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Don Sebastiani & Sons Seeks Role In Spirits With Release Of New Tequilas

June 21, 2017

Like other top California winemakers, Don Sebastiani & Sons is seeing new opportunity in distilled spirits. The company, whose 1.2-million-case wine portfolio is led by labels like Aquinas, Smoking Loon and Pepperwood Grove, is now staking its claim in the Tequila category.

Don & Sons is offering out a trio of Tequila expressions—a Blanco, Reposado and Añejo, each with different brand names. The Blanco is called Contigo ($35), which is Spanish for “with you,” conveying the idea of sharing with friends. The Reposado is El Fumador ($40), whose name means “the smoker,” a loose play on the company’s Smoking Loon wine brand as well as a family love of fine cigars. The Añejo, named El Macho ($60), is intended to evoke an iconoclastic image.

Initial annual volumes for Contigo and El Fumador are at around 10,000 cases each, while El Macho will be at just over 2,000 cases. Thus far, the Tequilas are available in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Lousiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, South Carolina, South Dakota and Tennessee. “At 22,000 cases, it’s a fairly modest introduction, but we expect that number to grow,” says Don & Sons president and CEO Donny Sebastiani.

The liquid for all three labels is produced at Destiladora del Valle de Tequila, also known as Casa Maestri, owned by husband-and-wife team Michael and Celia Maestri. The Maestri family are founders and owners of Frank-Lin Distillers Products, the California-based importer, bottler and distributor.

The other branch of the Sebastiani family, August Sebastiani’s 3 Badge Beverage has successfully moved into spirits with Masterson’s Canadian whisky, Uncle Val’s Gin, Bib & Tucker Bourbon, Kirk & Sweeney rum and Pasote Tequila brands, all of which retail at $30 and up. As for Don & Sons, Donny Sebastiani says more spirits concepts are in the planning, though nothing is imminent. “We don’t want to just throw things on the conveyor belt,” says Sebastiani. “We’ll first focus our efforts on building these Tequilas.”

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