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Recap: 2022 Chattanooga Innovation Wine & Spirits Trade Tasting

On June 7th, 2022, Empire Distributors, Inc. of Tennessee customers and trade members were invited to our annual New Item Trade Tasting for the Chattanooga area!  The 2022 Chattanooga New Items Trade Tasting brought together many of Empire’s newest brands with retail & on-premise beverage buyers from across the Chattanooga, TN area. Read on to get a recap of some of the suppliers & brands that attended the event and their featured items available in the Chattanooga, Tennessee market.

Lobos 1707 Tequila

About Lobos 1707: Backed by LeBron James and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lobos 1707 is an independent spirits producer that marries heritage and innovation. Their tequilas and mezcal are finished in PX wine barrels, following a 400-year legacy of tradition.
Products at Trade Tasting: Lobos 1707 Joven, Lobos 1707 Reposado, Lobos 1707 Extra Añejo, Lobos 1707 Mezcal


J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines

About J. Lohr: Founded five decades ago and still family-owned and operated today, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines has established itself as one of the industry’s most respected wine brands. Jerry Lohr’s remarkable career continues in close, hands-on partnership with his children and co-owners Steve, Cynthia, and Lawrence. J. Lohr crafts wines showcasing bold, concentrated flavors and a vibrant sense of place, offering six tiers of award-winning wines.
Products at Trade Tasting: J. Lohr Bay Mist Riesling, Arroyo Seco, Monterey 2021, J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay RC, Arroyo Seco, Monterey 2020, J. Lohr Estates Falcon’s Perch Pinot Noir RC, Monterey, 2019, J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon RC, Paso Robles 2019, J. Lohr Pure Pase Proprietary Red Wine, Paso Robles 2018


Tastings from Constellation Brands

Kim Crawford Wines

About Kim Crawford Wines: Two Words, New Zealand. Kim Crawford is one of New Zealand’s most exciting and innovative wine producers. The winery started out in a small cottage in Auckland, New Zealand and since its launch in 1996, the label has gained critical acclaim around the globe. They aim to “do things unconventionally, take risks, start things, and welcome different.”
Products at Trade Tasting: Kim Crawford Prosecco, Kim Crawford Lemon Iced Tea Spritzers, Kim Crawford Peach Iced Tea Spritzers

Unshackled (coming soon)

About Unshackled: A fine wine experience for all, “liberating” California’s best with delicious and daring combinations of mixed blacks, reds, and whites.
Product at Trade Tasting: Unshackled Sparkling

Saldo (coming soon)

About Saldo: With a name that speaks to the craftsmanship, precision and care put into making this complex, yet simply enjoyable wine, Saldo is truly one to standout during the summer. Refreshing on the palate, the Saldo Chenin Blanc is balanced by just enough acidity to leave you wanting more.
Product at Trade Tasting: Saldo Chenin Blanc

Simi Winery

About Simi Winery: Persevering to better every last drop of their wines, Isabelle Simi steered the winery with defiant determination for more than 70 years. In each sip, the timelessness of SIMI and Sonoma County are captured through meticulous care and attention in both the vineyards and the winery.
Product at Trade Tasting: Simi Editors Collection Rose

Next Round Cocktails

About Next Round: These crowd-pleasing ready-to-drink cocktails are made with real fruit juice and crisp, premium wines. Its convenience served in a cocktail, so you can easily go for the “next round.”
Products at Trade Tasting: Next Round Cocktails Lime Margarita, Next Round Cocktails Strawberry Lime Sangria Rose

Nelson Brothers

About Nelson Brothers: The Nelson Brothers set out on a mission to revive their family’s distilling legacy with the launch of Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery in 2006. With the intention of reversing the standards of quality and integrity established by their third great grandfather Charles Nelson, who founded the family distillery in 1860, the Nelson Brothers created a line of products that would appeal to modern whiskey enthusiasts.
Products at Trade Tasting: Nelson Brothers Classic Bourbon, Nelson Brothers Reserve Bourbon


Tastings from E & J Gallo Spirits


About Wildcard: Made with real vodka, these ready-to-drink canned cocktails from New Amsterdam offers three refreshing flavors.
Products at Trade Tasting: Wildcard Hard Lemonade, Wildcard Hard Punch, Wildcard Hard Tea

High Noon Sun Sips

About High Noon: Take a summer sip under the sun with High Noon Sun Sips. Made with real vodka, real juice and sparkling water, these hard seltzers are only 100 calories with no sugar added.
Products at Trade Tasting: High Noon Peach, High Noon Lemon

New Amsterdam

About New Amsterdam: With a premium process that’s as iconic as the cityscape on the bottle, New Amsterdam Vodka is five times distilled from the finest grains then filtered three times to create a supremely smooth vodka.
Product at Trade Tasting: New Amsterdam Passionfruit

LIQS (coming soon)

About LIQS: LIQS Margarita is a wine based citrus cocktail that takes the places of a base spirit. Mixed with real fruit juice, LIQS is all natural with low calories and sugar.
Product at Trade Tasting: LIQS Margarita


Tastings from E & J Gallo Winery

J Vineyards & Winery

About J Vineyards: Discovered in 1986, J Vineyards & Winery grew out of Judy Jordan’s vision to start a winery specializing in sparkling wine. Jordan’s journey led her to Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley, where she would later be recognized for her critically-acclaimed sparkling wines. With a knack for further exploration, Jordan branched out to varietal wines after she came to the realization that the Russian River Valley vineyards would also be ideal for growing other wine grapes.
Products at Trade Tasting: J Vineyards California Pinot Noir Black Label, J Vineyards California Chardonnay Black Label, J Vineyards Brut Cuvee

Louis Martini

About Louis Martini: Driven by the desire to craft exceptional wines, Louis Martini made the decision to settle in Napa Valley and source the best fruit possible. To this day, Martini’s passion for Napa Valley is reflected through his established legacy of craftsmanship.
Product at Trade Tasting: Louis Martini Napa Cabernet

Clos du Bois

About Clos du Bois: The vibrantly diverse wine regions of Sonoma County and Coastal California is home to almost 800 acres of Clos du Bois. Having been a champion of sustainability since its inception in 1974, Clos du Bois stand firm on their commitment to creating a healthy ecosystem in which the vines will thrive.
Product at Trade Tasting: Clos du Bois Chardonnay

Maison No. 9

About Maison No. 9: The Maison No. 9 Rosé is a Post Malone project, merged with the idea of bringing together a best-in-class winery with his love for the Mediterranean lifestyle and rosé. It offers a dry and crisp finish balanced with a mouth-watering and savory texture.
Product at Trade Tasting: Maison No. 9 Rosé

Franciscan Estate

About Franciscan: The Franciscan Estate was founded in 1973 by a group of San Franciscans wine lover, who wanted to be in the wine business. As one of the pioneering wineries of the modern age in Napa Valley, Franciscan Estate creates wines that are rich in flavor, vibrant in their feel and supple in their texture.
Product at Trade Tasting: Franciscan Cabernet

Mark West

About Mark West: Since 1978, Mark West has been totally devoted to providing wines that will be an easy choice for any occasion, including their Pinot. The Mark West Black Pinot Noir is no exception to this, as it is the deepest, darkest and smoothest Pinot in their collection.
Product at Trade Tasting: Mark West Black Pinot Noir

William Hill Estate Winery

About William Hill: The visionary vineyard developer, William Hill, noticed the incredible potential of the Silverado Bench, where he built his namesake winery in 1978. More than three decades later, William Hill Estate Winery is making modern wines that showcase the unique terroir of this virtually unknown area of southern Napa Valley.
Product at Trade Tasting: William Hill Sauvignon Blanc


Tastings from E & J Gallo Spirits (Luxury)

Lo-Fi Aperitifs

About Lo-Fi: Crafted with California wines and natural herbs and botanicals, Lo-Fi Aperitifs are a line of vermouths and amaro that can be enjoyed on its own or used generously in a cocktail.
Products at Trade Tasting: Lo-Fi Dry Vermouth, Lo-Fi Sweet Vermouth, Lo-Fi Gentian Amaro

Select Apertivo

About Select Apertivo: Since 1920, Select Apertivo has been recognized as the spirit of the Spritz. The original Venetian spritz is more than just a drink – it’s merely a lifestyle.
Product at Trade Tasting: Select Apertivo

Don Fulano

About Don Fulano: Fruit of a family-owned company, Don Fulano Tequilas represents the legacy of five generations of AGAVEROS from the Highland region of Jalisco in Mexico.
Products at Trade Tasting: Don Fulano Blanco, Don Fulano Reposado


About Diplomatico: Passionately crafted by Maestros Roneros, Diplomatico uses their expertise in combining modern and traditional distillation methods to produce exceptional rums.
Products at Trade Tasting: Diplomatico Planas, Diplomatico Mantuano, Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva


Tastings from Sazerac

Platinum 10X

About Platinum 10X: Platinum 10X vodka was developed in pursuit of perfection. It is vodka redefined and refined with a perfect balance of taste and design.
Product at Trade Tasting: Platinum 10X

The Club Cocktails

About The Club: The Club is a classic cocktail in a can, boldly mixed to be the strong reward after a hard day’s work. With 10 ready-to-drink flavors, it is all that’s needed to finish the day strong.
Product at Trade Tasting: The Club Variety Pack

Sheep Dog

About Sheep Dog: The idea of blending peanut butter and whiskey may have sounded nutty, but the Sheep Dog Peanut Butter Whiskey features sweet and salty peanut butter flavors combined with the desired taste of bold Whiskey.
Product at Trade Tasting: Sheep Dog


About Stirrings: Create delicious and festive cocktails with the award-winning cocktail mixers from Stirrings.
Products at Trade Tasting: Old Fashioned Mix, Bloody Mary Mix


Tastings from Riboli Family Wines


About Maddalena: Guided by the tenacity of the Riboli Family, the success of Maddalena Wines comes from their strong belief in crafting the finest artisan wines. The family’s beginnings trace back to 1917 when they opened San Antonio Winery in Downtown, Los Angeles. Today, their vision for excellence and expansion along the coastline is supported by four generations.
Products at Trade Tasting: Maddalena Chardonnay 2019, Maddalena Cabernet 2019, Maddalena Rose 2021

San Simeon

About San Simeon: Guided by the tenacity of the Riboli Family, the success of San Simeon comes from their strong belief in crafting the finest artisan wines. The family’s beginnings trace back to 1917 when they opened San Antonio Winery in Downtown, Los Angeles. Today, their vision for excellence and expansion along the coastline is supported by four generations.
Products at Trade Tasting: San Simeon Chardonnay 2018, San Simeon Cabernet 2019, San Simeon Sauvignon Blanc 2021

Stella Rosa

About Stella Rosa: The award-winning semi-sweet, semi-sparkling Italian wines emerged through a rich legacy. Hailing from the region of Asti, a province in Piedmont, Italy and also home to the family matriarch, Maddalena Riboli, the region is also the source for the aromatic grapes used in the creation of the signature Stella Rosa style of wines.
Products at Trade Tasting: Stella Rosa Organic Orange, Stella Rosa Lemon Lime, Stella Rosa Naturals Black Non Alc, Stella Rosa Naturals Peach Non Alc


Tastings from Trinchero Family Estates

Iron + Sand

About Iron + Sand: Combining the natural draw of the historic hot spring, Iron Springs and Sand Springs, the Cabernet Sauvignon presents delicious flavors of black cherry and blackberry with back notes of coffee, mocha and a hint of vanilla.
Product at Trade Tasting: Iron + Sand Cabernet Sauvignon


About Vitiano: Introduced in 1995 by brothers Riccardo and Renzo Cotarella, the two acclaimed winemakers completed Vitiano as a project of their famed Falesco winery. The brothers sought to extend Falesco’s philosophy of striking a perfect balance between the tradition of native grapes and the versatility of international varietals.
Product at Trade Tasting: Vitiano Rosso

Joel Gott Wines

About Joel Gott: Established in 1996 with the production of Amador County Zinfandel, Joel Gott Wines sources the best fruit from growing regions in California, Oregon and Washington. Having switched from a single vineyard approach, the fruits at Joel Gott are blended to create more balanced, complex and elegant wines.
Products at Trade Tasting: Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc, Joel Gott Palisades, Joel Gott Chardonnay


Tastings from Proximo Spirits

Jose Cuervo

About Jose Cuervo: Recognized as the oldest tequila brand, Jose Cuervo has been making tequila since 1758. The award-winning tequila that has been handed down generation through generation still embodies the same experiences and craftsmanship, as it did 250 years ago.
Products at Trade Tasting: Jose Cuervo Authentic Margarita RTD, Jose Cuervo Tradicional Anejo, Jose Cuervo Tradicional Cristalino, Jose Cuervo, Playa Mar Grapefruit Hard Seltzer, Jose Cuervo, Playa Mar Mango Hard Seltzer, Jose Cuervo, Playa Mar Black Cherry Hard Seltzer, Jose Cuervo, Playa Mar Lime Hard Seltzer, Jose Cuervo, Sparkling Margarita, Jose Cuervo, Sparkling Paloma, Jose Cuervo, Sparkling Rosé Margarita, Jose Cuervo, Sparkling Strawberry Margarita

1800 Tequila

About 1800 Tequila: As the world’s first premium tequila, 1800 has always remained true to its values of passion, hard work and honesty. In staying true to themselves, the original formula and distillation process has not been wavered in the two hundred years since they have been in business.
Products at Trade Tasting: 1800 Cristalino, 1800 Coconut

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