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Riboli Family’s Stella Rosa On A Sharp Rise

January 11, 2018

Riboli Family Wine Estates’ Italian brand Stella Rosa appears to have climbed into the top five imported wine brands in the U.S. market based on its strong 2017 performance. After a 30% jump to 1.3 million cases in 2016, Stella Rosa tacked on an additional 400,000 cases last year, to reach about 1.7 million cases. This year, the brand—which was the number-10 wine brand by dollar sales in the U.S. in the final three months of 2017, according to Nielsen—is targeting the 2-million-case mark.

Stella Rosa continues to be bolstered by its original lineup of Rosso, Moscato D’Asti, Peach, Pink and Berry wines, all priced at $11-$12 a 750-ml., but the brand has also attracted attention with a number of newer innovations and upmarket offerings. “We think this is where the consumer is going with Stella Rosa,” says Riboli Family Wine Estates vice president and third-generation family member Steve Riboli.

Last year, Stella Rosa launched two sparkling wines, Rosso Lux and Black Lux (both $19 a 750-ml.), within its Imperiale collection. The Imperiale range also includes Organic Prosecco, Prosecco, Moscato Orange, Moscato Rose, Moscato and Brachetto offerings. Riboli notes that retailers have embraced the brand’s more upscale line, which offers trade-up opportunities. Stella Rosa Aluminum, a line of single-serve 8.5-ounce cans that first launched in 2016, has also fared well, and now comprises 7% of total production. Later this year, Stella Rosa will introduce a new Stella Rosé in an effort to capitalize on consumer fervor for the category.

Stella Rosa’s growth hasn’t come without challenges. The brand, which has thrived in the off-premise, has had more difficulty reaching restaurant and bar accounts. “So many people know the Stella Rosa brand, yet the gatekeepers in the on-premise have had a difficult time understanding us,” Riboli notes. “That’s our mission statement for the next five years—how can our customer buy us at their favorite restaurant?” The company plans on emphasizing Stella Rosa’s appeal to new-style cocktail drinkers in order to reach more on-premise operators.

In addition to Riboli Family Wine Estates’ Italian wine brands, which comprise roughly 90% of its business, the company has a number of California-sourced wines, which are produced at its winemaking facilities in Paso Robles and Los Angeles. The fine wine–focused labels Maddalena ($20 a 750-ml.), San Simeon ($25) and Opaque ($30) have a foothold in the on-premise. Among other brands, San Antonio Cardinale and Imperial Red are also doing well, according to Riboli, who adds that the company is looking to add more Paso Robles vineyard land to its portfolio looking ahead.—Julia Higgins

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