Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Gallo turns sights on UK with revamped premium range

Published:  07 March, 2018

Californian producing giant E&J Gallo has identified the UK as a key market to grow its expanding range of high-end wines.

Speaking to Harpers, Gallo’s vice president of premium winemaking Scott Kozel said that the “premium shift” going on the UK presented ideal conditions to introduce up to 50 of the higher priced wines that Gallo has been adding to its range in recent years.

“In the UK, a premiumisation is going on, with consumers trading up, drinking little less wine, but drinking better wine, and they are also becoming more open to quality wines form the New World,” said Kozel.

Other focus markets include Germany, the Low Countries and the Nordics, added Kozel.

Describing the range of wines that are being available to the market, Kozel said that “a whole variety of stuff, almost 50 different premium wines, including new wines from wineries and vineyards acquired in the last three to four years”, would be featured.

These include longer standing additions to the Gallo portfolio, such as labels such as Talbott and J Vineyards, both in Sonoma County, along with newer stablemates such as Washington State brand Columbia.

Kozel said that the premium portfolio would naturally be aimed at “high end restaurants and hotel restaurants, along with independent retailers”, that were better placed to explain and hand sell the wines.

One evolution in Gallo’s approach to its premium portfolio, highlighted by Kozel, has been the increasing focus on acquiring vineyards, to help underpin the quality o the wines and give the company greater control.

“One of keys to our success with acquisitions is not just buying a brand, but buying a vineyard, so we can craft a wine that we are looking for,” said Kozel.

“The Gallo family has really come to recognise that need over past decade and that really culminated last April when they acquired just a vineyard, 600 acres of Napa grapes, Stagecoach Vineyard, one of the premier Napa sites, and one of larger ones. Not so much because [the company] needs the grapes today, but because they realise that to continue to operate in a luxury space, they will need access to the quality of grapes needed in the future.”