Farmers, produce markets and farm-to-table chefs in Puerto Rico are slowly coming back after the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria six months ago. "We had farmers who lost everything," said chef and restaurateur Xavier Pacheco, an early advocate of local sourcing.
Wine importer, vintner and marketer Robert Haas passed away last weekend at age 90. Haas was a key figure in bringing top Bordeaux and Burgundy labels to the US though his company, Vineyard Brands.
For the first time in seven years, the value of American wine exports dropped by 5.5% last year. Effective trade agreements between the US and other countries will be imperative in allowing exports to rise again, California's Wine Institute said.
Scottish distiller NB Gin has reached a deal to have two of its lines sold at Total Wine & More in the US. NB is on a quick growth path with plans for 24-hour production and to open a visitors center in Scotland's North Berwick, its namesake.
Three years of drought have become an economic threat to the prosperity of South Africa's Western Cape region, notably to the area's vineyards. Rationing and price increases have led to vines getting just enough water to stay alive, said winemaker Marlize Jacobs.
Eduardo Chadwick has helped his Chilean label, Vina Errazuriz, become one of the sales leaders in China as that country ramps up its wine imports, which increased 18% by value in 2017. "In the fine wine world, I think China for the next 10 years will be the only place to be," Chadwick said.
California's BevMo has been inviting frequent wine shoppers and rewards-program members to take part in blind taste tests. The results will prompt BevMo to stock about three-dozen new wines on its shelves.
Total Wine & More uses in-store video both to improve customer engagement and to keep staff members well-informed and engaged, says John Jordan, senior vice president. The company wants employees to be knowledgeable and passionate about what they're selling, Jordan said.
Two months after opening its Amazon Go concept store in Seattle, Amazon is reporting that the location is seeing many repeat customers, proving its popularity among consumers on the go. Popular items in the store include chicken sandwiches, fresh fruit and meal kits, Amazon Vice President Gianna Puerini said.
Henkell, the sparkling wine branch of Oetker Group, has reached a deal to acquire a majority stake in Spain's Freixenet. The deal, valued at about $270 million, will have to be approved by antitrust regulators.