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 small-batch brands Straight Edge bourbon whiskey and Slaughter House American whiskey. The whiskies are finished in French oak wine barrels previously used for aging Bordeaux varietal red wines.
Phinney, who has sold his interest in Splinter Group, will now focus on Orin Swift Cellars and other projects, according to a press release.
Winemakers and whiskey aficionados Steve Matthiasson (Matthiasson Wines) and Bob Cabral (formerly William Selyem) have signed on to the new team, the company says. 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).
“The winemaker voice is essential to the authenticity of these brands,” said Pat Roney, President and CEO of Vintage Wine Estates.
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.