Cheers April/May 2018

Cheers is dedicated to delivering hospitality professionals the information, insights and data necessary to drive their beverage business by covering trends and innovations in operations, merchandising, service and training.

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Page 46 of 59 47 April/May 2018 • cases last year. "We believe our brand resonates with consumers, particularly Millennials," says Caine Thompson, president of Rabble Wine Co. "Our branding features provocative, edgy and engaging artwork. We're fi nding this interesting interplay between tradition and innovation is evoking discussion, while drawing attention to the balance between bold and historical." Alverdi has grown from 49,000 to 73,000 cases since 2014. "Honest packaging and an honest product with exceptional quality has allowed Alverdi to break through," says Michael Wolff, vice president of marketing for brand owner Opici Wines—Market St. Spirits. What's more, Wolff says, "Alverdi's sustainably packaged 3-liter box is also driving consumer and trade interest." Alverdi will release a new rosato this spring. "We are launching dedicated trade and consumer-oriented advertising program that will continue to build throughout the year," Wolff says. Additional investment includes a dedicated website that will extend the brand's social media program. Le Charmel is a newer brand from Winesellers Ltd. that has grown from 2,000 cases in 2014 to 34,000 in 2017. "A key factor for the brand is the unique 'French Classic' varietals and regions the brand showcases," says Todd Nelson, director of marketing for Winesellers. These include Touraine sauvignon blanc from the Loire valley, pinot noir from Pays d'Oc, a syrah-grenache grown in the Rhone Valley and the Côtes de Provence rosé, he says. "The growing trends in the market show consumers are interested in valued French wines that come from small growers, unique varietals sourced from sustainable/organic farmed vineyards throughout different regions of France," Nelson adds. The brand Sangria Lolea, by Bodega & Co., has increased volume from just 1,000 cases in 2014 to 45,000 last year. Launched in 2013, Lolea was acquired in January by Spain's Zamora Co., which recently bought Villa Massa limoncello and craft whiskey brand Yellow Rose. On-premise, the Lolea brand has "found a niche at casual, chef-driven restaurants that aspire to provide their guests with a high-quality, authentic product, yet need to have streamlined and effi cient offerings," says spokesperson Laura D'Ocon. Innovation, sampling and eye-catching branding have also driven Lolea sales off-premise. "We invested even more heavily in sampling and demo opportunities in 2017, and it paid off, with many of our retail partners telling us that Lolea demos are some of the most successful that they have ever done," D'Ocon explains. "Our latest innovation, Lolea N5, a wine cocktail made from a tempranillo-grancha blend with a touch of hibiscus fl ower and ginger, capitalizes on the rosé boom." CLASSICS COME BACK Comeback Brands this year include Black Stallion and Gnarly head, two California brands from Delicato Family Vineyards. Black Stallion had dipped to 42,000 cases sold annually in 2015 before recovering to reach 68,000 in 2017. "The Black Stallion name is well liked by consumers, and the new label communicates the winery's unique sense of place," says Kate McManus, vice president of marketing for Delicato Family Vineyards. She also points to Black Stallion's "distinguished track record, with six consecutive 90+ point scores on our cabernet sauvignon" as another driver for the brand's turnaround. Gnarly Head had been on a multiyear trend of shrinking, which ended in 2016 with 687,000 cases. The brand reversed the trend in 2017 and reached 716,000 cases. Again, help came from label updates and high ratings. "The new package is getting lots of support from consumers and retailers," McManus says. "Gnarly Head's wine quality continues to impress with three 90-point-rated wines in 2017." Carnivor, a cabernet sauvignon from E&J Gallo, also rebounded from a decline in sales in 2016, increasing 9.1% in 2017 to 382,000 cases. One of Gallo's premium offerings, the Carnivor brand now includes a zinfandel. "The growing trends in the market show consumers are interested in valued French wines that come from small growers, unique varietals sourced from sustainable/organic farmed vineyards throughout di erent regions of France." —Todd Nelson, director of marketing for Winesellers Ltd.

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