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With Ménage Still Prospering, Trinchero’s Production Plan Provides Room For Growth

February 6, 2015

The Trinchero Family Estates revamp of its production operations is proceeding apace, with consolidation of major brands like Sutter Home and Ménage à Trois into the company’s Lodi facility, while production of several of the company’s smaller labels like Joel Gott and Taken Wine Co. will be based at Trinchero’s winery in St. Helena.

In early 2013, Trinchero announced that it would invest $300 million to expand its Lodi winery operations with new bottling, warehousing and shipping facilities, and last August it started partial production at the site. The ongoing project is expected to eventually boost Trinchero’s production capacity from around 20 million cases to 30 million cases.

“The new arrangement will be much more cost-efficient,” says Carlo Trinchero, director of the company’s Elite Collection, which includes the Trinchero Napa Valley and Shatter labels as well as Taken Wine Co.—which is co-owned by Carlo Trinchero and Josh Phelps. “We’ve all been working out of multiple facilities,” Trinchero adds, referencing brands like Taken and Joel Gott among others.

The Lodi expansion will provide further room for growth for Ménage à Trois—which has increased by 80% to 2.5 million cases over the past five years, according to Impact Databank—while also accommodating Sutter Home’s 10-million-case annual production, among other brands.

The plan will also free up space to provide a home in St. Helena for the Joel Gott label (which is nearing 400,000 cases), Taken (projected at around 40,000 cases for 2015) and others. Taken Wine Co. is expanding its portfolio this April with a new globally sourced range called Available ($12-$15), which will initially include a Pinot Grigio and a Red Blend, both sourced from Puglia, Italy. Available joins the Napa-sourced Taken tier ($30) and the Sonoma- and Central Coast-sourced Complicated ($18-$23) in the Taken Wine Co. portfolio.

Trinchero also has recently expanded its spirits portfolio with a new franchise called Amador Whiskey Co. Amador’s initial product, Ten Barrels, is a 96-proof hop-flavored whiskey made by Charbay Distillery’s Miles and Marko Karakasevic, which was released in a batch of 4,116 bottles, all of which are numbered and retail at $100. This spring, Amador will follow with a Bourbon offering, priced somewhat below Ten Barrels. Trinchero, whose spirits brands also include Cruz and Tres Agaves Tequilas, Sugar Island Rums and Ménage à Trois vodkas, has added four dedicated spirits salespeople to help drive expansion in the category.

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