Category: Industry Briefs

Inside Talent Search: Finding the Best Talent for the Incubator Arm of Your Business (Guest Column)

Boutique wineries and craft spirit brands are on the rise, as average consumers become more educated and more willing to explore new products. This increase in consumption of smaller production wine and spirits has led to more acquisitions of these small producers by multinational companies. Often, newly acquired brands are placed into an “incubator” arm of the larger company to give both companies an opportunity to learn their respective cultures and to redefine marketing strategies. It makes sense to do this, as the go-to market strategy for craft spirits and boutique wineries require a different approach to gaining market...

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Show Time: Cris Steller on getting the most from a trade show experience

Remember the adage, “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it”? Cris Steller is a busy guy. Not only is he a founding partner of Dry Diggings Distillery, a growing venture located in California’s El Dorado Hills, he’s also executive director of the California Artisanal Distillers Guild (CADG). Steller came to the beverage industry nearly a decade ago after a career in association management—basically, helping businesses and nonprofits optimize their strengths via support services including educational programming, government relations, sales, marketing, and more. When asked about the drastic change in professional direction, he says, “I’d been living and working in Mexico for a time, where I started to learn about the tequila industry, and when I returned to California I needed a change.” Taking a leap of faith, Steller and partner Gordon Helm launched Dry Diggings in 2008, with a focus on using locally grown fruit and grains. Adam Stratton founded Amador Distillery in Jackson, Calif., in 2012; both operations were consolidated under the Aurum Sierra Inc. umbrella in 2015. As the company grew, Steller recognized a need for small distilleries across the state to align efforts for more effective governmental representation at the state level. In 2012, Dry Diggings became one of five charter members of CADG. “[A grassroots association] had been trying to get it off the ground for about 20 years,” he...

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Trading Up: Choosing the right trade shows and getting the most out of them will expand your brand, industry knowledge, and network.

It’s no secret there is a multitude of trade shows surrounding the alcohol beverage industry. So how does one choose which to attend and get the most out of that choice? Following just a few simple steps will get you on the right path toward turning your trade show experience into profits—and even having some fun along the way.   Making the choice When it comes to wine-focused trade shows, attending the annual Unified Wine and Grape Symposium is a no-brainer. It’s the largest of its kind in the United States, and offers everything you can possibly think of...

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WSET Names U.S. Team

The Wine and Spirit Education Trust (more commonly known as WSET) has named a dedicated team in the United States to support growing demand. David Rudman has been named business development manager and Rob McCaughey has been named business development manager – spirits. Working with London-based David Wrigley, MW, Rudman and McCaughey will support the increasing demand for WSET programs stateside. More than 11,000 students enrolled in WSET courses in the academic year ending July 31, 2017—up from 500 in 2001. WSET offers formal training and certifications in wine, spirits, and...

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Bacardi’s Marlene Gordon Joins WOTVS Board

Marlene Gordon, general counsel for Bacardi North America, has joined Women of the Vine & Spirits as an advisory board member for the United States. She will contribute her experience and insight to the organization’s efforts to support and advance opportunities for women in the alcohol beverage industry. “[WOTVS] is completely aligned with the Bacardi mission to train, develop and inspire a pipeline of high-performing women and propel them into leadership positions,” said Gordon, who is also the global lead of the Women in Leadership initiative at Bacardi, at the time of announcement. “I look forward to working closely with [WOTVS founder] Deborah Brenner and the rest of the board to create more leadership opportunities for women in our industry.”...

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