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Exclusive: Delicato Moves Into Imported Wine, Gaining Chile’s Santa Rita

February 8, 2018

Delicato Family Vineyards is getting into the imported wine category with a new deal to import the wines of Chile’s Viña Santa Rita. Effective April 1, DFV will manage all sales and marketing of Santa Rita’s offerings in the U.S., where the brand has previously been handled by Palm Bay International.

Santa Rita ranks second among all Chilean brands in the U.S. market, after Concha y Toro. In recent years, it has hovered at just under a half-million cases. DFV will take a two-tiered approach to the brand. Delicato’s national sales force will market Santa Rita’s popularly-priced wines such as the 120 range ($10 a 750-ml.). Meanwhile, V2 Wine Group, in which DFV took “a significant stake” last year, will handle Santa Rita’s luxury tiers, including Casa Real Cabernet Sauvignon ($85).

In announcing the move, Viña Santa Rita CEO Andrés Lavados cited DFV’s family ownership and strong growth of recent years as key, adding, “Delicato has the sales and marketing expertise and the national distribution network to take Santa Rita to the next level.”

While Santa Rita is well established in the U.S. market after 12 years with Palm Bay, the Chilean category continues to struggle. Last year, Chile’s bottled shipments to the U.S. slipped 4% to 6 million cases. In Nielsen channels, Santa Rita was down about 3% last year, roughly in line with the market, but in a statement Palm Bay said the brand’s U.S. depletions overall grew last year despite the difficult climate for the category.

Delicato may have scant experience with imports, but the company has posted eye-catching growth lately, with brands like Bota Box, Noble Vines and, most recently, Z. Alexander Brown driving gains. In 2013, DFV had total volume of just under 5 million cases in the U.S. Last year, including the addition of V2 and some private label business, the company reached the 10-million-case milestone. —Daniel Marsteller

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