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Inside Wine (Mar 13th, 2019)

1. Winery owner Agustin Huneeus Jr. was one of 50 high-wealth individuals arrested in conjunction with a college admissions scandal. Huneeus Vintners count Quintessa, Flowers, and Leviathan as just some of the labels in their portfolio. Parents allegedly paid William Singer, owner of “The Key” college prep service, anywhere from $200,000 to $6.5 million to doctor test results, bribe coaches to accept students as athletes (even if they’ve never played), and falsify other application information to ensure acceptance at colleges. — THE NEW YORK TIMES

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2. Rare spirits purveyor The Last Drop Distillers unveiled its latest release, a 1925 Grande Champagne Cognac, with an incredible story. Two casks of the spirit were hidden behind a wall in 1940 when news of the Nazis' approach reached the town. They were forgotten for 80 years until a recent renovation unearthed them. Only 182 bottles will be released, each retailing at $5,160. — THE SPIRITS BUSINESS

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3. Zachy’s will host a rare auction of wines directly from Chateau Lafite Rothschild’s cellar on March 30. The house is releasing 3,384 bottles — the largest collection from the estate ever auctioned — as a celebration of the chateau’s purchase by Baron de Rothschild 150 years ago. Among the goodies is a bottle from the much-lauded 1870 vintage, as well as a bottle from 1868, the chateau’s first vintage. — WINE BUSINESS

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4. During his closing remarks at the Climate Change Leadership Conference, Al Gore declared a “global emergency” for climate change. He equated the amount of man-made energy generated daily to "500,000 exploding atomic bombs." Furthermore, he said all our natural resources and the natural rhythms of biodiversity are being threatened. — DECANTER

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5. One millennial argues that brands shouldn’t obsess over millennials and instead should pay attention to other generations. Premium wines should focus on groups that have disposable incomes — such as Boomers and Gen X — and stop chasing the financially-strapped youth. — WINE-SEARCHER

6. Speaking of premium wines, Fetzer Vineyards appointed Stephanie Peachey, the former vice president for brand strategy at Kosta Browne, as head of its new fine wine division. — NORTH BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL

7. Last year’s copious rain proved troublesome for Virigina’s winemakers. Along with the risk of fungal disease, late-season rains meant grapes absorbed water, resulting in potentially diluted wines. — CBS 19 NEWS

8. Wine Enthusiast continues to highlight female powerhouses in the wine industry for Women’s History Month with profiles of six women winemakers to watch. Trizanne Barnard from Trizanne Signature Wines in South Africa and second-generation Luisa Ponzi of Ponzi Vineyards in Oregon are just two to keep your eye on. — WINE ENTHUSIAST

9. Vegan restaurants need vegan wine lists, right? Daniel Beedle, sommelier at Sans in Brooklyn, discusses his list-building strategy. — SEVENFIFTY DAILY

10. If you’re American and planning any European wine excursions, take note: beginning in 2021, U.S. citizens will need to register ahead of time and pay a fee in order to visit the E.U. — THE HILL

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Inside Wine is written and curated by Shana Clarke. Shana is a freelance journalist and regularly contributes to a variety of consumer and trade publications, including Wine Enthusiast, Playboy, HuffPost, USA Today’s Eat Sip Trip, and SevenFifty Daily, among others. Follow her on Instagram at @ShanaSpeaksWine and see more of her work on www.shanaspeakswine.com.

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside); Susmita Baral (senior editor at Inside, who runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram); and David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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