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Exclusive: Coppola’s American Pioneer Wine Growers Launches Latest Entry Ahead Of Winery Unveiling

August 18, 2015

American Pioneer Wine Growers, a division of Francis Ford Coppola Presents, has debuted The Lost Colony, the fourth and final release in a series of wines leading up to the christening of American Pioneer’s Geyserville winery later this year.

The Lost Colony, a Sonoma red blend, is named for the colony of Roanoke Island, whose residents mysteriously disappeared around 1590. The wine is made from Syrah (47%), Malbec (42%), Cabernet Franc (10%) and Viognier (1%) and is sourced primarily from Dry Creek Valley. Aged in French oak for 12 months, The Lost Colony retails at around $18. The new entry follows three previous releases from the American Pioneer unit over the past year: white blends Two Arrowheads and The White Doe, and red blend Manteo.

“We’ve made four wines that tell stories about American history,” says Corey Beck, Francis Ford Coppola Winery’s president and director of winemaking. “Within that is the name of American Pioneer’s winery, which will be unveiled later this year.” The facility is the former Geyser Peak winery, which Coppola acquired in 2013.

The launch of the American Pioneer range comes as Coppola’s core portfolio shows solid gains. Its flagship Diamond Collection, playing in the $15-$21 segment, neared the million-case mark in the U.S. on 6.7% growth last year, according to Impact Databank.

“We’ve had a very good first half. Our Diamond Collection continues to show strong depletions,” Beck tells SND, adding that Coppola’s Director’s series ($17-$21) is advancing at a similar pace. “We’re finding the consumer trading up in price, and these brands fit into those price points—the majority of our growth is in wines at $18 and up.”

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