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Splinter Group Spirits Partners with Vintage Wine Estates


Winemakers Steve Matthiasson and Bob Cabral step into the role of whiskey-making winemakers

Vintage Wine Estates 600Napa, CA. August 3, 2016. Splinter Group Spirits announced today a new partnership with Vintage Wine Estates who has acquired a majority interest in the company. Splinter, formed in 2013 by the Wilkinson Family and Dave Phinney, produces the limited-production, award-winning brands Straight Edge bourbon whiskey and Slaughter House American whiskey. The highly allocated whiskies are finished in French oak wine barrels previously used for aging Bordeaux varietal red wines and have garnered a cult following. Each bottling has sold out upon release.

Dave Phinney, who has sold his interest in Splinter Group, will now focus on Orin Swift Cellars and other projects.

Renowned winemakers and whiskey aficionados Steve Matthiasson (Matthiasson Wines) and Bob Cabral (formerly William Selyem) have signed on to the new team, continuing the legacy of winemaker-crafted spirits. Both winemakers have achieved Winemaker of the Year honors—Matthiasson from Food & Wine Magazine (2012) and the San Francisco Chronicle (2014) and Cabral from Wine Enthusiast (2011). Cabral is also noted for having made the first American Pinot Noir to be awarded 100 points from a major wine publication. Both Steve and Bob are excited to expand Splinter’s offerings in the near future.

“The winemaker voice is essential to the authenticity of these brands,” explained Pat Roney, President and CEO of Vintage Wine Estates. “We are thrilled to have two of the industry’s most distinguished winemakers join the project.”

Splinter Group craft spirits have been available primarily at prestige, on-premise accounts. The new partnership, which includes Splinter senior management, will continue to focus on small-batch, artisanal spirits while expanding offerings in the near future.


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