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Vintus Becomes A Force In The Fine Wine Business

June 12, 2018

Vintus, the New York-based company launched by former Kobrand senior executive Michael Quinttus in 2004, has built a portfolio that includes some of the most respected names in the wine industry, including Bordeaux first growth Château Margaux, Bollinger Champagne, the Rhône’s E. Guigal, acclaimed Super-Tuscan Ornellaia, and California’s Chateau Montelena. Overall, Vintus represents about 45 wine estates, mostly from France and Italy. The firm now has about 50 employees.

“We’ve always been very methodical regarding new brands, and we’ve limited ourselves to adding one or two brands a year,” says Quinttus. “I certainly think family ownership is a thread. The commitment that each producer has in terms of pushing the envelope on quality is another thread. We’re not looking at volume for volume’s sake. We’re looking for a balance of firm price point, backed up by really exceptional quality.”

Recently, Vintus has made some major moves in the Italy category, adding a number of high-end wines from the Frescobaldi portfolio, among other labels. “The addition of the Ornellaia, Masseto, Luce, and Attems brands from the Frescobaldi family, along with the recent addition of Masciarelli from the Abruzzo region of Italy, has reshaped our portfolio,” Quinttus says. “It was very important to us to add volume and breadth from Italy. These additions create the balance in our portfolio that I was looking for between our Italian brands and our French brands. Up until last year, we were more limited in our Italian portfolio and very deep in France.”

Quinttus says high-volume national brands aren’t of much interest. “We’re interested in quality wines that are in that sweet spot above $15, and we’re especially focused on the $20-$30 range,” he says, noting that the price tier dominates Vintus’ current offerings.

In 2016, Vintus added Ponzi Vineyards from the Willamette Valley in Oregon to its range, and more domestic wines could be forthcoming. “We have just one brand from California: Chateau Montelena,” Quinttus notes. “It’s high-image, all allocated, and it’s a historic brand. But obviously California is a big state, and 65% of table wine consumption in the United States is from California. We’re not in a hurry to add something from Sonoma, for example, but at the same time I think that’s the likely next area of portfolio expansion.” Market Watch has a full profile of Vintus on its website.—Carol Ward

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