Vintage Wine Estates (VWE) announced the launch of NexDrinx, a new product line initiative focused on the development, marketing and sales of alternative beverage products.
“We believe alternative beverages share many synergies with wine, and developing a product category adjacent to our wine business presents an opportunity for further growth with diversification. While we will always be a wine company first and foremost, by leveraging our operational expertise across new categories, we believe we are building greater value as an enterprise,” said Pat Roney, CEO and founder of Vintage Wine Estates. “NexDrinx creates a product line category exclusively devoted to developing brands in the alternative beverage space that encompasses alternative packaging, flavors and infusions, non-alcohol, low-alcohol, and CBD-infused beverages.”
The operation will be led by Tracey Mason in the role of senior vice president/general manager.
Mason has successfully created, marketed and sold innovative products in the CPG and adult beverage sectors for over 25 years, with leadership roles in innovation, sales and marketing, including most recently as chief strategy and innovation officer at CannaCraft and CEO of the luxury-infused wine from House of Saka. She has created and grown brands for Diageo, Treasury Wine Estates, Epic Wines, Purple Wine and Spirits, as well as the Clos du Val Winery.
The NexDrinx portfolio will be anchored by ACE Cider, which was acquired by VWE in November 2021. Plans are to launch new alcohol-removed, hemp-CBD-infused ACE cider products in the latter half of 2022, leveraging ACE product development and production capabilities as well as its channels to market. In addition, Vintage Wine Estates has acquired intellectual property rights to the women-focused, low-calorie, botanical and cannabinoid-infused sparkling beverage brand Gem + Jane from CannaCraft. Launched in 2021, Gem + Jane was previously available only at licensed cannabis dispensaries. The company intends to reformulate Gem + Jane as a hemp CBD and adaptogen-infused product to allow for national retail distribution. House of Saka, co-founded by Mason in 2018, will also merge into the NexDrinx portfolio, offering a range of ultra-premium, alcohol-free wines and ready-to-drink beverages from California’s Napa Valley.
Vintage Wine Estates is a family of wines and wineries throughout Napa, Calif.; Sonoma, Calif.; California’s Central Coast; Oregon; and Washington. To consistently drive growth, the company curates, creates, stewards and markets its many brands and services to customers and end consumers via a balanced omni-channel strategy encompassing direct-to-consumer, wholesale and exclusive brand arrangements with national retailers.