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Exclusive: Deutsch Family Enters Tequila With Stake In Cantera Negra

November 30, 2022

Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits is taking aim at the fast-growing upscale Tequila category with a new deal to handle the Cantera Negra brand. Deutsch Family is acquiring a partial ownership stake in Cantera Negra from owner Two Sons Imports LLC, and will become the exclusive global sales and marketing partner to the brand. Financials were undisclosed.

Cantera Negra, which is Spanish for “Black Quarry,” has distribution in 28 states and is growing quickly, having shipped 20,000 cases in the 12 months through September, Deutsch says. The business was founded more than four decades ago by Don Alberto Becherano, who continues to produce the range with his son, Dan. Cantera Negra takes its name from the black volcanic rock found in the soil of the agave fields of Jalisco, Mexico. Two Sons Imports, led by chairman Lance Gildner, has spearheaded Cantera Negra’s U.S. growth recently.

“Our partnership with Two Sons is the culmination of a four-year search for the right Tequila brand and the right partners,” said Deutsch Family CEO Peter Deutsch. “Cantera Negra represents a critical addition to our five-year strategy to help us scale our luxury spirits business by providing consumers with an exceptional quality Tequila option to choose instead of more mass-produced offerings.”

The Cantera Negra range includes Silver ($50), Reposado ($60), Añejo ($70), and Extra Añejo ($120) Tequilas, as well as Cafe, a 100%-agave Tequila and coffee liqueur ($35). The Reposado ages for five to 11 months, while the Añejo rests for 18 months and the Extra Anejo spends 36 months in barrel. Cantera Negra marks the second luxury-level addition to Deutsch’s portfolio this year, following the company’s acquisition of a minority stake in prestige Champagne brand Beau Joie in April.

While spirits overall have been running into tougher comps toward the end of this year, Tequila continues to soar in the U.S., especially at the high end. According to Impact Databank, Tequila’s over-$40 sector is projected to account for more than a quarter of the market in 2022. The strength at the luxury level helped Tequila overtake American whiskies in dollar terms in the U.S. last year, to rank second behind vodka among spirits overall. Surging consumer interest in the category is expected to lead three luxury Tequila brands—Bacardi’s Patrón and Diageo’s Don Julio and Casamigos—past the 2-million-case mark this year.—Daniel Marsteller

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