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Italian Wine Specialist Ethica Carves Out Growing U.S. Presence

August 20, 2021

Miami-based importer and marketer Ethica Wines has been growing rapidly in the U.S. market in recent years, adding several established brands to its portfolio of Italian offerings. Company volume is expected to total 800,000 9-liter cases this year, with about three-quarters of that representing branded business and the remainder in private label.

Among the key brands in the portfolio, La Gioiosa Prosecco, retailing at around $15, is projected at around 70,000 cases for this year and is rising fast, according to Ethica CEO Francesco Ganz. While La Gioiosa is building up its base in the U.S., it’s already a large brand globally, with strong positions in key European markets, Ganz notes. Villa Sparina Gavi di Gavi DOCG ($18), at about 40,000 cases, has also been gaining traction across Ethica’s U.S. footprint, where the company has a network of 60 distributors including top players like Southern Glazer’s, RNDC, and Empire.

Other priority brands in the Ethica range include Ca’ dei Frati I Frati Lugana DOC ($20), Borgogno Barolo DOCG ($90), Ridolfi Brunello di Montalcino DOCG ($50), and Cafaggio Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG ($35). Several of those wines are newer entries to the portfolio, which has been expanding with a focus on Piedmont, Tuscany, and the Veneto.

In addition to the brands above, Ethica has recently bolstered its range with Fattoria Le Pupille from Tuscany, Anselmi in Soave Classico, and Movia from Brda, Slovenia, just across the Italian border. “With Piedmont, Tuscany, and Veneto you cover about 80% of the market,” Ganz notes, explaining that Ethica will continue filling in other regions of Italy as opportunities arise to partner with leading players in those areas, such as Abruzzo. “Distributors see us as an authentic, entrepreneurial Italian wine player,” he adds.

Ganz says that Ethica’s presence in both the North American market and its footprint in the Asia Pacific region have been complementary in attracting new producers to the fold, many of whom are keen to leverage the partnership across both markets. Overall, Ethica is targeting sales of about $62 million for 2021—with the U.S. accounting for more than 80% of the total—and it’s expecting further double-digit gains over the next few years.—Daniel Marsteller

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