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Publishers Page January 2015 News & Views

Posted on  | December 23, 2014   Bookmark and Share
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It is with heartfelt sadness that we remember Jay Andretta, an endearing presence in the wine and spirits industry in Upstate New York for more than 30 years. In 1983, Jay joined his dad, Vincent “Jimmy” Andretta Jr., in the family business—then Colony Liquor & Wine Distributors—and had a distinguished career, most recently serving as president of Empire Merchants North, LLC, a member of The Charmer Sunbelt Group.

Jay’s enthusiasm about life was contagious and we were fortunate to enjoy many years of conversation with him at industry events. His pride in being from Upstate New York always shined through; and he was consistently our best source for information on all Upstate fronts: political, social and economic.

We had the privilege of seeing him last month at the Brotherhood Winery in the quiet little town of Washingtonville, NY. Seeing Jay there to celebrate Brotherhood’s 175th Anniversary says much about who Jay was. No supplier or customer was too big or small for Jay—he treated everyone equally with great integrity, respect and class.

We also marveled at his ability to stay in terrific condition despite his long work hours and travel schedule. We can recall more than a few WSWA conventions, having woken up exceptionally early to beat the crowd at the gym, only to find Jay already on the treadmill and well into his workout routine.

Judging by the outpouring of love and support we heard for Jay in the wake of his sudden passing, we know the industry joins us in sending our sincere condolences to his wife Lauri, their family, and the entire Charmer Sunbelt family.

William G. Slone    

Jason A. Glasser
Chief Executive Officer


The first month of a new year is perfect for gauging new trends. That’s why we made rye our cover story. Even in the booming general category of brown goods, rye stands out, growing even faster than bourbon.

Of course, a new year always tends to generate predictions. You’ll find quite an interesting cross-section of ideas—touching on wine, spirits and technology—in “Crystal Ball 2015” on page 30.

Garnacha, aka Grenache, has long been enjoyed both as a varietal wine and in blends, but without the recognition of so-called noble grapes (page 24). Its incognito days are numbered, though, thanks to a surge in quality, a fresh commitment to market it more directly, and a style that fits American palates to a T. (Or a G?)

We think you’ll find lots of practical inspiration in our guide to selling wines for all occasions. If your staff is ready to help these customers efficiently, you stand a good chance of winning new repeat business, month after month (page 44).

Jody Slone-Spitalnik
Chief Operating Officer


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