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After 100 Years In Business, Opici Family Sees Further Opportunity Ahead

August 12, 2019

Throughout its 100-year history, Glen Rock, New Jersey-based Opici Group has been involved in every facet of the wine business. Today the company is an importer, a producer, and a distributor. Its supplier arm, Opici Wines, has a portfolio of 35 wine brands and eight spirits labels, which total roughly 700,000 cases and $40 million in annual revenue. The wholesale arm, Opici Family Distributing, represents 1,400 wine and spirits brands that do 3.3 million cases and $350 million annually. Growth is continuing at a rapid pace, especially for Opici Wines.

“We made a corporate decision to invest in Opici Wines, and our goal is to double our business over the next five years,” says Don Opici, managing director of Opici Wines. He adds that in 2018 the company aimed for 12% growth and that it expects similar numbers this year. Historically, Opici put most of its resources into Italian wine, but that changed in 2010. “We decided to diversify the portfolio and become a global importer and supplier,” Don explains. “We embarked on new relationships in Spain, France, and South America, and developed our own proprietary brands from California. I don’t view us as an importer as much as I do a supplier. The growth of Opici Wines strengthens the corporation overall.”

While imports are a key part of Opici Wines’ business, the company has several proprietary brands, including LaLuca Prosecco, Julia James, Auspicion, Âme du Vin Côtes de Provence rosé, and Opici Family Authentic Sangrias. The company first started experimenting with winemaking in the early 20th century, focusing on Italian varietals and the growing California wine industry. Today, Opici Wines’ proprietary labels make up roughly half of its total business.

Italian wines remain the backbone of the import portfolio. Some of the company’s Italian fine wine brands include Viberti from Piedmont, Vinosia from Campania, Cesari from Verona, and Carpineto, Luiano, and Fattoria di Magliano from Tuscany. The 2013 Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva clinched the No.-11 spot on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines list in 2018. Other prominent imported wines in the range include Domaine Roux Père & Fils from Burgundy, El Coto from Rioja, and Argentinian brands Ruca Malen and Bodega Goulart. The company’s Market Street Spirits division, meanwhile, includes labels like Brinley Gold Shipwreck rum, Meletti liqueurs, Tullibardine Scotch, and others.

The Opici Wines lineup comprises approximately 15% of the total Opici Family Distributing portfolio. The distribution business—with operations in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.—is run separately, though the divisions work together. “We operate hand-in-hand and provide a foundation for growth for each other,” Don says. “While in many ways we have a typical supplier-distributor relationship, the shared ownership provides greater opportunity, priority, and focus for our business.” Market Watch has more on the evolution of Opici’s business, and its plans for the future.—Laura Pelner

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