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News Alert: Gallo Expands In Upscale Spirits, Adding Diplomático Rum To Portfolio

July 25, 2018

E.&J. Gallo is upping its presence in the luxury spirits category, agreeing to become the new U.S. importer for Venezuela’s Diplomático rum brand. Previously handled in the U.S. by Domaine Select, Diplomático will be grouped in Gallo’s expanding upscale spirits portfolio, which also includes single malt Scotch whiskies Jura and Dalmore, and American brandies Germain-Robin and Argonaut.

Diplomático was up 57% to 35,000 cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank’s estimate, and has been among the brands driving newfound interest in the higher-end rum segment, more than doubling in size since 2015. Gallo tells SND it plans to expand availability of Diplomático across both the on- and off-premise markets looking ahead.

Gallo will import three tiers of Diplomático rum: The Tradition Range ($27-$43), the Distillery Collection ($80), and the Prestige Range ($130-$270). This year, Diplomático will debut the latest addition to the Prestige Range, Single Vintage 2004, which was aged in white oak for 12 years before an extra year of maturation in Oloroso Sherry casks.

The move to add Diplomático comes as Gallo continues to aggressively premiumize its portfolio in both wine and spirits. In addition to its rising spirits stable, Gallo has acquired premium wine brands including Orin Swift, J Vineyards, Talbott, and Locations in recent years. In an interview with SND earlier this month, newly appointed COO Ernest J. Gallo said the effort to enhance the company’s offering at upscale price tiers will continue. “We’re committed to trying to constantly improve and evolve along with the market,” he said. “As the market premiumizes, Gallo will as well.” —Shane English

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