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Introducing the $100 Cristal Doughnut (Coffee Extra)

We’ve seen super-expensive gourmet hot dogs, burgers and other fast-food items. But are you ready for a $100 doughnut?

The Manilla Social Club, located in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, has introduced the Golden Cristal Ube Doughnut, covered in icing made with Cristal Champagne and filled with Champagne jelly. The sprinkles are actually flecks of 24-carat gold. Lest you think it’s too over the top even for jaded New Yorkers, owner Björn DelaCruz says that some customers have actually been buying them by the dozen.

“I wanted to add something for the new year to celebrate how long we have been going,” he says. “I didn’t know people would go and order a dozen at a time. But, then again, it is New York, and there are people willing to put down a grand for a dozen doughnuts.”

Other Headlines

Will Wine Prices Be Even More Confusing This Year?

A blog, Wine Curmudgeon, predicts that wine pricing, which is always a bit of a head-scratcher for consumers, will become even more of a mystery this year. Why, you ask? According to the blog, more retailers will move to tier pricing, where each wine has two, three, or even four prices.

This approach, already in place in many chain grocery stores and retailers like BevMo and Spec’s, uses a combination of sale and club pricing as well as quantity discounts to determine a wine’s cost.

Portland’s Spirits Renaissance Continues

Travel Portland reports that recent expansion of production facilities and tasting rooms along Portland’s Distillery Row and beyond have opened new areas of growth for brewers and distillers.

Eastside Distilling is putting the finishing touches on its new 41,000-square-foot digs. Once complete, the distillery will be the largest in the Pacific Northwest.

For the moment, that title belongs to House Spirits Distillery, celebrating its new 14,000-square-foot facility, which is six times the capacity of its former location. It now features an expanded tasting room open daily for tours, and comes in time to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of its flagship spirit, Aviation American Gin.

A new distillery district has taken hold in northwest Portland, anchored by Bull Run Distilling, Clear Creek Distillery and the newly opened Aria Gin tasting room. Neighboring Bull Run Distilling will release its Oregon Whiskey this spring, incorporating only local ingredients.

At New Deal Distillery, in Portland’s Southeast Industrial District, owner Tom Burkleaux leads hands-on whiskey making classes. Meanwhile, at nearby Thomas & Sons Distillery, tasting-room offerings include tea liqueurs, Italian-style amari (bitter liqueurs) and other botanical spirits, all distilled from a fermentation of tea and sugar.

In the Trade

Premiere Napa Valley Will Offer Some Online Exclusives

Premiere Napa Valley, a barrel-oriented futures auction that showcases unique Napa Valley wines to industry buyers, will offer online bidding on 25 auction lots for the first time, the Napa Valley Vintners announced.

Online bidding opens Feb. 19 at 8 am. PST, and will continue until the next day at 6 pm.

Descriptions of all 225 unique lot offerings can be found at The 200 live lots will go on the auction block at the sold-out event, scheduled to take place at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone on Feb. 20.

Bacardi To U.S.: Confiscation Without Compensation!

Drinks Business reports that Bacardi has accused U.S. government regulators of disregarding their own laws after they ruled that a Pernod Ricard-led venture has exclusive rights to sell Cuban-made Havana Club rum in America, dependent upon the lifting of the U.S. trade embargo on the island nation.

For the past two decades, Cuban-made Havana Club rum has been sold outside the U.S. under Cubaexport, a joint venture between Pernod Ricard and the Cuban government. The ruling by the Foreign Assets Control Office would allow that partnership to market and sell Havana Club in America.

Bacardi has sold Puerto Rican-made Havana Club since its 1994 purchase of naming rights from the brand’s founding family, who fled Cuba during the 1960s after its Communist government seized ownership of the operation. Bacardi says the government’s ruling amounted to “confiscation without compensation.”

Bacardi claims the ruling could cost the company sales of up to 4 million cases per year.

Sonoma County Gets First Licensed Commercial Drones

Sonoma County’s Clayton Inskeep recently launched company, Drone-Aviation, plans to offer aerial photography for agricultural imaging, real estate sales, surveying and construction.

Traveling up to 80 miles per hour, Inskeep’s commercial-quality drones will take high-resolution photos and videos, connecting instantly with sophisticated software on the ground.

“Examining 300 acres of vines planted on the hills here might take a vineyard manager weeks, but we can do it in minutes,” says Inskeep. “It might take months to figure out the location of a water leak. We can figure it out in five minutes.”

The drones can cover 2,400 acres per flight, giving clients a bird’s-eye view on water, fertilization and chlorophyll levels of their vines. They can generate quick crop maps, identify problem areas and export prescriptions to software on a tractor.

Drone-Aviation plans to begin booking business on Feb. 1.

More Oregon Investment For Jackson Family

Building upon its earlier investments in Oregon, Jackson Family Wines has purchased land and a building from Evergreen International Aviation in McMinnville for $4.6 million.

A company spokesperson said plans include development of a wine-production facility at the site. Jackson Family Wines previously owned 444 acres of vineyards in Oregon, as well as the Soléna winery.

The upward trend for Oregon Pinot Noir shows no sign of slowing. Citing a 2015 survey, Drinks Business reports that the state’s Pinot Noir revenues rose 49% between 2010–13, boosted by internal and international investment and a focus on producing high-end wines.

Fire Threatening Stellenbosch Vineyards

A fire that has been raging on Simonsberg mountain in South Africa is posing a serious threat to vineyards in Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek.

A fire that has been raging on Simonsberg mountain in South Africa is posing a serious threat to vineyards in Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek. As of last week, the fire had spread across approximately 50 miles, from Idas Valley to Paarl. So far, the foothills of the Simonsberg mountain is the worst affected area, a spokesperson for Stellenbosch Fire Department said. Press reports say that several local