Beverage Media
July 2013
USBAF Spotlights Emerging
Brands in the U.S. Market
Over 200 members of the trade attended
the the third annual U.S. Beverage Alco-
hol Forum (USBAF), held at this year’s
Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America
(WSWA) Convention in Orlando, FL.
The USBAF is a partnership between
WSWA and the U.S. Drinks Conference.
The conference began with an in-
depth look at how brands can avoid the
common mistakes facing many wine and
spirit brands entering the U.S. market
for the first time. Moderator John Be-
audette, president and CEO of MHW,
Ltd., shared his advice: Focus resources
on only a few markets at the start; mon-
itor them closely to see what is working
to get the product to turn at retail; and
make sure that there are funds available
to support the brand long-term. “You
only have one chance when introduc-
ing a product to the U.S.,” remarked
Beaudette. “Perform due diligence on
the front end, pick the market that
will give you the most success and
strive to generate measurable results
in that area.”
The second session was moderated
by Mike Ginley, founder of Next Level
Marketing, who gave a detailed overview
of the structure, volume and trends of
the U.S. beverage alcohol market, sup-
ported by a candid panel session led by
noted mixologist, Tony Abou-Ganim.
The following session was presented by
Jeff Grindrod, managing partner of Brand
Action Team, and gave a detailed over-
view of emerging digital tools suppliers
are using to monitor and manage growth.
The concluding session was led by Brand
Action’s Steve Raye and provided an in-
depth look at new tools that are available
to assist on- and off-premise accounts
to drive customer loyalty and leverage
word of mouth.
Chile’s Undurraga Wins Big
On May 9th, Viña Undurraga scored a
huge coup for Chile at the 2013 Som-
melier Wine Awards in the United King-
dom, receiving a total of 10 medals—five
gold, four silver and one bronze—en route
to earning the coveted “Producer of the
Year” award. Undurraga Managing Direc-
tor Ernesto Müller noted, “The winery is
very proud, because we received prizes in
several categories, for both still and spar-
kling wines, demonstrating once again
the consistency and quality of our wines
and of our winemaking team.”
Among the gold medal winners were
Undurraga’s Brut Royal and Rosé Royal
sparkling wines from Leyda Valley; a 2011
Cabernet-Syrah and 2012 Sauvignon
Blanc under the winery’s Aliwen label,
and two Aliwen and the 2010 T.H. (Ter-
roir Hunter) Syrah from the Limari Val-
ley. Except for the sold-out rosé bubbly, all
the gold medal winners and more Undur-
raga wines are available in the U.S. and
imported by Testa Wines of the World.
Mike Ginley, Next Level Marketing; Jeff Grindrod,
Brand Action Team; John Beaudette, MHW, Ltd.;
Steve Raye, Brand Action Team
The Vintner Group Acquires
Martin Scott Wines
The Vintner Group of Richmond, VA,
which is both an importer of wines
and distributor of wines and spirits,
has purchased Martin Scott Wines
of Lake Success, NY.
Founded in 1980 as fine wine
distributor The Country Vintner,
The Vintner Group was among the
first to have extended its wholesale
operations across state lines. In
addition to distributing, The Vintner
Group includes a national import
arm called Craft + Estate, and a
craft spirit portfolio, the American
Still Life Collection, which was
launched in 2011. Martin Scott
Wines was founded by Martin Gold
and Scott Gerber in 1990 and has
developed one of the most respect-
ed portfolios in the Metro New York
market, as well as a reputation for
stellar customer service. The com-
pany will continue to trade as Martin
Scott in its distributed territories and
no staffing or operational changes
are scheduled.
The Vintner Group President and
CEO David Townsend commented,
“We clearly believe in a vision of a
consolidated fine wine market that
allows artisanal brands access to
economies of scale while preserving
their inherent family values.” Martin
Gold, President and CEO of Martin
Scott Wines, added that the two
companies “share a common cul-
ture and are indred spirits in the very
specific sales approach required to
properly service out markets.”
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