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Accolade Links With Southern Wine & Spirits Across Half Of U.S.

February 15, 2013

Accolade Wine North America has appointed Southern Wine & Spirits (SWS) as its distributor in 24 U.S. markets. Going forward, SWS will handle the entire Accolade range across Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

The Accolade U.S. portfolio includes Atlas Peak, Flagstone, Geyser Peak, XYZin, Hardys, Banrock Station, Tintara, Da Luca, Trackers Crossing and Whiskers Blake Port, among others. Accolade’s North America managing director Tim Matz said he’s confident there’s “significant room for growth” for the portfolio looking ahead. Steve Slater, Southern’s executive vice president, general manager-Wine Division, said Accolade “will benefit from a single point of contact for these 24 markets, facilitating coordinated development for sales programming and extending Accolade’s reach with key national accounts customers.” He added that SWS’s “long-term familiarity” with Accolade’s brands will provide a smooth transition and solid growth platform.

Accolade was formed in February 2011, when Constellation Brands sold an 80% stake in its Australian and European wine business to Australian firm Champ Private Equity (Constellation retained a 20% interest in the unit). Former CEO Troy Christensen—who had led the Accolade business dating to its Constellation days—departed abruptly in late November. The company has tapped recruitment firm Korn/Ferry International to run a search for a new chief executive, during which time Accolade will be run by its executive leadership team.


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