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Italy’s Cecchi Targets U.S. With New Upscale Launches

June 19, 2018

Tuscany-based Famiglia Cecchi is launching several new offerings within the above-$15 segment through U.S. importer Terlato Wines.Cecchi has been with Terlato in the U.S. since parting ways with longtime partner Banfi in 2015.

Among the new entries, this summer Cecchi is debuting two wines within its La Mora brand from Maremma, both retailing at around $19 a 750-ml. They include a 100% Vermentino and a Tuscan Red Blend composed of 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon. About 6,000 cases of each wine are coming to the U.S.

Fourth-generation family member Andrea Cecchi tells SND that the La Mora estate is in the process of going organic and is expected to be fully converted by the 2020 vintage. “I believe La Mora can be a very strong brand in the U.S.,” he says, noting that the La Mora Morellino di Scansano is the top-selling DOCG wine in Italy.

Cecchi is also expanding its range at the high end with the inaugural vintage of its Valore di Famiglia Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG, retailing at $60. With the relatively new Gran Selezione designation—which debuted in 2014 and includes only estate-grown and -bottled wines—Cecchi sees the potential for Chianti Classico to reassert itself at the top end of Tuscan wine, alongside the Brunellos and Super Tuscans that have garnered much of the attention in recent years. The Valore di Famiglia offering, whose production is about 1,000 cases, is being launched with a focus on key markets like New York, Chicago, and Miami.

But while Cecchi envisions “a new wave of success” for Chianti Classico, the family-owned winemaker—which is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year—also recently made a move in Montalcino. This spring Cecchi acquired 15 acres of vineyards located in the area of San Polo and Castelnuovo dell’Abate from which it plans to produce Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino, with the first wines expected to hit the market in 2020.—Daniel Marsteller

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