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Exclusive: California, Italy, And Rosé Loom Large Among Impact’s Wine “Hot Brands”

March 9, 2020

Premium wines from California and Italy, as well as French rosés, are in abundance on Impact’s latest “Hot Brands” wine roster. Overall, 23 domestic wine brands earned honors for their 2019 performances, along with 16 import winners.

To qualify as Hot Brands, wines must be established brands with double-digit growth in each year from 2017-2019, or established brands with at least 15% growth in 2019. The minimum volume threshold for domestic wines is 250,000 cases, while imports have a minimum of 200,000 cases.

Some 18 of the 23 domestic award winners are from California, while offerings from Oregon, Washington, Florida, and Indiana round out the list. Eight brands on the domestic roster are new this year. From California, multi-million-case behemoths like Bota Box and Josh Cellars are included among the honorees, but so too are rising players like Murphy-Goode, J. Vineyards, and The Federalist, which have been advancing rapidly from smaller bases. The trend toward alternative packaging is on display across the list, with a number of brands launching new canned or boxed iterations of their wines in recent years.

On the import side, Italian labels dominate this year’s Hot Brand awards, with Prosecco in particular extending its winning streak. Eight Italian brands made the list, all offering a sparkling option—with several of them entirely focused on the style. French labels also saw strong gains, in most cases driven by their rosé offerings. Elsewhere, ongoing interest in import regions like New Zealand continued to be a major growth factor.

The full report on Hot Brands for both spirits and wine appears in the March 1&15 issue of Impact. Beer’s Hot Brands will be announced in the June 1&15 edition.

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