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The Wine Group Makes Strides At Premium Level

August 10, 2015

The Wine Group, one of the U.S. market’s true giants with annual volume of about 48 million nine-liter cases, has increasingly focused on expanding its presence at the premium-and-above tier recently. As Impact Databank’s exclusive research shows, several of TWG’s wines priced $10 and up—including both labels new to the portfolio and some entirely fresh brand propositions—are showing solid growth.

By far the largest brand in TWG’s premium stable is Cupcake, retailing right around the $10 mark on average. Cupcake tripled in size from 2010-2012, but held steady at 3 million cases in the two ensuing years. Two newer brands—Save Me San Francisco and Chloe—have picked up the slack in growth terms, however. Since launching in 2011, Save Me San Francisco ($15 a bottle) has risen to 125,000 cases. A joint venture with the band Train (reminiscent of Constellation’s partnership with Dave Matthews on The Dreaming Tree), Save Me San Francisco includes a red blend as well as several California-sourced varietal offerings.

Chloe ($17), a newcomer in 2014, jumped out to 77,000 cases in its debut year, with a product line including a Valdadige DOC Pinot Grigio, Sonoma County Chardonnay and a North Coast Red Blend. Another newer brand, 10 Span, launched in 2013 with a range of Central Coast varietals and increased by 75% last year from a small base.

While the TWG-imported Gancia sparkling wine brand, owned by Russian Standard, lost ground in 2014, Argentine import Trapiche—whose retail average is just below $10—has been a strong performer for TWG since joining the portfolio in 2012 from Frederick Wildman & Sons. An Impact “Hot Brand,” Trapiche leapt 25% to 350,000 cases last year, and has lately made on-premise inroads with higher-priced expressions of its core Malbec varietal, including Broquel and Oak Cask Malbecs ($11 and $7.50 by-the-glass respectively).

The Wine Group – Leading Brands Above $10

(thousands of nine-liter case depletions)

Brand 2013 2014 Percent

Change

Cupcake 3,000 3,000
Save Me San Francisco 95 125 32%
Chloe 77 +
10 Span 20 35 75%
Gancia 20 17 -15%
Total Top Five Above $10 3,135 3,254 4%
Source: IMPACT DATABANK

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