Edrington Americas Moving, Doubles Office Space

The Scottish producer of The Macallan, Snow Leopard vodka and Tequila Partida, has signed a 10-year lease for 25,390 square feet comprising the entire fourth floor of 27 W. 23 St. in the Flatiron District of Manhattan. Continue reading

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What We’re Reading —

Why You Won’t See Big Names at This Year’s Great American Beer Festival


Well-known names such as Wicked Weed, which has won four GABF awards since 2013, and Goose Island, with 29 total medals, won’t be pouring this year. Neither will three-time medal winner Terrapin Beer Co. or Saint Archer Brewing, which won a gold medal in 2014. Other notable absences include Lagunitas, Elysian Brewing, 10 Barrel, Breckenridge Brewing, Blue Moon, the Sandlot, Leinenkugel, Revolver Brewing, Hop Valley Brewing, Kona Brewing, and Red Hook

The departures are a result of rule changes at the GABF that would seem to be more favorable to small brewers. The changes come months after the Brewers Association, which hosts GABF, launched a seal to go on bottles, signifying the brewer behind it was made by an independent organization, rather than a brewer that has been acquired by a larger company, such as AB InBev.  Read more here, from Fortune.


Raise Your Glass: The Value of a Vintner Who Stays the Course

The reason Ecco Domani is so good and consistent is the winemaker. There has been only one at the helm since the wine’s conception more than two decades ago.

Young, talented winemakers, particularly those who work for large corporations, often move around from winery to winery, so it’s rare to find one who has been at the same post very long, but Ecco Domani winemaker Fatrizio Gatto is the exception.

Much to the credit of Ecco Domani producer E&J Gallo Winery, Gatto has been allowed to make a quality wine that has built his reputation as one of the most knowledgeable and respected winemakers in Italy.

Gallo created Ecco Domani in 1996, making the wine entirely from purchased grapes, and at the time, the international wine giant had no wines produced outside of the United States, the company’s website says.  Read more here, from Valley News.

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Vitamin D Protects Against Severe Asthma Attacks

Taking oral vitamin D supplements in addition to standard asthma medication could halve the risk of asthma attacks requiring hospital attendance, according to research led by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

Asthma affects more than 300 million people worldwide and is estimated to cause almost 400,000 deaths annually. Asthma deaths arise primarily during episodes of acute worsening of symptoms, known as attacks or ‘exacerbations’, which are commonly triggered by viral upper respiratory infections.

Vitamin D is thought to protect against such attacks by boosting immune responses to respiratory viruses and dampening down harmful airway inflammation.

The new study, funded by the National Institute for Health Research, and published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, collated and analyzed the individual data from 955 participants in seven randomized controlled trials, which tested the use of vitamin D supplements.

Overall, the researchers found that vitamin D supplementation resulted in:

  • a 30 per cent reduction in the rate of asthma attacks requiring treatment with steroid tablets or injections – from 0.43 events per person per year to 0.30.
  • a 50 per cent reduction in the risk of experiencing at least one asthma attack requiring Accident and Emergency Department attendance and/or hospitalization – from 6 per cent of people experiencing such an event to 3 per cent.

Vitamin D supplementation was found to be safe at the doses administered. No instances of excessively high calcium levels or renal stones were seen, and serious adverse events were evenly distributed between participants taking vitamin D and those on placebo.

Lead researcher Prof. Adrian Martineau said: “These results add to the ever-growing body of evidence that vitamin D can support immune function as well as bone health. On average, three people in the UK die from asthma attacks every day. Vitamin D is safe to take and relatively inexpensive so supplementation represents a potentially cost-effective strategy to reduce this problem.”

The team’s use of individual participant data also allowed them to query the extent to which different groups respond to vitamin D supplementation, in more detail than previous studies.

In particular, vitamin D supplementation was found to have a strong and statistically-significant protective effect in participants who had low vitamin D levels to start with. These participants saw a 55 per cent reduction in the rate of asthma exacerbations requiring treatment with steroid tablets or injections – from 0.42 events per person per year to 0.19.

However, due to relatively small numbers of patients within sub-groups, the researchers caution that they did not find definitive evidence to show that effects of vitamin D supplementation differ according to baseline vitamin D status.

Professor Hywel Williams, Director of the NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme, said: “The results of this NIHR-funded study brings together evidence from several other studies from over the world and is an important contribution to reducing uncertainties on whether Vitamin D is helpful for asthma – a common condition that impacts on many thousands of people worldwide.”

Dr. David Jolliffe from QMUL, first author on the paper, added: “Our results are largely based on data from adults with mild to moderate asthma: children and adults with severe asthma were relatively under-represented in the dataset, so our findings cannot necessarily be generalized to these patient groups at this stage. Further clinical trials are on-going internationally, and we hope to include data from them in a future analysis to determine whether the promise of today’s results is confirmed in an even larger and more diverse group of patients.”

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At Least 7 Calif. Wineries Destroyed in Fire; Wine Community Rallies to Aid Victims

Those Northern California wildfires destroyed at least seven wineries, according to the San Jose Mercury News, which tallied the devastation.  The wineries lost include Helena View Johnston Vineyards, Signorello Estate Vineyards, VinRoc, White Rock Vineyards, Paradise Ridge Winery, Frey Vineyards, and Oster Wine Cellars.

A number of other wineries reported some relatively minor damage. Continue reading

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Backpack Wine Intros New Variety, Hires Regional Sales Director

Backpack Wine, the premium canned wine blended from Washington State grapes and produced by Source Code Beverage, Oak Brook, Ill., is expanding its portfolio and its national footprint with a new Rowdy Red variety and the addition Continue reading

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Cooper Spirits Intros a $229.99 Whiskey

Lock Stock & Barrel 18-Year Straight Rye Whiskey is the third and newest release in Cooper Spirits’ celebrated Lock Stock & Barrel series.  It follows the 2016 introduction of the 16-year, winner of the coveted double gold medal and “Best Rye” at the San Continue reading

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