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August Wine Group Aims For 150,000 Cases, As Bocelli Label Jumps Out

April 8, 2013

Several consecutive years of double-digit growth have positioned Seattle-based August Wine Group (formerly Small Vineyards) to reach 150,000 cases this year on a projected 15% advance, the company tells Shanken News Daily. Leading the way for the import group are two newer labels, Bocelli Wines and Macedon, both of which have recently garnered a host of coveted slots in national on- and off-premise accounts.

The Bocelli brand, produced in Tuscany by singer Andrea Bocelli and his family, includes Prosecco IGT and Sangiovese IGT wines (both retailing around $20 a bottle), as well as several ultra-premium, small-production labels. Bocelli’s Sangiovese and Prosecco offerings will each sell around 10,000-12,000 cases this year, with chain accounts like Costco in the off-premise and Carrabba’s Italian Grill in the on-trade helping to drive momentum. At Carrabba’s, where the wines sell for $9-$10 by the glass, Bocelli is enjoying additional exposure through brand messaging on tables and check presenters and a sweepstakes to go see Andrea Bocelli in concert.

Following up on Bocelli, August recently debuted a new Pinot Noir brand, Macedon, sourced from Macedonia and retailing around $15 a bottle. An unoaked Pinot, Macedon is featured at Darden’s Seasons 52. Retailers like Central Market in Texas and Whole Foods in California and the Pacific Northwest are also carrying it. Another August label doing well is Giocato, a Pinot Grigio from Slovenia that retails at $12. August Wine director Joshua Hanson says the company plans to continue seeking out wines from outstanding producers in overlooked areas, with Croatia on the radar, as well as “off the beaten path” regions of Italy.

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