Napa, CA – Quintessential, the Napa, CA family owned- and-operated fine-wine import, marketing and sales company, celebrates the fact that four of its brands were named to the Imported Wine “Hot Prospects” list in the September 2014 Impact Newsletter, an indicator of the U.S. market’s most promising wine and spirits growth brands. Being honored this year are Valentin Bianchi and New Age from the San Rafael district in Mendoza, Argentina; Bodegas Muriel, from the Rioja Alavesa region of Spain, and Henry’s Drive, from Padthaway in South Australia.
This marks only the second time in the history of this “honor roll” that four brands from one importer have received this prestigious accolade in the same year. To make Impact’s Imported Wine “Hot Prospects” list, the brand must have depletions of, at least, 50,000 cases in the calendar year, at least 15% depletions growth vs. the previous year, and consistent growth in the two years’ prior.
For the first time, Argentina tied former “Hot Prospects” leader Italy with six brands each on this year’s list of 22 brands – Valentin Bianchi and New Age are two of the six. It was both brands’ second appearance on the list (Valentin Bianchi in 2012 and New Age in 2011).
New Age also was a “Fast Track” brand in 2014 and 2013. “Fast Track” is the listing from Beverage Information Group (BIG) that is published by beverage trade magazine Beverage Dynamic to track brands showing growth over 100,000 cases in a given year.
This is the second year in a row that Quintessential’s Rioja producer, Bodegas Muriel, has made the “Hot Prospects” list. It is one of only two Spanish Table brands on this year’s list, and was the solo Spanish Table brand last year.
Bodegas Muriel also has been a “Rising Star” for the past two years, moving up BIG’s list that is dedicated to tracking brands in the US market less than five years (Quintessential started importing Bodegas Muriel in 2010). It was cited as the “Rioja winery to watch” for both its innovative winemaking and respect for the region’s history in buying and restoring venerable old Rioja wineries, vineyards and cellars. Bodegas Muriel also was named the fastest-growing Spanish wine brand in the US market, and the second fastest-growing brand overall, in the 2014 “Trends In Adult Beverages” report issued by Technomics, a market research firm that provides comprehensive global information on the food and beverage industries.
Henry’s Drive, the South Australian winery solely owned and operated by a woman, Kim Longbottom, with a tradition of women winemakers (Kim Jackson recently returned as chief winemaker), is the only Australian winery on the 2014 “Hot Prospects” list. The winery’s Pillar Box label has made the list three times; in 2011, 2012 and under the Henry’s Drive umbrella this year.
Dennis Kreps, co-owner of Quintessential with his father, Stephen D. Kreps, is a firm believer that the family wineries they have been bringing to US consumers since Quintessential was founded in 2002 are a key component to the company’s continued growth and success.
“The various honors that have been awarded to our producers in the past year — be it high ratings and glowing reviews from the media or inclusion in sales and depletion reports from beverage trade and business publications — reinforce our belief in the strength of family-owned wineries,” Dennis explained. “We are dedicated exclusively to multi-generational, family owned-and-operated producers who have the same passion for winemaking as we have in strategically marketing and selling their wines.
“We are proud to represent wineries that share the same core values as Quintessential and are impassioned about quality wines that speak to their heritage,” Dennis added. “This is the foundation of our success, and we look forward to their future achievements.”