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On February 28th, 2023, Empire Distributors, Inc. of Georgia customers and trade members were invited to our annual Trade Tasting for the Augusta area! The 2023 Augusta Trade Tasting brought together many of Empire’s 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 available in the Augusta, Georgia market.
About Alexander Valley Vineyards: After purchasing the historic Cyrus Alexander homestead, Harry and Maggie Wetzel strived to create a thriving agricultural lifestyle on the property. Decades later, the fourth generation of their family is growing up amongst vineyards and next door to the working winery that is known around the world as “AVV”.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: Alexander Valley Vineyards Cyrus and Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate Chardonnay, Estate Merlot, Homestead Red Blend and School Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.
About The Hess Collection Winery: Recognized as one of the premier family-owned and family-led companies in the world of wine, Hess stands committed to pushing boundaries and elevating standards to craft wines of distinctive character. Each of the family’s wine brands – The Hess Collection on Mount Veeder and the Lions Head Collection of Napa Valley—produce outstanding, highly acclaimed wines committed to sustainable farming and winemaking practices.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: Hess Collection Iron Corral Cabernet Sauvignon, The Lioness Chardonnay, Lions Head Collection – Lion Tamer Red Blend and Lion Tamer Cabernet Sauvignon, Maverick Ranches Cabernet Sauvignon and Allomi Pinot Noir.
About Cincoro: Cincoro was created by Michael Jordan and four other NBA team owners with a specific goal: “to create the new gold standard for the spirit.” The tequilas are uniquely made with Weber blue agave from both the highland and lowland regions that have been cooked and distilled separately then artfully blended together into a single exceptional tequila.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: Cincoro Anejo, Blanco, Gold and Reposado.
About More Labs: More Labs creates smart, problem-solving supplements to dispatch the modern-day stressors that slow you down. Despite the products’ seemingly magical effects, they’re science-backed and thoroughly researched, tested, and verified.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: More Labs Dream Well Guava, Liquid Focus Berry, Morning Recovery Lemon and Sugar Free Morning Recovery, Morning Recovery Energy and Orange Mango.
About Louis Latour: The family-run company of Maison Louis Latour is one of the most highly-respected négociant-éléveurs in Burgundy. Renowned throughout the world for the quality of its red and white wines, the company has built a reputation for tradition and innovation.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: Simonnet Febvre St. Bris and Simonnet-Febvre Cremant de Bourgogne Brut Blanc.
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.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: Castello Banfi Brachetto d’Acqui Sparkling Rosa Regale Rosé, Centine Toscana Red Blend, Chianti Classico, Toscana Chardonnay Fontanelle and Toscana Pinot Grigio San Angelo Winemakers Edition.
About Rainstorm: Rainstorm Oregon Pinot is on a mission to bring all of Oregon’s vibrant character to life. Sourced from the Willamette Valley, Rainstorm produces balanced and approachable, yet complex Pinot Noir.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: Rainstorm Pinot Noir Willamette Valley
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(s) at Trade Tasting: Pacific Rim Sweet Riesling Columbia Valley
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.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: Belle Glos Clark and Telephone Pinot Noir and “ODP” Pinot Noir Blanc ROSE, “Taylor Lane” Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, Dairyman Pinot Noir Russian River and Las Alturas Pinot Noir.
About Böen: Böen is an exploration in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, highlighting the unique attributes of California’s most sought-after winegrowing regions. BÖEN, with its ripe fruit flavors, bright acidity and hints of toasty oak, is the purest expression of Joe Wagner’s signature style.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: Boen Pinot Noir and Tri-Appellation Chardonnay.
About Elouan: Elouan is the result of California winemakers venturing up to Oregon, one of the world’s renowned Pinot Noir regions. The goal: to produce Pinot Noir 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(s) at Trade Tasting: Elouan Pinot Noir and Rose.
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.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: Quilt “Fabric of the Land” Red Blend, Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and Threadcount Red Blend by Quilt.
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.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: Bumbu Rum Crème, Bumbu Original Rum and Bumbu XO Rum.
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.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: Luc Belaire Bleu, Gold, Luxe, Rose and Luxe Rose.
About McQueen and Violet Fog Gin: 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(s) at Trade Tasting: McQueen and Violet Fog Gin
About Villon: 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(s) at Trade Tasting: Villon VSOP Cognac
About Red Schooner: Red Schooner, known for their Mendoza “Voyage” Malbec, has released a new “Red Wine of the World” sourced from renowned regions of Australia under the direction of Charlie Wagner.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: Red Schooner Transit
About Sea Sun Vineyards: Sea Sun wines are layered wines produced by Charlie Wagner from the singular beauty and character of the California coast, made to have broad appeal.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: Sea Sun Pinot Noir
About Caymus: Since its founding in 1972, Caymus has become renowned as a consistent leader in the production of Napa Valley Cabernet. Caymus is best known for Cabernet Sauvignon and remains 100% family-owned by the Wagners.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: Caymus Napa Cabernet and Caymus-Suisun Grand Durif.
About Conundrum: More than 25 years ago, Conundrum was a bold experiment – today it’s still about doing things your own way and daring to explore. A perfect blend of California grapes make Conundrum the perfect wine, any time.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: Conundrum White Blend
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.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: Banshee Brut Sparkling Ten of Cups, Sonoma County Cabernet and Sonoma Pinot Noir.
About Chalk Hill: Since 1972, Chalk Hill has been committed to creating terroir-driven wines of character, richness and elegance from the diverse terrain of Sonoma County’s rolling hills. With a passionate dedication to chardonnay, and showcasing the incredible diversity of our estate vineyards, it is the drive for always improving and making the best quality wines possible that keeps us going with a vision for generations to come.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: Chalk Hill Estate Red Blend and Sonoma Coast Chardonnay.
About El Pino Club: Foley Family of Wines curates exceptional Pinot Noir from around the globe for El Pino Club, so that you can see the world through the eyes of this wonderful little grape. Every member of El Pino Club is a unique and lovably-quirky character, bursting with personality and undeniably true to itself.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: El Pino Club High Haven Pinot Noir
About Foley Johnson: For years, Bill Foley and his wife, Carol Johnson Foley, had dreamt of opening a winery bearing their name in Napa Valley. With the launch of Foley Johnson in 2012, the Foleys have created a world-class winery with premier vineyards right in the heart of America’s preeminent winegrowing region. Their Napa Valley collection focuses on Bordeaux varietals from the Estate vineyards in Rutherford and other exceptional sites in the Napa Valley.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: Foley Johnson Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Estate
About The Four Graces: The Four Graces is owned by Bill Foley and produces Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Blanc renowned nationally and internationally for their balance, elegance, complexity, and richness. The wines are crafted under the guidance of Tim Jones who is thrilled to be able to taste and compare some of the best grapes in Willamette Valley.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: Four Graces Pinot Noir Willamette
About EOS Winery: Originally named for the Goddess of the Dawn in ancient Greek mythology, EOS Estate Winery uses state-of-the-art, eco-friendly technology to craft their wine offerings. Since their introduction in 1985, EOS wines have consistently been recognized for outstanding quality.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: EOS Pinot Grigio
About Sebastiani: Since Bill Foley’s purchase of Sebastiani in 2008, the winemaking team has taken a number of steps to produce world-class wines that showcase the great terroir and versatility of Sonoma County. With the spotlight on single vineyards (Cherryblock) and sub-appellations (Sonoma Valley, Alexander Valley, Carneros and Russian River Valley), Sebastiani is generating high scores and enthusiastic support from the trade and consumers.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: Sebastiani Cabernet AV
Reach out with any questions you may have to see just how responsive, knowledgeable and downright friendly an Empire Representative can be.