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Seeking Expansion, Fladgate Bolsters Tawny Port Stocks With Wiese & Krohn Acquisition

June 26, 2013

The Fladgate Partnership has buttressed its position in the Port market’s growing aged tawny segment with the acquisition of the brand, stocks and vineyard holdings of fellow producer Wiese & Krohn. Specializing in premium aged tawnies, Wiese & Krohn holds stocks of roughly 5 million liters, and its vineyards include the highly regarded Quinta do Retiro Novo, in the Rio Torto Valley.

Fladgate, whose brands include Taylor’s, Fonseca and Croft (all handled in the U.S. by Kobrand), sees continuing opportunity in the premium aged tawny category. “In the U.S., the really strong growth is in aged Tawnies,” CEO Adrian Bridge told SND late last year. “We’re seeing double-digit growth on 20-year-old Tawnies and up. Aged Tawnies can be an easier sell than Vintage Port on-premise. They’re positioned at $10 for the 10-year-old, $20 for the 20-year-old and on up, and they have a long shelf-life.”

Fladgate’s brands account for about 28% of the U.S. Port market, which has enjoyed strong growth in recent years. Port shipments to the U.S. rose by 11% to €27 million ($34m) in 2011 and were up a further 5% last year through August, with the premium tier leading the way. Earlier this year, the major Port houses declared 2011 a vintage year.

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