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Interview, Part 2: Giancarlo Bianchetti, CEO, Bonterra Organic Estates

August 3, 2022

In the second part of our interview, Bonterra Organic Estates chief executive Giancarlo Bianchetti discusses the outlook for the 3.5-million-case company’s Chile and Argentina brands, as well as e-commerce and the possibilities for upcoming portfolio expansion.

SND: Which imported wines are you most focused on within the Bonterra Organic Vineyards portfolio?

Bianchetti: We’re the leading importer of South American wines in the U.S., and we’ll continue to advance that position through imports of premium and terroir-driven Chilean and Argentinian wines. On the import side, we’re most focused on wines such as Puente Alto’s Don Melchor, our icon which created the luxury Chilean wine category and is one of the fastest-growing wines in our portfolio. Additionally, Casillero del Diablo remains a priority for us. The Casillero del Diablo brand reached 320,000 cases in the U.S. this past year and we launched some exciting brand partnerships, including our most recent campaign with the award-winning Chilean actor Pedro Pascal. Our Mendoza winery Trivento, which produces the fastest-growing Malbec in the U.S. (according to recent IRI data), is a core focus brand. Finally, Cono Sur is also a priority and a true representation of our leadership in organics.

SND: Are you interested in adding more brands to the lineup in the future, whether through innovation, acquisition, or potentially on an agency basis?

Bianchetti: We consistently explore opportunities to expand our portfolio and prioritize increasing offerings by innovating on our current brands. Recognizing that customers now expect quality organic at the super-premium level, Bonterra will be introducing new tiers within the portfolio next year.

SND: How are Bonterra’s hospitality and e-commerce businesses developing? Do you see that as an area of investment and opportunity?

Bianchetti: We’re very focused on the customer experience for our brands, be it through on-site hospitality or our e-commerce experience. Our e-commerce business more than tripled in 2020 due to the pandemic, and we have continued to see strong growth since. We’ve made several investments and enhancements to our e-commerce experience, and will continue to do so.

SND: What are your biggest priorities for the California portfolio looking ahead?

Bianchetti: We’re intent on expanding on our position as pioneering leaders in regenerative organic farming, as well as focusing on innovation and premiumization. We’ll continue to prioritize soil health, biodiversity, and work to mitigate climate change while supporting increased production of premium organic wine, the consumer demand for which has been increasing by between 10% to 20% annually, according to Nielsen, far above the industry average. In 2021 all of our estate vineyards, 960 acres in Mendocino County, and our winery earned Regenerative Organic Certified™ (ROC) Silver-level certification, making us the world’s largest ROC-certified winery. We’re also a Certified B Corporation, and among the top 5% of global B Corps in the environment impact area. These endeavors, coupled with many decades of practicing organic viticulture, give us a roadmap to continue to increase our social and environmental impact.

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