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Terlato Expands Presence In Thriving Italian Sparkling Wine Category With Berlucchi

July 21, 2011

Terlato Wines International has reached an exclusive agreement with Berlucchi, one of Italy’s key sparkling wine producers, to import and market four of its offerings in the U.S. Under terms of the deal, Terlato will handle Berlucchi’s two flagship Franciacorta wines and two Cuvées made especially for the U.S. market. According to Terlato, Berlucchi is the top-selling metodo classico sparkling wine in Italy, with a market share of more than 40%.

The Franciacorta DOCG ’61 Rosé, which retails at $39 a 750-ml., is a blend of roughly half Chardonnay and half Pinot Noir from estate vineyards in the commune of Corte Franca. The Franciacorta DOCG ’61 Brut ($30) uses Chardonnay from the same estate vineyards, but with just 10%-15% Pinot Noir in the blend. The Cuvées, meanwhile, are partially sourced from selected DOC vineyards in the Oltrepò Pavese, in addition to Franciacorta. The Berlucchi Cuvée ’61 Rosé ($25) and Berlucchi Cuvée ’61 Brut ($20) each spend at least nine months on their yeast lees and then are bottle-aged for an additional two months or more before release.

Berlucchi’s sparkling wines were previously available in the U.S., but haven’t been on the market for several years. Terlato will begin rolling out the wines across the market in September and expects to sell roughly 10,000 cases of the line in 2012. Driven by the increased popularity of Prosecco, Italian sparkling wine sales are surging in the U.S. market. The total category expanded by 15.8% to 3.74 million cases in 2010, according to Impact Databank.

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