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Ste. Michelle Unveils New Innovation Hub, Elicit Wine Project

December 3, 2019

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates plans to leverage innovation to boost growth moving forward with the opening of a new innovation and brand incubation hub called the Elicit Wine Project.

Patrick Kozel, previously director of insights and innovation, will become director of the new unit. Kozel says the plan is to build off of the successful approaches used to launch recent new products like Intrinsic and Prayers of Sinners & Saints with a fresh slate of brand propositions.

Elicit will roll out three new offerings in 2020. Liquid Light, billed as a crisp Washington Sauvignon Blanc with high acidity, will retail at $14 a 750-ml. and debut nationally after a soft launch in Illinois and Florida this year. Fruit & Flower will comprise a Chardonnay in 750-ml. bottles ($13) as well as Sparkling, Chardonnay, and Rosé wines in 2-packs of 250-ml. cans ($11). A third label, Altered Dimension, includes Black (Cabernet Sauvignon), White (Sauvignon Blanc), and Pink (Rosé) offerings all retailing for $15 and all available nationwide in January.

“Over the past five years, virtually all growth in the premium wine segment has come from new products—products that didn’t exist prior to that period,” said Ste. Michelle president and CEO Jim Mortensen. “We’ve successfully introduced several products during this time, but this new team will enable us to move more quickly to bring innovative concepts to market and capture our share of this growth.”

In addition to the new brands above, Elicit will house Ste. Michelle’s existing brands Anew, Borne of Fire, The Cosmic Egg, Intrinsic, Merf Wines, Prayers of Sinners & Saints, and Tenet Wines.—Daniel Marsteller

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