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Redtree, Line 39 Propel Cecchetti Wine Co. Toward 300,000 Cases

September 14, 2011

Launched in 2007 by industry veteran Roy Cecchetti, Sonoma’s Cecchetti Wine Co. has gained traction with its Redtree and Line 39 labels, both priced in the $10 range. Redtree, a California-appellation brand, saw its volume rise 24.5% to 137,000 cases last year. Line 39, sourced from the Lake County AVA north of Napa, nearly doubled in volume to 63,000 cases. Their advance has continued this year, and Cecchetti expects the total portfolio to be near the 300,000-case-mark by year-end, with Redtree and Line 39 projected at over 150,000 cases and 100,000 cases respectively.

Roy Cecchetti, who serves as president and CEO, credits much of the success to a favorable price/value equation. “It’s all about value, whatever price point you’re in, but especially in that $10 price point, $12-and-under price point,” says Cecchetti. “That seems to be the magic price point in terms of trying to grow volume. Today more than ever, that’s where the action is.”

The strategy has helped attract wholesalers. “The distributor network is being squeezed on profitability,” Cecchetti says. “To compete, we try to provide wholesalers with a volume brand and profitability, which are two unique things with value brands these days.” Redtree and Line 39 have driven volume by focusing on chain and supermarket sales, building a foothold in chain-dominated California, for example. But the brands have done well in other states as well, including Massachusetts and Mississippi.

Cecchetti recently added a Moscato to the Redtree line, and it also has a new brand, Backhouse. Introduced in March as an on-premise-only label to be sold by the glass (competing against propositions like Trinchero Family Estates’ Sycamore Lane), the value-priced wine quickly gained sufficient popularity to merit an off-premise launch, now in progress. Although Cecchetti had initially targeted 10,000 cases for Backhouse’s first year, the new brand is set to hit between 25,000-30,000 cases for 2011. Its largest market so far is California, where it’s distributed by Titan Wine & Spirits.

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