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Safeway, Truett-Hurst Partner On Occasion-Based Wine Series, Project Up To 200,000 Cases

October 24, 2012

Sonoma County wine company Truett-Hurst has partnered exclusively with the Safeway retail chain to launch a new line of wines—Evocative Wrapped Bottles—packaged to correspond with different drinking occasions. The Evocative line has been on shelves for just a few weeks, but Truett-Hurst CEO and managing partner Phil Hurst tells Shanken News Daily that strong early response has led the company to double its projection for the label’s first 12 months to up to 200,000 cases.

The Evocative wines (retailing for $11.99-$29.99 a bottle) come encased in paper wrappers that tell a story, give a recipe or celebrate a special occasion. Underneath the wrappers, the bottles carry traditional labeling. The first four offerings in the line are: Schuck’s (for seafood pairing), Fuchsia (billed as a “Girls Gone Summer” wine), Curious Beasts (a fall-themed offering, for occasions like Halloween and Day of the Dead) and Bewitched (for a romantic evening).

Eight different wines—ranging in price from $11.99-$29.99—are currently available across the four Evocative wraps mentioned above. Bewitched includes Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Curious Beasts is a California red wine blend, Schuck’s has North Coast Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc and Central Coast Pinot Noir and Fuchsia includes California rosé and white blends.

“We want to target the above-$10 category,” Hurst says. “In the California sector, specifically, that’s the place to be. And these wines have some value added with the paper wrap.”

Another extension, Candell’s, is slated to hit Safeway’s shelves by the end of October or early November. It will feature a Russian River Valley sparkling wine for $49.99, themed to target celebratory occasions. Truett-Hurst says it’s planning eight more yet-to-be-detailed SKUs for next spring.

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