Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business

Exclusive: Premium Boxed Players Lead Domestic Wine “Hot Brands,” As Italy, France Top Import List

March 12, 2018

As competition intensifies in the U.S. wine market, Impact’s latest lineup of wine “Hot Brands” features a lot of turnover, with several longtime winners replaced by a wave of rising players. This year’s list features 23 domestic wine honorees, up from 19 in the previous year, with well over half making their Hot Brands debut.

Topping the domestic roster at more than 6.6 million cases is Constellation Brands’ premium boxed range Black Box, which added nearly 1.2 million cases last year. Following close behind is DFV’s Bota Box, which is seeing strong gains from both its core 3-liter product and 1.5-liter offshoot. Widely credited with pioneering the premium boxed category, the two brands now sell a combined total of around 12.6 million cases in the U.S. market, up from just over 7 million cases in 2014.

E. & J. Gallo remains domestic wine’s most prolific Hot Brands winner, with seven California offerings—including returning labels Liberty CreekApothic, and Dark Horse—among this year’s Hot Brands. Other California highlights include Deutsch Family’s Josh Cellars, which easily surpassed 2 million cases for 2017, and Constellation’s Pinot Noir-led Meiomi, which enjoyed another year of double-digit growth. Beyond California, North Carolina’s Duplin Winery earned Hot Brand honors for its eponymous range, while Oregon’s A to Z and Washington state-sourced House Wine (Precept Wine) also made the cut.

This year’s imported wine lineup, meanwhile, comprises 20 brands, with Italian and French offerings accounting for a dozen of the list’s honorees. The leading imported wine Hot Brand by volume, Italy’s Stella Rosa continued its bull run, reaching more than 1.7 million cases last year. The Riboli Family Wine Estates brand is joined by seven other Italian standouts, including sparklers like La Marca (E. & J. Gallo) and Mionetto, as well as four French winners, led by Vineyard Brands’ La Vieille Ferme.

The New World also made a strong showing on this year’s list, with New Zealand’s Kim Crawford (Constellation), Oyster Bay (Oyster Bay Wines USA), and Matua(Treasury Wine Estates) all represented. Treasury also earned Hot Brand honors with Australian label 19 Crimes, which has struck a chord among millennial consumers. 19 Crimes more than doubled in volume last year to pass the million-case mark.—Christina Jelski

The full report on Hot Brands for both spirits and wine appears in the March 1&15 issue of Impact. Beer’s Hot Brands will be announced in the July 1 edition.

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