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On May 10th, 2022, Empire Distributors, Inc. of Georgia customers and trade members were invited to our annual New Item Trade Tasting for the Augusta area! The 2022 Augusta New Items Trade Tasting brought together many of Empire’s newest brands with retail & on-premise beverage buyers from across the Augusta, GA area. Read on to get a recap of some of the suppliers & brands that attended the event and their featured items now available in the Augusta, Georgia market.
About Spindrift Spiked: Spindrift’s story starts in 2010, when they created America’s first sparkling water made with real squeezed fruit – no fake stuff. Spindrift has created a spiked sparkling water made from an ultra-filtered cane sugar base and real squeezed fruit. Instead of artificial flavors, sweeteners, and additives, the only thing you’ll find in Spiked are real ingredients with nothing to hide; It’s the Spindrift fans already love, plus a bit of ABV.
Product at Trade Tasting: Spindrift Spiked Variety Pack in Pineapple, Mango, Lime and Half & Half Tea flavors.
About Banshee: Founded in 2009, the initial intent was to make wines that tasted like the best California had to offer, but were priced so that everyone could enjoy them. Banshee’s main focus is producing Pinot Noir on the cool, rugged, coastal areas of the far Western Sonoma Coast.
Products at Trade Tasting: Banshee Ten of Cups Sparkling, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir.
About Tequila Komos: Tequila Komos creates “luxury tequila, refined.” Each Komos expression uses a specially crafted Blanco as its base. Agave from the highlands and lowlands of Jalisco is roasted in traditional stone ovens, then marries with spring water after which the juice is then twice distilled in copper pot stills.
Products at Trade Tasting: Tequila Komos Anejo Cristalino, Extra Anejo and Reposado Rosa.
About Alphonse Mellot: As far back as 1513, local records in Sancerre mention the Mellot family, whose life even at that time was governed by the seasons of the vine and the production of wines of excellent quality. Today, Alphonse Mellot continues to produce wines of exceptional quality, leading to it being officially classified as a unique category amongst the Sancerre wines.
Product at Trade Tasting: Alphonse Mellot Sancerre La Moussière Rouge.
About Champagne Deutz: Founded in 1838 by William Deutz and Pierre Gelderman, this honorable firm is based in Ay, one of the 17 top-rated Grand Cru villages of Champagne. Deutz has developed a rich, round, fruit-filled style that is vinous yet refreshing. Each blend boasts the same elegant signature bottle, in which it was aged on its lees for a minimum of three years – a guarantee of quality from the Brut Classic to the prestige cuvees.
Products at Trade Tasting: Champagne Deutz Champagne Blanc de Blancs, Brut Classic and Brut Rosé.
About Sip Shine: Sip Shine was inspired by a family vacation in the mountains of east Tennessee. With a lack of Moonshine in the north, they set out on a mission to create an easier sipping shine with a Great Lakes inspired sweetness.
Products at Trade Tasting: SIP Moonshine RTD cans in Arnold Shiner, Razz-berry Shineade and Shineberry Sweet Tea flavors.
About Castello Banfi: Castello Banfi is a family-owned vineyard estate and winery located in the Brunello region of Tuscany. This award-winning estate was founded on the philosophy of blending tradition with innovation, and is recognized as a pioneer in elevating the standards of Italian winemaking.
Products at Trade Tasting: Castello Banfi Chianti Classico, Chianti Classico Riserva and Brunello di Montalcino; Toscana Pinot Grigio San Angelo Winemakers Edition; Banfi Piemonte Principessa Gavia Gavi; and Albinea Canali Emilia Lambrusco FB Methodo Ancestrale.
About Pacific Rim: Home to the Pacific Rim, Washington’s Columbia Valley provides the ideal soils and climate for growing world class Riesling. As part of Pacific Rim’s winemaking philosophy to promote purity in the winemaking process, stainless steel tanks are used exclusively to produce wines that are fresh, vivid and elegant with delicate yet complex aromas.
Product at Trade Tasting: Pacific Rim Wicked Good Red Semi-Sweet Blend.
About Rosa Regale: Since the times of Cleopatra, this sparkling red wine made from Brachetto d’Acqui has been love at ﬁrst sip. Legend has it that both Julius Caesar and Marc Antony presented Cleopatra with several wine skins ﬁlled with Rosa Regale, Cleopatra’s favorite. The empress then had her lovers drink the wine in order to unleash their passion, and the rest is history.
Product at Trade Tasting: Rosa Regale Asti Sparkling White.
About Belle Glos: Belle Glos showcases, under one label, the distinctive Pinot Noirs we produce from top growing areas in California. Each wine is crafted to distill the purest essence of the vineyard into elegant expressions of California Pinot Noir. Winemaker Joseph Wagner chose the name Belle Glos (pronounced BELL GLOSS) to honor his grandmother, Lorna Belle Glos Wagner, a co-founder of Caymus Vineyards.
Products at Trade Tasting: Belle Glos Dairyman, Eulenloch and Taylor Lane Pinot Noirs.
About Elouan: Elouan is the result of California winemakers venturing up to Oregon, one of the world’s renowned wine making regions. The goal: to produce wines with depth of flavor, vibrancy and suppleness. Elouan brings together fruit from three regions along Oregon’s coast: Willamette, Umpqua and Rogue Valleys, which harmonize beautifully when blended together.
Product at Trade Tasting: Elouan Chardonnay.
About Quilt: Classic yet complex, romantic but not ostentatious, Quilt is Joe Wagner’s tribute to the character of Napa Valley and its rolling patchwork of vineyards. Each wine in the collection is crafted from vineyards hand-selected by Joe, a native of Napa Valley and fifth-generation winemaker.
Products at Trade Tasting: Quilt Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.
About Steorra: A lover of champagne, Joe Wagner has long wanted to create a classic sparkling wine using Pinot Noir and Chardonnay fruit. It’s Steorra, his first-ever sparkling wine, takes its name from the Old English word for ‘star’ and is a non-vintage Brut style sparkling made in an elegant soft style with a fine bead and universally appealing flavors of lemon sherbet, luscious cream, subtle toastiness and a fresh finish.
Product at Trade Tasting: Steorra Sparkling Brut.
About Chicken Cock Whiskey Co: Established in 1856 in Paris, Kentucky, a town tucked away in the heart of Bourbon County, the original Chicken Cock American Whiskey rose to popularity during the 19th century. Known as The Famous Old Brand, Chicken Cock Whiskey stays true to the rich 160-year-old brand identity while modernizing it just a touch.
Products at Trade Tasting: Chicken Cock Whiskey Co. Kentucky Straight Bourbon and Rye Whiskey.
About Dixie Vodka: Dixie Vodka, established in 2014, is on a mission: “to create an all-American premium craft vodka that represented the best of Southern flavor, craftsmanship, and hospitality.” Along with their straight Vodkas, they offer a new ready-to-drink Dixie Vodka-based seltzers that are lightly carbonated and available in four flavors.
Products at Trade Tasting: Dixie Vodka in Original, Wildflower Honey, Black Pepper, Citrus and Peach Flavors; RTD Cocktails in Georgia Peach, Greyhouse, Moscow Mule and Tony’s Tea flavors.
About Elvis Tennessee Whiskey: Bottled in Elvis Presley’s home state of Tennessee, this new whiskey brand features a photo of Presley on their labels with the hope of becoming “a highly sought-after collector’s item.”
Product at Trade Tasting: Elvis Tennessee Straight Rye Whiskey.
About High Goal: High Goal Luxury Gin is produced in Charleston, South Carolina and infused with mint and citrus botanicals sourced directly from across America’s Southeast, “to create a lighter, more refreshing and approachable flavor profile.”
Product at Trade Tasting: High Goal Gin.
About Virgil Kaine: Virgil Kaine is a small-batch whiskey company proudly crafted in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. They pride themselves in creating bourbons and whiskies with “ultra-smooth, well-balanced tastes that provide a sweet Southern finish.”
Product at Trade Tasting: Virgil Kaine Ginger Infused Bourbon, Rip Track Bourbon and Robber Baron Rye.
About Sartori di Verona: The heart of the Sartori family’s innovation has always been its tradition with the authentic essence of Veronese wine culture. Family Sartori has a lasting bond with the history and beauty of Verona and its wine culture. Third-generation winemaker Andrea Sartori is dedicated to the classic Veronese grape varieties and styles to make authentic regional wines are elegantly reinterpreted and personalized to meet the tastes of consumers, first locally and now around the world.
Products at Trade Tasting: Sartori di Verona Valpolicella Classico and Estate Collection Amarone della Valpolicella.
About Los Sundays: Løs Sundays Blanco is un-aged clear tequila, double distilled from a blend of highland agave offering smooth floral notes and lowland agave which lend earthier undertones. This blending technique provides a full bodied blanco with multiple layers of agave.
Products at Trade Tasting: Los Sundays Blanco, Coconut and Reposado Tequila.
About Cardenal Mendoza: Cardenal Mendoza Sherry Brandy is made from a selection of spirits between 36 and 45 degrees, obtained from the distillation of wine and aged in the traditional system of Criaderas & Solera. The collection of casks for Cardenal Mendoza, previously seasoned with Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez sherry wines, make up one of the largest wineries for Solera Gran Reserva brandy, ensuring the age and quality of the brandy.
Product at Trade Tasting: Cardenal Mendoza Angêlus Sherry Brandy Liqueur.
About Bumbu Rum: In Barbados, where Original Bumbu is made, rum isn’t just another spirit. It’s the original rum island, where rum was first created some 400 years ago. At Bumbu Rum Company rums are crafted from a blend of the finest sugarcane we can find, exceptionally balanced and smooth, without sacrificing the richness and complexity that makes our distilleries in Barbados and Panama the world’s best – even if we’re a little biased.
Products at Trade Tasting: Bumbu Rum Creme, XO and Original.
About Luc Belaire: Luc Belaire is a family of sparkling wines from some of France’s finest winemaking regions. Established in 1898, sixth generation winemakers oversee production of each bottle of Luc Belaire, ensuring that the perfect balance is realized in each bottling, and creating the elegant, refreshing blend characteristic of our house.
Products at Trade Tasting: Luc Belaire Bleu, Gold, Luxe, Rosé and Luxe Rosé.
About McQueen and the Violet Frog: McQueen and the Violet Fog is an extraordinary gin handcrafted in the hills of Jundiaí, Brazil, thousands of miles away from the traditional gin world. Twenty-one exotic botanicals used in the distillation process including many rarely found in gin like lemongrass, pomelo peel, orris root and jasmine flower.
Product at Trade Tasting: McQueen and the Violet Fog Gin.
About Villon Cognac: Crafted in the heart of beautiful southwestern France, Villon represents a revolution of France’s oldest and most renowned spirits.
Villon is exquisitely blended with a touch of VSOP cognac, fine spirits distilled from French wheat and rich natural flavors. The result is something altogether extraordinary.
Product at Trade Tasting: Villon VSOP Cognac.