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Terlato On Its New Pinot Grigio Brand And Growth In Spirits And Food

August 4, 2016

In the second part of our interview with Terlato Wine Group’s Bill Terlato, the CEO talks about the company’s new Italian Pinot Grigio brand, as well as progress on its diversification into spirits and gourmet food.

SND: One thing you’re developing is a new Pinot Grigio of your own from Italy.

Terlato: It’s from the Friuli Colli Orientali appellation. We call it Terlato Friuli Pinot Grigio. It’s retailing at $20, and this year, its first full year of launch, we expect to do 45,000 cases. We have 5,000 accounts for it so far, spread among 32 states. With our Italian partners and our vineyard sourcing, we see a clear path to get to 150,000 cases or more within five years. We can’t make much more from there, because there’s a limit on the land available in the appellation. We expect to sell it in Europe, the Caribbean and even China beginning next year.

SND: On the spirits side, you have a partnership with South Africa’s Distell. You’re also partnered with Heartland Distillers in Indianapolis. Have spirits become a growth avenue?

Terlato: The relationship with Distell is really coming together. We expect to sell 150,000 cases of spirits this year, which will represent about 12% of our dollar volume. We’ve separated the spirits side with a different salesforce. The spirits business is looking more and more like the wine business—highly differentiated and fragmented. We have an acquisition strategy in place to take advantage of the rising popularity of craft spirits.

SND: How about the food business. We see your food products with grocers like Mariano’s in Chicago.

Terlato: Food is a separate division, headed up by my brother John. He likes to entertain, and guests kept asking him for his recipes. So he started bottling some of his sauces and giving them to friends. Soon people were asking for cases of his sauces, and it’s grown from there. We’re doing olive oils and pasta sauces, honey, low-sugar fruit jams, vinegars and mustards. Anything that can be useful in entertaining. We’re passionate foodies, and we think there are a lot of people like us.

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