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With Move To Deutsch, Burgundy’s Cave de Lugny Sees New U.S. Opportunity

July 27, 2018

With production of 300,000 cases annually, Burgundy’s Cave de Lugny accounts for about 30% of all white winemaking in the Mâconnais region. In the U.S., the brand was long handled by Pasternak Wine Imports, but moved to the Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits portfolio at the beginning of last year after Pasternak was acquired by Taub Family Cos.

According to Cave de Lugny winemaker Gregoire Pissot, the new partnership with Deutsch will allow the brand to receive more hands-on attention than it has in the past and make a new U.S. push. In its transition year in 2017, Cave de Lugny held steady at about 45,000 cases in the U.S. market.

Cave de Lugny’s flagship wines—La Côte Blanche Mâcon-Villages and Mâcon-Lugny Les Charmes—retail at around $13-$15. Les Charmes is its largest offering stateside at 24,000 cases. Les Charmes is sourced from a single 250-acre vineyard farmed by 45 growers. Pissot notes that the vines are older than is typical in the area at 35 to 40 years.

La Côte Blanche Mâcon-Villages, meanwhile, is the company’s largest overall product at 220,000 cases, of which 20,000 cases come to the U.S. In addition, the portfolio includes two smaller-production, single-vineyard Chardonnays that are focused on the on premise: Mâcon-Lugny Coeur de Charmes ($25) and Mâcon-Lugny La Carte ($20).

Since aligning with Deutsch Family, Cave de Lugny has consolidated its grape sourcing and now works with about 200 growers spread across 2,800 acres, a move Pissot says will help the brand continue to balance quality and affordability within its portfolio. The winemaker adds that the past five years have seen positive developments for Cave de Lugny and Mâconnais wines in general, with better grape prices encouraging the next generation of growers to remain in the business. In 2017, Burgundy accounted for nearly half of all French AOC white wines exported to the U.S. in value terms, according to the Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne.—Shane English

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