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Diageo Chateau & Estate Adds Provence’s Chateau Minuty To Enter Booming Rosé Segment

April 21, 2014

Effective this month, Diageo Chateau & Estate (DC&E) has become the exclusive U.S. importer for Côtes de Provence rosé producer Chateau Minuty, owned by the Matton-Farnet family. The move marks DC&E’s entry into the fast-growing rosé segment, whose sales rose 25% last year according to Nielsen and continue to expand at a rapid rate.

Chateau Minuty, based in the Côte de Azur region, exclusively hand-harvests its grapes and is already regarded as one of the leading Provençal rosés in Europe and the Caribbean. The 2013 vintages of the Minuty wines are available now in top restaurants and retailers in the U.S. They include Prestige rosé, a blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Tibouren retailing at $30 a bottle; M de Minuty rosé, a blend of 50% Grenache, 35% Cinsault and 15% Tibouren retailing at $20; and Rosé et Or, which is 95% Grenache and 5% Syrah and retails at $60.

Chateau Minuty joins a DC&E stable that has swung back to growth over the past year—with net sales up 5% in the six months through December—via a two-pronged focus on Millennial-focused lifestyle brands like Butterfly Kiss, Rose’n’blum and Stark Raving, and upscale offerings such as Beaulieu Vineyard and Chalone Estate. On the import side, in addition to Chateau Minuty, DC&E’s portfolio houses an extensive Burgundy lineup including Domaines Pierre Gelin, Georges Roumier and Jean Grivot, among others.

In early March, Diageo North America tapped senior executive Stephen Rust to become president of DC&E, effective July 1. Rust replaces Claudia Schubert, who will shift to become president of a new Diageo division that combines its Canadian business and U.S. control state operations. “Our objective is to more than double the size of (DC&E), and we’ll be looking at a variety of ways to construct that,” Rust recently told SND. “Now that DC&E is in a very healthy state, we’re very bullish on wine.”

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