Makers of Sutter Home Wine is on a new product roll

665773_46ce965823ea44a3bfc74fd763f281e7Steve’s breakdown: When a winery is on the move like this, change is in the air. Give Wendy Nyberg, the Vice President of Marketing, a try at wnyberg@tfewines.com

SAINT HELENA, CA: The fourth-largest wine marketer in the U.S. at nearly 17 million cases, St. Helena, California-based Trinchero Family Estates is reloading on the new product front and stoking growth on a number of fast-rising smaller brands in its portfolio.

New to the Trinchero lineup are super-premium Sonoma brand Pacific Heights and on-premise exclusive Cloudfall, sourced from Monterey County. Pacific Heights, created to highlight coastal Sonoma terroirs, includes a Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($25) and a Russian River Chardonnay ($20). Winemaker Christine Marchi, who is responsible for the Pacific Heights wines, also teamed with Trinchero executive chef James Houghton to create the on-premise-only Cloudfall label, which includes a Monterey Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, all positioned at around $10 by-the-glass. Both Cloudfall and Pacific Heights are hitting national distribution this month.

Meanwhile, Trinchero is seeing strong growth on a number of rising brands in its portfolio, including Three Thieves, Charles & Charles, Terra d’Oro and Black Point. According to Impact Databank, Three Thieves ($8) surged 70% to 140,000 cases last year, while Charles & Charles grew 16% to 123,000 cases. Currently among Washington state’s fastest-growing brands, Charles & Charles is a collaboration between industry veterans Charles Bieler and Charles Smith. The franchise is being driven by its flagship rosé, which was up 82% in Nielsen channels in the half-year through July 16, making it the top domestic rosé in the $10-$20 tier. “The consumer appetite for quality rosé shows no signs of slowing down,” says Dave Derby, Trinchero’s senior vice president, marketing, adding that Charles & Charles’s Cabernet-based red blend is also making rapid gains.

Black Point, a private label wine made for Sam’s Club, has likewise benefited from the red blend craze, Derby notes, more than doubling to 50,000 cases last year, with a number of East Coast states driving growth. Another rising brand, Terra d’Oro, has accelerated in each of the past two years, rising 28% to 57,000 cases in 2015. Known for its Amador County Zinfandel ($10-$15), Terra d’Oro has bucked the tough conditions for that varietal lately (Zinfandel, the vast majority of which comes from California, has been roughly flat at 4.4 million cases since 2010, according to Impact Databank). And it’s getting a boost from two of its white wines, Pinot Grigio and Chenin Blanc-Viognier, which are respectively up 13% and 250% in Nielsen channels so far this year.

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