Foley Family Wines Expands its Spirits Portfolio with Notable Addition

Foley Family Wines has made an exciting move to expand into the higher-end spirits market with the appointment of a renowned entrepreneur in super-premium whiskey. The Sonoma County-based wine and spirits company, known for its esteemed wine brands like Chalk Hill Estate, Ferrari-Carano, and Merus, announced the hiring of Chip Tate as the master distiller for innovation.

Tate brings with him a wealth of experience, having successfully built Balcones Distilling in Texas from the ground up. His exceptional craftsmanship and award-winning American single-malt whiskey caught the attention of beverage alcohol giant Diageo, which acquired Balcones in late 2022.

With an already impressive presence in the wine industry, Foley Family Wines has taken a bold step into the spirits realm. Last year, they acquired Minden Mill Distillery in Nevada and introduced Charles Goodnight Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey and New Zealand Lighthouse Gin to the U.S. market. The company’s master distillers, Joe O’Sullivan and Rachel Hall, have been instrumental in the production at the Minden Mill facility.

Shawn Schiffer, President of Foley Family Wines, expressed his enthusiasm about Tate joining their team as they continue to expand their spirits portfolio. With Tate’s expertise and innovative ideas, they are eager to launch their next generation of spirits.

The demand for luxury American whiskey and tequila, priced over $50 per 750-milliliter bottle, has seen significant growth in recent years. According to the Distilled Spirits Council, the sales in these categories have grown at an impressive rate of 39% and 42% annually between 2017 and 2022, making them the fastest-growing segments in the high-end spirits market. The resurgence of the restaurant and bar industry post-COVID has played a crucial role in driving this growth.

Chip Tate’s journey into distilling began in academia, where he delved into philosophy at the College of William & Mary and studied theology at Union Presbyterian Seminary. Eventually, he found his true passion in distilling, leading him to build his own copper pot stills and distilling equipment in a former welding shop near Baylor University. In 2008, he founded Balcones, laying the foundation for his successful career in the industry.

Foley Family Wines’ expansion into the spirits market reflects their commitment to evolving and meeting the changing tastes and preferences of consumers. With Chip Tate at the helm of their new venture, the company is poised to make a significant impact in the world of premium spirits.

For more information, please contact Jeff Quackenbush at [email protected] or 707-521-4256.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Who has Foley Family Wines hired for their expansion into the spirits market?
Foley Family Wines has hired Chip Tate, a renowned entrepreneur in super-premium whiskey, as the master distiller for innovation.

2. What is Chip Tate’s background in the industry?
Chip Tate successfully built Balcones Distilling in Texas and his American single-malt whiskey gained recognition, leading beverage alcohol giant Diageo to acquire Balcones in late 2022.

3. What previous acquisitions has Foley Family Wines made in the spirits market?
Foley Family Wines acquired Minden Mill Distillery in Nevada and introduced Charles Goodnight Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey and New Zealand Lighthouse Gin to the U.S. market.

4. Who are the master distillers at the Minden Mill facility?
The master distillers at the Minden Mill facility are Joe O’Sullivan and Rachel Hall.

5. How does Foley Family Wines plan to launch their next-generation of spirits?
With Chip Tate’s expertise and innovative ideas, Foley Family Wines plans to launch their next-generation of spirits.

6. What is the growth rate of luxury American whiskey and tequila in the high-end spirits market?
According to the Distilled Spirits Council, sales in luxury American whiskey and tequila categories have grown at an annual rate of 39% and 42% respectively between 2017 and 2022.

7. What has played a crucial role in driving the growth of luxury American whiskey and tequila?
The resurgence of the restaurant and bar industry post-COVID has played a crucial role in driving the growth of luxury American whiskey and tequila.

8. What is Chip Tate’s background before entering the distilling industry?
Chip Tate’s background includes studying philosophy at the College of William & Mary and theology at Union Presbyterian Seminary before finding his true passion in distilling.

9. What does Foley Family Wines’ expansion into the spirits market reflect?
Foley Family Wines’ expansion into the spirits market reflects their commitment to evolving and meeting the changing tastes and preferences of consumers.

For further information, please contact Jeff Quackenbush at [email protected] or 707-521-4256.