California’s Markham Vineyards Expands With Greystone Range, Bolsters Core BrandNovember 14, 2011
Napa Valley-based Markham Vineyards has long been recognized for its core Markham range ($20-$23 a 750-ml.) and its flagship Merlot in particular. The Markham line, marketed by Terlato Wine Group, also features a Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Syrah. “We try to set ourselves apart from some Napa neighbors that offer similar wines at significantly higher prices,” says Markham Vineyards president Bryan Del Bondio.
Last year, Markham expanded its portfolio with the launch of new label Greystone Cellars. The Greystone line includes Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet varietals available on- and off-premise and priced around $9.99-$10.99 a 750-ml. at retail. A portion of the proceeds from each sale is given back to the CIA, and Markham believes that link will give the brand a boost.
With Greystone, Markham wanted to “think beyond the Napa appellation,” explains Del Bondio. “There are vineyards where new, improved practices are accomplishing amazing things.” Later this year, Greystone will be expanded with the nationwide rollout of a Sauvignon Blanc. Markham also plans to bolster its name brand with a yet-to-be-announced line extension of its own in 2012.
Markham is owned by Japanese winemaking and importing company Mercian Corp. The winery owns and manages 350 acres of vineyards in the Napa Valley, including Calistoga Ranch (60 acres), situated at the base of Mt. St. Helena, as well as Yountville Vineyards (100 acres), Trubody Ranch (120 acres) and Oak Knoll Vineyards (70 acres). All Markham-labeled wines are sourced from those vineyards, while the Greystone line is sourced from various non-owned vineyards.
Combined, the Markham Vineyards brand and Greystone have annual volumes of roughly 150,000 cases, with the Markham Merlot representing the biggest piece of that total at 45,000 cases. Markham also produces a pair of Cabernet Sauvignon single-vintage offerings created to honor the winners of the vineyard’s Mark of Distinction program, which awards $25,000 grants to two non-profit organizations selected by an online voting process. Priced at $50 a 750-ml., the wines are called The Altruist and The Philanthropist and sell around 500 cases annually.
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