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Exclusive: Treasury Backs Rising Stags’ Leap With Upscale Red Blend, Increased Marketing Push

January 16, 2015

Looking to seize growth opportunities at the wine market’s high end, Treasury Wine Estates is set to introduce a new ultra-premium red blend under its Stags’ Leap Winery umbrella this month, while also intensifying its marketing efforts behind the rising luxury brand.

The new Stags’ Leap extension is called The Investor. It’s a Napa Valley blend of Merlot, Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon retailing at $53 a bottle. Some 10,000 cases of the inaugural 2012 vintage were produced. Its name honors Stags’ Leap founder Horace Chase, who came to Napa Valley winemaking after making his fortune by investing in gold and silver mines during the California gold rush.

“The growth in red blends is truly remarkable,” says Barry Sheridan, Treasury Americas’ vice president, marketing. “Baby Boomers and Generation X are the drivers of the category, which is gaining volume from consumers who are switching from Merlot.” Indeed, red blends are now the third-largest wine variety by value in the U.S. market at $1.2 billion in annual sales, according to Nielsen.

The move into the high-end red blend segment comes as Stags’ Leap continues to shine as one of Treasury’s best-performing brands in the U.S. Led by its Napa Valley Cabernet ($53), Stags’ Leap grew 16% by value and 19% by volume in Nielsen channels in the 52 weeks through November 8. The winery has annual production of about 100,000 cases.

To keep up the momentum, Treasury tells SND it’s tripling its marketing spend behind Stags’ Leap this year, as the company continues to see its best results at higher pricing tiers. “We’ve stepped up our marketing investment overall on Stags’ Leap Winery because we see untapped potential in what the brand has to offer to the luxury consumer,” Sheridan says.

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