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After Acquisition Drive, González Byass Looks To Boost U.S. Growth

March 3, 2017

Spain’s González Byass has been actively expanding its portfolio in recent years while intensifying its focus on the U.S. market, where it now sells about 150,000 cases across its range of premium wine, spirits and Sherry brands. While the company’s home market of Spain accounts for about 40% of its business, the U.S. has been rising fast from its relatively small base, according to chairman Mauricio González-Gordon, boosted by a flurry of acquisition activity.

Last summer, González Byass purchased Chile’s Veramonte from the Huneeus family, adding a number of new premium brands, two winemaking facilities and 1,500 acres of vineyards across the Casablanca, Colchagua and Apalta Valley regions. That move followed the 2013 acquisition of Chicago-based importer Vin Divino, now known as González Byass USA. Most recently, González Byass partnered with fellow Spanish company Grupo Emperador to acquire Mexican brandies Don Pedro, Presidente and Azteca de Oro along with a Mexican winery from Pernod Ricard.

González-Gordon tells SND that he sees Veramonte’s Primus ($20) and Ritual ($18) brands as the wines that will drive expansion for the portfolio in the U.S. looking ahead. The Veramonte lineup also includes a namesake brand ($10), as well as upscale label Neyen ($50) and totals around 115,000 cases—markedly expanding González Byass’s U.S. presence.

González-Byass also added D.O. Rías Baixas-based winery Pazos de Lusco, known for Albariño, to its U.S. range last year, augmenting a stable that already included Spanish wines like Beronia and Finca Constancia as well as Champagne Palmer from France and Domaine Wachau from Austria, among others. The U.S. portfolio also includes upscale spirits like Nomad whisky ($45) and London No. 1 Gin ($39). The on-premise is of particular importance, accounting for about 55% of the company’s U.S. business.

“We’re investing in new wine-producing areas with the aim of becoming the most comprehensive portfolio of quality wines in Spain. The second element of our strategy is investing in distribution companies abroad,” says González-Gordon. —Kimberly Tharel

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