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Mezzacorona Eyes Expansion In Italy’s Sparkling And Frizzante Segments

August 9, 2019

With roughly 6,500 acres of vineyards in Trentino and 2,400 acres in Sicily, Gruppo Mezzacorona is well-positioned in two of Italy’s up-and-coming wine regions. Overall, the group has revenues of approximately €188 million ($211m). In the U.S., where its wines are handled by New York-based subsidiary Prestige Wine Imports, the company has annual sales of around $60 million, with brands including northern Italy’s Mezzacorona and Rotari, and Sicily-based Stemmari.

Mezzacorona’s namesake brand, which retails at around $10, has U.S. volume of approximately 1 million cases, led by its Pinot Grigio, which recently began carrying a Trentino DOC appellation. Head winemaker Lucio Matricardi tells SND the move is intended to differentiate the brand within the competitive Pinot Grigio category while raising the profile of Mezzacorona’s home region.

Mezzacorona is also increasingly targeting the sparkling segment with its northern Italian portfolio. New this year is a rosé sparkler from the Mezza di Mezzacorona label ($14). Also, the company has begun vintage dating its Brut and Brut Rosé metodo classico sparklers under the Rotari brand ($20) as it looks to set its offerings apart within the increasingly crowded Italian bubbly category. Both Mezzacorona and Rotari, which has U.S. volume of about 34,000 cases, are made at the company’s €150 million ($168m) Trentino winery, which receives about 40,000 visitors annually.

Meanwhile, the company is adding to the Prestige Wine Imports portfolio in the U.S. this month with the Val d’Oca Prosecco brand. Prestige is rolling out four offerings from Val d’Oca, ranging from a Prosecco DOC Extra Dry ($13) to a Rive di San Pietro di Barbozza Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG ($33). In recent days, Prestige also launched a new Sonoroso label from northern Italy, which includes sweet and lightly sparkling red, rosé, and white bottlings retailing at $12 and with an abv of 7%.

In Sicily, Gruppo Mezzacorona has estates in Sambuca di Sicilia in the west and Acate in the east. Focusing on indigenous varietals like Grillo and Nero d’Avola, the Stemmari brand sells around 90,000 cases in the U.S. and last year debuted an upscale extension, Hedonis Riserva Nero d’Avola, retailing at $50. While the Sicily category remains relatively small in the U.S., it’s been rapidly gaining adherents in the sommelier community and begun making inroads at retail, and Mezzacorona is looking to capitalize on that momentum.—Daniel Marsteller

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