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Boisset Collection Teams With Cooper’s Hawk Restaurant Group On A Joint Venture Wine

October 14, 2016

Restaurant group Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants, notable for making its own wine at its headquarters in suburban Chicago, is introducing its first Sonoma-made wine, the 2014 Collaboration, produced at Buena Vista Winery.

A red blend (43% Syrah, 28% Zinfandel, 20% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc) priced at $40, Collaboration will be available first to 200,000 Cooper’s Hawk wine club members and will also be featured in the by-the-glass programs at the company’s 24 restaurants. The initial volume is 15,000 cases, significant for Buena Vista, which produced 60,000 cases last year, but a fraction of the 430,000-case annual volume for Cooper’s Hawk, which generates $200 million a year in food and beverage sales.

Jean-Charles Boisset, proprietor of Boisset Collection, which owns Buena Vista along with eight other California wineries, explained that Cooper’s Hawk had wide-ranging input into the creation of Collaboration. “Their winemaking team in Illinois traveled to Sonoma to work with our team and blend and taste together,” he said. “This is the first time that we’ve done something like this at Buena Vista.” He added that the wine, while made in California, was shipped in bulk to the Midwest and bottled at Cooper’s Hawk headquarters.

Cooper’s Hawk will almost certainly be on the lookout for more such winemaking partnerships as its growth—at 20% a year—outruns its own production capacity, even though it’s building a new 140,000-square-foot winemaking facility in Woodridge, Illinois. The company opens its next restaurant in November in Coconut Creek, Florida and will unveil five additional new venues early next year—two in the Chicago market and one each in Miami, Palm Beach, and Reston, Virginia. Cooper’s Hawk plans to expand at the pace of five or six new restaurants a year beyond that. —Lee Murphy

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