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Rosés, Sparklers Lead The Way For France’s “Hot Prospect” Wines

September 30, 2019

French wine is among the leading categories on Impact’s latest “Hot Prospects” list, with seven French brands earning honors. Rosés—particularly from Provence—and sparkling wines led the way as American consumers continue to embrace pink and bubbly wines.

The largest Provençal rosé to earn Hot Prospect recognition is Luneau USA’s Aime Roquesante, which reached 80,000 cases on 40.4% growth last year. Not far behind is E.&J. Gallo’s Fleur de Mer at 75,000 cases, up 87.5% and earning its first Hot Prospects award. The brand, which was introduced in 2016, has rocketed out of the gate, quadrupling in size after one year, and nearly doubling again last year. Trinchero Family Estates’ Bieler Pere et Fils also returns to list this year, up 17.7% to 73,000 cases.

Fleurs de Prairie, the rosé label imported by Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits, makes its debut on this year’s list after more than tripling to 70,000 cases. “We initially did a limited launch in a few states, and this is our first year where we’re national,” says Deutsch Family president Tom Steffanci. “To do 70,000 cases at $18 a bottle in the first year of national distribution is tremendous.” The company expects Fleurs de Prairie to reach at least 90,000 cases for 2019.

Prestige Beverage Group’s Yes Way Rosé is also among the award winners. The newcomer debuted last year and reached 50,000 cases. Yes Way was developed from a social media-driven lifestyle brand founded by Erica Blumenthal and Nikki Huganir. “Erica and Nikki’s strong lifestyle brand immensely contributed to the successful launch of Yes Way Rosé wine,” says Prestige vice president Brian Zehren. The brand plans to follow up with a larger focus on events, partnerships, and experiences in the year ahead, as it looks to continue growing its audience.

In sparkling wine, Piper-Heidsieck represents the Champagne category, clocking in at 66,000 cases, up 17.9%. At around $45 a 750-ml., Piper is among the most premium imported wine brands to earn Hot Prospect honors. Bill Terlato, president and CEO of importer Terlato Wines, tells SND that Piper-Heidsieck is up about 30% so far this year in the on-premise, which is a key focus for the brand.

Veuve du Vernay, another French sparkler, is the largest imported wine Hot Prospect this year at nearly 150,000 cases “Our top-selling wine remains the Veuve du Vernay Brut, followed by Brut Rosé, and then Ice Rosé,” says Petra Frebault, trade marketing manager at parent company Barton & Guestier, adding that growth is continuing this year. In 2020, Veuve du Vernay plans to extend in the U.S. with a limited-edition release.—Shane English

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