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Terlato Wines To Launch Kim And Erica Crawford’s Loveblock Brand In May

April 10, 2013

With the New Zealand wine category booming in the U.S. market, particularly at super-premium price points, Terlato Wines will launch Loveblock, a new wine from New Zealand vintners Kim and Erica Crawford, into select U.S. markets next month.

SND first reported news of the partnership between Terlato and the Crawfords a year ago, and now Loveblock is making its U.S. entry. The brand will debut with three organic varietals—including a 2011 Pinot Gris ($23 a 750-ml.), 2012 Sauvignon Blanc ($23) and 2011 Pinot Noir ($34).

For Loveblock’s first year on the market, the Crawfords expect to sell 20,000 cases in the U.S. They ultimately expect Loveblock to reach global production of 200,000 cases, roughly 75% of which will be intended for the U.S. market.

“American awareness of New Zealand has come a long way,” says Kim Crawford, winemaker for Loveblock. “When I first came here 15 years ago, you had to explain where New Zealand was, but in the past five years there’s been an awakening.”

In addition to Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, the Loveblock vineyard is also planted with smaller offerings including Muscat, Gewurztraminer, Chenin Blanc, Riesling and Tempranillo.

Loveblock Vintners CEO Erica Crawford hopes to add Riesling and Gewurztraminer to the brand’s U.S. portfolio, although future extensions will depend on the brand’s performance. “First we’ve got to build a strong brand, and then it can pull the smaller varietals along,” she said. “Our first job is to get the brand settled and get some traction for it.”

The Crawfords’ previous venture, the Kim Crawford brand ($17-$33 a 750-ml.), was acquired by Vincor in 2003 and later by Constellation Brands in 2006. The largest-selling New Zealand wine in the U.S. at around 555,000 cases, Kim Crawford recently surpassed the 1-million-case mark globally, as reported by Shanken News Daily on March 4.

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