Tennessee Wildfire Lead to Winery-Distiller Collaboration

Maybe Californians are louder.  Or maybe there's just a lot more media out there, but we've been very aware of the wildfires that ravaged the West Coast – and weren't even aware of the devasting wildfires that consumed parts of the East Tennessee Smoky Mountains in 2016.

Moved to help, the Zac Brown Band and team traveled to Gatlinburg, Tenn., home of Ole Smoky Distillery, to headline the “Mountain Tough Benefit” concert, sponsored by Ole Smoky and other local businesses, to raise funds for wildfire victims. Brown’s support of the East Tennessee community extended to sending the band’s 18-wheeler truck, fitted with a commercial
kitchen, to Gatlinburg to provide food for those who lost their homes.

And that led to Z. Alexander Brown Wines and Ole Smokey Distillery to collaborated on a new Cabernet Sauvignon aged in Ole Smokey barrels. The 2021 Z. Alexander Brown 2021 “Uncaged” Whiskey Barrel-Aged Cabernet Sauvignon launches this month.

The new $22 wine offers consumers a compelling entrant in the fast-growing Ultra-Premium Spirits-barrel-
aged category, which is currently up 26% in dollar sales in the U.S. versus a year ago.

“It’s important to me to collaborate with like-minded people with great community and family, and
we’ve found that with the folks at Ole Smoky Distillery,” Brown said. “It was exciting being able
to combine a great Cab with Ole Smoky barrels and to see how this aging process resulted in a wine with
distinct character,” continued Brown. “This is a wine intended to be accessible and appreciated for the
full, bold flavor profile that’s lent from aging in Whiskey barrels,” he noted.

Joe Baker, founder of Ole Smoky Distillery, echoed Brown’s remarks on collaboration: “I have so much
respect for Zac and his work, all the way back to his tremendous support of our hometown in 2016. This
same type of passion and care are values we hold dear at Ole Smoky Distillery, and are evident in Z.
Alexander Brown wines, which is what also made this a natural partnership for us.”

Baker continued, “Using Ole Smokey’s premium, white oak Whiskey barrels to age an already superior
wine has created a Cabernet Sauvignon with a unique character and story, one that I think will attract
fans who appreciate the craft of winemaking and the bold flavors that come from maturing in fine oak.”

Andrew Blok, Portfolio Director for Delicato Family Wines, producers of Z. Alexander Brown Wines,
noted that “Southern roots, family ownership and a shared value in the importance of community made
this a natural partnership for Zac Brown and Ole Smoky. Z. Alexander Brown Wines already ranks among the U.S.’s Top 20 domestic wine brands; collaborating with Ole Smoky extends the brand into a hot category and expands its appeal to new consumers—both of which are key growth drivers in today’s
ultra-competitive wine market.”

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