Kane’s Beverage News Daily

Volume 10, No. 4
The National Beverage Daily
Thursday, January 9, 2014

In Today’s Issue:

  • Quintessential to Rep Ironstone, Leaping Horse and Obsession Wines
  • Diageo, P. Diddy Join to Acquire $1,000-a-Bottle Tequila Brand
  • A-B Buys Portland Distributor
  • Argetsinger Family Vineyard Placed in Environmental Trust
  • Chicken Cock Sports Bull Rider
  • Indiana City Brewing Signs Distribution Pact
  • Brown Distributing to Rep Triple Crossing Brewing in Virginia

Quintessential to Rep Ironstone, Leaping Horse, Obsession Wines

The Kautz Family, proprietors of California’s Ironstone Winery & Vineyards signed Quintessential as Ironstone’s exclusive U.S. sales and marketing agents.

The Kautz Family has been in the Lodi region since the early 1900s, when Frederick and Marie Kautz came from Germany and used a U.S. Land Grant to acquire acreage.  The farm thrived with all kinds of produce, becoming one of the more successful farms in the region.

Frederick’s son, John, led the family into winegrape growing, beginning with 12 acres and growing to more than 5,000 acres devoted to vines in Lodi, and through his wife’s family, in the Sierra Foothills.  The family has kept purchasing land; it holdings now total 6,500 acres.

The began producing wine in 1988, erecting a winery in the Sierra Foothills.  The winery has grown to become the largest winery entertainment complex in California.

Ironstone brought a pipe organ built in 1927 from the famed Alhambra Theater in Sacramento that still provides the music for classic silent films that the winery runs throughout the year in the Alhambra Music Ballroom.

According to Dennis Kreps, who owns Quintessential along with his father Steve, “We’ve long been looking to expand our California offerings with a family-owned winery that best exemplifies the wines coming from a particular region.   Ironstone wines from the Sierra Foothills and Lodi deliver both the same high quality and value we have found in the wines we represent around the world, making them a perfect fit with our company’s philosophy, marketing and sales strategies.   We’re very pleased to be working with the Kautz family and their impressive wines.”

Diageo, P. Diddy Join to Acquire $1,000-a-Bottle Tequila Brand

Anyone wondering what Diageo would do once it lost Jose Cuervo now has an answer:  It formed a 50-50 joint venture with Sean P. Diddy Combs’ Combs Wine & Spirits to acquire DeLeon Tequila, which sells for $120 to more than $1,000 a bottle.  How much was paid Quench Enterprises for the brand wasn’t announced.

DeLeon is distributed in 18 states and Washington, DC.

“The joint venture with Combs Wine & Spirits and its purchase of DeLeón is Diageo’s latest step towards returning to a leading position in tequila in North America,” said Larry Schwartz, president of Diageo North America.

“Expanding our relationship with Sean Combs into tequila was a natural choice given Sean’s ability to galvanize support for luxury brands, as we’ve seen with our work together on Cîroc.

“Ultra-premium and above tequila is a very exciting segment – we already have a strong brand there with Don Julio and are pleased to complement that offering with DeLeón.”

“The joint-venture acquisition of DeLeon will allow the brand to benefit from Diageo’s strong distribution network, supply chain, and marketing capability and Sean Combs’ access to influencers and proven track record of marketing luxury lifestyle brands,” said Diageo.

DeLeón is a 100% blue weber agave boutique tequila brand with a loyal following in Hollywood and the U.S. music industry. The brand appeals to an important audience of status-conscious consumers who choose spirit brands as part of their luxury lifestyle.  The acquisition of DeLeón will accelerate Diageo’s share of ultra-premium and above ($40+) tequila, which is the second-fastest growing tequila segment in the U.S., according to Nielsen.

Diageo and Combs have grown Ciroc vodka to nearly 2 million cases a year from 50,000 in just seven years.

In another development, Sanford C. Bernstein and Credit Suisse analysts said Diageo’s stock is likely to outperform the market.  That seems to be the general consensus on Wall Street.

A-B Buys Portland Distributor

Anheuser-Busch agreed to buy Morgan Distributing, Portland, Ore.  Terms weren’t disclosed.

“We decided to purchase the territory, which is adjacent to Western Beverage, our distributorship in Eugene, exercising our match right because we felt it was the best option,” said David Almeida, vice president-sales at Anheuser-Busch, in a statement.

Argetsinger Family Vineyard Placed in Environmental Trust

Finger Lakes Land Trust purchased a scenic easement giving permanent protection against development of a scenic vineyard overlooking Seneca Lake’s eastern shore.

The Argetsinger Vineyard produces grapes which are sold to Ravines Wine Cellars, which produces a Riesling wine that is made solely from Argetsinger grapes. The vineyard has been in the same Argetsinger family’s ownership for more than 100 years.

The property features sweeping views of Seneca Lake as a well as a stream and rugged gorge that runs along the parcel’s northern boundary.

The Land Trust purchased a conservation easement that will prevent future development of the site while allowing it to remain in private ownership and in operation as a vineyard. The easement also provides for the protection of environmentally sensitive lands bordering the stream and gorge on the property. Conservation easements are perpetual legal agreements that are recorded in the public land records and are binding on future owners of the land.

Brits to Reconsider Whisky Taxes

It may be just a coincidence, but just six months before Scotland is to vote on complete independence from the United Kingdom, Britain’s Economic Secretary Nicky Morgan pledged the government would look into the duty escalator on spirits.

The pledge came during a debate in Westminster on how the UK’s 79% rate for whisky — vs. a 48% tax on beer — has squeezed whisky sales in the past five years.


Chicken Cock Sponsors Bull Rider

Chicken Cock Whiskey, the 157-year-old brand that’s experiencing a revival, signed on as a sponsor of Reese Cates, a professional bull rider.  First appearance was at the 2014 PBR Built Ford Tough Series season opener, Jan. 3-5 at Madison Square Garden.

“We’re very excited to have Reese Cates riding for Chicken Cock Whiskey,” said Matti Anttila, CEO of Chicken Cock Distillers which revived the heritage brand in 2013. “Reese is one of the most dynamic young riders in the sport – the toughness and dedication he has shown in getting back on the rankest bulls in the world is something that we are proud to be a part of.”

Millions of TV viewers watching PBR action on CBS Sports and CBS Sports Network in 2014 will be introduced to the Chicken Cock Whiskey brand every time Cates enters the chutes. Chicken Cock will work with Cates to bring exciting experiences to fans as the PBR travels across the country, including behind-the-scenes, VIP access for select customers and consumers, as well as meet-and-greets with Cates before, during and after PBR events.

Indiana City Brewing Signs Distribution Pact

Indiana City Brewing Co., Indianapolis, signed Cavalier Distributing to represent its brands to local bars.  Until now, the brewery’s owner has been delivering kegs himself.

Indiana City opened last May at 24 Shelby Street in the Bottling House of Home Brewing Co., a pre-Prohibition entity that brewed German style beer for almost 30 years before they closing in 1918. “We’re proud to bring beer back to this historic building,” says Ray Kamstra, owner/brewmaster.

Indiana City showcases local artists and musicians during seasonal beer release parties and monthly First Fridays art exhibitions at the brewery. This winter, the brewery will release a select series of barrel-aged beers, including an Oatmeal Stout, Breakfast Stout and Imperial Amber Ale all aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels.

Brown Distributing to Rep Triple Crossing Brewing in Virginia

Triple Crossing Brewing Co., Richmond, Va., became the latest in a series of Richmond breweries to sign Brown Distributing.

Brown also distributes Strangeways Brewing, Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery, Legend Brewing Co., Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, Center of the Universe Brewing Co., Isley Brewing Co. and Midnight Brewing Co., all of Richmond.

Why has Brown gotten every Richmond brewery?  “We can offer them this collective that we’ve kind of created where they can interact and trade both mistakes and successes that they’ve had with other breweries,” said Jacob Brunow, craft/import director. “It’s become much more of a communal effort versus where it would be if all these guys were with different distributors.”


Best regards,


Joel Whitaker
Editor, Kane’s Beverage News Daily
PO Box 224, Spencerville, MD  20868-0224
Editorial:  240-583-0280  (New Number!)
For Donna in Circulation: 301-384-1573
F:  301-879-8803
The Maker’s Mark Story: From Dream to Major Brand in Two Generations


KANE’S BEVERAGE NEWS DAILY (ISSN 1556-6250) © 2013 Whitaker Newsletters Inc.  All rights reserved.  May not be reproduced in whole or in part without consent of the publisher.  Subscriptions: $999/year.  Subscription Manager:  Donna Kay Whitaker.  Site licenses and group rates are available.

This entry was posted in Marketing. Bookmark the permalink.