Sonoma, CA (February 13, 2012) – Four years after establishing its presence in the U.S. market, Lion Nathan USA is reinforcing its commitment to fine wine with a name change to Distinguished Vineyards & Wine Partners. Over the past four years, sales of its wines in the U.S. have more than doubled, with most growth coming from wines priced at $20 and above. “The evolution of our name best reflects the many facets to our fine wine business including farming, winemaking, and sales” says Steve Myers, Managing Director of North America. Representing a global portfolio of wineries distributed by leading fine wine wholesalers in all 50 states and into Canada, the Company has been thriving. Sales of its core brands have increased by over 19% in 2011 according to AC Nielsen retail sales data, nearly 10 times the wine industry growth rate for the same period.
Through Argyle winery in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, the Company farms over 600 acres of vineyards in the Dundee Hills and Eola-Amity Hills. “We continue investing in high quality vineyards and winemaking to support the global sales success of Argyle’s sparkling and still wines,” says Rollin Soles, Argyle Founder, Head Winemaker and 11 time recipient of Wine Spectator’s prestigious Top 100 award. In 2011, the Company complemented its organic growth success by acquiring Sonoma’s MacRostie Winery. Future growth plans for MacRostie are centered on long term partnerships with the most well renowned grape growers of the Sonoma Coast. “I’ve been impressed with the team and the wines they produce, which are benchmark Sonoma Coast and a consistent expression of the region’s terroir,” comments Steve Sangiacomo, third generation farmer in Sonoma County and one of MacRostie Winery’s highly regarded Chardonnay growers.
In addition to its California and Oregon presence, the Company’s wine portfolio sources grapes from the Marlborough region of New Zealand’s South Island, prestigious sites throughout Australia’s Barossa Valley, Mornington Peninsula, Clare Valley and Adelaide Hills regions, and Mendoza’s Uco Valley in Argentina. “They are committed, collaborative and hardworking partners, and together we’ve achieved a 77% increase in our Malbec sales in the U.S. this past year,” comments Nick Goldschmidt, consulting Winemaker for Argento Winery in Mendoza, whose wines are represented in the U.S. by Distinguished Vineyards & Wine Partners.
The team’s innovation led to the launch of Cellar Key in September 2010, a mobile platform using QR codes that were designed to educate and engage wine consumers more thoughtfully and efficiently. Since launch, The Cellar Key has garnered over 800,000 website hits and is a clear winner at the intersection of fine wine, emerging technology and an evolving consumer. The new Company name reinforces this future direction of driving consumer engagement in the premium wine category. “Our name change underscores our commitment to our valued partners and to the premium wine business, where the future continues to looks bright” says Myers.
About Distinguished Vineyards & Wine Partners
Formed in 2008, Distinguished Vineyards & Wine Partners represents a unique collection of traditional and contemporary wine brands from some of the world’s most coveted wine regions. The domestic portfolio includes the highly acclaimed Argyle winery in Willamette Valley, Oregon and MacRostie Winery in Sonoma, California; imported wines include St Hallett from the Barossa Valley in Australia, Wither Hills from Marlborough in New Zealand, Argento from Mendoza, Argentina and Inkberry from Central Ranges, Australia among others. For more information, please visit www.dvwinepartners.com
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