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On February 6th, 2024, Empire Distributors, Inc. of Georgia customers and trade members were invited to our annual Trade Tasting for the Augusta area! The 2024 Augusta 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 at some of the suppliers & brands that will attend the event and their featured items available or coming soon to the Augusta, Georgia market.
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.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: Lobos 1707 Anejo Tequila, Extra Anejo, Joven, Reposado and Mezcal
About Atlanta Hard Cider & Distillery: Atlanta Hard Cider & Distillery started with founders Mark & Liz Deno home brewing hard cider in their garage. After much research, Mark decided that he wanted to learn all about making cider. He headed west to Portland Oregon where he took Oregon State’s cider making course and learned the craft from some of the best cider master’s in the world! Fast forward 6 years later and here were are making cider and now distilling it for all to enjoy.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: Atlanta Distillery American Dry Gin, Toasted Barrel Brandy, Atlanta Distillery Vodka, Atlanta Hard Cider Crisp Apple, Atlanta Hard Cider Granny Smith, Atlanta Hard Cider Peach and Tepache Pineapple Cider
About Flybird: Flybird Cocktails are an authentic, premium Margarita experience crafted from 100% Mexican agave wine. This easy to sip, ready-to-drink, classic margarita cocktail is flavorful, bold, and kicks a serious punch, without any hassle.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: Flybird Blood Orange Margarita, Flybird Lime Margarita and Flybird Strawberry Margarita
About Bespoken Spirits: In an industry steeped in tradition, Bespoken is different from anything you’ve seen or tasted thanks to a refined yet creative approach; one that aligns purpose with passion. What we call Tailored Wood Finishing allows a hand-selected cultivar of bespoke flavors to erupt within each bottle, all while using less wood, water, and energy than any whiskey ever before.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: Bespoken Hell House, Bespoken Twice Toasted American Whiskey, Bespoken Twice Toasted Bourbon, Bespoken Twice Toasted Rye and Bespoken Uncle Chickens Bourbon
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.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: J. Lohr Arroyo Vista Chardonnay, J. Lohr Carol’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon, J. Lohr Riverstone Chardonnay, J. Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon and J.Lohr Pure Paso Proprietary Red Wine
About Browne Family Vineyards: A family-owned winery located in the heart of Walla Walla, Washington, Browne Family Vineyards is “dedicated to building meaningful relationships with our customers and partners through innovative new wines, exciting collaborations, and customer nirvana.”
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: Browne Cabernet Sauvignon Forest Project, Browne FV Red Blend D.E.S., Browne Heritage Cabernet Sauvignon and Browne Heritage Chardonnay
About Gruet Winery: Debuting in 1989, Gruet uses the Méthode Champenoise they brought from their family’s vineyard in France to New Mexico to make their sparkling wine.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: Gruet Blanc de Noir, Gruet Brut, Gruet L’Orangerie Sparkling and Gruet le Fleuriste Spritz
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 Balade, Belle Glos Chardonnay Glasir Holt Sta. Rita Hills, Belle Glos Las Alturas Pinot Noir, Belle Glos ODP Rose and Belle Glos Pinot Noir Taylor Lane
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
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 Napa Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Threadcount Red Blend
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 Cabernet Sauvignon, Caymus Suisun Grand Durif and Caymus Suisun Walking Fool
About Emmolo Wine Co.: Created by Jenny Wagner, Emmolo’s wines offer a fresh take on California varietals, with a style not typically expected from their production.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: Emmolo Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc
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 Mer Soleil: Mer Soleil began in the late 1980s, with a journey to the central coast of California in search of ideal conditions to plant Chardonnay. Their first vineyards were in the Santa Lucia Highlands, a small but exceptional appellation about a 30-minute drive from Monterey. With morning fog, bright sunshine and howling gusts of afternoon wind, the region’s dramatic weather leads to an extended growing season, enabling Mer Soleil to make wines with distinctive aromas and flavors.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: Mer Soleil Reserve Chardonnay
About JUSTIN: JUSTIN wines were first planted back in 1981 with a mission to make world-class Bordeaux-style blends. They combine traditional Old World methods—like hand-harvesting and small-barrel aging in French oak—with New World technology. For example, the “Air Knife”, an ingenious New World process invented by JUSTIN winemakers, boosts grape quality and efficiency.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: JUSTIN Vineyards Isosceles and “Isosceles” Reserve, JUSTIN Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon and Justin Vineyards Justification
About JNSQ: The phrase “je ne sais quoi” was the inspiration for JNSQ, a superlative new wine made from select California grapes and crafted in the style of the best French Rosés. The result is a taste so unique and surprising that you’ll be at a loss for words to capture what elevates these wines into a class by themselves.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: JNSQ Sauvignon Blanc
About Astral Tequila: Astral Tequila is made with 100% Blue Weber Agave, slowly nurtured by the cyclical passing of warm daylight skies and cool luminous nights, where the sun and the stars meet. The Astral Blanco is complex yet smooth, with notes of crisp citrus, clover honey, and bright white pepper, with underlying agave and an abundance of tropical fruit.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: Astral Anejo, Astral Reposado and Astral Tequila Blanco
About Baileys: The NEW Baileys Chocolate Liqueur combines two beloved treats – Baileys Original Irish Cream and real Belgian chocolate – to bring the pleasures of enjoying dessert to the bar.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: Bailey’s Chocolate
About Aviation Gin: Aviation American Gin is a welcome departure from the traditional London Dry style, and the brand’s extreme mixability appeals to a much wider audience of food and cocktail enthusiasts. The product is naturally gluten-free and distilled in small batches in Portland, Oregon, using American grain spirit and an adventurous blend of spices from around the world.
Product(s) at Trade Tasting: Aviation Gin