JBF Chef & Restaurant Awards: On Monday night, the chef and restaurant awards were announced for the 2019 James Beard Awards at a ceremony in Chicago. The Outstanding Wine Program Award went to Benu in SF, and Frasca in Boulder received the Outstanding Service Award. Congrats to all of you whose workplaces are acknowledged here! [Eater]
New owner for Mulderbosch: Renowned Stellenbosch winery Mulderbosch has been purchased by Third Leaf Wines, a new San Francisco-based firm, in the ongoing fallout after the conviction of Charles Banks of Terroir Capital. The deal includes the brand, the winery, and 136 planted acres. [Wine Spectator]
Craft beer merger: Dogfish Head has been bought out by Sam Adams producer Boston Beer Company in a deal valued at over $300 million. Both brands occupy a middle tier between small microbreweries and the major companies. Perhaps this type of merger is an alternative to shuttering or selling for such mid-sized brands. [Grub Street]
Canned wine growth: Canned wine accounted for $70 million in retail sales in the US in the past year, up from $42 million the previous year. (The category is just 0.4% of all wine, however.) Even established fine-wine brands have begun releasing wines in cans. Easier on the environment, accessible to non-wine drinkers, and picnic-friendly, the can is a “rational container for easy-drinking wines.” [NYT]
Questioning organics: Organic products are now accepted by most consumers as healthier and better for the environment, but there’s a growing conversation in viticulture questioning certain practices. Copper, particularly, is a concern for long-term soil health and sustainability. Further, sustainability advocates note that carbon emissions often go unconsidered. [Wine Searcher]
Wine Country released: As Amy Poehler’s Wine Country is released on Netflix today, the wine community holds its breath for possible impacts—it’s hard to forget Sideways. But most hope that the beautiful backdrop of Napa Valley, in a movie that’s ultimately about other things, will encourage tourism. [The Weekly Calistogan]
Our favorite SevenFifty Daily article this week
Seeking new classifications in Spain: As top Spanish wineries have increasingly focused on vineyards, many are advocating for Burgundy-style classifications. Others, however, have been so frustrated at the lack of recognition their classifications carried that they’ve left their DOs altogether. The challenge of identifying high-quality sites remains, and the outcome isn’t yet clear for Spain. [SevenFifty Daily]
What do you think?
Did anything surprise you in this year’s James Beard Awards?
What do you think of the Dogfish Head and Boston Beer merger? Do you think there’s an opportunity for mid-sized brands to consolidate rather than sell?
How are canned wines doing in your market? What are your favorite canned wine brands?
How can the conversation around organics become more nuanced? What are your concerns, whether in terms of common practices or the way organic wines are marketed?
Do you think Wine Country will impact Napa Valley, or wine tourism or sales in general?
What else have you been reading this week?
:) If I knew that Dogfish Head is just over $300, I'd have bought it :P
I know I know.. It's $300 milion :P
Ha! Me, too! Thanks for the catch - I fixed it.