Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Venture Capital Firm Wanted: Spirits Business Portfolio For Sale!

We are at a tipping point! And the bankers too slow are going to lose out. Is that YOU? If your investment firm isn't looking at this exploding industry, then you are tooooooo late, and playing from behind! The times is now to assemble an east coast portfolio of wine beers and spirits. The industry has turned that corner.

I have a brilliant damned idea! If an investment firm can put together a capital fund of $50 million (or more) I can deliver a sizable portfolio of regional craft distillers, wineries, cidermakers, and brewers unlike anything anyone has ever seen. And then you can turn around and leverage those brands, and then sell it off to one of the big spirits firms who need to buy big blocks of revenue to increase their over all market share and gross revenues.

Five major regional craft distilleries have been purchased in the last six months:
Tuthilltown Distillers was just purchased by William Grants and Sons just this week.
Westland Distillery was purchased by Remy Cointreau in December 2016.
High West was purchased by Constellation Brand in October 2016 as well for $160M.
Sullivan's Cove Distillery (in Australia) was sold in December 2016.
Bulldog Gin was sold to Gruppo Campari for $58M last year as well.

As an industry expert, I am uniquely placed within the industry to deliver such brands and names so as to create a powerful portfolio that can deliver quality wines, beers, and spirits.

The craft beverage business, especially in states like New York, Maryland, Virginia, Texas, Colorado, and Michigan have produced regional powerhouses that are ripe for purchase and expansion. The number of these businesses have exploded exponentially. New York alone is now the second state in the union for distillery licenses.

Wineries have been expanding, breweries have been mushrooming, and cideries have been swelling with the juice of success. These smaller, burgeoning businesses are receiving record scores from the trade magazines and journals, are gaining immense industry coverage, and are ripe for the picking and assembling!

$50 to $100 million buys you a seat at the luxury brand beverage table! It makes you an immediate player, and the best positioned, once assembled, for growth and for resale!

I can assemble a team of experts in each field to target the businesses in the North American market to star up an instant, diversified craft beverage powerhouse.

For plans, expert advice, and an experienced executive with a proven track record, with corporate experience, to spearhead this innovative and full-proof plan, please contact asap.

Poughkeepsie Journal: Grants Buys Tuthilltown

Tuthilltown Spirits in Gardiner bought by Scottish distiller
Geoffrey Wilson , Poughkeepsie Journal

Tuthilltown Spirits, the Gardiner-based distillery which has helped pave the way for New York distilleries to open, has been bought by Scottish distiller William Grant & Sons.

This move marks the next phase in the relationship between the two distilleries, as William Grant & Sons acquired Tuthilltown's flagship Hudson Whiskey in 2010.

"We’ve been working with William Grant & Sons for a number of years and look forward to building on that relationship to help Tuthilltown fully achieve its potential," Tuthilltown Spirits co-founder Ralph Erenzo said in a press release.

NY WHISKEY: Distilleries boom in NY as Hudson Whiskey turns 10

COCKTAILS: 3 bars that serve a great cocktails

As part of the acquisition, William Grant & Sons now owns the 36-acre distillery, restaurant and visitor center in Gardiner.

"In 2010, William Grant & Sons bought the Hudson Whiskey brand as we were not only attracted to the possibilities within the American whiskey category but in particular, the authenticity of the Hudson brand and the excellence of the whiskey; the same is true of the distillery," William Grant & Sons CEO Simon Hunt said in a press release.

Beyond Hudson Whiskey, Tuthilltown's spirits include Half Moon Orchard Gin, Indigenous Apple Vodka and Tuthilltown Cacao Liqueur.

While Tuthilltown may no longer be local owned, the distillery can still count on Erenzo's involvement.

"Ralph will still be very much involved in the business on a day to day basis collaborating and experimenting with our team of distillery experts and master blenders," Hunt said.

With a history dating back to 1887, William Grant & Sons is perhaps best known for its single malt Glenfiddich, The Balvenie single malt and Grant’s Scotch whisky.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Waltz Vineyards Continues to Lead Quality Wine in Pennsylvania and East Coast

I first fell in love with Waltz Vineyards when I had their Cherry wood Merlot back about three or four Eastern Wineries Exposition. I’ve been following them ever since. But I haven’t had a chance to try their other wines until they hosted the East Coast wine tasting coordinated by Paul Vigna. Luckily for all of us, Jan and Kim Waltz volunteered to host the historic event.  Two Waltz wines were featured.
In my opinion, Waltz is one of he leaders in wine in Pennsylvania as well as on the east coast. They are an excellent producer!!!


The winery is a beautiful place, filled with color and light, and beautifully appointed. Hard to find a prettier winery set in the country that does quality wine such as this.


The first was the Waltz Chardonnay Reserve 2013.  This is a straight up wine. De-stemmed, sat on the skins two days, and pressed. A simple wine, in a world of funky techniques made for 95. 96.and 76 Chardonnay clones grown with traditional VSP trellising. The run is aged in older French oak, except for one barrel which is new oak.  I like all of this because this is a truly honest wine. No tricks or funky things. Shows what solid growers can do.

The first thing that hits you is a big pear and baked aple that come across instantly. A light tropical note is over powered by a big lemon, citrus presence. Then there’s oak, with hints of toast and vanilla that leads into a lemon custard nose. The palate follows through almost exactly but with that lovely lemon custard after taste. Amazing. The nice part of this was that the oak was very nicely integrated, present, a nice compliment, but not over powering. The fruit was very pretty and fresh. They made 150 cases, and though it’s in a few restaurants,it’s mostly sold through the case club members and the tasting room. Fantastic.

The second wine came near the end of the tasting, mostly because of how big it was. The Waltz Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 comes from the 20-year old Crow Woods Vineyard. Made from 169 and 337 Cabernet Sauvignon clones, that were green thinned in August, and harvested in Mid-October. There was some leaf pulling on these vines which are lined up more or less North-South. The leaves were pulled more heavily on the eastern side of the vines, where they get the good morning sun. The wine was made in three different lots.

This wine is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot, and aged in oak, and then bottle aged the wine for one year. This was a big, dark, jammy wine. Cassis and blackberry jam. Mocha and cocoa, as well as hints of toast and vanilla. And nice, big tannins. A big, layered, complex red wine, very well balanced. If I didn’t tell you, it almost comes across as California, it’s so big! A wonderful wine.

But it's not just these. It's the entire line up. I've had a number of their bottles. The wine is good all the way down the line.Quality. Well done.


Compliments to Jan and Kim!

Saturday, April 08, 2017

25 Great Wines You Never Heard Of: East Coast Wine Stakes a Serious Claim

Yesterday, Mid-Atlantic wine writer Paul Vigna, with the help of Gary Pavlis (Rutgers) and Joe Fiola (Western Maryland University) hosted a tasting of 25 wines from New York to Virginia. Assembled in the lush Lancaster,  PA winery of Waltz Vineyards, hosted by Jan and Kim Waltz, winemakers from some of the best producers in the region, gathered to share and showcase their wines in a way few have ever seen. It was a veritable who's who of East Coast wines. It was an historic event!

Lisa Hinton, Old Westminster

Bob Deford, Boordy

                                                   Joe Fiola, Western Maryland University

Galen and Sarah Troxel of Galen Glen Vineyards

Roy Crow, Crow Vineyards

Stephen Bernard, Keswick Vineyards

David Falcheck, American Wine Society

Sean Cominos, Heritage Vineyards

Kareem Massoud, Paumanoak Vineyards

Kim Waltz of Waltz Vineyards and Ed Boyce of Black Ankle Vineyards

Media attendees included Dave McIntyre f the Washington Post, David Falchek of the American Wine Society and a journalist; Linda Jones McKee of Wines & Vines magazine, Paul Vigna of the Patriot-News (also the organizer), and others. 

Gary Pavlis, Rutgers

One wine after another was tried. We started off with sparkling, then we tasted white, reds, and finished with a Pet Nat. Each winemaker had a few minutes to explain his or her wine. The questions were more geeky than the wine making explanations.

And the wines? Worth of any region in the world!

The Unionville Vineyard staff

Paul Vigna

Bill Heritage, Heritage Vineyards

Kim Waltz

Sean Caminos

Kathy and Galen

Dave McIntyre, Washington Post

Gino Razzi, Penns Woods Vineyards

Carl Helrich, Allegro Vineyards

Jan Waltz

Jose Real, Boordy Vineyards

Catrina North, Crow Vineyards

Ed Boyce

Jan Waltz

Lisa Hinton

center, Linda Jones McKee, Wines and Vines magazine

A Partial List of Wines tasted:

2010 Cadenza and 2013 Reserve Chardonnay

Galen Glen
2014 Gruner Veltliner Reserve, Stone Cellar RS = 0
2015 Riesling, Stone Cellar GJT Vineyard RS = 0.4%

Penns Woods
2015 Viognier Reserve and 2014 Cabernet Franc Reserve

2013 Reserve Chardonnay and 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon

2014 Cab Franc and 2014 Cab Sauvignon

King Family
2014 Meritage and 2015 Chardonnay

2013 Sparkling Brut and 2013 Norman's Vineyard Cab Franc

2013 Pheasant Hill Vineyard Syrah and 2015 Home Vineyard Chardonnay.

2010 Tuthills Lane Vineyard Merlot and 30th Anniversary blend (2010)

Chardonnay Reserve 2015 and Landmark Reserve 2012 (red blend)
Old Westminster
20113 Cabernet Franc
Pet Nat

2014 Sparkling Vidal and 2015 Barbera Rosé.

Black Ankle
2015 Syrah (barrel samples) and 2014 Slate (red blend, barrel samples)