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Gallo Targets 1 Million Cases Of Washington Wine; Adds Flavors To New Amsterdam

July 9, 2012

Following its purchase of Washington state’s Covey Run and Columbia wineries from the disbanding Ascentia Wine Estates, E&J Gallo expects to sell as much as 1 million cases of Washington wine annually in the next 5-10 years, according to Roger Nabedian, senior vice president and general manager of Gallo’s Premium Wine Division.

Speaking to Washington’s Yakima Herald newspaper, Nabedian said the two brands currently combine for around 250,000 cases. As part of its growth strategy, Gallo is repositioning Columbia at a more premium price point of $10-$15 a bottle. Of Columbia, Nabedian said, “I think it can fairly quickly be restored to some of its past pedigree and help build the Washington wine category nationally.”

On the subject of Covey Run, Nabedian appeared to leave the door open on its future. “We have a lot to learn on how (Covey Run) may or may not fit into our portfolio,” he said. Gallo didn’t immediately return a request for further comments from Shanken News Daily this morning.

In other company news, Gallo is expanding its surging New Amsterdam gin and vodka franchise with the addition of New Amsterdam Red Berry and Peach vodkas. Retailing at $14.99 a 750-ml., the new 70-proof offerings are the same two flavor types that have fueled the rapid growth of Diageo’s Cîroc (albeit higher up the pricing ladder).

Launched in 2007 under the company’s E&J Distillers unit, New Amsterdam gin hit 100,000 cases in its first year on the market. Last year, the Impact “Hot Brand” winner rose by 12% to reach 700,000 cases in the U.S. Gallo followed with New Amsterdam vodka last November.


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