In 1999, Beverage Dynamics named Burt Notarius and his Prime Wines & Spirits Retailer of the Year for the first time. Known throughout western New York, Prime Wines & spirits started as Premier Wines & Spirits before changing its name in 1995 (and changing it back a decade later). In 2013, Burt and his sons Jonathan and Mark were named Retailers of the Year after Premier Gourmet Foods opened in the same shopping plaza as the original wine and spirits store.
I had the chance to speak with Burt a few times over the years when I was managing editor of Beverage Dynamics, and I met Mark in 2013 when he accepted the Retailer of the Year honor on behalf of his father and brother at the BDLive Conference in Dallas.
Unfortunately, Burt passed away in 2014. The beverage alcohol community and people of western New York mourned the loss of a business leader whose leadership and tenacity are missed.
The Masters’ Collection was created by Jim Beam Brands Worldwide (today part of Beam Suntory) following the success of The Small Batch Bourbon Collection. The company had already begun promoting Jim Beam’s grandson Booker Noe, and now branched out to other Master Distillers in Canadian Whisky, Scotch, Cognac and tequila.
The image to the left is the cover of a 4-page insert that ran in the Jan/Feb 1999 issue, which included photos and biographies of Master Distiller Emeritus Booker Noe, Master Distiller Don Felipe Camarena (El Tesoro de Don Felipe Tequila), Master Distiller Emeritus Guillermo Gonzalez (Chinaco Tequila), Master Blender Richard Peterson (The Dalmore), Master Blender Alain Royer (A. de Fussigny Cognac) and Master Distiller James Rogerson (Tangle Ridge Canadian Whisky).