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Bronco-Marketed Balletto Sharpens Focus On Namesake Brand

August 16, 2019

Sonoma-based Balletto Vineyards, owned by John and Teresa Balletto and marketed by Bronco Wine Group, has built a robust business as supplier of grapes to prominent brands including Sonoma-Cutrer and La Crema from its 800 acres of vineyards in the Russian River Valley. But in recent years the company has sharpened its focus on its own wines, which total about 25,000 cases, retailing at $20-$50 a 750-ml.

Balletto produces around 20 SKUs, with its Russian River Pinot Noir, rosé, Teresa’s Unoaked Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris combining to represent more than half of volume. Beyond the larger releases, Balletto has a number of single vineyard Chardonnay and Pinot Noir bottlings, along with Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer, and a sparkling rosé, among other offerings.

The brand is distributed in California through Bronco’s Classic Wines, and its partnership with Bronco has allowed it to partner with distributors throughout the U.S. to carve out a national footprint. “I really see this as a golden era of the winery,” says winemaker Anthony Beckman. “We’re getting recognition and distribution. It took a long time to do that.”

While national distribution is growing, Balletto also has a significant direct-to-consumer business. “We’re about 35% direct-to-consumer at this point,” says Beckman. Currently, the company is working to drive more visitors to its tasting room, while also bolstering brand recognition through on-premise distribution. Meanwhile, Balletto’s grape-selling and custom crush businesses are continuing apace, with around 70% of production dedicated to custom crush.—Shane English

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