17 ASSOCIATIONS DEMAND END TO WINE AND SPIRITS TARIFFS

17 associations representing both the US and European wine and spirit trades have submitted comments opposing proposals for further US tariffs on wine, beer and spirits. industry bodies have submitted comments to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) after news of another tariff review last month.

In addition to existing tariffs on still wine, Scotch whisky and liqueurs, the US said it was considering further levies of up to 100% on beer, gin and vodka made in France, Germany, Spain, and the UK.

The dispute relates to EU subsidies given to aviation company Airbus over US-based rival Boeing.

In their comments, the groups cited the latest data which revealed that US imports of Scotch whisky were down by almost 33% between October 2019 and May 2020, while imports of wine fell by 44% and liqueurs and cordials by 23% during the same period.

Analysis conducted by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), one of the groups to submit comments, warned that US tariffs on UK and EU wine, distilled spirits and beer could lead to as many as 95,900 job losses, depending on the extent of the tariffs.

In a joint statement, the group said: “Our 17 US, EU and UK associations are united in strong opposition to tariffs on beverage alcohol products. We are speaking with one voice in calling for the US administration and the European Commission to remove the current tariffs on spirits and wine from the EU and UK, and American whiskeys, and to forgo imposing any additional tariffs on beverage alcohol products. We hope Friday’s announcement by Airbus and the legislation passed in Washington State in March regarding civil aviation subsidies are significant steps toward the elimination of tariffs.

“Beverage alcohol sectors on both sides of the Atlantic have suffered enough. These tariffs are exacerbating the incredible burden hospitality businesses are experiencing with the widespread closures of bars and restaurants due to Covid-19. The US and EU need to seek measures to bolster hospitality jobs, not saddle businesses with unnecessary tariffs,” they added.

In October 2019, the US has imposed tariffs on US$7.5 billion worth of EU goods – including wine, spirits and liqueurs – as result of this dispute. The country first imposed 25% tariffs on drinks including Scotch whisky and wine (not over 14% ABV) made in France, Germany, Spain and the UK. The EU has stated that it may impose retaliatory tariffs on US rum, vodka, brandy and wine.

In a separate dispute in June 2018, the EU imposed a 25% tariff on all US whiskey imports. It is scheduled to increase these tariffs to 50% in spring 2021.

In addition to DISCUS, the 16 other associations include: SpiritsEurope, the Scotch Whisky Association, American Beverage Licensees, the National Retail Federation, the American Craft Spirits Association, the American Distilled Spirits Alliance, the National Council of Chain Restaurants, Kentucky Distillers’ Association, the National Association of Beverage Importers, the National Restaurant Association, the US Wine & Trade Alliance, WineAmerica, the Wine Institute, the Wine and Spirits Shippers Association, Wines & Spirits Wholesalers of America, and the National Association of Wine Retailers.

Source:  Drinks Business

Cameron Diaz Launches a “Clean” Wine Brand with close friend Katherine Power

Cameron Diaz is stepping into the organic wine business. The American actress launched “Avaline” a new wine brand on Thursday with her close friend, entrepreneur Katherine Power. Avaline features two wines, white and rosé, which are organic, vegan, and free of additives.

Made with organic grapes grown in Penedès in northern Spain, the white is a blend of Macabeo, Malvasia and Xarel·lo, which are best known for being used in the production of Cava. Crisp, dry and delicate, it is said to offer refreshing aromas of citrus and stone fruit.

Avaline Rosé meanwhile, is a Vin de France made in Provence from organically farmed Cinsault, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Caladoc. Light and refreshing, it boasts notes of melon, raspberries and citrus zest.

“I enjoyed wine for many-a-year and never questioned it. Not once. I actually figured it was the most responsible alcohol choice because it was made with fermented grapes,” Diaz shared in a press release. “But I had no idea of the process. One of the first conversations Katherine and I had about making a cleaner wine was ‘what are we going to add to it?’ We soon learned it wasn’t what you added, it’s what you didn’t add.”

“We learned most wine is not made with organic grapes and that it can be manipulated with over 70 additives. This completely changed the way we thought about it,” Power explained. “When we started asking for clean or organic wines in grocery stores, hotels and restaurants, all we got were eye-rolls.”

The pair was first inspired to pursue winemaking in April 2018, and just over two years later they perfected their two offerings. Avaline white is a dry, crisp wine from Spain that “pairs perfectly with fresh-cut flowers and your favorite meal.” Avaline rosé comes from France and features notes of melon and citrus zest.

With the launch of the brand Diaz and Power are seeking to bring more transparency to the wine industry by being open about what goes into their wines.

Both wines have an RRP of US $24 and are available to purchase at Wine.com and select retailers in 43 US states.

 

L’uva Bella, Ohio’s Largest Winery Acquired by Millennial Investors  

L’uva Bella, the largest winery by volume in the state of Ohio, has been acquired by Marisa Sergi, 26, and Evan Schumann, 25, through their investment fund, S’quared Holdings.

The winery, based in Poland Township, primarily produces bulk wine for private label and retail channels. It also makes a range of grape and other fruit juice products.

The financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed, but the price paid by S’quared Holdings is believed to be “in the mid seven-figure range”.

The winery was founded 15 years ago by Sergi’s father, Frank. Marisa is a third-generation winemaker and already produces wine under the RedHead Wine label, which is distributed in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, with plans to also launch in Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee.

She said she hopes to add further product lines to the winery’s range, as well as branch into organic wine and extend distribution into five to 10 more states.

“We’ll also be implementing innovative partnerships and plan to hire six to 15 more people in the next three to five years,” she said. “We are willing to bet on ourselves, our team, and our community despite the challenging current environment. We believe we can build a bright and prosperous future for our company and our employees by continuing to produce great products and to go above and beyond to make our customers happy.”

Her business partner, Evan Schumann, studied entrepreneurship and finance at university and is member of the fifth generation of his family’s business, Ohio-based metal refinery Schumann & Co. He is the founder of Zitek Corporation and management consulting firm Matrix Growth Ventures, and has also worked for Magnus International and PrintCB.

Source:  Drinks Business and L’uva Bella

 

Good News- New York State Restaurants Reopen for Outdoor Dining

Good News! Restaurants in seven regions of New York state have been given permission by Governor Andrew Cuomo to reopen for outdoor dining today!

As reported by Eater New York, Cuomo gave the green light for restaurants to reopen for al fresco eating in the seven regions of New York state that were in the second phase of reopening.

The seven regions are: Central New York, the Finger Lakes, the Mohawk Valley, the North Country, the Southern Tier, Western New York and the Capital Region.

These rules do not apply to New York City, which is yet to enter the second phase of reopening, but according to Eater, this may happen as early as 22 June. NYC due to enter its first phase of reopening on 8 June.

Restaurants in New York state that reopen for outdoor dining will have to space their tables two meters apart and ensure that all staff members are wearing face masks. Diners will also be required to cover their face when they aren’t at their table.

To qualify for outdoor dining, venues will need to be granted approval from local entities and will have to comply with local regulations for outdoor dining. Eater reports that restaurants and bars in New York City will have to secure specific permits before being able to set up tables outside.

No guidelines have been issued regarding indoor dining in New York State, which will not take place until the third phase of reopening begins.

Millennials are vital to Champagne’s future  

“Millennials are vital to Champagne’s future… because they are willing to look beyond the ‘just for celebrations’ mantra,” states Françoise Peretti, Director of the UK’s Champagne Information Bureau.

Millennials are deemed to be more digitally connected and open-minded than baby boomers.

Peretti further stressed the need to attract a younger generation of drinkers, and the potential demand among “open-minded” millennials.

“Unlike the Baby Boomers, they are open-minded consumers, willing to look beyond the ‘just for celebrations’ mantra,” she said of the age group, which covers those people from their early 20s to late 30s.

“This is their most important attribute: a desire to embrace the idea that Champagne can be a drink for the weekend, not simply New Year.”

Mentzendorff’s Andrew Hawes, who is the current chairman of the Champagne Agents Association believes that grower Champagnes are the key to unlocking the millennial market.

Hawes states “A quiet revolution has been building in the independent sector over the past few years.”  He further adds, “Independents are selling more and more grower Champagne to millennials – they are naturally drawn to the ‘craft’ credentials of smaller brands.”

In the US, Chicago-based sommelier Zach Jones recorded a similar development, and he goes on to say,  “Grower Champagne has had a huge surge in popularity with younger drinkers in the US, because there is a great story to tell and it gives younger consumers the sense that they are supporting a small family winery, not a massive machine.”

Sources:
Drinks Ontario
Champagne Information Bureau – UK