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Gallo Gains U.S. Import Rights To Allegrini

E.&J. Gallo Winery has won exclusive rights to distribute the highly regarded Allegrini wine portfolio in the U.S. market, effective April 1, 2014. Allegrini has been handled in the U.S. by Winebow for many years.

The move marks a major step for Gallo in the luxury end of the U.S. imported wine market. The Allegrini Estates consist of the Allegrini property in Italy’s Valpolicella region, as well as Poggio al Tesoro, an emerging property in Tuscany’s Bolgheri appellation. Sixth-generation family member Franco Allegrini heads up winemaking at the estates, while his sister Marilisa Allegrini is in charge of sales and marketing.

Allegrini is one of Italy’s most storied winemakers. Its wines, which include the Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, Recioto della Valpolicella Classico Giovanni Allegrini and Verona La Poja, among others, have received numerous 90+ ratings from Wine Spectator. The winemaker’s total annual production is 1 million bottles.

Allegrini enjoyed impressive growth in the U.S. from 2009-2012, rising from 30,000 to 53,000 cases and earning Impact “Hot Prospect” honors after a 26% jump in 2012. However, in 2013 the brand slid by 13% to 46,000 cases.

Gallo has been making major strides on the import side of the business over the years, but this move represents a quantum leap in terms of building an upscale import lineup. Gallo imports wines from Italy (Ecco Domani, Da Vinci, Maso Canali and LaMarca); Spain (Las Rocas and Martín Códax); Argentina (Alamos and Don Miguel Gascón); and New Zealand (Starborough and Whitehaven). Virtually all of those wines have been strong growth drivers in recent years.

From Italy, Maso Canali ($23) and DaVinci (ranging from $15-$60) have been the most upscale labels. Among Spanish wines, Gallo has found success with its Garnacha-based Las Rocas label ($14-$20). Similarly priced Martín Códax has benefited from a trend toward emerging Spanish varietals like Albariño.

In the New World, Gallo has succeeded with Argentine brand Alamos ($10.99-$14.99). Slightly higher up the pricing ladder is Argentine label Don Miguel Gascón ($15-$25). Gallo’s New Zealand portfolio, meanwhile, has followed that region’s strong growth trend, led by Sauvignon Blanc from the Whitehaven ($20) and Starborough ($15) brands.

Source: Shaken News Daily