stepped down from his SVP responsibilities as he moves toward retirement, the company said. Conrad joined the wholly owned U.S. subsidiary of the Remy Cointreau Group in 2006 as the senior market manager for Georgia and Tennessee.
HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE
NEW YORK—There is passion, and then there is obsession. Sotheby’s will be holding its THIRD installment of The Don Stott Cellar on May 20 in New York. The first two parts of the sale of the cellar from this director of the New York Stock Exchange totaled more than $13 million. Part III features the some of the finest Côte d’Or producers from among the most sought-after vintages of the last 100 years, along with other vinous treasures from around the world, Sotheby’s said in its press release. The pre-sale estimate for Part III is $2 million-$2.8 million.
Mr. Stott’s passion for wine collecting is reflected in his numerous visits to France, beginning in the early 1960s with a trip to Burgundy. Red Burgundy represents two-thirds of the lots being offered on May 20; white Burgundy makes up another 20 percent. Mr. Stott’s reputation as a wine connoisseur is matched by his Wall Street credentials, most notably as CEO of Wagner Stott Mercator, which was one of the street’s top specialist firms in the late 1990s. Bear Stearns bought it for $625 million in early 2001. In 2008, the global investment bank and securities trading company, which was heavily involved in subprime mortgages, failed as part of the financial crisis.
VERONA, Italy—Yet more awards trickling in from the hoopla surrounding Vinitaly. The American Chamber of Commerce in Italy awarded the 2017 Wine Excellence Award to Ferrari Trento. Ferrari Trento received this for its strong commitment to, and leading role in, strengthening the success of Italian sparkling wines in the U.S.
“The award is a great source of pride,” said Matteo Lunelli, president of Ferrari Trento. “It is the direct result of the Ferrari team’s daily commitment and passion to create our Trentodoc and to take our products into the world as ambassadors of the Italian Art of Living. I would like to thank our partners and importer Palm Bay, who has always believed in the potential of Ferrari and who helped us to grow within the U.S. market.”
SONOMA, CA—There are more and more things that sparkle in this world. Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards is adding a non-vintage sparkling Brut Rosé to its line-up. Made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes from Gloria Ferrer’s 340-acre estate in the Carneros region of southern Sonoma County, the new wine arrives at a time when both sparkling wine and rosé are booming in the U.S. market. To be released nationally in May, it will carry a suggested retail price of $29.
PHILO, CA—Boutique winery Lula Cellars, which produces about 3,000 cases a year, is releasing another Pinot Noir. The winery, which makes most of its sales direct to the consumer through its website, is releasing four 2014 Pinots: Docker Hill Pinot Noir ($50) is the first vintage from the Docker Hill Vineyard and was planted in 2010. The other three are: Mendocino Pinot Noir, Costa Vineyard Pinot, Peterson Vineyard Pinot Noir.