Foley Family Wines partnering with upstart Florida spirits maker

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Foley Family Wines to partner with Florida spirits distillery

Foley Family Wines of Santa Rosa recently announced a partnership with American Freedom Distillery of St. Petersburg, Florida.

The two companies will undertake a strategic marketing and distribution alliance. Foley, the nation’s 19th-largest winery that has its own wine-and-spirits wholesaler, will lend its expertise and market leverage to American Freedom, an artisanal spirits producer whose Horse Soldier Bourbon label has become one of the fastest growing bourbon brands in the country over the last 18 months.

Founder Bill Foley has repeatedly talked about the importance of growing his overall portfolio that his company can offer to retailers and restaurants given the consolidation within the alcohol beverage industry.

That has become even greater with E. & J. Gallo acquiring 30 wine brands and six wineries from Constellation Brands Inc. in a deal announced last month.

Rack & Riddle upgrades Healdsburg production plant

Rack & Riddle, the Healdsburg custom crush facility that’s one of the area’s largest producers of sparkling wines, recently completed an expansion of its production plant.

The company acquired a neighboring 67,000-square-foot plant and installed of an automated sparkling wine production line to serve more customers.

Like other custom crush facilities, Rack & Riddle provides one-stop service for vintners to crush grapes, make wine and ultimately transfer it into bottles.

With the expansion, the company boosted manufacturing capacity on its sparkling wine line from 1,400 cases in a single production run to 2,700 cases per run.

General Manager Mark Garaventa said in a statement his company could eventually produce up to 750,000 cases of sparkling wine a year, which would be a 114% increase in its output. The company produces 1.7 million cases of wine annually.

Fetzer Vineyards in Hopland pushes for climate action

Hopland’s Fetzer Vineyards joined more than 75 other businesses last week to call on Congress to pass legislation to protect the climate, including placing a tax or fees on the use of carbon energy.

Fetzer, which is owned by Vina Concha Y Toro out of Chile, was accompanied by other companies such as General Mills, Unilever, Levi Strauss & Co., Microsoft, PepsiCo, Exelon and Tesla in a lobbying push on Capitol Hill.

The companies represent combined revenues of more than $1.7 trillion, a combined market value of almost $2.5 trillion and employ more than 750,000 workers nationwide.

“Looking to the future, we recognize the need for policies that support bold action on climate, which is why we’re putting our voice behind a price on carbon in Washington this week,” Elizabeth Drake, regenerative development manager at Fetzer Vineyards, said in a statement.

Compiled by Bill Swindell. Submit items to

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