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Anheuser-Busch Pauses Beer Production to Send Water to Victims

The Anheuser-Busch brewery located in Cartersville, Georgia paused its beer production on Monday to instead ignite their emergency drinking water program. Over 155,000 cans of water were sent to Hurricane Harvey victims who are still suffering in the aftermath of the storm that hit Houston, Texas. The company’s emergency drinking water program has been providing clean water to disaster victims since 1988, providing more than 76 million cans of water to the community. “Putting our production and logistics strengths to work by providing safe, clean drinking water is the best way we can help in these situations,” said Bill Bradley, Anheuser-Busch’s Vice President for Community Affairs. Source: CBS News, August...

Traces of 6,000-Year-Old Wine Could Rewrite Italy’s Winemaking History

The discovery of a storage jar in Italy could link the creation of winemaking as far back as 4,000 BC. Currently, the initiation of wine growing and production in Italy has been dated to 1300 BC based on ancient storage containers and evidence of old wineries. This most recent proof that winemaking could have begun as far back as 4,000 B.C. was discovered by Dr. David Tanasi and his archaeology team while they were studying a site in Monte Kronio, located along the southwest coast of Sicily. The evidence was found in an item of pottery used to store drink. Traces of tartaric acid and sodium salt were found in residue lining the pottery interior. These are two common elements found in grapes and could prove to be over 6,000 years old, leading this to be the oldest indication of winemaking in Italian history. Discoverers are now attempting to decipher if the wine was red or white. Source: The Drinks Business, August...

Italian Prosecco Challenges French Champagne Popularity

In recent years, Champagne sales have wavered in the market. Prosecco, on the other hand, only seems to be gaining strength. Meininger’s Wine Business International reported that the worldwide sales of prosecco amounted to a remarkable 302 million bottles in 2016, doubling since 2011. Its current popularity is attributed to younger consumers who are turning their backs to traditional drinks, like Champagne, in search of something new. Prosecco’s appeal can be recognized by its versatility, especially during a time when experimentation with food and wine has increased. The wine drink can be made in three styles: fully sparkling (“spumante”), semi-sparkling (“frizzante”) and a still version (“tranquillo.”) Prices vary between $10 and $18 for most bottles, although there are a few around over $20 and even higher for the DOCG approved products. The market for prosecco is strong and is expected to continue growing. Source: The Press Democrat, August...

Wine Industry in Oregon Expands to 725 Wineries, Over 30,000 Vineyard Acres

In 2016, the Oregon wine industry sales grew by 12 percent to $529 million. The Oregon Wine Board reported that there are now 30,455 acres of vineyard throughout the state, producing for 725 wineries. Case sales have increased by 10 percent and direct-to-consumer sales have grown by 7 percent. An additional 23 wineries opened last year according to Southern Oregon University Research Center reporting along with and 8 percent increase of planted vineyards. Production, however, decreased by 6 percent from 2015 to 2016. This was expected based on 2014 and 2015 record-setting yields. “While production decreased last year, the volume of sales is up along with the dollar amount for the year,” Steve Thomson, announced the chairman of the Oregon Wine Board. “This shows the Oregon wine consumer is drinking more at a higher price per bottle. Source: Great Northwest Wine, August...

The next big thing for wine lovers may be canned wine

Within the past few years cans have swept through the craft beer industry and many of the top breweries don’t even bother with glass anymore. There was a time not long ago when drinking beer or wine out of a can was looked down upon by the connoisseurs of their respective alcoholic beverage. That thought is changing…. rapidly. Once widely perceived as inferior, today’s aluminum is coated inside to eliminate metallic taste transfer, does a better job than glass of negating both oxygen and light exchange which are critical to preserving flavor and shelf life, cans can be chilled faster, they are cheaper to produce, can’t shatter, are lighter which makes them cheaper to ship and distribute as well as greener for the environment. The wine industry has caught on to these benefits and the canned wine category has exploded in the past year as it considered more accessible to consumers and user-friendly. Source: Forbes, August...

Nielsen Spirits Update

Distilled spirits dollar sales were up 2.6 percent in the month of July, which was slightly above the 2.4 percent growth seen over the last 3 months. Across brown spirits, bourbon, Canadian whiskey, and Irish whiskey outperformed the total category, while tequila continued its rein as the only outperformer in white spirits. Total distilled spirits dollar sales also grew by 2.6 percent in the month of July, which was also slightly above the 2.4 percent growth seen over the last 3 months. Volume was up 1.3 percent as price/mix helped contribute to overall performance. Brown spirits remained strong, with bourbon, Canadian whiskey and Irish whiskey all posting better than category numbers larger than 5 percent growth. Across white spirits, tequila posted sales growth of 7.7 percent and vodka was up 1.5 percent. Source: Cowen, August...