Winesellers, Ltd. was named 2015 Importer of the Year by Wine Enthusiast Magazine and since then, the Niles, IL-based, family-run company is continuing to see double-digit growth in 2016, after a remarkable 20% growth in 2015. With continual growth in various categories, the launch of new brands, an increased presence with national chain restaurants and retail, and a top sales month in July 2016, the company is on track to pass a record 700,000 cases sold this year.
“It’s been quite the year for us, with record sales, the launch and acquisition of new brands and our development in the cider category,” said Vice President Adam Sager, who oversees day-to-day operations alongside his brother Jordan Sager. “We are so proud to continue growing our company, which our father founded in 1978, and are honored to be in partnership with incredible winemakers from around the world.”
European Brand Growth
With more than 30 brands representing seven countries, the Winesellers, Ltd. European portfolio has seen significant growth, especially in brands from France, Italy, Spain and Austria. The emergence of the dry Rose category has driven some of this volume growth with French brands Le Charmel and Mont Gravet, and Pratsch from Austria leading the way.
Development of Spanish Portfolio
The importer also launched two Spanish brands in 2016: Senda Verde and Carlos Serres. Senda Verde is a collection of D.O. wines from northwest Spain, often referred to as “Green Spain” for its lush, oceanic climate. Bodega Carlos Serres, a pioneering Rioja winery dating back to the 19th century, has been family-owned and operated since 1896. The winery encompasses nearly 150 acres of premium Rioja Alta vineyards with vines averaging 20+ years old.
Expansion in Cider
This year, Winesellers, Ltd. expanded in the increasingly popular craft cider category after initially launching three artisan French brands in 2015. Three additional brands from France, Spain and England were launched this year and have proved quite successful. The company’s long term goal is to show premium wine enthusiasts that artisanal ciders share common sensibilities and can be appreciated in similar fashion.
Success in Ownership Brands
Winesellers, Ltd. has an ownership stake in several brands in the portfolio, including Tortoise Creek (California), Le Charmel and Mont Gravet (France), and Gran Passione, Tiamo and La Fiera (Italy) as well as others. These brands have seen steady growth in 2016 after receiving multiple industry growth awards for 2015 sales, including an Impact Hot Prospect Award for Tiamo from Shanken Media and Growth Brand Awards for Gran Passione and La Fiera from Beverage Information Group.
Staying True to Core Values
While the team and import portfolio continue to evolve, Winesellers, Ltd. remains focused on working with family-owned and –operated wineries, aiming to bring consumers the best wine values. The company has shown tremendous growth in recent years, while staying true to these core values. Perhaps one of the greater success stories is the continued US growth of the Argentine brands from Familia Zuccardi (Santa Julia & Zuccardi), a producer and importer partnership that celebrated twenty years together in 2015. The wines from Familia Zuccardi are showing mid-single digit growth this year in the midst of a softening category, and currently represent over 220,000 cases per year annually in the US market.
ABOUT WINESELLERS, LTD.
Founded in 1978 by Yale Sager, Winesellers, Ltd. is a second generation, family-owned and globally recognized importer and marketer of fine wines to the U.S. market. The company’s portfolio represents the finest quality of wines in their respective price category and has widespread distribution in all 50 U.S. states.
Winesellers, Ltd. portfolio includes:
- Argentina: Santa Julia, Zuccardi (Mendoza)
- Australia: Hope Estate Family Vineyards (Hunter Valley/Western Australia)
- Austria: Pratsch (Niederosterreich)
- California: Tortoise Creek (Lodi/Clarksburg/Central Coast), Santa Barbara Winery, Lafond Winery & Vineyards (Santa Rita Hills), Vinum Cellars (Central Coast, Napa/Clarksburg)
- Chile: Hacienda Araucano (Colchagua)
- France: Besserat de Bellefon (Champagne), Charles Armand Sparkling, EXEM Bordeaux, Mont Gravet, Le Charmel, Avive
- Germany: Heinz Eifel, Dr. H. Thanisch-Muller Burggraef, Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler, Bollig Lehnert, Dr. Heyden, Fitz Ritter, Eifel-Pfeiffer
- Italy: Tiamo Organic, Bellafina Sparkling, La Fiera, Gran Passione, Prodigo, Piazza del Castello
- New Zealand: Sea Pearl, Fault Line, Fire Road (Marlborough), Murdoch James (Martinborough)
- Portugal: Quinta de la Rosa (Duoro)
- Spain: Mas Fi Cava (Penedes), Resso (D.O. Catalunya), Senda Verde (D.O. Rias Baixas, D.O Bierzo, D.O Ribeiro), Clos de Nit (D.O. Montsant), Carlos Serres (D.O.Ca Rioja) , and Navardia (D.O.Ca Rioja)
Artisan Ciders: Manoir de Grandouet, Domaine de la Minotiere, Cidrerie Daufresne (Normandy), Le Brun de Bretagne (Brittany), Bodegas Mayador (Asturias), Dunkertons (UK)